On May 21st, builders descended upon the Twin Cities for its first ever MRCA event, Minnesota Massacre. The Land of 10,000 Lakes is a little further behind Michigan and Wisconsin in the development of the hobby, which led to a substantial number of rookies competing against current household names. This unique dynamic ensured it would be a memorable event for everyone in attendance. At the end of the day, it was unsurprisingly the veterans who walked away with the top prizes, but many rookies showed the potential to be future contenders. After a grueling six hours of fights, here’s the cream that rose to the top.
1st Place: Owen Marshall with Atoma
Owen of team Bots 'n' Stuff very nearly didn’t attend MNM this year, but making the drive sure paid off! He ran through the winners bracket and ended the day with a fight against Specture, giving those who attended the non-MRCA event, RFC, deja-vu. He came out on top this time, potentially because of his new TPU front wedge. This not only ensures him a high seed at the MRCA finals, but solidifies his ranking as the #1 Antweight robot on Robot Combat Events.
2nd Place: Anthony Pressnell with Specture
After a 4th place finish at WRC, Anthony of team Rochester Robotics sat on the podium at his second MRCA event. It was a busy day for him, as he wasn’t just a competitor but also one of the Event Organizers. If he can do this well while multitasking, imagine what he can do with his focus just on fighting at the MRCA finals in October! This event also bumped up his ranking on Robot Combat events to #2, proving that the MRCA boys are the best around.
3rd Place: Eric Mueller with Bit Error
Eric Mueller of Team Hazardous Robotics was one of the most feared builders at CIRC pre-pandemic, but he hasn’t competed in several years. That’s why there was heavy anticipation to see if he could stand with the MRCA's best in his comeback at MNM. He did not disappoint with losses only to Atoma and Specture. He has plans to continue proving he’s still one of the best at IRFC in July.
Although the current focus of the MRCA is on Antweights, this event also had an impressive fairyweight bracket full of drivers deserving recognition.
1st Place: Elliot Peterson with R.A.M.
Known affectionately by the community as the Orange Shirt Kid, Elliot of Team Fireball not only brought his unforgettable enthusiasm to MNM, but also his unbelievable driving skills. Going undefeated all day against some of the most experienced builders at the competition provided proof he is worthy of 1st place.
2nd Place: Lucas Phillips with Death Wish
The gyroscopic walker Death Wish may be the most feared Fairyweight in the midwest. Even if Lucas of Team Lusciopia Robotics wasn’t quite able to pull off a 1st place win this time, he still had the heaviest hitting fairyweight fight many of the attendees at MNM had ever seen.
3rd Place: Gwendolyn Peterson with Lawnmower of Doom
Elliot wasn’t the only member of the Peterson clan to do well at MNM. His little sister, Gwendolyn, also had a very impressive showing at her first event with Lawnmower of Doom. These kids are ones to watch out for as they will surely be big contenders in the MRCA in the years to come!
Every event has notable robots which don’t necessarily place highly, but still heavily contribute to making the day memorable. For this reason, MNM hands out several crowd-voted awards to bots that truly made an impact.
Most Destructive - Santana Starks with Lil’ Twisty
Although he didn’t quite pull off the win this time, Santana of teams Superbad/Shreddit/Pain Train still showed everyone who is boss. He didn’t just defeat his opponents, he tore them to shreds. No one left the box unscathed.
Most Destroyed - Eric Langkamp with Cowboy Beep-Boop
This sport would be no fun without carnage, and someone needs to be at the short end of that stick. Eric of Iowa Robot Fighting took quite the beating at this competition, courtesy of Lil' Twisty. This isn’t to say he’s not a capable builder. He clearly puts more effort into manufacturing his bots than most other builders. Thankfully, the Most Destroyed award comes with a gift card to help him rebuild for the next event.
Best Rookie - Charles Anderson with Spatula
No less than 9 builders competed for their first time at MNM. Although all of them put on a good showing, the crowd believed Charles of Team Turnip Robotics with his Fingertech lifter Spatula showed the most potential. He may also be the first active builder to come from the state of North Dakota. Keep an eye out for Charles at future MRCA events; he has a promising future.
Coolest Robot - Lucas Phillips with Overdraft
Lucas is no stranger to unique bot designs. He doesn't seem to know that wheels exist. Overdraft, his latest creation, is a shuffler hammer saw bot that captured everyone’s imagination. Not only is it a slick design, but it also proved a force to be reckoned with.
Written by Eric Lussky