Midwest Robot Combat Association started as a casual proposal to combine a few Discord servers representing different competitions across the Midwest. When we realized that events could easily be scheduled throughout the year without overlap, it quickly snowballed into proposals of a league with an invite-only finals competition. The Midwest already had a competitive and growing antweight scene that was perfect for this, so we started a brainstorming group and began devising a league to fit our goals.
MRCA is obviously inspired by Norwalk Havoc's league, but we noticed some issues that needed to be addressed. Norwalk Havoc's qualification system encourages people to show up over and over again with as many robots as they can bring in hopes of getting one good bracket run. It is also done in the same arena against the same competitors every time. It showed a lot of potential, but we knew that we could do better even if we didn't have the same funding.
Through countless hours of careful brainstorming and iteration, a system was devised to fix some of these issues. Our league gives more people a chance by taking place at multiple events across the Midwest. It also means that the arena changes across almost every qualifier to keep things interesting. Our ruling and league structure encourages consistent results with one or two well refined robots. Every match affects a robot's ranking, so even for robots that have instantly qualified, every match can affect their seeding in the finals. We believe that our structure will allow for fierce competition towards the top while still leaving room for new builders and unique designs.