EBR Qualification and Top Teams to Blame

The inaugural East Bay Regional qualified teams 2637, 9545, 1160, and 1458.

This is great. I applaud the efforts, inspirational work, and accomplishments of these teams.

Many on this forum have expressed sympathy for teams such as 841, 972, 2288, 4698, 5419, and 6619, who are amongst the top 50 teams in California and have been unable to get a ticket to the championship.

However, EBR showed us today that it is difficult to discern whether this concern is genuine. With knowledge of all the faults of the regional system thoroughly discussed in past weeks, you would think that already qualified teams would do everything in their control to assist those teams which have been barred from qualification as a consequence of the flawed regional system.

Today, I was disappointed by the failure of the #1 and #2 alliances to additionally consider how they could maximize the wildcards generated. Even with the expectation that teams such as 254, 1678, 5940, and 581 will always seek to be the winners of the events they attend, this simple consideration would have been the easiest gesture to maintain concern for the teams that globally rank within the top 7% by EPA but still don’t have a championship spot.

How would they do this? By the added criteria that their second picks were prequalified teams. 4 such teams were available to be chosen at the time the #2 alliance made their pick. I have no doubt that with these teams and their top tier strategy crews, a slight compromise could have been made without substantial competitive sacrifice.

With the way the elimination round finished today, if either of the #1 or #2 alliances acted this way, 6619, who stand at #13 in CA, would have received a wildcard.

I mean this not as an affront to 1160 or 1458, but instead a means to show disappointment for the relentless pursuit of blue banners exhibited by the 4 teams mentioned here and perhaps the general spirit present across FRC.

TL;DR EBR #1 and #2 alliances could have gone all the way by matching their actions with the alleged sympathy.


“Sorry 1160, you don’t get to win the first event in your team’s history and attend championship for the first time because we gotta pick a different team so that they can get a wild card”


It’s a competition. Every team deserves to try their hardest to win. Having the advantages of great resources, funding, the best robot, already being qualified—none of those invalidate the fact that everyone should be trying to win. Make the best first pick by your data, then make the best second pick by your data. That is all.

Bottom line: don’t hate the player; hate the game.


I feel like you are blaming the teams when you should be blaming the system. HQ removed the second pick getting into worlds automatically, and the whole system in CA seems too difficult. Blaming the teams is not the solution.


Finals 1 was won by 2 points.


And the automatic wildcard.


Even using “blame” in the thread title is just poor connotation and choice of words. This is a bad take, all things considered.


I’m with ya, Akash.

This one’s on HQ, anyone that thinks otherwise should reconsider. I hate making things us vs them, we should be working on the problems together, but blaming teams for stuff like this is questionable at best, and malicious at its worst.

Lots of people read these forums, making claims like this does way more harm than good, I wish people would consider the unintended consequences before posting.


Clickbait . Unsubbing.

In all seriosness, emotions do run high. I have 100% been the type of person in the past (and perhaps still am) to drop a title that will stir the pot.

However, “blame” is a very poor word choice especially considering the sentiment and language carried through the original post.

Very few teams play 4D chess like the way mentioned by the OP. It’s a competative sport in a very competitive area, QED.

The future may hold a different worlds qualification method, but that’s not the system we are in now. I am happy for the teams that did qualify, I hope it is a great experience.

Remember, there are loads of kids on “top” teams that have never been to worlds as well. This makes the whole “who’s deserving” and “what is worlds for” a difficult question as it means different things to different people/teams


We have rules about convincing others to play beneath their ability during matches (G203/204). I’d hope that we as a community apply the same standard to more broad ‘event strategic decisions’ like alliance selection as well.

Why would we want to encourage teams to make alliance selection choices based on the broken system; instead of maximizing their own chances for success? We should not be ‘blaming’ a team that makes the best selections for themselves.

I think a better take here is (as has been discussed at length in a few threads) to help FIRST HQ re-evaluate the qualification system to meet both their organizational goals, as well as their stated (and hopefully, prioritized) goal of positive team experiences.


simply run more regionals :+1:

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I want to start this by saying that I have never advocated for picking a team that I don’t think will help us be successful in elims and I NEVER WILL. As a strategy mentor, it is my job to work with our strategy students to create strategies that makes the most of the robot that the students made; this includes picking the team that best compliments our robot/match strategy.

I personally think that this mentality is non-GP and disrespects the teams that we would normally pick, the team that we picked only because they had already qualified, the students/mentors/parents who have sacrificed so much to put the best robot on the field. Not to mention it’s disrespectful to the teams we are supposedly “helping” by telling them that we think we can still beat them with a handicap by picking a less-compatible robot to give them a pity wildcard.

EBR was the most competitive regional I’ve ever seen with 3 of the top 5 robots in the world and multiple Einstein caliber alliances. I am so happy that we were able to work with 1160, they were a big part of our win and if we picked someone else, we could very well have lost.


summer CD isn’t supposed to start for another two weeks /s

Actually though, I don’t think it’s fair to blame teams for not playing 3D chess to increase the odds of another team qualifying through a chain of wildcards. Is it nice when it happens? Yes. But come on.


Never tell 971 the meta


Absolutely wild post to make this is a competition and any blame that can be placed for these great teams not being able to go to champs should not be levied towards any of the other amazing teams that played this weekend. I pray that this post is rage bait and not someone’s actual opinion because it takes a level of nerve to suggest this kinda thing, especially at the expense of teams like 1160. Do better


Strong disagree with this take. Doesn’t contribute to the spirit of FRC. Super happy that 5419 was able to compete with all these wonderful teams.

Congrats to 254, 1160, and 1678!


Ironically enough this year I actually overheard an alliance captain actually discussing not picking someone holding a wildcard as their 2nd pick in the hope that they would be picked by a higher ranked alliance, thus if they were to face them in finals and lose they had a better chance of getting a wildcard.

Thanks for the sympathy as we really tried hard to make Worlds this year, but overall this is a much bigger issue that can never be fixed with just strategic alliance selections. I suggest you take a (closer) look at the very extensive California Districts thread as the optimal solution, as teams will always pick the robot they think will help them the most.


Maybe we should blame the judges for giving awards to teams not already qualified and/or for giving out RAS?

/s if not obvious. Regional qualification is dumb, FIRST implement universal points please