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The Monsterworks
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The CBC Gazette

Post by The Monsterworks » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:11 pm

The Cherry Bomb Classic Gazette

Nine grueling weeks: that's how long we've been at this for, and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. While some groups have played out largely as expected, others have taken a left turn at Albuquerque. Many remain competitive but some have clearly stratified. All in all, that makes this a perfect time to look back at our initial predictions, take stock of where we are, and look forward to what's next.

The Teams

The Dirty Dozen

1) Team Instant Regret - .750

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 530 (132.5/bot)
Record: 9-3 (2-1, 2-1, 3-0, 2-1)
Grade: B+

Coming in with a commanding points lead in the rankings and hot off of a slew of championships, it was no surprise when this team's bots ranked consistently among the top three in their weight classes. While HFL hasn't been as incredibly dominant as his position in the rankings would suggest, all of his bots are, as predicted, in playoff position with over half of the group stage fights finished. Compound Fracture, in particular, has been unstoppable. Look for this outfit to make a number of deep playoff runs, and I wouldn't bet against it walking away with at least one title.

2) The Monsterworks - .909

Entries: 3 - MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 510 (170/bot)
Record: 10-1 (4-0, 3-0, 3-1)
Grade: A

Having pulled out of lightweight at the last second, the top-ranked Canadian team's three remaining bots have a great deal of shortfall to cover. Somewhat surprisingly, they've been doing an admirable job so far. In particular, the lightly-regarded middleweight hammer bot Carbonemys has overperformed somewhat low expectations. Unorthodox saw IDCMF has done about as well as expected, and highly-rated flipper Black Diamond has been a consistent standard bearer. Going forward, look for at least a couple of strong playoff runs, with the possibility of a title if things shake out the right way.

3) End of the Line LLC. - .429

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 380 (95/bot)
Record: 6-8 (1-3, 1-2, 3-1, 1-2)
Grade: C-

With a stable of unorthodox and audacious machines that have gone all-in on the new saw rules, turrets, and alternative drivetrains, this was always going to be a homerun swing - boom or bust. Unfortunately for Noah, it's been a bit more of the latter, with underpowered sawbots Piranha Plant and Super Youkai Warhead struggling and creative walking death hammer HAN-D losing some matches it might've been expected to win. The main bright spot has been heavyweight speed wedge Trashman, which looks set for a solid playoff run but, overall, things aren't looking as good as Noah probably would've hoped, going in.

4) Angry Goat Robotics - .643

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 500 (125/bot)
Record: 9-5 (3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 0-3)
Grade: B

Gabe was in a bit of a weird position going into CBC3: too far ahead to be caught by most people behind him, but too far behind the top couple of teams to rise very much. While he's managed to pass Laz for fourth, and has a shot at overtaking Noah, the main thing holding his team back is the deadweight of semi-shitpost bot Delorean Cowboy. Cuddle Time! has been ace as usual. Scion? Solid. Chimera? Undefeated. Is there a title run waiting in the wings? While a couple of his entries may need help from a generous draw, they are nonetheless legitimate contenders.

5) Tartarus Robotics Group - .857

Entries: 2 - LW, SHW
Points earned: 310 (155/bot)
Record: 6-1 (3-0, 3-1)
Grade: B+

It was supposed to have been the end for one of ARC's most dominant teams of the past few years, with Laz having announced his retirement a couple of months before the tournament commenced. However, a last-minute decision to enter with a truncated team of two robots has kept him in the conversation. While both Blood Eagle and Santangelo are as ruthlessly optimized as one would expect from Laz' machines and have performed well, the greatly-reduced team size also means will he will struggle mightily to maintain his position in the rankings, and a title may not be in the offing, though Blood Eagle, in particular, looks like a favourite.

6) Team Ignition - .462

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 370 (92.5/bot)
Record: 6-7 (1-2, 2-2, 1-2, 2-1)
Grade: C-

Early on in CBC3, Dylan fell into a funk, and it showed. Despite strong designs, the majority of his bots significantly underperformed due to apathy and some lackluster driving. Fortunately, his position in the rankings was secure enough to not be under immediate threat. The same can't be said for his bots' playoff chances. While none have been eliminated, most find themselves on precarious footing. Over the past couple of weeks, he seems to have recovered his mojo, and generally stronger results have followed, but is it enough? Dylan's certainly capable of winning it all in more than one division. The question is, will he?

