PCH District: Albany Predictions

Looking Back to Columbus…
Once again, the field was dominated by the gear and climb. Although there were the same number of four rotor matches at Columbus as there were at Dalton, the potential for more was even greater. Many qualification matches had unfortunate incidents of trapped gears keeping robots from contributing to a fourth rotor, and a few playoff alliances were just a few seconds away from completing the feat. Additionally, we almost saw our first two-rotor autonomous with teams 1746, 4188, and 6177 coming within inches and seconds of being the first alliance in the world to finish that impressive endeavor.

However, the winning alliance was neither of the four-rotor targeting alliances: indeed, it was the alliance with the low goal auton, quick three rotors, and heavy defense that ended up taking home the title. What we attribute this to is a significant amount of pressure applied to the other alliances they faced: while each of their opponents could do three rotors, it forced them to win on another facet of the game to pull out ahead and earn victory, either in fuel (where there were three other high goal shooters, but none competent enough to earn the handful of kPa to pull ahead), rotors (where teams came close but were never able to complete the fourth rotor), or climbs (where none were able to successfully pin a team into the corner for long enough to deny the climb). None of the 5th seed, 1st seed, or 2nd seed alliances were able to consistently accomplish this, and they were sent home as a result.

Looking Forward to Albany…
With very few robots even capable of attempting to score fuel at Albany, we don’t expect much to change in the strategy department: the likely winners will probably be the robots that can consistently apply an autonomous gear or two, achieve three or four rotors, and climb across the board. While this could lead to a predictable tournament, don’t let your eyes deceive you; Steamworks has proven to be a vicious game, and a consistent climber with a good schedule could easily seed at or near the top of the rankings and shake up the draft board.

Previewing the Contenders…
It’s hard not to define 2974 as the hands-down favorite going into the event. Not only do they now have three blue banners to their name (T-2 in the world, #1 in Georgia), but they were the top seed at the UNC Asheville district this past week as well. With top notch drivers and a speedy machine, we expect Walton to be a highly sought after team. However, with so little time between events to change anything about their machine, this tournament will likely be defined by their robot’s durability and ability to partner up with another top machine.

Unlike 2016, where **4188 **came out swinging and hit home runs, this time they’ve managed to be one of the bridesmaids at both Gainesville and Columbus, neither of which could be hardly considered a failure. However, Albany will be CSP’s 3rd event, and with no points to be earned, anything short of a championship banner will likely be a bit of a let down. Luckily, Albany doesn’t boast the depth of Gainesville or the top-end talent of Columbus; if they can seed high and perform in quals with their fast HP loading and floor pickup, expect 4188 to have a great chance to see gold instead of silver.

**4941 **burst onto the scene, claiming the #1 seed at Gainesville through impressive driving, a simple gear mechanism, and a consistent climber. While we don’t expect much to change for them between events, they’ve proven that their drivetrain can overpower just about everyone who stands in it’s way. If they can once again gear their way to solo three rotors and consistently climb, expect them to control their own destiny at the top of the rankings.

They have some potential…
4189 started 2017 strong, coming out the gate as the sixth seed at Gainesville and proving to have one of the most consistent climbers in the state. They are also on the only fuel scoring robots at this event, and that advantage may certainly come in handy. However, they struggled with collecting gears in Week 1: if they can’t address that critical facet of the game, all we can see is an early exit for the Chargers.

**3635 **came out last weekend and surprised just about everyone. With a lathe-turned wooden climber spool and some speedy gear runs, Flying Legion came out and wowed the crowd in Columbus. If they can improve their consistency and smoothen out their loading and unloading procedures, we see them riding those skills into a finals berth.

**1771 **capitalized on a great offseason by rounding out the powerhouse 5th alliance at Dalton and capturing their first banner since 2011 Peachtree. Their simple robot still features an elegant wood design that makes 1771 robots famous, and if they can nail down their climber like they did during Dalton, expect them to be a first pick or round out a contending alliance.

Could be wildcards…
5536’s debut event in Dalton certainly did not go as planned: ranking 30th and not making elims is not what this team’s upward trend was indicating. However, it’s certainly far from over for Titan Alliance: they still have that ground gear pickup, and can find inspiration from the impressive turnaround from 1414 this past weekend. However, they’ll need to have made improvements to that pickup and their use of mecanum drive if they want to find themselves in a high seed.

As predicted here last week, **3581 **came out with an outside-the-box low goal autonomous that, while inconsistent, gave their alliance an early advantage in most cases. However, we were unimpressed with their consistency in both their autonomous (missing both times during playoffs), in their gear mechanism, and their climber. If they can improve upon each of these, expect them to reclaim a captain role, as they did at this event last year.

Actually the 4 seed won Columbus.

Good luck to all the teams competing this weekend in Albany. See everyone there.

I made a prediction sheet of alliance selections, as far as who gets to playoffs goes, unless someone makes a surprise I think my alliance captain predictions will be fairly accurate. I based the list off each team’s previous competitions and their performance.
(in no particular order)

Interesting predictions… Can you explain why you chose each team?

Semifinal 2 match one just went to its third tie.

…and we all know how that bizarre turn of events ended. 3 ties in a row?

All those ties and nobody wearing a suit.:stuck_out_tongue:

I based my predictions off of data from each registered team for Albany, and these seemed to be the top 8 based on their performance at their previous event(s).

Obviously my predictions were a little off, seeing how 1771 in particular did not have the showing at Albany like they did at Dalton, from what i saw at Dalton from the blue alliance.