BattleBots 2020: Predictions for Episode 8

Good morning all my robot comrades, it’s me, back again, just in time for some halfway stage robot predictions. Wow, eight episodes in already, where does the time go? We’re coming in hot from last week’s roaring success which saw a near-unprecedented 6 out of 7 predictions come true. Yes, it was possibly the most predictable fight card we’ve had yet, and yes, in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have put Mammoth down to beat Hypershock, but that’s all part of the fun as we go through the cruel mistress of life learning valuable lessons along the way. Specifically, never have faith in Mammoth.

I really wish I could say this week is different but, well… that would be deceptive. Ok, so there are a couple of intriguing ties to look out for this week, but it does look, on paper at least, kind of easy to predict a winner. That being said, we’ll be seeing the debuts of both Axolotl and War? EZ!, but considering they’re appearing this late into the show, they most likely have had at least one fight that was so unapologetically dull that it had to be cut from the show. But we haven’t seen them in action (on the main show) yet, so who knows, maybe they’ll spring some sort of surprise on us. Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling, here’s the quality, thought-provoking content you all came here for.

Kraken vs HUGE 

In the words of the beloved Chris Rose, “what a way to start the night!” – it’s the fiery sea beast of Kraken against the, uh, huge HUGE. 

A fight that will surely have, erm, let’s go with massive, ramifications for the final top 32 seedings, both bots go into this needing a win, but for different reasons. Kraken finds itself at 1-1, but is also in the strange position of having been one of the most impressive competitors in the field so far this season, with an unlucky defeat to Black Dragon and a brilliant win over Witch Doctor. They’ve exceeded many an expectation this season. HUGE, meanwhile, has had a very different time of things this season, sitting at 0-2 after being flung out of the arena by Mammoth and then manhandled by a bike rack. For a team that’s made it to the top 16 in both seasons they’ve competed, they must be feeling a wee bit uneasy about their chances.

Fortunately for them, they appear to have been handed a free win for this one. That might be a bit harsh on Kraken, especially since they can’t seem to catch a break. First Black Dragon, then Witch Doctor, now HUGE? Give them a break, guys. SubZero’s had fights against f*cking Grabot and Sporkinok, where was their challenge? Anyway, I digress. This isn’t to say Kraken is an easy bot to beat, it’s proven this season it most certainly isn’t. But, realistically, what can it do to HUGE? Barring round two of bike-rack-gate taking place, HUGE is far too high off the ground for Kraken to get any sort of hold on Jonathan Schultz’s behemoth, and you have to expect a few good hits to Kraken’s weapon and wheels will see the fight end before it really had a chance to begin.

What Kraken hiding? Wrong answers only

But don’t worry, even if Kraken does end up with a loss, expect a pretty decent top 32 seeding regardless.

WINNER: HUGE

Axolotl vs Ribbot 

Moving onto the disposable second fight of the night, we’ve got the debutant newbies Axolotl, which doesn’t actually have anything to do with axing in any capacity, against Ribbot, which fortunately lives up to its billing as a frog-themed robot.

Despite its excellence in living up to what its name suggests, Ribbot hasn’t really shown the same promise as it did in 2019. An easy victory over Tracer was followed by a poor defeat at the paws of Mad Catter. Hopefully we’ll be able to see it harness its power against Axolotl, which, again, is actually a spinner and won’t be doing any axing. Apart from having its hopes axed at the hands of the frog.

Yes, it might be a bit premature to write it off entirely, but personally I feel that Ribbot has too much power in its weapon for Axolotl, a tiny being with a tiny weapon. Those elongated forks may stand a chance at getting under Ribbot and pushing it about a bit, but should Ribbot land its shots well enough this should be pretty straight forwards. And considering Axolotl is making its debut literally halfway through the series, I think there’s a good reason we haven’t seen it make an appearance up to this point.

“Oh hey fren, what’s new with you?”

WINNER: RIBBOT

Rotator vs Big Dill

I remember the good old days when Big Dill was a promising newcomer, ready to take on all that came before it after beating Atom #94. I really miss those days.

Yes, we’ve come a long way since then, as Big Dill finds itself at 1-1 after Lockjaw’s thorough disassembly of it, and a lot of bots have not only since matched/overtaken their record, they’ve looked more convincing in doing so, leaving the fate of the pickle in the balance. It hasn’t exactly been given an easy deciding match either, up against the Hexbug-toy-worthy Rotator. 

Rotator’s struggles have been well documented this season, falling to 0-2 after two judges’ decisions. Both of which were COMPLETELY FAIR. We’ve not seen it at its full potential so far this season, even if it has dished out some damage in both of its fights. I get the sense things will change here. Much like my thoughts on the Kraken-HUGE match-up – realistically, what can Big Dill do to Rotator? Victor Soto’s bot looks to awkward a design to get underneath and control with those big prongs, and even if they did they’ve still got that vicious bar to go through. Personally I don’t see Big Dill lasting any longer than a minute, and Rotator will claim a victory to put them both at 1-2. 

Whatever happens from here, Big Dill will always remain the funniest sh*t I ever seen.

WINNER: ROTATOR

Jackpot vs Lockjaw 

Whoooooooooooooa we’re halfway there! Whoooooooooooooa-ho! Spinners in the squares! Yup, that’s really the best I could think of.

