We’ve been Overdriving for four weeks now, and our crowd of serious contenders is starting to shape up. 115, 1114, 1717, and 1806 all won their second regional of the year, and 1024 became only the fourth team in FIRST history to win three in a single year. As the events between us and Championship start to dwindle, teams are lining up for final positioning going into the event.
Waterloo is the big story event of the weekend. All eyes were focused on 1114 as the Simbots added their second regional win, Chairman’s, and another WFFA (Ian MacKenzie) (along with Website and Industrial Design Awards). They joined MOE, Wildstang, Thunder Chickens, and Raiderroboix in the very eltie circle of “Triple Crown” winners at a single FIRST event.
Their performance on the field as the most impressive in FIRST. They’ve stumbled in qualifications, and even though its hard to pin their three losses directly on 1114, they’ll need strong qualification positioning to control their destiny at future events (particularly in Atlanta). Once selected by #1 seed and very strong performer, 2056, (and paired with fellow NiagaraFIRST team 1680) the lowest score the #1 alliance recorded was 104.
Granted that every 100 point match of the weekend in Canada featured either 1114 or 2056, their performance is still impressive. To put it in full perspective, here are some statistics about the Simbots scores this weekend:
Average Qualification score (min/max): 96.18 (10/168)
Median Qualification score: 98
Average Elimination score (min/max): 125 (104/142)
Median Elimination score: 129
Average (Qual and Elim) Score: 106.35
Median (Qual and Elim) Score: 106
The Kil-A-Bytes name will unquestionably be mentioned in almost every discussion of elite teams in Overdrive from here on out. I had my doubts, and even though I initially attempted to argue that they still exist after their win in Cleveland, I found that they were dismissed. 1024 flat out wins. They might not quite be on par with 1114, 217, or 16, but they’re fantastic. My only gripe is that we haven’t seen what they can really do on their own, but it’s highly unlikely that’s going to happen in Atlanta, and you can raise that same question with several other elite teams. They won three difficult events in convincing fashion. 1126 put up some strong scores as well, and shouldn’t be lost in the mix. SparX has an impressive scoring machine this year and will be a factor in Atlanta as well.
It was deja-vu for 1731 though. They found themselves on the #1 alliance of a bot who’s primary scoring method was herding. They carried their alliance to the finals, but ended up losing the last match on a penalty. While they may or may not have been able to beat the loaded 1629/191/2228 alliance either, Fresta Valley is one of the best teams not to record a regional victory this year. Even though 1731 won’t be attending Championship this year, it may serve as consolation that none of the three Championship finalists last year won a regional.
One of those finalists last year picked up a regional victory in West Michigan, Team Hammond. In a tough event that had several teams scoring ~3-4 hurdles/match, 71 came out as the top scoring bot (albeit not by much). 2171 was the top seed (any team that combines the Thunder Chickens and Beatty numbers should be pretty good), and unified with the BEAST to take home good. The strong #2 alliance of 141/33/302 would have offered even more of a challenge if two bots (33 and 302) didn’t both suffer broken welds. Several teams from this event should be playing Saturday afternoon at Championship. If 71 wants to return to Einstein though, they’ll almost certainly have to beef up their hybrid.
Beleive it or not, there was another alliance as impressive as the 1114/2056/1680 unification in Waterloo. When 330, 1717, and 980 teamed up in Los Angeles the lowest score they recorded was 102 in route to sweeping the eliminations and scoring gold. For comparisson, there wasn’t a single 100+ match in the LA qualifications. They highest anyone scored against this alliance was 58. This was a glorious alliance effort that led them to dominating the regional.
Some stats for comparisson against the Waterloo alliance:
Average Elimination Score (Min/Max): 115.67 (102/142)
Median Elimination Score: 110
330’s record in LA: 15 wins, 0 losses, 0 ties
1717’s record in LA: 13 wins, 2 losses, 0 ties
980’s record in LA: 10 wins, 5 losses, 0 ties
Sadly there isn’t enough time to fully break down every event, but each event had its own stories worthy of mention. 118 had a strong debut in Lone Star, but fell short of gold due to technical issues and a valiant effort by the winning alliance. Israel is still going on, but 1574 is 6-0 and #1 at the moment. A pair of hurdling machines teamed up to take Seattle. 115 notched another regional victory as the second-round pick in Davis. 1806 added another banner with the aid of of a rookie and second-year team in OKC, over an entirely rookie finalist alliance.
Week 4 was exciting, to say the least.