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Reserves, also known as Alternates or Backups, are names given to BattleBots competitors who are accepted for an event, but only as surplus in case of any dropouts or late withdrawals.

As early seasons of BattleBots were open invitation with only the later rounds being aired on Comedy Central, there was no need for a specified number of competitors, with robots whose opponents could not compete given byes. However, with the revival of the show on ABC in 2015, there was a set total of 24 competitors with the intention for every tournament fight to be filmed, edited and televised. As such, to prevent the need for bye rounds, reserves were accepted to fill in if called upon. It was then up to the teams whether they still wanted to build for the competition with no fights guaranteed.

In recent seasons on Discovery, the field of robots changed, but the need for reserves did not. Teams were typically been listed in order of priority: first alternate, second alternate, and so on. However, the order of reserves have rarely been known.

A list of alternates for each BattleBots competition can be found below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change upon discovery of new information.

Cisco Party 2006[]

The first known example of an unused reserve, Bling Bling was a middleweight entry by the Cole family and driven by future Copperhead and Magnitude team member Chad New.

Unused Reserves
Bling Bling Gary and Dustin Cole
Chad New robot 2006

JavaOne 2007[]

The only known reserve robot for this event was Matt Maxham's Devil's Plunger, who won the middleweight division of the NPC Charity Open three years earlier. The team's heavyweight, Sewer Snake, did compete in the JavaOne event.

Unused Reserves
Devil's Plunger Team PlumbCrazy
Devil's Plunger

World Championship I[]

Beta is known to have withdrawn from the 2015 season, after a 25kg bag of vital parts were lost in traveling to San Francisco for filming. Team Hurtz were directly replaced by Counter Revolution, who instead fought Tombstone.

Mutant Robots 2015 ABC S1

Mutant Robots with Lock-Jaw and Root Canal in 2015.

Root Canal was also rumored to be a reserve and was present at filming with the team, though whether its intention to compete alongside Lock-Jaw is not known.

Instated Reserves
Bite Force Aptyx Designs
Bite Force BB2015
Counter Revolution Team Boilerbots
CounterRev BB2015
Nightmare Team Nightmare
Nightmare BB2015
Unused Reserves
Bull Dog Team Bigger Brother
Bulldog ABCBB2015
Chronic Team MAD
Chronic ABCBB2015
Splatter Team Fast Electric Robots
Splatter BB2015
Swamp Thing Hardcore Robotics
Swampthing official

World Championship II[]

The 2016 season saw a record number of withdrawals, with a number of teams instated to replace them at filming. Withdrawals from this season included Ambush, The Dentist, Clockwork L'Orange, Talos, HellaChopper and Preying Mantis.

Instated Reserves
Captain Shrederator Team LOGICOM
CaptShrederator BB2016
Gemini Team Randicand
Gemini BB2016
Lucky Team Lucky Canucky
Lucky official
ROTATOR Team Revolution
Rotator BB2016
Yeti Team Yeti
Yeti BB2016
Unused Reserves
Road Rash Danger 4
Road Rash BB2016
Swamp Thing Hardcore Robotics
Swampthing pits
Withdrawn Reserves
Double Dutch LungFish Technologies
Double Dutch
M.O.E. Team Extreme
MOESeason2 original
Over Easy Plymouth North
High School Robotics Team
Over easy
TALOS Aberrant Robotics
Talos

World Championship III[]

The 2018 season is known to have had two instated competitors, being Basilisk and Parallax. Swamp Thing was again brought to act as a reserve, alongside Hardcore Robotics' flagship robot and then-defending champion, Tombstone. The robot made a brief televised cameo in the opening for Episode 8, shown on a trolley.

Instated Reserves
Basilisk MBS Robotics
Basilisk s8
Parallax Aberrant Robotics
Parallax official
Unused Reserves
Swamp Thing Hardcore Robotics
SwampThingBB2018E8

World Championship IV[]

Electric Ray was originally an alternate during the 2019 season, before being promoted to a main season competitor. However, the team were unable to get it running regardless, so had to withdraw.

Jim Smentowski and Team Nightmare competed with Breaker Box, but also attended with Nightmare. It fought in an exhibition battle against Mammoth, but was unused throughout the main tournament.

Instated Reserves
Bloodsport Bots 'n' Stuff Robotics
Bloodsport-Team-S2019
Captain Shrederator Team LOGICOM
Cpt Shrederator BBSeason4 2019
Electric Ray Team Robot Revolution
ElectricRay BBSeason4 2019
Railgun MAX Team Atom
RailgunMAX BBSeason4 2019
Unused Reserves
Nightmare Team Nightmare
Nightmare BBSeason4 2019
Sharkoprion Aquatic Machine Force
Sharkoprion BBSeason4 2019

World Championship V[]

The 2020 season is not known to have had any alternates, largely due to the competition being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed for numerous teams to build during periods of lockdown, and also forced other teams to withdraw once the new filming dates were announced.

World Championship VI[]

A total of three teams attended filming with reserve robots, two of which competed exclusively in BattleBots: Champions. Triple Crown attended as a reserve, but was later granted a single main season battle against Valkyrie. Perfect Phoenix also only competed in the side series, but was originally accepted for the 2021 season. Team Doom Robotics were forced to withdraw from the main season due to conflicting schedules with Tyler Nguyen's school at the time.

Instated Reserves
Riptide Team Break32
RiptideS6
Triple Crown Team Irresistible Object
Triple Crown BB2021
Unused Reserves
Big Dill Team Food Fight
The Big Dill BB2021
Double Jeopardy Team Double Trouble
Double Jeopardy BB2021

re:MARS all:STARS BattleBots Challenge (2022)[]

The 2022 re:MARS all:STARS had two unused reserves in addition to the main eight-robot roster. JackPot and Malice would ultimately fight in a mid-competition grudge match, however.

Unused Reserves
JackPot Vegas Combat Robotics
Jackpot BB2021
Malice Team Malice
Malice fork 2022

World Championship VII[]

World Championship VII also included several teams accepted as reserves, with some attending filming and others withdrawing upon news of their status. Reserves for this season were typically granted two battles which aired alongside the regular season, and were then eligible to compete in BattleBots: Champions II.

With the full Fight Night schedule being released on January 5, 2023, alternates were purposely not added.[1] Big Dill attended as a reserve, but it later entered the main competition after newcomer DOOM was forced to relinquish its place as a full competitor, whose full Fight Night schedule was instead given to Big Dill.

Instated Reserves
Big Dill Team Food Fight
BB2022-big-dill-bot
SHREDDIT BRO! Team Shreddit
Shreddit Bro BB2022
Confirmed Reserves
DOOM Team APT
DOOM BB2022
Doomba Team Hot Mess
Doomba BB2022
Double Tap Ostrich Air
BB2022-double-tap-bot
Dragon King Bot Bash Party Crew
Dragonking
Rusty Team Iron Force
Rusty Jr. BB2022
Slammo! Team Danby
Slammo! BB2022
Terrortops Team Terrortops Terrortops BB2022
Withdrawn Reserves
Dragon Slayer Wild Side Robotics
Dragon slayer s7
Retrograde Bots 'n' Stuff Robotics
Retrograde2022

References[]

  1. Private correspondence between Greg Munson and SFCJack
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