Predictions Houston Championship 2017

CARVER

 

Tips

Stats never tell the whole story, and in this division that may be the case with The Children of the Swamp. 179 does not appear on the top of either fuel scorers or gear runners however watching their run at Rocket City showed matches where they shot fuel to near 40 kPa and others where they ran 6+ gears. The lack of mastering one task before moving on to the other has hurt their stats but expect 179 to be a force Saturday morning.

In FRC there are certain regions that are sometimes considered to be “weaker” than others, one such area with this unfortunate distinction is The Peachtree District, but 2974 and 1746 are looking to break that stigma. Walking into champs with five blue banners, three for event wins, Walton Robotics is a quick, efficient gear runner that may be the perfect team to round out an alliance with a strong shooter. Otto on the other hand is a slightly weaker gear runner but their ability to score fuel may set them apart from their fellow Georgia team, especially if they can debut the hopper autonomous mode that they have been working on in the weeks since the DCMP in Albany.

Carver being the division with the most blue banners, teams without any may be looking to make a splash, such as 1690 and 1937. After making the finals of Einstein last year many expected 1690 to be the top team in the newly formed Israel District, but Orbit unfortunately didn’t get to the finals of any of their events this year, despite their #1 seed at the DCMP and their impressive autonomous shooting. 1937 is a team that many may be overlooking but Elysium teamed with Orbit at all 3 of their events thanks to their lightning quick gear running. Elysium can post cycle times well underneath 20 seconds, and stands a chance to be among the best gear runners in the division.

Dark Horses

It shows the strength of this division that a team who scored the 4 rotor bonus in 10 of their 12 qualification matches at their last event is not a favorite, but that is where 3238 unfortunately finds themselves. The Cyborg Ferrets are one of the best gear runners in the world and will be a constant 4 rotor threat, but without the ability to score high efficiency fuel they may find themselves left behind by robots capable of doing both. Opposing alliances should be weary of their gear pick up as any dropped gears will make their 4 rotors an even stronger certainty.

It may seem weird to call a team with two event wins a dark horse, but 2471 is being overlooked in this stacked division. Showing the ability to pull off both the kPa and rotor bonuses depending on their alliances composition during the qualifications, Team Mean Machine may be the perfect robot for the later alliance captains looking to knock off the power houses of the division, or a steal for the high ranking alliance captains.

Sleeper

On the other side of the coin and world from Mean Machine is 3339. BumbleB has two blue banners but zero event wins this season, though they do have a pair of finalist appearances (including at the Israel district championship). With a good ground pick-up alongside a center gear and shooting autonomous, 3339 is looking for an alliance that can return them to Einstein for the third year in a row.

Locks

Despite their early exit in Las Vegas (the first time in the event’s history they didn’t reach the finals), few teams in all of FIRST can be relied on to perform at worlds the way 987 has. The High Rollers have either won or been in the finals of their division almost every year since 2011, the only blemish being a quarterfinal exit from the infamously strong 2014 Curie division against the eventual World Champions. 987 looks to be the strongest of the hybrid robots in this division, being able to both shoot and run gears, which will allow them to rank high and build an alliance with either a strong shooter, gear runner, or another hybrid robot.

Team Tators may have the best chance of competing against The High Rollers as the best hybrid robot. 2122 has the better shooter of the two (particularly in autonomous), but hasn’t quite shown as much in the gear running department. Their autonomous mode has arguably been the best in the division, despite the numerous other contenders in that department, reaching at least 30 kPa on a consistent basis through the entirety of the Western Canada playoffs. The team from Boise is looking to return to Einstein after making it last year and if the constant improvements made over the course of the season continue into Houston they will be a force to be reckoned with on Carver.

