BattleBots World Championship VII
The BattleBots World Championship VII tournament concluded on Discovery Channel and now we can talk about it!
Each year we post our predictions for the tournament and the tournament results. We have been at about 80% correct in predicting battles in the tournaments.
This year I attended the semi-finals of the World Championship VII in person, so I knew who was in the the final four in advance of the show airing. Regardless, I think our predictions for this year would not have maintained the 80% accuracy we enjoyed in past tournaments, because the results were very unpredictable.
The final four consisted of the 28th, 6th, 8th, and 10th seeds! The top four seeds, Minotaur, Riptide, Witch Doctor, and HYDRA, all made the quarterfinals, but all four were upset by lower seeds to get eliminated. The seeding committee succeeded in putting each of the top four bots against bots that uniquely challenged them.
Witch Doctor couldn’t reach Huge’s mechanicals, and they lost in the head to head battle of weapons. Copperhead survived a destructive assault by Riptide early on, and then used it’s patented reliability to outlast the most dangerous bot in the business. Minotaur battled valiantly against SawBlaze and inflicted major damage, but in the end the length and front-sided armor of SawBlaze was just too much. HYDRA and Ribbot had a staring contest (boring) and then Ribbot just didn’t allow HYDRA to get any leverage. HYDRA couldn’t do anything against the unique configuration of Ribbot, who is known to be highly modular.
The semi-finals featured SawBlaze and Ribbot – and I favored Ribbot which was a on a winning streak of terror. It was an awesome battle, certainly a fan favorite and SawBlaze survived by wearing down Ribbot with its armor and then dismantling it. Copperhead was like all of Huge’s previous competitors in that it couldn’t reach the mechanicals and so was forced to go head to head with Huge’s weapon. Copperhead reached the same fate as others before it, a loss.
The one bot Huge didn’t want to face was SawBlaze. Why? Well two great reasons:
(1) SawBlaze can reach the mechanicals of Huge with its primary weapon
(2) SawBlaze can protect its primary weapon from Huge’s weapon, while attacking the weapon at the same time.
Because of these two reasons, Huge couldn’t just go head to head and win, and take out the other bots primary weapon. In fact, SawBlaze was able to take hits from Huge’s weapon, and eventually got close enough to take out half of Huge’s weapon strength. Once the left straps of Huge’s weapon (Sawblaze’s right) were destroyed, SawBlaze pushed Huge around the arena bashing its mechanicals.
It was a split decision, largely based on the aggressive start for Huge, but the correct winner was announced as SawBlaze! SawBlaze won because (1) it compromised the primary weapon of Huge, (2) had clear control of the arena pushing Huge around like a light set of floppy wheels, and (3) inflicted more damage despite the heavy shots from Huge, SawBlaze broke the mechanical box in addition to the primary weapon.
Congratulations to both bots in the final as both captains, and both teams, clearly care so much about the sport and personify the class we associate with the sport’s greatest competitors. I am impressed how each team is able to subject their “bot babies” to outright destruction, and then are humble in winning and gracious in defeat.
A special congratulations to Jamison Go and his talented team for being the absolute best battle bot in the world for 2023!