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The King of Bots 2019 Opening Battle was a televised event which took place between the first and second seasons of King of Bots. Held in Shanghai, China, on 12th January 2019, and shown live on various broadcasting and streaming services, the event marked the first King of Bots event of that year, and was intended to promote the upcoming second season.

An edited version of the 2019 Opening Battle, with a run-time of approximately 72 minutes, was made available on bilibili on 17th January 2019.

Competing RobotsEdit

HeavyweightsEdit

FeatherweightsEdit

FormatEdit

The 2019 Opening Battle featured nine one-on-one battles between heavyweight and featherweight competitors from various domestic and international teams. Teams in attendance included those who had previously entered King of Bots and/or its spin-off This is Fighting Robots, as well as those who had competed in King of Bots-sanctioned live events throughout 2018.

In a departure from previous televised events, the 2019 Opening Battle adopted the 'club system', where participating roboteers were grouped together to form two larger teams. Debuting at the 2018 Qingdao live event, the 'club system' format allocated robots spaces on either the 'Red' or 'Blue' teams, with draws being decided by a lottery.[5]

Throughout the event's initial broadcast, a system entitled 'Online Cheering' was also active, allowing viewers to vote for their favorite competitors via an online app. The system would remain active until the start of each battle, where the 'support rate' of each participating competitor would be displayed. Participants who voted for winning robots would receive 'KO coins', and the chance to win additional prizes through the 'offline redemption' competition.[5]

The team allocations for the 2019 Opening Battle are displayed below; featherweight competitors are listed with a green background:

  • Through the 'club system', competitors were grouped to represent the 'Red' or 'Blue' teams
  • Example of the 'Online Cheering' system, with 'support rates' for Snake 2.0 and Megabyte
Red Team Blue Team
Snake 2.0 Megabyte
Iron Rooster Saber
Calabash Bros Black Rabbit
Red River Xiongfeng Beast
Ghost No. 1 Tánshè
Patchwork Amnesia
Forsaken 2.0 Anchor and Shield
Vulcan Hold Me Back
Spectre Two BBQ

At the end of the event, the team which scored the most victories would be declared the overall winner.

BroadcastersEdit

The entirety of the event was shown or streamed live by nine broadcasters, including Open PP Sports, Weibo Sports, Sina Sports, Penguin Sports, bilibili, Shengli Family, Tiger Tooth Live, Panda Live (Panda TV) and KK Live.[5]

BattlesEdit

Snake 2.0 (Red) vs Megabyte (Blue)Edit

Snake vs Megabyte 2019 1

Snake 2.0 rams Megabyte into the wall spikes

Snake vs Megabyte 2019 2

Megabyte is deflected a second time

Snake vs Megabyte 2019 3

Sparks fly as Snake 2.0 drives into Megabyte once again

Snake vs Megabyte 2019 4

Megabyte recoils - and is flipped - after hitting Snake 2.0's plough

Megabyte overturned 2019

Megabyte smokes as it tries to self-right

In the opening seconds, Snake 2.0 drove into Megabyte as the latter maneuvered tentatively alongside the wall, ramming Megabyte directly into the nearby spikes. Megabyte ricocheted across the blue corner into another wall, and was almost flipped over as it skittered across the arena into the red corner. With this, Megabyte landed on the wall spikes, but wobbled back onto its wheels as Snake 2.0 closed in and attempted to position itself for a further attack. Snake 2.0 briefly followed Megabyte as the American machine retreated to the center and got its shell spinner up to speed again. Seconds later, Snake 2.0 hit Megabyte a second time, deflecting it into the wall spikes; Megabyte rebounded, and dodged Snake 2.0 again while simultaneously hitting the latter’s front plough. With Snake 2.0 continuing to give chase, Megabyte turned round and slammed into the side of the Unknown Son machine. The impact caused Megabyte to recoil violently into the wall, where it was flipped over and sent skidding back into the center of the arena. At that point, Megabyte’s shell appeared unable to spin up properly; smoke poured from beneath the shell as it tried to turn itself back over. Regardless, Megabyte was counted out and eliminated via knockout.

