PCH District: 2019 Columbus Predictions

Looking Back…

With the completion of the Albany event, we’ve crossed over the halfway line of the Peachtree season. Although we did not experience the robot development we hoped for at Albany, there were a handful of important moments worth mentioning.

First, there we a significant number of Everybots at Albany, and all of them were effective. From methodical, consistent driver control from 7315 to the green and yellow LED show of 4730 and the underrated effectiveness of 7470, three teams (all from the Albany area) built and upgraded Everybots. All made the playoffs, being picked as high as third overall and two qualifying for the semifinals.

We saw more strategy surrounding the cargo ship as teams declined to start with all six null hatch panels in the playoffs, opting to leave gaps open to hatch during the sandstorm. This was particularly evident on the 832-6829-7499 alliance that ended up winning the event, who made particular use of 6829’s alignment abilities to latch panels better than anyone else at the competition.

The scarcity of L3 climbs also reared its head. There were only three HAB 3 climbers at the entire event, and all were either the alliance captain or early first pick on each of the top three alliances. While greater depth will help balance these issues out, until it does, teams are going to have to play defense more effectively in late-game situations.

Taking a look at the DCMP Picture…

The state championship is less than three weeks away, and there are few better ways to look at potential contenders than to rank the potential contenders. Combining expert opinion and on the field results, we created our 2019 Midseason Top 20.

  1. 2974 (Preseason Rank: 2)
  2. 1102 (4)
  3. 4910 (1)
  4. 1414 (8)
  5. 4188 (3)
  6. 1771 (NR)
  7. 6829 (13)
  8. 832 (9)
  9. 4026 (15)
  10. 4941 (10)
  11. 1746 (5)
  12. 1648 (6)
  13. 6919 (NR)
  14. 6705 (7)
  15. 3581 (NR)
  16. 4701 (NR)
  17. 1311 (14)
  18. 1002 (12)
  19. 3998 (NR)
  20. 5109 (NR)

Looking to the Western border....

Columbus features some of the best depth in a PCH event in district history, and we were thinking that before Albany showed us even more quality play from South Georgia teams. This event also features every team in the top 5 of our power rankings and seven of the top 10 teams. There will be no shortage of excellent competitors.

Leading the Pack

(#1) 2974 showed dominant ability on hatch panels at Dalton, and there’s no reason to expect any changes to that mechanism. However, elevator adjustments could make Walton reach higher, faster, and as they get more practice at cargo, they’ll only improve. We would be surprised to find them anywhere other than sitting with the top alliances at lunch on Saturday.

(#2) 1102 has taken the district by storm: in four Georgia events, they have never been on any alliance that wasn’t the first or second seed. Although with a deep field, anything is possible, and 1102 is probably been the second best game piece scorer in the district. With a HAB 3 climb, M’Aiken Magic is the favorite to take the top seed at the event.

(#4) 1414 has dazzled the past two seasons with potentially the most aesthetically pleasing robot in all of PCH, and were picked second overall for their second straight district event. They’ll certainly have a shot at that, or better, once again. However, our questions center on IHOT’s abilities in the playoffs, failing to reach finals in any event since 2006, despite having alliances set up to do so. They’ll be favored to make the leap this time, but we want to see it finally happen.

(#3) 4910 entered the season as the preeminent favorite to take the district by storm and solidify themselves as the strongest team in PCH. However, they looked flat at times in Dalton. Despite getting the #2 seed and pushing the eventual Dalton champs to three matches in the finals, East Cobb has legitimate questions about its scoring ability. Upgrades and driver practice always help, but if they try to focus more on cargo, they may find themselves reach a higher scoring level.

The hometown team, (#5) 4188, returns to Columbus with a silver medal in tow from Gainesville. CSP’s performance at Gainesville fluctuated more than we expected, but they continued to improve, and the obvious high ceiling of the robot exists. We would be surprised if 4188 wasn’t among the top 4 alliances and advancing into semifinals once again.

Just Behind the Leaders

Although (#10) 4941 was unable to keep up their finals streak at Albany, there’s little question they were one of the fastest robots at the event, and RoboBibb look even more effective than they did in 2018. Without much time between events, we expect a similar performance, and they should lock up a position at the state championship with ease.

