The Hudson Valley Regional was quite the event, with competition within the top 3 ranked teams being fierce. In the end, it was 20 who came out on top. They selected 1796 and 6401 and swept the elimination rounds, besting the Mid-Atlantic invaders in the finals. Congratulations also go out to Team 1156 for winning the Regional Chairman’s Award.
The first SBPLI Long Island event started this week out with a bang. It was the first NY event where the top seed didn’t take the event, as the top seed was defeated in a penalty-ridden dogfight of an event. The second seeded 2638 selected 1468 and 6911 and benefitted from a red card in semifinals and some fouls in finals that helped secure 2638’s second banner of the season and the first regional win for both 1468 and 6911.
This week has the second SBPLI Long Island Regional, as well as a large cohort of NY teams heading west to the Buckeye Regional.
SBPLI Long Island #2
Long Island 2 is going to be a wild event. The top 4 teams are clearly distinguished and evenly matched, but the next tier of teams down are capable Space Explorers themselves. It’s as easy to picture LI2 as a clean sweep as it is to see an upset from a well formed mid-seeded alliance. Rankings and schedules at this event are going to determine just who is going to take home the gold this year.
- Team RICE came to the Finger Lakes Regional in Week 3 with their best engineered robot to date, and were rewarded with the top seed and a banner. 870 is the favorite to take the top seed, largely due to their remarkable consistency. RICE was a part of every real 4 RP match at Finger Lakes. One thign working against them this time around is they should be better known here than they were in Rochester. The other top Rochester teams saw defense more consistently than RICE did at FLR, so a higher profile might hurt 870 this time around.
- The RoboTigers are the team coming into this event with the highest peak, but they didn’t consistently hit that peak at Hudson Valley last weekend. By eliminations, however, they looked unstoppable. 1796 is unlikely to be missing climbs early in qualifications this time around, and they’re a favorite for a repeat banner this weekend.
- The Ranger Robotics machine has everything you could want in a robot this season, down to the ability to occasionally cross the midline to steal opponent’s balls due to their intake within frame. 3015 played with RICE in eliminations at FLR, which made it impossible to stop both the RICE and Ranger scoring juggernauts. At SBPLI, they’re a less known team, and they might hit more rockets in qualifications as a result.
- GRR has a rough FLR, from drivetrain issues to the constant defense they hit in qualifications. They made the finals on a well-constructed third seeded alliance, and even took the top seeded RICE to three matches. Here at SBPLI, 340 should see less defense in qualifications and have more opportunities to show off their incredible offensive upside.
- 3171 and 329 were both first round selections at the stacked Central New York Regional. The Mohawks had a solid level 3 climbing mechanism and decent play with both game pieces. The Hurricanes had greater game piece upside, but only a level 2 climber. Both should be in the mix this weekend.
- 1468 took home the win earlier today at the first Long Island event, but should have difficulty repeating at the stronger second event. The J-birds should be a contender, but without a level 3 HAB mechanism they should have difficulty seeding highly enough to pick one of the favorites.
- 263 played all the way back in week 1 at the Palmetto Regional. There they were selected for eliminations, but failed to make it out of quarterfinals. As one of Long Island’s most consistent contenders, when the playoff bracket shakes out, they’re almost always in the finals here.
- 7239, 2601, and 1156 were captains and first round picks at HVR and SBPLI #1 just days ago, and all should be contenders at this event. 2601’s hard hitting defense might not seed as highly as it did at HVR, but they’ll be one of the first defenders off the board late in the first or early in the second round. And if 1156 can get their ambitious robot Under Control, they could play spoiler from a low seed yet again.
- Most of the perennial Long Island players have already showed how they fare in Deep Space. 3624, 810, and 5736 all played well at Central New York. 533 should fare better in alliance selections here than they did at FLR. 271 won FLR as a defender, then added some offensive capability at SBPLI 1 to be the third overall selection. It’s hard to imagine them selected quite as highly here, but they’ll be a factor in the elimination rounds for sure. 7400 was a rookie that impressed at Tech Valley back in Week 2. Other perennial Long Island players are debuting this weekend, such as 5099 and 3137.
The Cleveland event always brings in a cohort of Western NY teams, who often come away with great competitive successes. This year’s cohort is strong, but the event doesn’t feature any teams that can bring in an offensive explosion, so the event is more likely to be another defensive dogfight than a beautifully orchestrated concerto. We’re going to briefly talk about the NY teams heading to Cleveland this weekend.
- HYPE missed the finals in an uncharacteristic move for FLR’s second overall selection. 5254’s all-low robot proved to be dominant when undefended, but needs to work on driving under pressure if they want to earn another silver, let alone breaking their finalist curse.
- The Warlocks improved throughout Finger Lakes, proving to be a top scoring machine by the end. 1507’s lack of level three climbing mechanism hurt them in the rankings, but if they can pair with a robot with a solid climber they could form a potent alliance.
- 3003 tanked their way through Finger Lakes, riding their consistent climber to become the third seeded captain. In the elimination rounds they played defense to shut down the offensively powerful second seeded alliance in the semifinals to earn their first championship berth since 2013. To make the finals again would require another high seed and dream team like they were able to assemble at FLR.
- 378, 2228, and 3157 were captains and first picks at the Finger Lakes event. 3157 and 2228 specialize in scoring panels, with the former also boasting a third level climber that helped them in the rankings. 378 built another elevator with solid cargo play and a consistent level 2 HAB endgame that proved enough to win matches at RIT.
- 1126 and 5030 rounded out alliances in Week 3 as third robots. Sparx joined the strong second seeded alliance at FLR to create an alliance with three L3 HAB machines. They provided a much needed defensive boost, but was ultimately unable to slow down the 3 seed’s offensive attack. The Second Mouse played as a third offensive robot at Central New York, and their robot shows a lot of promise playing that game in the future.
- Of the unpicked teams at FLR, quite a few showed promise in both offensive and defensive roles. 578 reached this season, and their slow improvement throughout FLR should continue into Buckeye this weekend. 1405 started the event out with issues moving, but developed quickly into an excellent low machine that missed the elimination rounds for want of scouting. It would be surprising to see Finney miss out yet again this weekend. 1518 played some strong defense in qualifications at FLR, complimenting alliances well with their L2 start and finish. 6870’s robot shows a lot of potential as a third defensive partner, but they need to commit less fouls while playing defense.