7) Ice Cubed Robotics - .714

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 540 (135/bot)
Record: 10-4 (3-1, 3-1, 2-1, 2-1)
Grade: B+

After a rough start that saw all but one of his entries open with a negative record, Alex V has brought things around in a big way and, at this juncture, owns one of only three four-bot teams that has every one of its machines in playoff position. This has certainly been apparent in his ranking as of late, with a two spot climb to show for his efforts. Some big matches are still to come, and nothing is guaranteed, but his roster of aggressively wedgey veteran machines is poised to make some serious noise come playoff time.

8) Team Stealth - .714

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 540 (135/bot)
Record: 10-4 (3-0, 1-2, 2-2, 4-0)
Grade: B+

Danielle is playing in the big leagues now. There's no doubt about it. After taking a while to break into ARC's top flight, she's placed herself definitively within it, and has been more than able to hold her own with improved stats and driving. While former finalists Death Metal and Harpy, the latter seeded number one at the outset of the event, haven't had stellar runs so far and are 50/50 propositions for the playoffs, Thieving Magpie and Triple 6 have been standouts, leading their divisions undefeated and occupying places in their respective title conversations.

9) Aquatic Robotics - .333

Entries: 3: LW, MW, SHW
Points earned: 210
Record: 3-6 (1-2, 0-3, 2-1)
Grade: D

Let's just get this out of the way: Jack's a lot better at this than his record so far would suggest. Running a team of three bots was always going to lower his chances, but they've just underperformed for the most part due to a mix of tough division compositions, bad luck, and some questionable stat choices, particularly in the case of novel spinner/brick hybrid Psychosis. The Gnasher has been distinctly average, but with better things to come, perhaps. The brightest of the bunch, and a definite contender, has been SHW brick Cruelty, which stands a very good chance of salvaging an otherwise forgettable season for this team come playoff time.

10) Cool Story Brobotics - .333

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 360
Record: 5-10 (0-4, 0-3, 3-1, 2-2)
Grade: D

Trihunter's tournament has been a tale of two teams within one. His Superheavyweight, Hartmann's Youkai Bot II, has been holding its own in a very difficult group and has a legitimate shot at the playoffs where things could really open up for it, and heavyweight crusher Petaflare has established itself as a darkhorse contender after a blazing start to the tournament. On the other side of things, ROBOT2 surprise package Twin Typhoons has struggled mightily in the lightweight 'group of death', going winless. Ditto for middleweight thwack JEVIL.

11) Team Blood Gulch - .933

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 710 (177.5/bot)
Record: 14-1 (3-0, 4-0, 3-1, 4-0)
Grade: A+

Going into this event, there were serious questions about Josh's team and the captain himself: outdated designs, questionable stat allocations, lack of attention to the metagame, inconsistent driving and dedication. Maybe Josh was just...over the hill if that was possible in ARC. The response has been unequivocal and any doubts will surely have been wiped away. At this point, Team Blood Gulch is enjoying one of the most dominant seasons in recent ARC memory, with all four bots in playoff position and at least two considered title contenders. Look for this roster to begin re-establishing its storied team's traditional status in a big way.

12) Alpha Robotics - .615

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 450 (112.5/bot)
Record: 8-5 (2-2, 1-2, 2-1, 3-0)
Grade: B

With the exception of one standout bot, Drew's team has been distinctly average this tournament and its hard to say exactly how things will go from here. He could have four bots make the playoffs at this juncture or three of them miss out. 'Group of Death' placements have caused his very competent lightweight and middleweight to struggle, while former champion Coup de Grace has been solid in a heavyweight run that will likely see playoffs. The top performer has, without a doubt, been Fenrir, which has justified its third seeding with a dominant performance so far in superheavyweight. Can it go all the way? Only time will tell.

The Competents

13) Team British Robotics - .538

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 400 (100/bot)
Record: 7-6 (1-2, 2-1, 1-2, 3-1)
Grade: B-

The knock on TBR has always been his very inconsistent driving and an understanding of the metagame that can be tenuous at times. While those concerns certainly remain and are likely to linger for some time, Team British RObotics has nonetheless put together a quietly respectable run in CBC3, led by superheavyweight standout Dysprosinator. The ever-dependable Lethal Carriageway has also proven solid and remains very much in the playoff conversation. Is there a title in the offing for TBR this time around? The oddsmakers might not favour it, but they certainly can't discount it entirely either.