Winner: Snake 2.0 (via knockout)

Iron Rooster (Red) vs Saber (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 2 1

Saber lands its first flip on Iron Rooster

KoB 2019 Round 2 2

Iron Rooster is launched off the floor as it misses a blow on Saber

KoB 2019 Round 2 3

Saber throws Iron Rooster towards the grinders

KoB 2019 Round 2 4

One of Iron Rooster's wheels touches the pit

Both robots initially drove towards and away from each other, with Saber eventually getting underneath and throwing Iron Rooster off-balance with its flipper. Saber rammed Iron Rooster a second time, and drove under it completely as it attempted to avoid Iron Rooster's swinging blade. The two competitors circled round each other, before Saber drove underneath the red thwackbot several more times, either throwing Iron Rooster off the floor or causing it to tip onto one wheel. As the first minute passed, Saber threw Iron Rooster towards the nearby grinders, forcing Iron Rooster to retreat. Iron Rooster swerved towards the edge of the opening pit as it tried to pursue Saber across the arena; one of Iron Rooster's wheels touched the bottom, although this was not enough to eliminate it as it drove and threw itself towards the top-right hand wall. Maneuvering around the pit, Saber approached, pursued and tipped Iron Rooster off-balance once more, but was unable to flip it as both robots approached the wall spikes and floor flipper. Seconds later, Iron Rooster landed two blows on the top of Saber’s flipper, only to be knocked back when Saber flicked its blade away. Saber ducked underneath Iron Rooster and weaved across the arena, with Iron Rooster sliding as it gave chase. Iron Rooster attempted to strike Saber again, only for Saber to get underneath one of its wheels again.

KoB 2019 Round 2 5

Iron Rooster strikes the rear of Saber

KoB 2019 Round 2 6

Sparks fly as Saber survives another blow from Iron Rooster

KoB 2019 Round 2 7

A charge from Saber sends Iron Rooster airborne again

KoB 2019 Round 2 8

Saber swerves into the pit just after time runs out

Sparks flew as Iron Rooster’s swinging blade struck the floor, and the entire robot was briefly launched into the air. Saber chased Iron Rooster and knocked it off-balance once more, before absorbing another blow from Iron Rooster’s blade and driving underneath its opponent again. Iron Rooster avoided the pit as it pursued Saber across the arena, with Saber lifting Iron Rooster again as the two machines met in the blue corner. With less than forty seconds to go, Iron Rooster struggled to move away from the corner, but turned, and almost spun itself into the pit as it lunged at Saber. Saber briefly knocked Iron Rooster off-balance once more, and withstood another blow from the latter’s blade as it chased Iron Rooster across the arena again. In the closing seconds, Saber shepherded and nudged Iron Rooster close to the wall spikes, before attempting to pressure it into driving into the pit. As the clock reached zero, Iron Rooster’s blade touched the bottom of the pit, allowing the robot to throw itself onto one wheel and gyrate uncontrollably towards the wall. At the same time, Saber accidentally swerved itself into the pit, and unsuccessfully attempted to drive out as Iron Rooster repeatedly spun round in celebration. Since Saber pitted itself after time ran out, both competitors survived to a Judges’ decision, which ruled in favor of Iron Rooster.

Winner: Iron Rooster (via Judges' decision)

Calabash Bros (Red) vs Black Rabbit (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 3 1

Calabash Bros sends Black Rabbit spiralling towards the wall

KoB 2019 Round 3 2

Sparks fly as Black Rabbit drives up the front of Calabash Bros' undercutter

KoB 2019 Round 3 3

Black Rabbit gyro-dances as Calabash Bros lands another hit

KoB 2019 Round 3 4

Black Rabbit catches air upon ramming Calabash Bros again

Almost immediately, Black Rabbit lunged at Calabash Bros, darting across the arena as both competitors continuously attempted to lunge at each other. Eventually, the two robots collided head-on; sparks flew as Black Rabbit was sent spinning on its side into the wall spikes. Calabash Bros charged at the side of the six-wheeled drum spinner, but hit the wall instead, allowing Black Rabbit to briefly push it back across the arena perimeter. Calabash Bros proceeded to attack Black Rabbit a few times, at one point throwing it upwards before Black Rabbit darted away. Black Rabbit dodged another pursuit from Calabash Bros, gyro-dancing its way to the center of the arena before bumping Calabash Bros head-on and sustaining a light blow from the latter’s undercutter spinner. The two robots continued to pursue and dodge each other for some time, before Black Rabbit rammed Calabash Bros again. Seconds later, Black Rabbit sustained another hit from Calabash Bros, which appeared to leave it immobile on one side.

