Last weekend's Robot Smashing League event was one of many firsts for MRCA. Not only was it the first event of 2024, but it was also the first to utilize new streamlined judging rules, the first to rank beetleweights, and the first to use a tournament format other than double elimination.  Instead, it actually tried out two formats new to the league, both of which were a resounding success.

The antweights ran on a modified Swiss system where every competitor is guaranteed four fights. It is divided into rounds where robots are matched against others which have a similar win record in the previous rounds. Once the four rounds are over, the top eight bots are thrown into a single elimination tournament to determine the winner. This system allows a more even distribution of fights among the competitors where they are going against others with a similar skill level.

Because there were relatively few beetleweight robots competing they were run in a round robin. This is a tournament format where each competitor fights each other competitor once and the robot with the most wins is declared the victor.

With that in mind, lets see who saw success at RSL!

Beetleweight 3rd Place:
Dead Batteries Robotics with The Trooper

Tina of Dead Batteries Robotics has been seeing consistent success with her D2 kit The Trooper. She has competed at the past three RSL events, and placed in two of them. This event was no different, with her Gary Gin-esque driving style once again proving to be a winning strategy. Maybe its time for her to head out to some other events and show the rest of the Midwest what she can do.
The Trooper vs Ataxia Fight

Beetleweight 2nd Place:
Team Fairy Powerful with Fairy Powerful

Michael of team Fairy Powerful decided to spend his birthday fighting robots at RSL. Maybe his opponents went easy on him for this reason, but its more likely he's just a great driver with a well designed bot. Fairy Powerful was easily the fastest bot in the arena while still being very durable and able to deal big hits.
Fairy Powerful vs Skippy Fight

Beetleweight 1st Place:
Blackpony Productions with Confidently Incorrect

Mike of Blackpony Productions made the drive from Illinois for his first ever Minnesota event. It was definitely worth his while, because he went 6-0, defeating every other beetleweight in attendance. This was his first time reaching the podium with his bot Confidently Incorrect. He attributes the success to some fixes he made to his weapon belt retention since the last competition, but still believes it could use some work. His biggest takeaway from the competition was that he really like the new tournament styles, which give everyone more opportunities to fight, learn from their mistakes, and improve.
Confidently Incorrect vs Fairy Powerful Fight

Antweight 3rd Place:
Sneaky Tiger Robotics with Antmine

Emmaline of Sneaky Tiger Robotics may now be the youngest person to ever win a trophy at a MRCA event. At 9 years old, she has been competing in MRCA since its inception with her bot Antmine. Although it doesn't have a weapon, this may be the single most durable bot in all of the Midwest, and she is a fantastic driver for her age. Within a few years she will surly be a competitor everyone fears.
Antmine vs SLAM Fight

Antweight 2nd Place:
AMP Robotics with Entity

Anthony of AMP Robotics (formerly Rochester Robotics) is known and feared among the MRCA community for his horizontal spinner Specture. This year he decided he wanted to try something different, so instead he's running a new 4-wheel vertical spinner called Entity. Once again he has designed a masterpiece, as this bot is already seeing just as much success as his last. Robots are consistently getting launched several feet into the air whenever this Entity is fighting.  It will surely be a top competitor when it inevitably makes it to the MRCA finals this year.
Entity vs Blackout Fight

Antweight 1st Place:
Team Kwin-alt with Klonoa

Alex of Team Kwin-alt is a regular at both RSL and MRCA events. Last year he made a big splash when his control bot Scrapper managed to place 3rd at the Minnesota Mecha-Melee, then do it again at the MRCA Finals. He didn't enter Scrapper into this competition, but managed to pull off a first place finish with his other grab-bot Klonoa. This victory easily cements him as the top control bot driver in the Midwest right now. Expect to see more great runs from team Kwin-alt in the 2024 season!
Klonoa vs Entity Fight

Well, that's a wrap for the first MRCA event of the year.  A special thanks to Robot Smashing League for holding the event, and RFA Engineering for sponsoring. If this competition was anything to go by, it's going to be an exciting year of robot fighting!