14) Team 57 - .333

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 280 (70/bot)
Record: 4-8 (1-2, 2-1, 0-3, 1-2)
Grade: D

Hii came into this event interested mainly in two bots: lightweight Tidal Wave 2 (a former finalist), and middleweight Chronic Jobber, a semifinalist in last year's REDDIT. The other two machines, Bass Drop II and Lifter 2: Electric Boogaloo, were thrown in there to round out the roster, and it's shown. While Tidal Wave has struggled with possibly the worst group composition imaginable, it seems to have turned a corner, and Jobber has been undeniably solid and is likely playoff bound. Lifter 2 is also in with a chance, having gotten some tough matchups out out the way. The less said about the woefully outdated Bass Drop II, the better.

15) Team Loading... - .364

Entries: 3 - LW, MW, HW
Points earned: 270 (90/bot)
Record: 4-7 (2-2, 1-3, 1-2)
Grade: C

Gulden's been the very definition of reliably average for a while in ARC, and that hasn't changed one bit here, despite a handful of rough results in middleweight. The shared resemblance of his three entries and their somewhat similar success rates are more or less par for the course: not wowing anyone but definitely not bombing out either. Mixing things up a little bit is lightweight Carnivore, which looks likely to make the playoffs should it manage a win this week. Is a deep run likely? probably not but, with the right matchups, you never know.

16) Team Covenant - .750

Entries: 1 - LW
Points earned: 160 (160/bot)
Record: 3-1 (3-1)
Grade: B+

Discounting a recent bout of inactivity, Kody has been the most dominant force on ARC over the past decade, so even with only a single entry, you still expect him to do at least solidly. He has not disappointed so far with stylish and terrifying spinner Eudial. Opening with wins over brickish hard-counter Tiny Torque, playoff-seasoned cluster Twin Typhoons, and group favourite Tidal Wave 2, its only loss was to the even more terrifying Blood Eagle in a close-fought affair. Perhaps the only thing capable of stopping it from escaping the group of death and making a deep playoff run are the family issues affecting its driver outside of the game.

17) Square Go Robotics - .200

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 250 (62.5/bot)
Record: 3-12 (1-3, 0-4, 1-3, 1-2)
Grade: F

To say that this event has a been a disaster for the normally solid Scottish outfit would be an understatement. Things started off well enough for Noisy, but went off the rails by the third round, courtesy of some overambitious engineering, tough group placements, and a couple of unexpected forfeits in fights that were very winnable. The result has been a series of disheartening records for bots that really can and should be doing better. It truly is a shame and I think I speak for everyone out there in hoping that Noisy has a much better go of it next time around. At the very least, Shellshock still remains in contention, so not all is lost yet.

19) Team Foxtrot Uniform - .556

Entries: 3 - LW, MW, SHW
Points earned: 290 (96.7/bot)
Record: 5-4 (2-1, 2-1, 1-2)
Grade: B-

Syl has come a long way from a perennial no-hoper with an improved understanding of stats, driving, and - crucially - design since their early days on ARC. All three Foxtrot bots have been competitive, with two currently in playoff position and the third, Space Cadet only sitting in fourth with a negative record due to a concerning forfeit loss. So long as that doesn't constitute the beginning of a pattern, it'll have the chance to get right back into things. While a championship may seem like a bit of a stretch, expect at least one of these bots to make a deep run.

22) Team Worst Swordsman - .429

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 330 (82.5/bot)
Record: 6-8 (1-2, 1-2, 3-1, 1-3)
Grade: C+

This is what respectability looks like. Over this tournament and its last couple, Team Worst Swordsman has quietly gone from being the butt of jokes to a midrange, more-or-less contending sort of outfit. While the hilarious KEGATRON has walked the fine line between shitpost bot and spectacular misfire, Hobart 2 has suffered somewhat from a lack of armour, and pre-tournament title favourite Dragonfist has struggled far more than expected due to a nightmarish group placement, the formerly laughable Tabor has been in the thick of the playoff picture. Unlikely as it seemed a year ago, a title run is not out of the question here.