KoB 2019 Round 3 5

Calabash Bros is caught out by the circular saws

KoB 2019 Round 3 6

Black Rabbit's team look on as their robot survives another blow from Calabash Bros

KoB 2019 Round 3 7

Black Rabbit pushes Calabash Bros sideways

Momentarily powering its weapon down, Black Rabbit sustained another set of head-on impacts from Calabash Bros, and gyro-danced its way past the circular saws, which Calabash Bros drove over. Having regained full forward drive, Black Rabbit gyrated and darted towards the wall spikes, driving head-on into Calabash Bros once again. A shard of metal flew as Black Rabbit reversed and drove into Calabash Bros again, this time forcing the purple and green machine into the wall spikes. The two robots smashed, dodged and bumped into each other a few more times, before Black Rabbit retreated to the corner and rammed an approaching Calabash Bros. From that moment, Calabash Bros became immobile on one side, allowing Black Rabbit to push it across the arena within the vicinity of the grinders.

KoB 2019 Round 3 8

Black Rabbit attacks Calabash Bros, which temporarily loses mobility near the grinders

KoB 2019 Round 3 9

Black Rabbit gyro-dances out of the way as it and Calabash Bros survive to the end

Both robots proceeded to approach the grinders themselves, with Black Rabbit reversing and getting thrown forwards before hitting the side of Calabash Bros. This left Calabash Bros almost completely immobilized beside the grinder, which it spun round into in an attempt to show mobility. Black Rabbit, meanwhile, hit and sent a piece of debris skidding across the arena, at which point Calabash Bros weaved from side to side and regained full forward mobility. The two competitors grazed the circular saws, with Calabash Bros hitting the side of Black Rabbit once more before time ran out. With this, the battle went to a Judges’ decision, which went in favor of Black Rabbit, despite Calabash Bros’ strong performance.

Winner: Black Rabbit (via Judges’ decision)

Red River Xiongfeng (Red) vs Beast (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 4 1

The first weapon-on-weapon collision between the two spinners

KoB 2019 Round 4 2

A second hit from Red River Xiongfeng rips a wheel off Beast

KoB 2019 Round 4 3

Beast spins into a grinder while Red River Xiongfeng (top-right) waits nearby

KoB 2019 Round 4 4

Red River Xiongfeng is lifted by the floor rods

At the start, both competitors drove towards the center of the arena, with Red River Xiongfeng weaving and darting sideways before meeting Beast. The two robots twice drove head-on into each other’s spinners, the second impact sending both recoiling and ripping Beast's right wheel off. Beast slammed into the grinder and ended up back in the center, where it proceeded to spin and shuffle its way across the arena while Red River Xiongfeng briefly powered its spinner down as it waited. Red River Xiongfeng shuffled alongside the floor rods, getting its weapon up to speed again as Beast maneuvered into and was thrown aside by one of the grinders. As the floor rods rose up, it became clear that the left wheel on Red River Xiongfeng had locked up. This left Red River Xiongfeng unable to drive properly as it maneuvered over – and was twice lifted by – the floor rods; however, it proceeded to send Beast spinning away with another weapon-on-weapon hit.

KoB 2019 Round 4 5

Red River Xiongfeng lands another hit on Beast

KoB 2019 Round 4 6

Beast balances on one wheel after being thrown into the air by Red River Xiongfeng

KoB 2019 Round 4 7

Beast is thrown into the air by one of the grinders

In response, Beast hit Red River Xiongfeng's right wheel, although this was not enough to completely immobilize the orange vertical spinner. Both robots shuffled across the arena and towards each other, despite the referee beginning his count-out; Beast clipped the wedge of Red River Xiongfeng, and was thrown into the air. Beast landed on its left wheel, and drove forwards at an angle into Red River Xiongfeng and a nearby grinder, which flipped it over violently. Landing upright, Beast continued to shuffle along the arena perimeter on its left wheel; meanwhile, Red River Xiongfeng struggled to line up another attack on the black horizontal spinner, before stopping completely, prompting another count-out from the referee. Slowly, Red River Xiongfeng twitched and turned to face Beast again; its wedge clipped Beast's bar, causing the latter to destabilize and momentarily throw itself off the floor. Beast promptly reversed into and briefly pushed Red River Xiongfeng back; both robots inched further towards the grinder as Red River Xiongfeng continued to display a noticeable lack of movement.

