PCH District: 2022 Albany Predictions

Carrollton Review

The Carrollton district event pushed Rapid React to a new level for PCH. Both the cargo RP and the hangar RP occurred with greater frequency throughout qualification matches as the best of the best rose to the top of the rankings. Teams in PCH are improving at a rapid rate as teams continue to add autonomous modes, adjust their shooting game, and try to climb higher and faster. Carrollton was a showcase of the best of the best in PCH and gave the district a glimpse of what to expect in Macon for District Championships. With Carrollton in the books, PCH has now seen 4 events with no upsets. Maybe a match or two lost by higher seeds, but the brackets have all played out as expected. This is a sign that the ranking system is working well and that the top teams are making good selections.

The top teams created separation at the top of the rankings in Carrollton and 1771 once again earned the right to the first overall selection. They decided to pair up once again with their Dalton teammate, 8736. The Mechanisms put in an impressive ranking performance with 2.91 average RP, luckily including 5 Hangar RP even though they don’t have a climber. Their shooting game has been strong enough to not need one to this point. The closest any alliance got to the number 1 seed was 32 points excluding a 7 point win in the semi-finals in which 1771 won the match while going solo against the full #4 alliance. 4188 picked a much improved 2974 to form the #2 seeded alliance. This pairing got our imaginations going for a potential finals matchup against the #1 seed. Walton had been in both of the highest-scoring qualification matches of the event - once alongside 4188, and once with 1771. The #2 alliance had their bumps along the way. They made it to finals but failed to slow down the impressive scoring power of the #1 seed. Another chance to compete will come soon enough, as many of these bots will be top contenders at DCMP just around the corner. Other impressive performances were registered by 4509 who started nailing some shots, 6705 who continued their strong 2022 effort, 832 who found a much improved shot, and 6340 who has done well in ranking highly this year.

Along with a strong robot performance, 2974 also earned the Carrollton District’s Chairman’s Award. This marks Walton’s 11th Chairman’s banner in the last 10 years. This perennial CA contender will add to a deep field contending for the award at District Champs.

With many teams having now played their 2nd qualifier events, this means many teams are mathematically locked in to DCMP spots. However this also means that 10 PCH teams are mathematically locked out of DCMP contention.

Albany Preview

Albany lacks a bit of the star power that Carrollton showed off, but still has a strong field of contenders and one that might put an end to the perfect brackets that have occurred thus far. The top of the field is deep and no team in particular has a lot of separation from the pack. The question becomes: what teams will have the consistency and the throughput to force themselves to the top of the standings, and which ones will depend on a bit of help from a friendly qualification schedule? Most teams at Albany have had some time to work on their bots so improvements could see many of these teams rising up the leaderboard to be a real contender come DCMP. This will be the last chance for PCH teams to earn enough district points to compete next week in Macon and make an eventual push to qualify for World Championships. The margins of victory might be closer at Albany than at any other PCH event due to the field but this could lead to some of the most intense elimination matches we have seen so far this season.

Leading the Pack

(#4) 6919 performed well at Columbus and has had time to improve. If they can find a way to improve the accuracy of their layup shot, the Commodores will get to the top of the rankings once again and are likely to make a finals appearance. Their climb should also open up some possibilities for acquiring hangar RPs. This hometown hero has yet to notch a win at their home event. Could this be the year?

(#6) 1414’s climbing prowess led them to a high ranking at Columbus, but they’ll need to develop their cargo abilities to keep up. IHOT is likely to seed well again but cargo will be key if they want to make a deep run into eliminations.

(#8) 1261 is consistent with their cargo shot but needs to speed things up if they want to find a way to control their destiny and find their way onto a top alliance at this event. Their solid shooting game and their high bar climb will do well for them in the ranking game. It will be interesting to see who the Robo Lions pair up with for Saturday afternoon.

(#10) 1746 is one of the faster cyclers in the field but has some work to do on their shot accuracy after their Dalton performance. Improved cargo shooting and a possible high bar climb will open some doors for OTTO to start earning some more bonus RPs. If they get to that point, expect OTTO to be among the last teams standing at Albany.

(#11) 6829 started to find an improved shot at the end of Dalton. If they can increase their cycles, Ignite could end up being one of the better cargo scoring bots at the event.

(#12) 3635 was a model of consistency at Columbus. Flying Legion will find a way to score their cargo and get off of the floor for a mid bar climb pretty much every match. They will be a great alliance partner for whatever alliance they land on and could contribute to one of the first upsets we might see in PCH.

Chairman’s Contenders: 1683, 6919


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