971 is looking to show that playing the ranking game has its advantages. Possibly the best tele-operated fuel scorer in the division, Spartan Robotics will be playing to rank high and grab one of the strong gear runners in the division to offset their deficiencies in that aspect. An alliance of 971 and 2 gear runners may be unstoppable since few single robot on Carver stand a chance of out shooting them. While the risks of their style, demonstrated during the Silicon Valley quarter-finals, remain present, it’s impossible to ignore the sheer upside of Spartan.

 

GALILEO

 

Tips

The RoboChargers’ ground loading gear running machine was a solid competitor all season long, earning them the #3 seed in Dallas and the #2 seed in Colorado. While those seeds might be a steep demand, their quick velcro hanging mechanism and wheeled gear pick-up system should keep them well within the playoff picture. While 3005 still hasn’t earned a gold medal in team history, their lone previous trip to Championship got them as close as you can get, as they captained the #7 alliance to the finals on Curie.

The district point system in Israel helped advance some solid robots that would not have seen play at Championship in year’s past. Previously for 3211, reaching Champs had been Chairman’s-or-bust, but in 2017, their robot helped pave the way for them to compete in Houston. The Y Team’s strong gear cycling game, floor gear scoop, and ability to pot a couple kPa after scoring the center peg gear in autonomous made them a strong contender all season in Israel. The result was a qualifying event win in Haifa and a 3rd seed at the district championship. Expect another strong showing from 3211 on Galileo.

Odd numbered years tend to fare a little better for the RoboVikes, with their only regional wins coming in 2013 and a gig as a Championship alliance captain occurring in 2015. With no wins (but a finals appearance) so far in 2017, 701’s skilled floor-grabbing gear runner will be looking to keep that streak alive on Galileo.

After several year away from the winner’s circle, 587 went simple to earn their second banner in team history. Their simple gear running machine has been among the most consistent gear scorers in North Carolina, achieving the fourth rotor bonus eleven times in their past twenty-eight matches. Over the course of their four previous events this season, the Hedgehogs have achieved every playoff finish possible, ranging from their quarter-final ouster at Asheville to their event victory in Blacksburg. With that much experience under their belt, expect the Hedgehogs to stand out as one of the most effective gear runners in the division.

Dark Horse

The last time that Titan Robotics won Glacier Peak, they ended up winning the Galileo division to advance to Einstein. 492 will look to match that performance again on Galileo in 2017. Titan has a smooth driving mecanum machine with an active gear release that kicks the cogs to the back of the lift spring, and that effective gear running skillset has helped them achieve the fourth rotor bonus eighteen times this season, and earned them early selections at some of PNW’s more competitive events (including the PNW championship).

Sleeper

With three events of experience at cycling gears under their belt already, 2486 is poised to be a valuable contributor to a playoff alliance. Their gear totals won’t overwhelm on their own, but their solid play and experienced drive crew could give them a leg up on some competitors. The CocoNuts were picked between 2nd and 5th at each of their three regional outings, and were only six points away from winning Long Beach. If 2486 slides in the draft, they could be exactly the type of team that captains are looking for to round out their alliance.

Locks

After an uncharacteristic early exit at their home regional in San Diego, 1538 added in some autonomous shooting and rebounded in force to win one of the most competitive events of the season, Las Vegas. The Holy Cows are one of the most aggressive gear thieves in all of FRC, using their ground intake to deftly grab unattended cogs from the areas surrounding the opponent’s loading lane. That proficiency at snaring grounded gears should help them smooth out fumbles from partners in qualifications, and challenge opposing ground loaders during the playoffs. When combined with their accurate autonomous shooting to break ties, The Holy Cows have one of their best chances in a while to finally appear on Einstein.

Prior to 2017, the LamBots had been mostly known for their Chairman’s efforts in Mexico. But their typically solid and competitive machines made the leap to a legitimate, top tier contender in STEAMworks. 3478 is easily the most proven shooter on Galileo in terms of reaching the 40kPa bonus, reaching the bonus point threshold twelve times in Toluca. If they continue streaming solid volleys of hopper fuel into the high goal, they should be able to maintain a very healthy ranking point score, and control their playoff destiny heading into alliance selection.