KoB 2019 Round 4 8

Beast lands a blow on Red River Xiongfeng's side

KoB 2019 Round 4 9

Beast hurtles across the arena after hitting one of the grinder mounts

As Red River Xiongfeng briefly stopped moving, Beast drove itself into one of the grinder mounts, spinning and flipping itself across the arena in the process. Beast continued spinning around and towards the wall spikes, its left wheel now beginning to wobble noticeably; meanwhile Red River Xiongfeng got lifted by the floor rods once again. Due to their drive issues, neither robot attacked each other for the remainder of the battle, which went to a Judges’ decision. The decision went in favor of Beast, despite the early attack carried out by Red River Xiongfeng.

Winner: Beast (via Judges’ decision)

Ghost No. 1 (Red) vs Tánshè (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 5 1

Tánshè gets underneath Ghost No. 1

KoB 2019 Round 5 2

Ghost No. 1 recoils upon hitting Tánshè

KoB 2019 Round 5 3

A flip from Tánshè causes Ghost No. 1's weapon assembly to break off

KoB 2019 Round 5 4

Tánshè tosses the remains of Ghost No. 1 into the upper wall

Initially, both robots moved tentatively from their starting positions, and spent a few moments driving around and avoiding each other. This was until Tánshè drove side-on into Ghost No. 1, although without landing a flip, with Tánshè proceeding to circle around Ghost No. 1 before retreating to the blue corner. Ghost No. 1 charged towards Tánshè just as the British machine turned round; as a result, Tánshè deflected Ghost No. 1 away and sent it flipping violently into the grinders. Tánshè rushed in to pressure Ghost No. 1 into the corner spikes, but Ghost No. 1 spun its weapon up again, and freed itself from the spikes. The two robots next met in the center of the arena; Tánshè scooped, pushed and threw Ghost No. 1 towards the wall on the opposite side. Ghost No. 1 landed upright on Tánshè, the force of the landing causing its entire weapon assembly – including the bar spinner itself – to shear off. Short-circuiting, Ghost No. 1 was left without controlled movement as Tánshè repeatedly flipped the dismantled machine over in the corner and against the upper walls. After inadvertently flipping itself over, Tánshè self-righted and retreated to the center of the arena, spinning in celebration as it secured a destructive knockout victory.

Winner: Tánshè (via knockout)

Patchwork (Red) vs Amnesia (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 6 1

Amnesia pushes Patchwork back

KoB 2019 Round 6 2

Patchwork throws Amnesia across the arena

Amnesia and Patchwork both darted from their corners, colliding head-on near the center of the arena. Patchwork briefly knocked Amnesia back, only for Amnesia to push it across the arena towards the red corner in response. Amnesia was knocked sideways upon driving into Patchwork's drum again, and encountered control issues as the wedgelets for its ‘anti-vertical’ flipper kept catching the seams holding the arena floor together. This allowed Patchwork to charge into the side of Amnesia, throwing the 2018 UK International Champion sideways towards the grinders. Amnesia turned and drove into Patchwork again, absorbing two more blows from the latter’s weapon and having one of its wedgelets ripped off.

KoB 2019 Round 6 3

Amnesia is thrown upwards by Patchwork's drum

KoB 2019 Round 6 4

Patchwork throws itself onto its side following a lunge at Amnesia

KoB 2019 Round 6 5

Amnesia stacks Patchwork against the spikes

Amnesia vs Patchwork

Amnesia waits for Patchwork to be counted out

After several seconds, Amnesia slammed into the front of Patchwork once more, losing its other wedgelet in the process. A retaliatory slam from Patchwork resulted in the latter being thrown upwards and onto its side, although Patchwork landed on its wheels and grazed Amnesia once again before gyro-dancing away. Undaunted, Amnesia gave chase, eventually ramming and briefly pushing Patchwork from the side. Patchwork threw itself over through the gyroscopic forces of its own weapon, and on top of Amnesia as the Team Immersion machine attempted to ram it again. Still gyrating towards the wall, Patchwork was collected by Amnesia, which proceeded to wedge, flip and stack Patchwork against the spikes. Amensia reversed towards the center of the arena, spinning and raising its flipper in celebration as Patchwork was being counted out.

