Great start to the playoffs! Here’s how I view the field at this time.
These two all looked unstoppable to me and their victories were never in doubt. I guess Minotaur did take that one good shot before Fusion burst into flames, and Huge did get his self-righting sticks clipped off, and Hydra ended up with a blade in his shoulder near the end.
Whatever. Suffering blemishes and still winning in dominating fashion is a STRENGTH, not a WEAKNESS. It took me a while to figure that out, it happened here. I think these 3 should be the favorites for the Nut at this point in time.
Contenders who didn’t Give Me Quite Enough in Round of 32:
- Witch Doctor
- End Game
I dunno, I thought it would take less time to knock out Shatter! and Jackpot, and I thought End Game and Copperhead would have won more convincingly over Tantrum and Rotator, respectively.
Also, 3 of these guys are in the same quadrant, so yeah. Only one is getting out. Witch Doctor gets to deal with Huge (most likely) and that will be a hell of a test for those guys.
He didn’t underwhelm like the last group, he was great in his first playoff fight. I guess I’m just feeling like…man, every other contender is all about weapon power, and pretty much all the other robots like Sawblaze have been eliminated. Can he continue to buck the trend? Maybe! He gets his own category and we’ll be watching his story closely.
Not Enough Gas:
I don’t think these two are good enough to win four more matches, I just don’t. Not exceptional enough.
I mean, I really doubt it will happen, but can we rule it out? (Dark Horse Wildcards)
- Black Dragon
These three at least have distinguishing qualities that give them a puncher’s chance to be the dark horse and go a stunning and historic run. They’re more exceptional than Hyper and Catter, even if they may not be as consistently good. Or maybe they are! I dunno.
Black Dragon – when you’re that durable…
Monsoon – when your weapon is that dangerous…
Whiplash – what a fun little scamp, that went on a ride to the Finals just two years ago. Flexible as hell and incredibly well-driven. I’d love to see another run (not expecting it though)
I’m just not seeing it (you shouldn’t even be here)
Malice has really impressed this season overall, but come on. And Lock-Jaw, nobody was ever more dead in a playoff match that they went on to win, at least recently. Do something about these tires big guy, good lord. Anyhow I can’t envision either of these two winning FIVE more matches, no way. If Lock fought Bloodsport again right now he would lose easy.
(I have to slot Ribbot here, they’ve earned it with their win last week, even if they finished the qualifiers 1-3. Ribbot’s issue is that their flexibility allows them to choose configurations advantageous to their matchups…that’s fine up until a point, but being “very good” in two styles means you’re not great at either. They would need some major breaks, including Huge in the final, and…man, I dunno, maybe they’d be best against Monsoon? I don’t see them beating Sawblaze nor Minotaur without some luck. And Hydra is in the way too…that’s enough! They’re in this category)
Cobalt is off the board, but Sawblaze gets a similar test anyway. I like them here but Monsoon is very dangerous, and its very odd design and “gait” is proving hard to read and effective. At least it did last week. Whiplash beat Monsoon a few months ago so SB can look to that for guidance.
Malice has been on a roll, I guess, but now they’re facing the MVP of the league. I’m not seeing it. Minotaur vs Sawblaze would be a truly epic showdown for this quadrant (as well as another rematch), whereas I like Monsoon but I think Minotaur will take care of them, they don’t have the right wedges and ground game to compete IMO. We’ll see.
Q2, or the East
Riptide vs Hypershock
End Game vs Copperhead
An unbelievable amount of power among this foursome, and like, I feel that all four are in the position where they might be facing the most powerful weapon they have faced, in modern history.
So it’s going to be interesting. I can also point out it’s two drum spinners (Rip and Cop) going against two disk spinners (EG and Hyper). Battlebots history has gone to the disks, not the drums (we have former champions End Game and Bite Force, as well as two Finals Runner-Up appearances for Witch Doctor. But tomorrow, who knows? Could go any number of ways. I like End Game the most, if you ask me who will win, after that I have no idea. The first one is completely unpredictable to me (who will flip first?) and hey, in the Bracket Challenge somehow I ended up being the only one taking Hypershock in the upset here. Cool! I’ll take my chances!
Man, I feel like Catter, Lock-Jaw, and Witch Doctor are all permutations of the same robot, with varying weapon/speed/durability strengths among them. Of those three WD has been far and away the best recently. Then there’s Huge, who’s a freak.
I like the favorites here fairly strongly, but we haven’t seen Huge fight a big vertical yet this season. This will be a good starting point. I have a hard time believing WD will fall to LJ, who has basically won the last two fights on miracles and little else, but it would fit the parameters of my emerging Vertical Spinner Theory! I just don’t think LJ has the durability to withstand shots from WD’s now Bite-Force-esque vertical disk spinner, which has been insane. See the shot they deliver to Minotaur to close out the regular season.
Hey, it’s 2021 again!
Two rematches of the 2021 Elite Eight fights, both were absolutely incredible. In that case Whiplash and Black Dragon won. I gotta go with Hydra because I think they’re better and Whip is worse since then, Whip has been kind of shakey all year. It would take a massive performance to beat Hydra again. And Hydra has to be salivating at a chance at revenge here, he’s gotta be ready. I think we’re gonna see a show.
The other one is a stunner because it’s the 21 and 28 seeds. One has to believe Dragon can keep it going, right? I mean, the thing is, how do you beat Black Dragon? You either get the better of them design-wise, see Whiplash (twice!) Hydra, and even Quantum this year. Or – you hit them so hard they’re ruined, see Riptide this year, and Copperhead from a few seasons back. I forgot about their loss to Rotator, that would fit both categories haha. See here, it was a good one.
Anyhow, can the Frog get under Black Dragon and completely control him? No! Can they hit him hard enough to really cripple him? I doubt it! That might be the better play though. A third option could be the horizontal design and go for the tires, but those things are rock-solid, and we just saw Rotator try and fail to do the same to Copperhead, who’s tires look identical.
I’m gonna take the Brazillians, it could be close, but honestly the problem for Ribbot is that BD is so similar to them. I’m not sure there’s anything Ribbot does better, except for maybe the weapon. But lol BD just faced and withstood a million shots FROM RIPPERONI. I don’t think Ribbot-roni is anywhere close.
But what the heck! Upsets abound these days. This one wouldn’t be unfathomable, I still don’t really trust BD. But this seems like a case where they still hold an advantage over their opponent and should be able to use it. And hey, maybe they’ll catch on fire again! Everyone loves that.