 

HOPPER

 

Tips

Few teams present the offensive flexibility or upside of 3132. Thunder Down Under earned a pair of events wins and a finalist appearance this season due to their ability not only to score gears and fuel, but their ability to integrate both into the same match. 3132 has the capability to score both fuel and gears in autonomous from multiple different starting positions and with varying partners. This includes both a center peg and shoot routine and their much more rare side peg and hopper popping shooter routine. When combined with their solid tele-op gear cycling, 3132 could be a crucial x-factor to an alliance captain looking to maximize their point ceiling.

The explosion in quantity of Texas events in the past couple seasons has allowed 2848 to step out of the shadows of some of the well established names in the state (although being the 2014 FRC Champions certainly boosted that effort as well). The All Sparks head into Houston with regional wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time in their history, and the top seeded run to gold in Brazos Valley puts them on the map for Hopper as well. Their ground intake is adept at picking out gears from the midst of the ball pits that form in field corners, and their gear+10 autonomous mode can be an effective weapon when their camera locks onto the target.

Reaching the 40kPa bonus nineteen times over thirty four matches spread over their most recent two events would put many teams into a lock status. But unfortunately for 3309, the Hopper division is loaded with plenty of other other hopper popping autonomous modes. After an inauspicious start in Flagstaff, the Friarbots reached the finals in Los Angeles and won the Orange County event thanks to their two rotor plus defense plus 40kPa strategy. 3309’s gear game is far less tested than many of the other top competitors in the division (including some of the fuel specialists), but their ability to rack up fuel totals in autonomous and tele-op should make them one of the premiere teams on the field.

After unusual levels of inclement weather slowed their build season progress, Shockwave seems to be hitting their stride at the right time. 4488 used their combination of gear ability and fuel scoring to win at Clackamas and be selected third overall at the PNW district champs. Despite Shockwave’s ability to add in autonomous (and tele-op) kPa after scoring from either the center peg or side peg, the were ousted in the PNW quater-finals by the well rounded #6 alliance led by 1778, after the #3 captain (2910) took a tumble from their rope in the second match, rendering them unable to play in the third. Assuming Jack in the Bot had adequate time to remedy their damage after that spill, each of these PNW contenders should be factors on Hopper. Chill Out presents a steady gear game, but Shockwave’s autonomous flexibility and fuel scoring upside may make them the most attractive selection of the bunch.

Dark Horse

Combining a simple and reliable machine with experienced drivers is often a key to success, and that’s the formula that 4941 followed to win the Peachtree State Championship. RoboBibb had previously come close to their first banner, both as the #1 seed semi-finalist in Gainesville and then during an epic twelve-match playoff run in Albany (six semis matches and four finals matches) that left them with silver. But they broke through by scoring five or six gears per match (counting their pre-load) in Athens, and stand poised to have another very solid outing on Hopper.

Sleepers

Being a “Titan” typically implies being large of size, but just the opposite is true for 5431. Titan Robotics short statured and incredibly lightweight robot uses its compact design to their advantage. Speed, rather than size, is the name of their game. They’re a quick acceleration, high top speed robot (both in terms of their drivetrain and ability to elevate off the floor at the end of the game). Even if they haven’t been past the quarterfinals this season, on the right alliance, their speedy gear cycles, ground pick-up, and two second climb could be a huge asset.

While the low goal isn’t often going to overwhelm the opposition via sheer point values, getting a few consistent kPa during autonomous can certainly prove beneficial in autonomous. Rookies 6340 can provide just that, before taking a run at the side peg in an effort to get a gear in place. The Marist Screaming Eagles were one of the hot shot rookies in the Peachtree district this season, proving to be a solid gear runner and captaining an alliance at the state championship event. On the right alliance, their gear scoring could prove valuable, and their autonomous low fuel could either break ties or even interact favorably with a hopper autonomous mode (as they should be able to stay well out of the way as the hopper robot passes).

