Week two is in the books, and several new and exciting chapters were penned for Lunacy. We saw more upsets, more field issues, the rise of some strong teams, and an evolution of strategy.
Finger Lakes had, perhaps, the worst field troubles of all. A number of teams were unsatisfied with field faults and connection issues. It felt comparable to a week one event in many ways.
On the field, 188 was clearly the best. Blizzard’s drivers were on the ball, and even without camera guidance, they were easily the most accurate and deadly shooter thus far. Their quick fire rate and accuracy helped overcome their relatively small capacity. 1507 seeded first and selected 188 and 174. The Warlocks played smart, drove well, and mastered the movements of the empty cell. Despite both the quarters and semis going to three matches, the #1 alliance emerged victorious, topping the triple-headed assault of the #7 alliance (340, 1511, 316) in the finals.
610 etched what might be the most memorable and unfortunate moment of the regional though, when they declined the #3 seed’s (1765) invitation. They were ranked 12th, and ended up one spot away from becoming an alliance captain, and missing the elimination rounds as a whole because of it.
Team Overdrive came in as the heavy favorite in New York after dominating New Jersey in week one. It didn’t take long for their undefeated record to fall, as they lost in qualification match 3 (their first match of the event). They went 5-2 in qualifications, and were selected by the undefeated #1 seed, team 375. The 375, 2753, and 555 alliance was stopped in the semi-finals though by the eventual champs. 56, 1807, and 1796 cruised through the eliminations, going 6-0 in route to winning it all.
2344, who was also on the winning NJ alliance, jumped from the very last selection in Jersey, to the #2 alliance captain and finalist. They also became the highest numbered team to ever win a Regional Chairman’s Award, and did so in only their second year.
Boston had as much parity as any event so far this year, with several teams, including 155, 190, 61, and 1153, having legitimate arguments why they should be considered the best. It was also a bit more offensive in the eliminations than most other regional this weekend, surprising for a New England event. That’s not to say that defense wasn’t a definite factor, but a lot of the pinning and contact was focused more on help to score rather than to shut down the opposition. The #3 alliance of 61, 190, and 1099 ultimately knocked off the top seeded unit of 1100, 155, and 1474 in the finals to secure gold.
In Oregon, 1318 and 1983 paired up, and brought in 2635 with the final selection, to win it all. They out drove and out strategized the other alliance in route to the victory. 1318 and 1983 were the two most consistent scoring machines after lunch on saturday, and both had enough “explosiveness” to put away matches.
The closest any one team came to individually winning a regional came in San Diego. It wasn’t 1332 or 341 either, it was 2543 and their tremendous defense. 341 provided consistent scoring, and 1332 the big point dumps, but 2543’s ability to shut down the opposing alliance’s scorers is what elevated this alliance. 2543’s ability to pin and bully 968 and 1538 crippled both opposing alliances, who were not able to overcome the lack of their primary scoring machines.
1622, who 968 selected first overall, couldn’t perform as well against the quicker and better driven bots in the eliminations as they did in qualifications, and was not able to pick up the slack. 968’s alliance, in particular, had their offense flow through RAWC, as 968 would often spend autonomous and the beginning of matches filling up via their human player. When 2543 entered the picture, that no longer became viable. RAWC would still score once or twice per match, but they were smaller payloads and more balls would end up on the floor.
Without a regional win to help fundraise for another event, 968’s season appears done despite averaging 84 points/match through the end of the QFs.
Kettering was perhaps the deepest field this weekend, despite being the second smallest event. 245 earned a deserved #1 seed, and selected team 70 and 2619. 70 was a solid scoring machine, and clearly outplayed their twin (494), but their autonomous scoring is what set them apart from many of the other machines. 2619 provided solid defense, which helped this alliance overcome some strong offensive opponents.
The Huskie Brigade struggled with a bit of inconsistency and balls not feeding properly from their hopper their scoring mechanism. But their offensive potential and upside were only matched by 245 at the event, and there was no way they should have been around when they were selected (second pick by the #6 alliance). They stepped it up during the eliminations, and were the primary scoring threat on their alliance (which reached the finals). Both of their alliance partners were “on the bubble” in terms of reaching the Michigan state Championship. But the tremendous performance on this alliance essentially locked up both teams (and 65 will likely only need a few more points) for a spot. [FiM Standings](http://www.firstinmichigan.org/staticpages/index.php?page=Results_Overall)
Funny fact, 27 is currently ranked 27th.
Week two saw the emergence of defensive specialists, the continued need for secondary scoring, and a reduced roles for super cells. Fewer third picks were dedicated to running empty cells and more concentrated on shutting down the primary threat on the other alliance. How these strategies will fare against one another is yet to be seen. Lunacy is far from the final form of competition, and while defensive specialists will be important, don’t bet the farm on them yet.