There are 4 Michigan districts this week and I’ll take a look at each event, as well as ranking each event. This is Rank 1 for 2023 Week 2, Kettering 2. This is also the event I will be attending this week, and my first time seeing the 2023 game in person, after I got stuck at home last week with weather/work.
Kettering University 2 District
Last Year Winners (3668-3534-5150)
Favorites: Let’s just start with our first favorite 494-Martians. The Martians may not have played last week, but they may as well have, as more often than not, the Goodrich Team builds identical robots between their two teams, 494 and 70. Last week at Kettering 1, Team 70 were Finalists and finished Rank 3 in qualifying, and may have had a chance to win if Team 33 had not declined their invitation at alliance selection. With this in mind, 70 is also consistently a less competitive team than its 494 original, so just by that simple metric, 494 looks to be the leading candidate for Kettering 2. Next comes another team new to Kettering 2, Team 1718-The Fighting Pi. Not sure how to compare the Fighting Pi and our next favorite, as they didn’t make an appearance at Worlds, despite being a division Finalist at MSC in 2022. I would assume, like many of the other teams this past season, that the pandemic and seasons off have stretched their budget and decided it was smarter to not go and make a bigger push this season. So I would not only expect the Fighting Pi to go home with one blue banner, from their assumed Impact/Chairman’s win, but that they might just end up with two. Despite these two not being regulars to Kettering 2, this next team is no stranger to this district, 1684-The Chimeras. The Chimeras have been to the Finals of each of the last three Kettering University 2 events, including a win in the shortened 2020 season, alongside 3534, who we will talk about later. They are who most people consider the leading favorite at every Kettering 2, normally alongside 70, but with 70 and 494 switching Kettering events this season, we could see another pairing similar to last year’s district Finals, where 70 and 1684 teamed up. This doesn’t even mention that fact they were also Division Finalists at Worlds last season, a place they should wish to return to in 2023.
Contenders: Now if you know the history of the Kettering 2 district, you should have realized there is one name absent from the favorite tier, which should probably belong there. That is team 3534-House of Cards. As 3534 has been the winner of Kettering 2 the past two seasons, in 2022 with 3668 and 2020 alongside current favorite 1684; and even more importantly was on Einstein last year as representatives of the Roebling Division, a feat only three Michigan teams boast. However, I struggle to put the House of Cards in the favorites category as the thing they have excelled at, in both the 2020 and 2022 games is no longer present in the 2023 game; Climbing. 3534 were one of the best traversal climbers in 2022, but seemed to lack the fire power in the teleoperated period, since 2023’s game has a rather basic endgame, we will have to see if the house stands or falls as they try to go for three in a row. The next contender was the only one of the competing teams to have a number 1 ranking at an event last season, and they did it twice. Team 5114-Titanium Tigers, were winners at Kingsford last year, but had a rather odd MSC as they were a part of the number 1 seed, but sadly lost in the quarterfinals to the 8 seed. I was also surprised 5114 didn’t have as many event wins as I thought, so it is possible that I have them ranked a little high; as I have also heard some rumors about a large group leaving the team this past season, but we’ll have to see if that matters on the field, as much as it would off the field. This is where I was going to cut off my contenders list, but decided to change this after a robot reveal was released earlier this week. That being the reveal for Team 68-Truck Town Thunder. T3 may have had a subpar season last year, but the reveal video has me confident that 2023 will not be like that, and T3 will be going for their first win since 2017.
Outside Looking in:
9242-Hamady Hawks-9 at Kettering 1, 6 Seed Captain, 4th
5561-Raider Robotics-12 at Milford, 5 Seed Pick 1, 5th
Playoff Teams to Make a Jump:
314-The Megatron Oracles
5603-The Warrior Bots
2137-The Oxford RoboCats
1 Seed 494-1718 v 2 Seed 1684-3534
Edit: I also will also update my Michigan Top 25 on Sunday, and I still plan to release a Week 2 Recap by then, but it probably won’t be as in depth as last weeks, after it took me so long last time, and as I will be at an event this week, I won’t be as in tune to other events as normal.