Locks

Keep it Simple, Stupid. Simplicity and good driving often go hand-in-hand in the FRC realm, and few teams demonstrate that ideal better than 604. Quixilver’s machine embodies everything that can go right when a team builds a simple-yet-effective machine and let’s their driver spend plenty of time practicing with it under realistic conditions. Even before they added the ground pick-up system at Silicon Valley, they were an exceptional gear cycler and finalist in San Francisco. Only a select few teams in all of FIRST can match Quixilver’s nimble robot gear-for-gear, and their incredible proficiency at powering up the airship can help enable even average gear running partners to reach the fourth rotor. It also enables fuel shooters to embrace targeting the high boiler. Expect both a relatively high ranking performance and perhaps an incredibly early selection for 604 on Hopper.

Nobody has ever won more than the Barker Redbacks have this season. With six banners, seven medals, two individual awards, and two technical awards from four events on three continents, 4613 has achieved unparalleled levels of success and recognition. However, the Hopper division will be, by far, their toughest test yet. When allowed to camp in front of the boiler, Barker can reach 40kPa without significant trouble. Their torrents of balls rain down upon the hopper, and those that miss often roll right back into their robot to be fired again. However, their shooting often comes at the expense of their gear scoring (which is decent in it’s own right, thanks to their snap action ground pick-up and placement mechanism). If 4613 can maintain their sensational ranking point pace, they may be able to find an ideal match in the playoffs.

There’s not many teams that can interchange as effectively between fuel scoring and gear running as effectively as Up-A-Creek. 1619’s shooting can earn them 40kPa with regularity when they run their hopper autonomous and are allowed to get their turreted shooter locked on from their familiar landmark shooting spots in front of the alliance station wall or hopper. In fact, that shooting prowess helped them to a 2.63 ranking score average in Colorado (easily enough for the #1 seed), which they parlayed into a blue banner. But when the situation calls for it, 1619 can switch to a side peg autonomous and focus on running gears to help their alliance gather the points necessary to win. After securing divisional technical awards in their two prior trips to Championship, 1619 will be aiming to reach Einstein for the first time in team history.

 

NEWTON

 

Tips

When making choices that defy the mainstream logic, it’s often the results that dictate whether one looks bold or simply dumb. Fortunately for 900, a North Carolina State Champions banner makes their decision to favor fuel at the complete exclusion of gear scoring look bold. If they can achieve 40kPa at a similar rate to what they did at NC DCMP, they could once again be a high ranking captain. However, with fuel specialists on this field that can shoot with them shot-for-shot AND score gears, the Zebracorns make have to show some additional defensive utility if they want to have a deep run.

Cedar Park Robotics took home plenty of hardware this season, and never had to wait past the third team called out to find out what alliance they were on, but unfortunately couldn’t quite secure a gold medal. 3663 was one of the Pacific Northwest’s strongest gear scoring teams, and could even contribute a couple kPa in autonomous. It’s unlikely that CPR will earn a spot on quite as high of an alliance on Newton as they did in the PNW, but there’s little doubt they could play a valuable role in the playoffs.

Sophomores 5842 had a breakout season to establish themselves as one of the strongest teams in Florida. Royal Robotics was the top selection in Rocket City but was bounced in the quarters, but followed that up by capturing an event win the next week in Texas. Their robot is a threat in virtually every phase of the game, capable of contributing either fuels or gears in both tele-op and autonomous. While Newton will be their toughest test yet, they were selected for playoff play on Archimedes last year (although they ended up not playing a match) and should hear their number called out once again.

Category 5 is coming off of one of their strongest seasons in years, as the first overall pick at Palmetto and a finalist appearance at Smoky Mountains. They are capable full field cyclers, with little fear of maneuvering around the backs of the airships or through tight windows introduced by traffic or defense. However the truly excel at cleaning up any gears left on the carpet in the front court. 3489 should be seeing playoff action at champs for the first time in their history.