Winner: Amnesia (via knockout)

Forsaken 2.0 (Red) vs Anchor and Shield (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 7 1

Forsaken 2.0 survives an initial collision with Anchor and Shield

KoB 2019 Round 7 2

A blow from Anchor and Shield catapults Forsaken 2.0 away

Forsaken 2.0 left the red corner as Anchor and Shield spun its shell up; eventually, both robots met near the center of the arena, with sparks flying as Forsaken 2.0 twice drove into Anchor and Shield. Seconds later, Anchor and Shield clipped the side of Forsaken 2.0 as it turned round, catapulting Forsaken 2.0 into the corner and immobilizing it instantly. Forsaken 2.0 was counted out after only thirty-eight seconds had elapsed, leaving Anchor and Shield victorious.

Forsaken 2.0 post-battle issue

Forsaken 2.0's weapon activates while the robot is being carried out of the arena

After the battle, Forsaken 2.0 suffered more issues. While in the process of being taken out of the arena, its drum spinner suddenly reactivated, delaying the robot’s exit while the team and a member of the King of Bots crew locked it back into place.

Winner: Anchor and Shield (via knockout)

Vulcan (Red) vs Hold Me Back (Blue)Edit

KoB 2019 Round 8 1

Hold Me Back throws Vulcan over in the opening seconds

KoB 2019 Round 8 2

Vulcan absorbs another blow from Hold Me Back's spinner

KoB 2019 Round 8 3

Vulcan tries to axe Hold Me Back

KoB 2019 Round 8 4

Hold Me Back flips and hits Vulcan's underside

Both robots quickly met each other in the center of the arena, with Vulcan reversing and being flipped over by Hold Me Back's eggbeater weapon. Vulcan struggled to self-right as it skidded towards and balanced near one of the grinders, but threw itself back onto its wheels before retreating to the corner and attempting a front-on charge. Hold Me Back twice hit the sides of Vulcan’s wedge, getting underneath the British machine as it axed one of its sides. Both competitors separated, with Vulcan proceeding to drive around and dodge Hold Me Back before the latter clipped its wedge again. As the two machines lingered in the red corner, Vulcan attempted to axe Hold Me Back's weapon, but missed, before ramming the blue and pink machine. After pushing Hold Me Back around in circles, Vulcan attempted to axe it once more; however, Hold Me Back's spinner clipped Vulcan’s axe head, throwing Vulcan over while also hitting one of its wheels. Vulcan self-righted quickly, shuffling back and forth before momentarily getting its wedge stuck on the floor.

KoB 2019 Round 8 5

Vulcan hops after catching the pit, in an attempt to axe Hold Me Back

KoB 2019 Round 8 6

Vulcan axes and pushes Hold Me Back into the corner

KoB 2019 Round 8 7

Another head-on collision between the two competitors

After a brief hesitation, Hold Me Back sent Vulcan spinning with another blow to its wedge. However, it stopped moving again, allowing Vulcan to push it from behind; Vulcan caught a gap between the pit panel and the floor, and hopped as it was in the process of axing the top of Hold Me Back. Vulcan avoided the eggbeater spinner’s weapon, before pushing and pinning it against the floor rods. In doing so, it axed Hold Me Back, holding it by the weapon motor as it slammed Hold Me Back into the corner. Upon retracting its axe, Vulcan rammed Hold Me Back again, only to bump into the spikes and slam into Hold Me Back’s weapon. For some time, the two competitors drove around, dodged and pursued each other, until Vulcan and Hold Me Back drove head-on into each other yet again. The collision stopped Hold Me Back’s spinner from rotating, with Vulcan landing another axe blow before getting caught on a small hole in the arena floor. Reversing, Vulcan proceeded to charge at Hold Me Back, sliding into the wall spikes in the process.

