This past weekend, 36 robotics teams from high schools across North America traveled to Troy, New York to compete in the second annual New York Tech Valley Regional Competition. Among these teams were Southington High School’s Cyber Knights, also known as team 195. Held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, this regional competition was the first for the Cyber Knights since New England’s transition from a regional to a district model following the 2013 season.
Aiming for a reassuring bounce back from their first competition 3 weeks ago, where the Knights were eliminated in the quarterfinals, Southington truly proved what has made their team a force to be reckoned with in recent years: team 195 was ranked 3rd following their qualification matches, and after several intense playoff rounds, the Knights went home with a first place trophy under their belt. In their 12 qualification matches, wherein 2 alliances consisting of 3 randomly assigned teams each compete against each other, the Cyber Knights maintained a formidable average score of 102.75. For reference, the #1 ranked team had an average of 117.08, while the last place team had one of 41.5.
Following the 72 qualification matches, the top 8 teams participate in alliance selection, which sees 2 other teams join each of the 8 alliances to prepare for the playoff rounds. Moving away from the traditional “best 2 out of 3” style of eliminations, these playoff rounds eliminate the lower half of alliances based on their average score in matches. Thus, the quarterfinals saw 4 alliances sent home, with another 2 alliances ending their day in the semifinals. For the finals, the last 2 alliances competed in a simple “best 2 out of 3” order. As mentioned earlier, Southington finished their qualifying matches ranked 3rd out of the 36 teams in attendance.
The Cyber Knights selected team 340, Greater Rochester Robotics from Churchville, NY and team 4930, Electric Mayhem from Buffalo, NY to join their alliance. All three teams, in all 7 of their playoff matches, demonstrated incredible synergy with each other and gracious professionalism towards their opponents. Finishing their day with back-to-back 150+ point matches, Southington’s alliance secured their victory in a commanding manner.
Since this event was classified as a regional competition, as opposed to a district event, the 3 teams on the winning alliance have all qualified for the World Championship competition held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri in late April. 195, 340, and 4930 are just three of the 600 teams being invited to this competition, where matches, playoffs, and finals will run throughout a 2 and a half day period to crown the 2015 World Champions. Additionally, 195 will be competing at the Hartford District Event on March 28 and 29, as well as the New England District Championship, held at WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts on April 10 and 11.