Dark Horse

2073 won their first ever regional this season in Utah and followed up that performance with a finals trip at Sacramento. EagleForce drew a tough division for their third ever trip to Championship, but their robot is a multi-faceted contender that can complement virtually any other team. They combine strong gear floor loading with autonomous shooting from the center peg, all of which could put them in position to not only get selected, but perhaps be a component of an alliance that knocks off some really big names.

Sleepers

Never stop iterating. 5012 took that to heart, as they completely redesigned the machine that finished 60th and missed the eliminations at San Diego from a fuel specialist into the ground loading gear machine that would qualify for the playoffs in Sacramento and end up as the 4th overall selection at the uber-competitive Las Vegas regional. While Gryffingear isn’t going to be able to carry alliances on their own, their upward trajectory this season is remarkable. And if they hang around in the draft as long as they did in 2015, who knows?

3647 is among the host of Californian teams having breakout seasons. Despite never having won an official award of any sort, the Millennium Falcons have proven themselves a more than capable gear scoring team, seeding first in San Diego and earning themselves a first round selection at Las Vegas. Their small and swift machine typically receives gears directly from the human player (into the same mechanism they use for ground pick-up), and stands out as an incredibly zippy gear cycling machine. If allowed to hang around in the draft, they could be the type of team that brings the fourth rotor into reach for a fuel-centric captain.

Locks

No team arrived in STEAMworks with more hype than 118 after their tremendous reveal video. But things did not immediately go the Robonauts’ way, as they saw their regional win streak snapped in the Hub City semi-finals in week 1. With some tweaks to their machine as the season progressed, 118 saw improvement that put them back on the level the FRC community has come to expect from them. The Robonauts ranked first with averages above 2.0RP at both Lone Star and Vegas, winning the former and reaching the finals at the latter. With one of the best shooters in all of FRC and the capability to score 30+ kPa in autonomous, expect another high ranking performance from 118 on Newton.

None of the students on the Citrus Circuits know what it’s like to be defeated before Einstein. For that matter, none of the students from the Class of 2016 knew, either. Heading into Houston, 1678 is riding a four year streak of reaching Einstein on top of their now ten regional win streak. Their pedigree is incredible, and their 2017 robot backs it up. While their gear game isn’t elite level, they can carry their own weight on a four rotor alliance while making use of their high end shooting ability to threaten a 40kPa bonus. And given that they’ve already proven themselves capable of winning against Einstein-level opponents in Las Vegas, it’s hard to believe that 1678 couldn’t find themselves playing for a chance to reach Einstein once again.

Only a handful of teams in all of FRC can match 180 gear-for-gear. SPAM’s machine is an optimized gear cycler, shaving valuable seconds off of virtually every phase of gear running. They waste no time in the loading lane, with lightning quick alignment and virtually no chance of dropped gears. At the peg, their gear release mechanism ensures gears are quickly and comfortably situated at the back of the lift spring. Even in autonomous they’re already working to shave seconds of their tele-op cycle times by moving to the neutral zone after they score their gear (even when they score on the center peg). SPAM may find themselves situated to be the ideal complement to one of the high powered shooters in this division, and may find themselves on Einstein for the third time in their history.

330’s heroics in SF1-2 stole the show on Einstein last year, and the Beachbots have a robot that could put them in position to capture yet another world championship. The foundation of 330’s two victories already this season was their hallmark driving ability, as is expected from them. However, their functionality exceeds beyond well driven gear cycling. Their gear pick-up system enables them to excel at pilfering gears dropped by opponents or partners. They have multiple autonomous modes, including a side peg and shoot routine that they’ve used in eliminations and a hopper popping routine that allows them to reach 40kPa in qualifications. While their high kPa autonomous is less proven than a couple of the other elite shooters on Newton, their unique pathing that hugs the wall of the field might open the door to some truly impressive coordinated autonomous shooting. Their lack of a ground loading for fuel could also put them at a slight disadvantage against opportunistic opponents, but with two world championships and four trips to Einstein (including the past two seasons) on their resume, it would be foolish to count out the BeachBots.