KoB 2019 Round 8 8

Vulcan axes Hold Me Back, capitalizing on the latter's mobility issues

KoB 2019 Round 8 9

Vulcan drives itself on top of Hold Me Back

KoB 2019 Round 8 10

Vulcan pushes Hold Me Back into a grinder mount just after time runs out

The two competitors rammed each other head-on as they met in the center of the arena again; Vulcan attempted to line up another axe blow, only to expose its side to another hit from Hold Me Back. A few seconds later, Hold Me Back suddenly stopped moving near the circular saws, allowing Vulcan to drive in from behind and repeatedly axe Hold Me Back's top armor. Once Vulcan drove away, Hold Me Back reversed, with its left wheels evidently disabled. As before, Vulcan continued to fire its axe at Hold Me Back, landing one more hit before being knocked back by Hold Me Back’s weapon. Vulcan proceeded to raise its body and circle around the arena in an attempt to line up another attack on Hold Me Back. As it charged into Hold Me Back, Vulcan accidentally slid over the top of it, and was pushed back by Hold Me Back as it tried to axe the latter a few more times. The two competitors separated, with Vulcan landing three final axe blows on Hold Me Back and pushing it into the grinder mount just as time ran out. Vulcan spun and darted across the arena in celebration, and won the subsequent Judges’ decision.

Winner: Vulcan (via Judges’ decision)

Spectre (Red) vs Two BBQ (Blue)Edit

Spectre vs 2BBQ 2019 1

Spectre and Two BBQ clash

Spectre vs 2BBQ 2019 2

Two BBQ throws Spectre into the air

Spectre vs 2BBQ 2019 3

Spectre is flipped over by Two BBQ's spinner

Spectre vs 2BBQ 2019 4

Two BBQ tears off Spectre's wedge

In a rematch of their previous encounters in Seasons 1 and 1.5, both robots quickly approached each other, with Spectre driving into the front of Two BBQ and sustaining damage as Two BBQ pushed it around in the corner. Spectre reversed, only to make another lunge at Two BBQ in an attempt to grab a hold of its Chinese adversary; it proceeded to ram Two BBQ head-on and push it from the side, sending Two BBQ sliding over the floor flipper. As the two competitors circled round each other again, Spectre drove into a seam in the arena floor, disrupting its movement as Two BBQ slammed and threw it into the wall. With its front-right wheel damaged, Spectre darted across the arena into the front of Two BBQ; the impact threw Spectre over, forcing it to self-right. Immediately, Two BBQ hit the side of Spectre, the gyroscopic forces of its bar spinner allowing it to dodge the UK machine’s crusher a few more times. Spectre pushed Two BBQ sideways and drove head-on into the latter’s bar spinner once more; Two BBQ pushed back, ripping Spectre’s entire front wedge off in the process before the two competitors rammed each other yet again.

Spectre vs 2BBQ 2019 5

A final slam results in Two BBQ immobilizing Spectre

Spectre vs 2BBQ aftermath

Spectre and Two BBQ following their 2019 Opening Battle clash

Spectre and Two BBQ pushed and circled round each other close to the wall spikes, with Two BBQ causing more damage to Spectre as it pushed the Season 1 champion into the spikes themselves. 2BBQ waited as Spectre retreated for another charge, eventually slamming into the front of Spectre before pushing and causing even more damage to the latter’s left-hand side. Spectre turned round and drifted straight into Two BBQ’s spinner; with this hit, Two BBQ threw Spectre into a spin, immobilizing it on the spot. Despite raising and lowering its crusher and srimech, Spectre was counted out, resulting in Two BBQ securing a dominant and popular knockout victory.

Winner: Two BBQ (via knockout)

Having picked up the most victories, the 'Blue' team were declared the overall winners at the end of the stream.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Correspondence with Adam Hamilton, 21st January 2019.
  2. Correspondence with Saber - King of Bots Facebook page, 19-20th January 2019.
  3. Correspondence with Gareth Anstee, 19th January 2019.
  4. Correspondence with Adam Hamilton, 18th January 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Official promotional page for the 2019 Opening Battle (translated from Chinese).

External LinksEdit