32 Competitors Advance Out of the Qualifying Round
Special Guest Judge Is NFL Tight End and Super Bowl 50 Champion Vernon Davis
“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bracket: The Round of 32 Part 1” – The extraordinary robot-fighting tournament “BattleBots” continues on THURSDAY, JULY 7 (8:00–9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. The next-generation robots will go head to head, as 32 teams advance out of the qualifying round and on to the next round in pursuit of the championship.
Each match will consist of a three-minute bout in which the goal is to completely destroy or disable the opponent. If there is no knockout during the three-minute battle, the panel of judges will declare a victor to move onto the next round. Judging the matches are former “BattleBots” competitor and special effects artist Fon Davis, the face of “Nerdist,” Jessica Chobot, and special guest judge Vernon Davis, NFL tight end for Super Bowl 50 Champions The Denver Broncos, now on the Washington Redskins.
48 builders representing four continents make up this year’s field – double the size of last year’s tournament. With them they bring an unprecedented arsenal, innovative designs, destructive new weapons and for the first time in the history of robot-fighting tournaments, the launch of drone warfare. The competitors range from NASA engineers to teenage students and everyone in between — each with one goal: to claim the ultimate title and walk away with the Giant Nut. Winners from the 24 matches in the qualifying round automatically advance, after which the selection committee picks eight wildcards from the losers to join them. Once the teams advance out of the qualifying round, it’s single elimination all the way to the title.
ESPN’s Samantha Ponder hosts season two, with expert play-by-play analysis from veteran sports broadcaster Chris Rose and color commentary from former UFC fighter Kenny Florian. Sideline reporter Alison Haislip covers every inch of the robot fighting mayhem, and ring announcer Faruq Tauheed presides as the bots go metal-a-metal.