 

ROEBLING

 

Tips

365 is the type of all-around machine that everyone enjoys having on their side of the glass. MOE can contribute several gears, timely defense, and a few autonomous shots into the high boiler. While their kPa throughput is not going to match that of the top tier contenders (as demonstrated in the MAR champs finals), their remarkably consistent ability to score gears on the side peg (and contribute fuel afterwards) could make them a very useful portion of a 2-rotor autonomous alliance.

Several of Texas’ stronger teams find themselves competing on Roebling. 624, 1477, and 2468 each won one event this season via their prowess as gear scorers, and will be trying to bring the same skillset into play in their home state once more. CRyptonite might have the most upside beyond their gear running, as they feature the most consistent ability to score on a side peg of the trio and can cap that off by firing a couple kPa into the high efficiency boiler. However, Texas Torque is the team that has been remarkably consistent with their ranking ability (seeding 2nd at all three events they attended).

3824 has reached the championship elimination rounds in three of the past four seasons, and if their regional performance is any indication, will have little trouble reaching them again in 2017. HVA RoHAWKtics won Palmetto and was the second pick at Smoky Mountains thanks to their ground loading gear scoring ability, with the added bonus of being able to sink a handful of shots in the high efficiency boiler during the autonomous period. Unfortunately, their autonomous gear doesn’t always arrive in time for the pilots to get it spinning up for points if (particularly when they fire at the boiler first), which could hold them back in some specific alliance compositions. Regardless, they should be a solid competitor on Roebling.

A couple of PNW’s successful gear scoring machines will be competing in the Roebling division. 2928 was the #3 captain at Mount Vernon, a first round selection at PNW Champs, but found their most success (a blue banner) when allowed to slip way too far back in the draft at Glacier Peak. 5803 won their first two outings of the season, but couldn’t quite topple quadruple rotoring opponents in the semi-finals at their subsequent two events. Apex’s fuel ability in autonomous may give them an edge over Viking Robotics, but both teams should put up enough gears to be noticed by alliance captains.

Dark Horses

Unlike Stronghold, there’s no low bar in STEAMworks. However you wouldn’t guess that by looking at 1011 or 5499. Both teams built agile, ankle biter gear specialists capable of zipping around the field to snatch gears off the carpet. That gear specialty led both teams to capture a gold medal from the #1 alliance, albeit perhaps overshadowed by some higher profile high goal alliance partners. While securing a spot on the top alliance in Roebling may be a tall ask for these short robots, if they improve their autonomous consistency and far-side gear detection, both should definitely be factors in the playoffs.

Sleeper

It’s been a few years since Team XBot took home a banner from an event, and though they came close as a late pick at Mount Vernon, 488 wasn’t able to reverse that streak in 2017. Yet, when 488 is allowed to camp out in front of the boiler for sustained periods of the match, their twin launchers can put up impressive fuel totals. XBot earned a bonus rank point for their alliance five times at the PNW championship, and their shooting helped the #8 alliance take a match off the heavily favored #1 seed in the quarters at the same event. If 488 can slip later in the draft to the point they can group with multiple high end gear partners (or gain the ability to load hopper fuel in autonomous), the XBots could be an x-factor in the playoffs.

Locks

Through the formative years of the Israel Regional, 1574 was synonymous with victory. MisCar took home gold from the first three Israel regionals and six times in the first decade of its existence. Yet, despite two divisional finalist appearances for MisCar, it has been other Israeli teams representing the nation on Einstein. 1574 may have their best chance at breaking through to date, with a robot that was one of the first in all of FRC to regularly breach the 40kPa threshold, picked up two event wins, and captained the #2 alliance to the finals at the Israel DCMP. Expect their autonomous to put them in contention for a very high seed, and if the cards fall right, they could be part of an alliance that can achieve both sets of bonus points in the playoffs.