Everyone Else

23) North-West Sheds - .250

Entries: 3 - LW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 200 (66.7/bot)
Record: 3-9 (3-2, 0-3, 0-4)
Grade: F

The main factor that divides the contenders from the rest of the field isn't so much any innate ability; it's effort. Riley entered with three potentially solid bots. When the wedge bonus of one was disallowed due to being way over 33% of its surface area, he just decided to give the entire thing ten armour instead of defining the bonus somewhere. When his star lightweight, Sleipnir, lost a close-run fight to another good bot, he forfeited a very winnable macth in the next round instead to put its at-one-point seemingly guaranteed playoff spot in peril. While Sleipnir can still clinch and make a deep run, Riley's gonna have to start trying.

25) Team Design Flaw - .545

Entries: 4 - LW, MW, HW, SHW
Points Earned: 470 (117.5/bot)
Record: 8-7 (1-3, 4-0, 2-2, 1-2)
Grade: B

There's always a lone bright spot somewhere in the basement and, this time around, it's team Design Flaw (which is really only this low in the rankings because Maxi just hasn't been around that long). While purpose-built meta bot Evil Destoyer has struggled at lightweight, Design Flaw's heavyweight cluster has been unexpectedly competitive, very much in the playoff running, and last-minute entry I Suck at Names has been an absolute monster in the middleweight division mostly due to a combination of a powerful weapon and some inspired driving. Keep this up, and playoff runs and possibly trophies await.

26) Team Obscure - .000

Entries: 2 HW, SHW
Points earned: 40 (20/bot)
Record: 0-6 (0-3, 0-3)
Grade: F-

If Bastien had, you know, cared to RP for more than half of his matches, this might be wildly different. Golden Blaze would probably be 2-1 and in playoff contention. Maurdread would likely have a win. While the former has been on the wrong side of some poor luck and unlikely inspired driving by opponents, the latter could really have used an update following a solid run in ICEcrown that nonetheless left room for improvement. Can Bob ever break out of ARC's basement? Well, to be perfectly honest, that's largely up to him.

33) Nighthawk Robotics - .500

Entries: 2 - MW, HW
Points earned: 180 (90/bot)
Record: 3-3 (1-2, 2-1)
Grade: B

For a team competing in only its second event, and with quite a layoff in between, this is a very solid showing. Nobody expected much from the newcomer, and with some unconventional stat spreads, I think that a lot of us had a rough season in mind for him. Proving that his surprise playoff berth with Tick Tock in REDDIT was no fluke, Nighthawk has managed to do it again, with both of his bots still very much in contention with the chance to pull off some major upsets this coming round against hot favourites Compound Fracture and Dragonfist.

36) Team Eagle Robotics - .167

Entries: 3 - MW, HW, SHW
Points earned: 190 (63.3/bot)
Record: 2-10 (1-3, 1-3, 0-4)
Grade: D+

Rookie seasons are difficult. All of us have been there: trying to figure out the damned stat system, and then the rules, and then all of the little design details that are so easy to forget. Then, it's getting the hang of RPing. Billy has had a lot to learn this season, and it hasn't been easy, but there has been improvement and it's an ongoing process. While he won't be making the postseason with any of his three entries, this isn't about that. The more that he can fight and the more experience that he can gain, the better that he'll be in the future.

37) Code Red Robotics - .100

Entries: 3 - LW, MW, HW
Points Earned: 120 (40/bot)
Record: 1-9 (0-3, 1-2, 0-4)
Grade: D+

The adjustment to ARC for Tcrrr has been every bit as tough as for his fellow GTMer above, and he's earned all of his points, including a win over Team Eagle, without the help of an HFL ghost-RP. While only Pizza that Eats You has an outside shot at the playoffs and postseason glory is likely not going to be a thing for this rookie, it's mostly a question of gaining valuable experience in the hope that it will serve him well in the future. At the very least, he has enthusiasm in spades, and that's half the battle.

Mastodon... Extinction (HW)
Osiris... Armageddon! (MW)
Elrathia... ROBOTS (LW)
Magnolia Pico... Ruination 4 (MW)
RipTide... ROBOT2 (FW)
Black Diamond... Cherry Bomb Classic 3 (HW)
Abyss... ROBOTS 3 (MW)

The Monsterworks: 194 - 54 (.782) ...Probably up to no good.
Cherry Bomb Classic IV: 5-1
Finishing Move: 1-1
Magnolia Pico: 1-0
Magnolia Grande: 2-0
Glacier III: 1-0
ROBOTS 3: 21-6
Sixpounder: 3-4
MADSCIENCE: 9-1 Champion!
Abyss: 9-1 Champion!

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