Sandwiched in between the first half and the last half of the show for what most people would describe as “the middle”, we’ve got the battle of the 2-0s. Blinding us with its Vegas lights in one corner is Jackpot, which somehow finds itself at 2-0 after seeing SubZero incapacitate itself in its first fight. Admittedly it did tear Ghost Raptor a new one in its second. For its first fight against a robot most logical people would call “good”, it’s Donald Hutson’s Lockjaw, formerly of the semi and quarter-finals respectively. They might not have been spectacular this season, but their two victories have been measured, methodical, and ultimately effective. They’re looking in good stead for a solid run in the tournament.

And it’s they who I think will be at 3-0 at the end of this. They’re two similar bots, but Lockjaw is definitely, on paper, the superior machine, at least in terms of design and driving. Jackpot’s weapon could deal some damage if it gets the chance, but we’ve seen already this season the hallmarks of an inexperienced team with some nervous driving, something Donald Hutson is the polar opposite of. Expect him to manouevre to the sides of the unlucky Jackpot, get underneath the exposed ground clearance, and deal out some tasty hits. I’m willing to gamble on it.

Please don’t tell me its weapon breaks after like 5 seconds ffs

WINNER: LOCKJAW

Bloodsport vs Chronos 

The good thing about sports such as this is that it throws up such great mismatches, in the vague hope that the underdog will be able to pull off the shock and send us all into a state of orgasmic delirium. Sadly, this isn’t one of those matches.

Bloodsport sits pretty near the top of the rankings for this season, with a comfortable 2-0 record from wins over Skorpios and End Game. In what can almost be described as a “pro gamer move” from the selection committee, they see their chances of going 3-0 rocket up to the arena ceiling, as they face Chronos – a bot which sits equidistant to them at the other end of the rankings. All we know of everyone’s favourite goth Beyblade is that it lost in such spectacularly boring fashion against P1 the fight didn’t even make it to air. And that the bot barely worked at all. 

To say it’s not looking good for Chronos is probably about the right attitude to be taking here. I don’t really have too much to say, other than the fact I think it’s going to get a good whooping at the hands of one of the best robots in the field this season. But prove me wrong, guys. Beyblades were always unpredictable.

Is Chronos actually there or is Bloodsport just attacking a ghost

WINNER: BLOODSPORT

War? EZ! vs Fusion 

I’m almost too scared to make a prediction for this one, as I feel like whoever I choose will have something go spectacularly wrong for them.

War? EZ! serenely makes its way into the mix, with this being its first televised appearance. Expect Chris and Kenny to do a 30-second recap of its opening fight that was deemed unviewable, in which for all we know it claimed an incredible KO against SawBlaze or Uppercut. Unlikely, but you never know. They’re facing off against Team Whyachi’s Frankenstein-bot Fusion, fresh from obliterating Aegis, but with its combustion against Mad Catter still fresh in the memory.

Now, I’ve seen a fair few people online punt for War? EZ! for this one, despite its annoying name and knock-off Hypershock aesthetic. It’s another bot that’s appearing for the first time far too late for me to take it seriously. It honestly looks as though it’s going to fall apart if I were to get to within a couple feet of it, and those tyres look as though they’ll send it flying up in the air if anything makes a vague amount of contact with it. Fusion isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly got enough power to defeat its opponent (I can’t be arsed to type the name out again) in one or two good hits. I’m not entirely convinced that’s what will happen, but I have to stick to my guns and go for the Whyachi gang. Please don’t let me down, team.

You might say this fight won’t be Fusion’s… core issue ahaha

WINNER: FUSION

Tombstone vs Skorpios

And now we arrive at this, the apex of events, the gargantuan main event. It’s a clash between the titan of Tombstone against the sensational Skorpios, making them both appear comparatively normal-sized.

Much like the opening fight, this could easily define the seasons of these two. Both sit at 1-1 after two almost identical campaigns. It’s more of a surprise to see the former champion Tombstone in this predicament, after being launched out of the arena by End Game and a reasonably straight-forward win against Slap Box. Skorpios has had a near similar trajectory, being dismantled by Bloodsport before a pitch-perfect performance against Perfect Phoenix. Now it’s time for it to face its third horizontal bar spinner in a row (such great diversity), so which Skorpios will we see?

Personally, I think the one we saw against Bloodsport – the one that struggles. Yes, it was awesome against Perfect Phoenix, and we’ve seen it dominate bots like Icewave in the past. But against bots like Rotator, Bloodsport, etc., where its design doesn’t allow for it to dominate proceedings, I don’t see what’s going to change against the literal most powerful bar spinner in existence. It’s not a foregone conclusion by any means, and there’s a lot of variables which could throw this fight in Skorpios’ favour. Maybe that front plate will deflect everything Ray Billings has to throw at it? Anything could happen, it’ll be spectacular, and I think it’ll be a Tombstone win.

WINNER: TOMBSTONE 

There we go, everyone, another week in which I attempt to explain the misguided ramblings that go on inside my head. Hopefully we’ve got another successful week ahead after some absolutely stonking predictions in the last couple of weeks, but knowing my luck War? EZ! will turn out to be the second coming of Hypno-Disc. 

Remember you can stay up-to-date with all the content produced here by following the website, either on here directly or on Twitter,@robosocks14, or give us an e-mail at therobotsoccerleague@gmail.com. It’s always fun chatting robots with people.

Stay safe comrades, enjoy the episode, and you’ll catch me again soon.

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