With two prior trips to Einstein and regional wins in five consecutive seasons, 973 has both the resume and the robot of a top contender. Like many seasons, the Greybots saw substantial improvement between their first and second outings, including adding the ability to score fuel from the hoppers in autonomous into their arsenal. The result was hitting the 40kPa threshold four times in their nine qualification matches, and having an effective ground gear game to boot. The Greybots flexibility as both a gear and fuel scorer may help set them apart from many other contenders, and their experience at competing against top competitors on big stages could help propel them to securing some RoeBLING in the playoffs.

 

TURING

 

Tips

Only a couple teams on Turing have more shooting potential than 1323. Madtown has worked hard to get their shooter dialed in since the regional season. Even without their current levels of shooting accuracy, they were able to contribute enough gears and fuel to win Central Valley and captain the #4 alliance to the semifinals in Davis. If their practice bot improvements carry over to their competition robot, they may be able to match or better their division finalist appearances from 2015 and 2016.

Don’t let an early exit at Alamo fool you, 4587 comes to play. Their quick floor intake, a clutch hanging mechanism, and a shooter that keep getting better and better helped them secure a wild card berth at Bayou. Hometown heroes Jersey Voltage will aim to shock the competition once more in Houston.

You cannot get any closer to a regional win than 399.  With an semifinal exit in their first event, they went on to be finalist in each of their next two regionals.  It will be intriguing to see if this low goal capable gear scoring machine can finally get over the hump on Turing.

Of the many strong PNW contenders in the division, 1595 is one of the best.  The Dragons place ears  fast and furiously.  What makes them particularly dangerous is their game experience (and the fact they have walked away from each of their three events with a winners banner certainly doesn’t hurt).  Making it deep in the PNW championships and toughing through the finals has shaped 1595 to cause a stir in Turing.

Simple design but highly effective.  4206 moves down the field with their mecanum drive efficiently placed gears on.  This simple but clean strategy has lead them to Dallas win and an Alamo finals berth, both of which they were alliance captains.

Dark Horse

After their early exit at Arkansas, 3937 bounced back with a Bayou regional win.  With quick gear cycles and a shooter has been able to be fully utilized, this team is ready to breakaway from the competition in Turing.

Sleepers

Strong qualifications performances don’t always lead to the desired playoff results. You don’t have to explain that to 948 or 4451, who combined for four quarterfinals and one semifinals exits in five events. Yet both teams head into Turing as strong gear delivering teams, backed up by some impressive calculated metrics. After a tough four match exit in Palmetto, ROBOTZ Garage finished ranked #1 in Huntsville, but missed climbs from their partners sent them home early. NRG were alliance captains at all three events they attended (including the top overall seed at Auburn). Expect solid performances, and perhaps more alliance captain spots, from both of these teams on Turing.

Locks

Count it, three wins already for 2046 and they are looking to add more.  Winning one of the toughest district championship finals show the “Metal” of this team.  With a solid ground gear accumulator and a rapid fire shooter look for them to be making a run on Saturday. Bear Metal achieved some form of bonus ranking point in thirteen of their twenty total matches at PNW Championship (and five times before that with their Auburn winning alliance partners the weekend before). While they may not often threaten 40kPa on their own, their ability to help push partners over the top in either fuel or gear scoring makes them one of the strongest teams competing on Turing.

Swerving their way into Turing is 16.  From gears at Arkansas to defense at Midwest, this team is ready to do what it takes to take flight to a Turing division finals.  Can you believe it has been since 2012 since the Bomb Squad has been in a division final?  This bot brings a great floor intake, one of the better fuel autos, and a fast climber.  With some continued improvement, this could be the year 16 is swerving once again on Einstein.

 

 

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