Hey all you cool bots and comrades, it’s ya boi from The Robot Soccer League, and today we’ve got another edition of everyone’s favourite list-based robot combat content – that’s right, it’s the power rankings.
The New Years Eve edition of my rankings went down a storm, not least because of my decision to rank Hydra at a measly fifteenth. You can disagree all you want, I believe it was a fair place to put it. How to rank it on the basis of this week’s sh*tshow was a whole other matter entirely. But we’re not here to make it about that, we’re here to discuss the art of which bots have, in my opinion, the best chance of making it to the top 32, based on record and performance. There are bound to be disagreements, and the list probably isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s all part of the fun. As long as we don’t go attacking each other in the comments, now.
Just a quick note: these power rankings are a bit of a b*tch because we don’t see all bots fight in the same episode. So some bots have moved about a bit strangely after this week, but I think it’s still a fair reflection of what’s gone on so far. We also had two new entries to the list in Aegis and Grabot, which means we’re still yet to see; Axolotl, Bale Spear, Black Widow, Chronos, Deadlift, P1, Rampage, and War? EZ! (excluding appearances in Bounty Hunters which we aren’t taking into account), so they’re still absent from the rankings. But given we’ve now had five full episodes without them, something tells me we’ve seen all of the top 32 already.
Let’s get into it.
1. Bloodsport (2-0) =
No change at the top. The most impressive bot in the field so far bar none. Two quality KO’s and an early contender for the Giant Nut.
2. Mad Catter (2-0) =
No change here either. What a season Mad Catter has had so far. From a nailed-on no-hoper to a bonafide Giant Nut challenger. Here’s hoping they keep it up.
3. SawBlaze (1-0) =
The top 3 is staying the same. Yes it’s still only fought once so far, but what a performance against a quality opponent it was. Bodes well for future fights.
4. Lockjaw (2-0) +12
Maybe it hasn’t looked 100% so far this season, but to be honest, who has? A second win for Donald Hutson after his KO of Captain Shrederator sees Lockjaw firmly on track for a high seeding in the bracket.
5. Black Dragon (2-0) +17
Up a whopping 17 places, Black Dragon well and truly put the doubters to rest with a brutal display against Claw Viper. A solid win/performance over a fellow top bot will only solidify its seeding further.
6. Uppercut (1-0) -2
Only down 2 by virtue of others moving to 2-0, Uppercut’s win over Gemini was one of the best of the season so far. Another win over fiercer opposition will give us a better idea of its championship credentials.
7. Kraken (1-1) +18
Might be a ballsy move to put it this high, but to beat Witch Doctor so convincingly after being massive underdogs has basically guaranteed Matt Spurk’s bot a place in the bracket. After a controversial loss to Black Dragon, here’s hoping for an easier third opponent.
8. Jackpot (2-0) +24
The biggest mover this week, Jackpot follows on from its bizarre victory over SubZero by tearing Ghost Raptor in half. A big statement from the Vegas gang, who sit pretty at 2-0, even if I’m not entirely sure how they got there.
9. Malice (2-0) -4
Only down 4 by virtue of the performance of others, Malice is still basically assured of a top 32 spot with a 2-0 record. It may have generated some controversy in its win over Shatter, but it’s still looked impressive.
10. Copperhead (1-0) -4
Again, only lower than last time because others have fought more. That’s a common theme. One win for Copperhead, one complete annihilation of Gigabyte. A top performance that promises a lot.
11. Hydra (2-0) +4
Begrudgingly moving up 4 places after the dreariest win I’ve ever seen. Two wins against quality opposition, but they need a lot more conviction (in my eyes) to seal a higher seeding. Will probably be ranked higher, though.
12. End Game (1-1) -5
A solid 1-1 record after a phenomenal win over End Game, but was outclassed by Bloodsport. Will still probably make the bracket, but will need a convincing win in its third fight to seal a top half seeding.
13. Mammoth (1-0) -5
I still can’t get over its win over HUGE. What a performance, and what an opponent to overthrow. Only time will tell if that win was a fluke, or whether it’s the start of a beautiful Cinderella story.
14. Gruff (1-0) -5
Didn’t look 100% against Hypershock, but came back to claim itself an impressive victory. At full capacity here’s hoping for some serious fire and some serious upsets.
15. Tombstone (1-1) -5
Yeah I know, down 5, leave me alone. Came back from its thrashing by End Game with a capable display against Slap Box. Will need another win, but expect to see them in the top ten (at least) come tournament time.
16. SlamMow (1-0) -3
An actually convincing performance from a Craig Danby bot, how long will this last? Who knows, but SlamMow can enjoy a spot in the top half of the bracket for now at least.
17. Chomp (1-0) -3
Durability is surely going to be a problem for Zoe Stephenson’s incredible bit of technology, but it did a top-drawer job in its victory over Gamma 9. For now, it ranks pretty respectably in the list, but we’ll have to see how the next fights go.
18. Skorpios (1-1) -1
Demolished by Bloodsport, ruthless against Perfect Phoenix. Hopefully the latter was Skorpios at its best, because if it was it’s surely got itself a spot in the bracket.
19. SubZero (1-1) +14
A big mover this week, SubZero turned in a brilliant display against Grabot, even if it was only against Grabot. Makes up for breaking down in its first fight. Which SubZero will we get next?
20. Fusion (1-1) +22
Another massive mover this week, Fusion may have had its shins kicked in by Mad Catter, but it came back with a bang against Aegis. Yes, Aegis didn’t exactly cover itself in glory, but it was a good statement to make nonetheless.
21. Big Dill (1-1) -10
This week’s performance against Lockjaw left a lot to be desired, especially after its victory over Atom #94. Never seemed to get going, was soundly beaten, and thus plummets down ten places.