(#9) 4026 may have surprised some people with their run to the top seed and Dalton banner, but what we were most surprised by was their awareness and shut down defense. Boasting the fastest climb in the district, only a bad schedule can keep Global Dynamics from captaining an alliance once again.

(#12) 1648 was mildly underwhelming at their first competition, although they almost pulled off another big Gainesville upset and started another run from the low seedline. After looking ineffective early, G3 looks like they may just be rounding into form.

Bubble Watch

4730 showed us a capable machine at Albany, but they’re going to have to improve on their first event performance (20 points) if they want to ensure they move on to Emerson in April.

6910, 6925, 4516, 6139, and 3344 also have some work to do if they want to punch their ticket to state champs this weekend, all needing performances in the neighborhood of 30+ points.

Chairman’s Contenders: 2974 and 4188

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What’s a guy gotta do to get a little respect around here? :slight_smile: Seriously though we had a lot of fun in Albany thanks to our great alliance partners and look forward to even more “fun” at DCMP.

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It was a competition to remember for sure

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(puts on 1002 mentor/homer hat)

18? Wild disrespect, my guy.

But yeah, the field is a lot more competitive this season; the Peachtree District community has really stepped it up this year. DCMP is going to be madness. Hopefully we’ll be able to make a bigger statement at DCMP; these kids are doing some great stuff this year with the robot, even through some of the design iterations.

(switch hat to MC hat)

And this will definitely have so many more storylines about the journey for each of the teams that make it past the bubble. Excited for Columbus!

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Some of these rankings confuse me, most notably, why is 1746 ranked so high? Their max output so far this season has been 7 hatches, on the lowest level. I understand the anticipation of growth and stuff, but their best performance so far has warranted 20 points, and requires open hatches on the cargo ship, preventing faster scoring from cargo bots in the cargo ship.

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I may be a little biased (great friends with that team), but come playoff time, there aren’t many teams I’d rather have on my alliance than 1746. They always field solid, fast machines. They always drive it well. And they simply know how to win in the playoffs. So I get why Informer would put them up there, but some skepticism is warranted.

Also, seven hatches is something very few PCH teams have done to this point. They were undervalued at Gainesville.

Who do you think was snubbed?

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Don’t let their week 1 quals performance fool you. 1746 always comes back kicking after week 1, and from what I saw of their bot, they’re a force to be reckoned with. You can always count on their driving and reliability.

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Haha, don’t worry, I’m well aware of 1746’s ability to rebound, but that’s not something that can be or should be measured in a midseason power ranking.

Just in relation to 1746, teams that definitely got snubbed:
5109, lvl 3 climb, max of 8 cycles
6919, lvl 3 climb, max of 6 cycles (I think, I didn’t record data for Albany, but I think that’s the max I saw)
832, lvl 3 climb, max 7 cycles (places them right below 1414)

Note, I didn’t watch a majority of Albany. These are based on data that I know to be correct from Dalton and Gainesville, and the matches at Albany that I did watch. These are just the ones that stick out to me specifically. On that same note, 6705 (the team I currently mentor) probably shouldn’t be as high as we are. We currently have the highest individual cargo placement match in the district, but our electronics are unreliable and we broke our drivetrain twice at Dalton. My point here is that these seem to rely a little more on historical performance than it does on the most recent performance’s we’ve seen from this season.

Note, if 1746 get’s their robot working, they’ll probably skyrocket to either 1st or 2nd in PCH, but they might also end up like they did at State last year, hence we shouldn’t arbitrarily judge on potential.

5109 should be top 10.

You’re entitled to your opinion, but ignoring past success (and, since past success is the best indicator future success, future potential) is a huge fallacy. There’s a reason why the vast majority of winners at events are the same teams, despite not always having the best robots.

Also, r.e. 5109: I agree they’re underseeded, but I have a difficult time seeing how they’re top 10. They should probably be closer to 15 IMO, but they don’t have the track record to be much higher than that. They do have another district event, and they should be pretty set with that L3, but it’s not like they have a great track record from the past few seasons.

