For the opening Round of 32 episode:
Riptide vs. Shatter: Man, Team Riptide sure is salty that teams are suspicious when they act skeevy and break the rules. Even if they aren’t caught cheating, they’re still not complying with the rules going into the match. It would have been better to shrug that off as well-deserved lack of trust after they got caught fiddling with their bot after weigh-in, would have helped reduce the damage to their reputation.
Mad Catter vs. Claw Viper: Damn good fight! And a good show of mutual respect and sportsmanship. Even if Team CV invoked a challenge of the decision, both teams took it in stride. I can’t blame CV for trying it, since they essentially had nothing to lose by playing that card and I think their captain felt he owed it to the team since the initial decision was split. Really looking forward to seeing more Claw Viper next year!
Lucky vs. Hypershock: Really good showing by Lucky! I honestly didn’t expect them to go the distance, but they did. Their weapon is just too underpowered and too flimsy, though. They’re going to have to redesign that to be competitive even if they do have a really good driver. By the time you get to the tournament, they’re ALL good drivers.
Bloodsport vs. Lockjaw: Really happy to see Lockjaw win. Bloodsport pretty much defeated themselves by slamming into the dead weapon of LJ and killing their own weapon in the process so they couldn’t self-right afterwards. Still, Team LJ went in with the right configuration and strategy. There’s really no “good” way to go against a horizontal spinner where the weapon radius is larger than the robot’s frame, so you only have two viable paths: break their weapon with your face or force them to break it against the spike strips.
Huge vs. Skorpios: Went about how I expected it to. Skorpios needs to put some more work into their weapon. Nothing wrong with an over-head hammersaw, especially against a Huge, but their has a high probability of dying before the match and robbing them of options to win. Their basic robot is still robust and viable, especially with that enormous steel shield in front.
End Game vs. Tantrum: A good match in the first half. Once Tantrum’s weapon was broken, though, they really didn’t have a chance. They got the forks under Endgame early on, but that also made it hard for their weapon to connect.
Jackpot vs. Witchdoctor: Jackpot just plain got out-driven and then taken apart. WD took every opening once they landed a hit and put JP off balance. Textbook controlled aggression. Jackpot has more reach but less mobility, and WD’s weapon was able to get in and hit hard - probably BECAUSE they were only spinning it at 75%.
Rotator vs. Copperhead: I really love both bots and both teams so I didn’t know who to root for. Copperhead’s wheels are solid cast urethane rubber, so destroying one to the extent that the right-side drive fails is a real accomplishment. Likewise, tearing up Rotator’s fender to keep their weapon from spinning up again was a great outcome. This turned out to be one of several recent fights where both teams burned each other out in the first half, reducing them to stumbling around in the second half.