22. Claw Viper (1-1) -10
Another ten-place plummeter, Claw Viper was bullied from pillar to post by Black Dragon. We can’t forget its performance against HiJinx, but ending the battle on fire is never really that good in the eyes of the committee.
23. Perfect Phoenix (1-1) -5
Still not sure we’ve seen Perfect Phoenix at its best this season. A one-hit KO over Extinguisher followed by its aforementioned drubbing against Skorpios means its next fight will fully determine where it places in the bracket. Assuming it makes it.
24. Ribbot (1-1) -5
A one-hit KO over Tracer, but a lapse in judgement against Mad Catter cost it a priceless victory to move to 2-0. Again, not sure we’ve seen the best of it yet, but will hopefully come out all guns blazing for its next fight.
25. Shatter (1-1) -5
Has a case to be at 2-0 after a tight loss to Malice, but here it is at 1-1. Ground out a win against Ghost Raptor, but will have to stake more of a case for being higher up the bracket.
26. Beta (1-0) -5
Yes, it deserved its win. Some wins featuring some good hits in the future will need to happen, though.
27. Valkyrie (1-0) -4
Still not entirely sure how it claimed its victory over Tantrum after being dominated for two solid minutes. Needs more convincing wins, and needs them soon.
28. Rusty (1-0) -4
Yup, Rusty’s still here. Don’t question it.
29. Rotator (0-1) -3
Nothing new to say about Rotator here. Got bullied by Beta, in no way deserved the win, but dang that’s a durable weapon. Should feature in the top half come the regular season’s end.
30. Hypershock (0-1) -2
Started brightly against Gruff but fell away to a defeat. Should be able to claim at least one win, but hopefully will be able to cut out the reliability issues that have plagued it for so long.
31. Whiplash (0-1) -2
Been a suspiciously long time since we’ve seen my pick for the Giant Nut this season. It must have taken a heck of a load of damage from SawBlaze, but expect it to come back stronger than ever and claim a respectable seeding.
32. Tantrum (0-1) -1
Squeaking into the top 32 on the basis that it dominated Valkyrie before breaking down. Showed potential against good opposition, but, well, it should probably stop breaking down in future.
33. SMEEEEEEEEEEEEE (1-0) +1
Yes, it has a win, yes, I’m still putting it outside the top 32. In my eyes a dull, unconvincing win against a low-calibre bot, I’ll need more convincing.
34. HUGE (0-2) -7
Down seven and looking in real danger of not making the bracket. One of three bots at 0-2, HUGE can feel aggrieved by a dull as ditchwater fight against Hydra. Get yourself a win soon, boo. The bracket would be no fun without you.
35. Captain Shrederator (0-1) =
Still bogged down by the same reliability issues that have cost it so dearly over the last few years. More of the same will mean another year out of the championship.
36. Slap Box (0-1) =
Will hopefully recover from its baptism of fire against Tombstone. A good-looking bot with a decent bit of potential.
37. Gamma 9 (0-1) +1
Wasn’t terrible against Chomp, but was soundly beaten in the end. Needs to be more efficient in killing off its opponents.
38. Witch Doctor (0-2) -8
Who’d have thought we’d see Witch Doctor this low? Stuck at 0-2 and looking horribly unreliable. Are we going to see it sneak its way into the bracket? Surely it has to.
39. Sharko (0-1) =
Much love for Sharko, but it wasn’t a good opening fight. Maybe things will pick up though.
40. Tracer (0-1) =
Over and out in one hit. A lot to admire, but its flaws have shown pretty quickly.
41. HiJinx (0-1) =
Claw Viper was too much for the best owl-themed bot on the show this year. Hopefully we get to see that undercutter tear into something soon.
42. Sporkinok (0-1) +1
Can’t really explain its performance against Rusty, but it still managed to fizzle out to a loss. Looks unconvincing thus far.
43. Ghost Raptor (0-2) -6
Well, who ever would have seen this coming? Outdated, outclassed, out of the competition. Probably out anyway. Can’t imagine the committee would be too impressed with an 0-2 record, and seeing its weapon and wheel pod ripped asunder.
44. Atom #94 (0-1) =
Looks like it has a powerful weapon to it, but basically handed Big Dill a free win. Needs to show more.
45. Gigabyte (0-1) =
Turns out Gigabyte was the imposter. Thought that paint job was a little sus. Terrible showing against Copperhead, completely demolished.
46. Pain Train (0-1) =
Promised so much, but delivered very little. Could still pull off a couple wins, but the team looked like they were struggling to control it. Practice needed.
47. Axe Backwards (0-1) =
Sent down in a big ball of fire. Glorious.
48. Gemini (0-1) =
Both bots destroyed in one hit each. Nothing new, but completely devastated.
49. Aegis (0-1) NEW ENTRY
Not exactly a rip-roaring new entry, having the literal stuffing kicked out of it by Fusion. Can’t see it going much higher.
50. Extinguisher (0-1) -1
Only going down because of the above new entrant, a one-hit KO isn’t exactly the start you need at this tournament. Don’t think we’ll be seeing it in the championship.
51. Grabot (0-1) NEW ENTRY
Our other new entrant this week graciously rounds out the list. Did approximately f*ck all and spent the entire fight being flipped about by SubZero. Can take pride in having to prop up all the other bots, though.
Well, there we go everyone, another week of power rankings all done and dusted. The bracket is finally starting to take shape, and do bear in mind that I have absolutely no association with the mysterious selection committee, and that this is all just personal opinion. Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing such classic match-ups as Black Dragon against Rusty that my rankings are currently promising.
Hopefully you had fun with this list, and hopefully you’ll go easier on me regarding Hydra in the comments this week. Thanks for reading, and see you for some predictions.