I personally don’t subscribe to the history is a good indicator thing after an event has been played in the district system. My previous week prediction about 2415 was based on historical data points and I was proved wrong…but again I wasn’t at Albany to see what was going on.

It’s my opinion that anyone can show up at any given competition and perform if they put in the work. I’m sure you know that. No one knew what we were bringing when we joined the district last year. From what I saw at Gainesville it seems 5109 has put in some work. Ignoring history pre-2019. 5109 has shown to be better at DDS than some of the teams currently sitting in the top 10 in this objectively ranked top tier list.

I hope they (5109) prove my thoughts on them right next week. Only time will tell.

I don’t know what history you were referring to, because although 2415 was undoubtedly solid last year, it’s hard to say they were spectacular after exiting in quarters at both of their district events events and falling to the last spot of the draft at DCMP. They were solid in their role (very important for us to win DCMP!), but not like their 2016/17 versions. And that’s not a huge surprise: they had a notable amount of mentor turnover over the past two years. Expecting a top-tier caliber robot isn’t fair to them.

5109 has put in some work. I don’t think unreasonable to say that this is the best 5109 robot since districts started in Georgia. However, they were reasonably inconsistent in playoffs from what I watched. This is after a 2018 which saw them never be picked higher than the #2 alliance in the second round and a 2017 where they missed DCMP.

Full marks to 5109 this year, they’ve looked good on the whole. And I’m sure they will continue to do well. AND I agree that they should be higher than 20. But saying they should be in the top 10, when the other teams above that line have shown higher ceilings, is incorrect, in my opinion. However, you’re ultimately entitled to yours.

Also, I dunno where you draw “objectively” from. Power Rankings, especially those using “expert opinion” are not objective by definition.

I’ve been around Georgia/Peachtree competitions since 2008/2009, but I don’t have a lot of insider connections that let me know about things like mentor turnover.

In case of 2415 they have always been one of the teams you watched out for over many years. 2016, they were good. 2017, Einstien. I try to forget 2015 completely and didn’t watch any events in Georgia…and then 2014 I don’t remember off hand either even though I was at the competition. 2018 seemed like an anomaly to me, but I didn’t really research into it. Things change.

As far as experts go, uh… I wouldn’t know who they are…so I can’t form an opinion on their knowledge/ability to create this ranking.

I would also note that if mechanisms that are needed for a good design are something they’ve done before, it makes it easier. So a lower preseason ranked team can quickly move up the rankings if their experience matches the features of a good design. Some teams just have a broader history to pull from.

I’m super proud of how far the team (1414) has grown in the past few years. For anyone who still remembers us from 2016, it’s quite laughable really. We’ve had some issues with performance reliability, but have made some changes that should help us become more consistent. We’ve switched all of our batteries to MK Batteries, machined new bearing blocks for our elevators out of aluminum (to help prevent some of the bending we have seen with the 973-esque plate setup), and machined a few of our previously 3D printed parts out of aluminum for our hatch mech.

Being ranked among some pretty high caliber teams is quite the honor for us. Also, being someone who has spent a lot of time on mechanical design, the comments were quite nice as well haha. We’ll try not to disappoint this coming competition!

In regards to OTTO, I think their rank is quite deserved. Despite robot issues in their first competition, OTTO knows how to win (something we’re still trying to learn) and I don’t think it would be accurate to disregard all of this experience.

Anyways, looks like a pretty deep district event for PCH standards, so we’re looking forward to the next few days.

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2974 is excited to head to Columbus. It’s a great venue. Thanks to PCH-Informer and the PCH pit gang for their insightful analysis. While we can debate the final rankings, it’s going to be a great competition with the best robots ever closer to their final form.

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The real reason 2974 picks the Columbus event.

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Columbus was a great event, with a lot of good matches in quals and elims. Now that our 13 year long win drought is finally over, we would like to thank 2974 and 1795 for being such great alliance partners! Both were such great teams to work with. Also, congrats to the 4188 for the Chairman’s win and 4026 for the EI award!

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You guys really deserved to finally break that streak, y’all played excellently all weekend.

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