After the Battlebots’ 2019 season Desperado Tournament, there was a constant discussion between the hosts, Kenny and Chris, about whether a 2-2 bot could make it post-season. The problem is, there are an incredible amount of bots that have scored this 2-2 record. These bots have seen a variety of opponents and as such, no 2-2 bot has the same path. So when the most recent episode, episode 13, ended the Battlebots’ main season, many people are wondering…who’s in and who’s out?
Unfortunately, we are not given the whole picture as there are a lot of bots who’s battles haven’t been televised. So we have to work with what we know. And the crazy thing is…we already have a rather clear idea which bots would be in a 16-seeded tournament.
First, Black Dragon is the automatic in as it won the Desperado Tournament. Also, at the time of this writing, there are four bots with a 4-0 standing (Deathroll, Hydra, Biteforce, and Witch Doctor). There are also 11 bots that have a 3-1 standing (Lockjaw, Sawblaze, Tombstone, Huge, Uppercut, Rail Gun Max, Skorpios, Son of Whyachi, Hypershock, Whiplash, and Yeti). Automatically, we have 16 bots that we could easily pick and add to the tournament. There might be some backlash but it wouldn’t be very controversial.
This poses a problem because there are sooooooo many good robots that have a 50% win record that are majorly missing out. I’m talking Minotaur, Duck!, Cobalt, and Copperhead. We’re missing some interesting bots that could upset the tournament. Without these 2-2 bots, we’re losing some potential dark horses. Something should be done that includes these prominent robots that got unlucky breaks.
It’s not surprising that we see a deluge of 3-1 bots for this season. This season has the largest selection of robots yet for the competition clocking in to 68 robots (2017 had 55 robots, 2016 had 44, and 2015 had 28). The increase of just 13 robots made the field incredibly competitive to the point that if you were not 3-1, you would be hard press to make it post-season unless you had some incredible wins. Because of which, Battlebots should expand the 16-seed bracket into a 24-seeded tournament to include those incredible 2-2 robots.
A 24-seeded bracket actually works out really well when you do the math. The first round would have 8 battles with 16 robots fighting each other. Due to the 2-hour long episodes, you can easily squeeze these 8 battles in. This also gives the top eight robots a free pass so they can sit back and relax while their opponents kick the crap out of each other. There’s also about 17 robots that have a win record near or at 50% (Desperado robots like War Hawk have extra battles under their belt). Eliminating those robots down to eight would be fun and exciting similar to the last-chance rumbles from last season.
So the next question should be. Who deserves the top eight seeds, who will get in automatically for the middle eight seeds, and who should fight for the last eight seeds? This is difficult to answer because, again, we don’t have answers to all the fights that happened this season. But given what we have seen so far, we can have a pretty good idea where everyone would fall on this hypothetical 24-seeded bracket.
The Top Eight
Obviously, the 4-0 bots are here; Deathroll, Biteforce, Hydra, and Witch Doctor. Some fans argue that Deathroll doesn’t deserve a top four spot which, sure, the robots it defeated weren’t top tier but three of those matches were by KO which is impressive. Even so, Deathroll more than qualifies for a top eight spot. Hydra and Biteforce are interesting as who deserves the number 1 spot? If we include Biteforce’s history then it should get the #1 spot. However, in this season, Hydra has four KOs as opposed to Biteforce’s two! True, Hydra fought more mid-tier robots but still, I’d have to give it to Hydra for #1.
The trickier question are the 3-1s. Who to choose? Son of Whyachi and Hypershock should be an easy pick. All three of their wins were by KOs and their only loss was by an equally good robot. I would also pick Whiplash as a top eight bot due to being the only bot that KO’d SoW with its one loss to Witchdoctor, a 4-0 bot. Finally, Black Dragon, the Desperado winner, should be on here as the eight seed. It has a 4-1 record which is pretty good. One of those wins is against Minotaur who was back in his prime! It also has three KOs which is fantastic.
The Middle Eight
Most of the rest of the 3-1 bots will find their spots here. Tombstone would probably be a 9 seed. Despite its lackluster fight with Gruff and the surprise upset by Rotator, it easily KO’d Lockjaw and Sawblaze. Unlike Bronco and Minotaur, this veteran is still packing punches! The rest of the 3-1 bots, Lockjaw, Sawblaze, Huge, Uppercut, Rail Gun Max, Skorpios, and Yeti should be able to squeeze in. However, if I were to pick one bot here that doesn’t deserve the middle eight it would probably be Sawblaze as none of its wins were by KO’s.
Below is a list of my top 16 bots in a hypothetical bracket.
3. Witch Doctor
8. Black Dragon
15. Railgun Max
The Lower Eight (and what matches could be fought to determine this)
Okay, this is where the real fun begins! Whereas the top 16 bots are basically shoe ins. The lower eight is debatable on bot placement. In order to determine who would be in the 17 to 24 seeds we’ll need to have some qualifying rounds and rumbles!
However, if there’s one bot we should include in the bracket it’s Minotaur, Minotaur started off reeeeeeeally rough this season but got better and better until he was back to his old self. I think he deserves to be in the tournament after the hell he went through.
Okay, what about the rest? Who to choose? Ribbot, Rotator, Duck!, War Hawk, Cobalt, End Game, and Mammoth are robots who have KOs under their belt and fought some incredible matches. Most of them lost to the robots listed above so their certainly not pitiful losses. You even have the likes of Rotator upsetting Tombstone which was soooooooo goooooood. Further down the tier, I think Valkyrie, Deep Six, Copperhead, Shatter, Wan Hoo, Blood Sport, Quantum, Blacksmith, and Free Shipping, should be given chances as well. This gives us 16 robots to narrow down to 7. Although we can pare down our list by randomly drawing bots to fight each other, there are a few matches I would like to see happen.
Mammoth vs Deep Six: A looooot of people want these giants to fight. Having these two tangle would be a very satisfying match to watch. With practically 95% of the competition sharing the same box-like design with a spinning weapon, it’s nice to see some variety and these guys deliver it! Have them fight to determine who is the king of height!
Shatter vs Quantum: What happens when we have a bot whose gimmick is biting through armor fights a robot whose gimmick is peeling armor?? This match has the potential to be entertaining although both bots have had issues this season implementing their unique weapons. This battle could be a shot at redemption for them.
Warhawk vs End Game vs Ribbot: Similar to last season’s three-way rumble, this battle would pit three vertical-spinning robots that have done well, but not great, this season. We already have a lot of vertical spinners on the field so this battle could eliminate two of those robots. These three robots have proven they can deliver KOs…they just weren’t able to consistently do that. Of the three, I would put money on the kooky Ribbot to win. Go Ribbot!
It sounds like this next episode will mix things up according to the episode synopsis. Good! I was hoping they would pull the rug from us. I would be surprised if they went this 24-seeded route but these past few seasons of Battlebots have given struggling robots a second chance which is great to see. Here’s hoping for Duck! to win the tournament!