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My New Guilty Pleasure – BattleBots! Everything You Need to Know

In case you aren’t a fan or haven’t seen the commercials, BattleBots is a robot competition television series that features remote-controlled robots battling it out in gladiatorial combat for victory and it’s growing more and more popular. In fact, BattleBots is available in more than 150 countries.

And well, you can’t get much Geekier than remote-controlled robots duking it out until one of them “dies” or can no longer move, or three minutes elapses. Especially when they’re equipped with any number of weapons such as buzzsaws, flamethrowers, catapults, and spinning implements of destruction. Just to name a few.

So naturally, I’m a fan.

If there’s no knockout or count out (they get counted down from 10 if they’re unable to move any longer (whether they’re simply stuck or disabled)) then at the end of the 3-minute round, a panel of 3 judges determines the winner. Usually, those judges are former BattleBots contestants/winners.

At least that’s how it is in its current iteration.

So, let’s take a look at the history of BattleBots.

If you want a quick view list of winners, scroll to the end of the article. View Winner List

Introducing the BattleBots

BattleBot teams are composed of experienced robot builders and designers who construct innovative robots that are as destructive as possible. And of course, they have some pretty killer names to boot.

One of my favorites is Bite Force. I only started watching regularly as of this season and had no idea that this destructive little beast had been around since almost the very beginning and has a long record of wins and championships. The team behind it is from Virginia and they won Best Design in 2016 and various other awards since then.

Another of my favs is Witch Doctor. It’s infamous for its ability to launch fireballs across the arena and they’re from my home state of Texas. They’ve won multiple awards, including Best Driver in 2017 and Best Design in 2018.

Of course, there are plenty more teams that have competed and come out triumphant in the past. Names like Tombstone, Vlad the Impaler, Ice Wave, and Minion just to name a few.

Check out the long list of winners.

Complete List of BattleBots Champions

Before its current incarnation on Discovery Channel, the robots battled it out on various networks around the country and there were even weight classes with champions crowned in each one.

Here’s the breakdown of the winners from the beginning of BattleBots:

The Early Days

It all started in Long Beach, California in 1999 at the Long Beach Pyramid. This was the first competition to officially be sanctioned by Battlebots, Inc and there were only 3 weight classes:

Lightweight – Ziggo

Middleweight – Son of Smashy

Heavyweight – Biohazard

The following year, 2000 Battlebots Las Vegas was held at the All-American Sports Park and this one only had two weight classes.

BattleBots 2000 Las Vegas Winners

Heavyweight – Vlad the Impaler

Superheavyweight – Minion

That same year, the Comedy Central series premiered and was divided into four weight classes.

Comedy Central BattleBots Winners

Season 1

Lightweight – Backlash

Middleweight – Hazard

Heavyweight – Vlad the Impaler

Superheavyweight – Minion

Season 2

Lightweight – Ziggo

Middleweight – Spaz

Heavyweight – Biohazard

Superheavyweight – Diesector

Season 3

Lightweight – Dr Inferno Jr

Middleweight – Hazard

Heavyweight – Son of Whyachi

Superheavyweight – Vladiator

Season 4

Lightweight – Ziggo

Middleweight – Hazard

Heavyweight – Biohazard

Superheavyweight – Toro

Season 5

Lightweight – Dr Inferno Jr

Middleweight – T-Minus

Heavyweight – Biohazard

Superheavyweight – Diesector

Season 5 ended on December 21, 2002, and was off the air until ABC picked it up in 2015. They did away with the weight classes and though it had been more than a dozen years since we’d seen them and the show only lasted two seasons, some familiar names rose to the top.

ABC BattleBots Winners

Season 1 – Bite Force

Season 2 – Tombstone

In season 1, Bite Force took the win by taking down Warhead, HyperShock, Overhaul, and Ghost Raptor before beating Tombstone in the finals. However, Bite Force didn’t even make it to the quarter-finals in season 2 when it got taken out by Chomp.

Then, the show was off the air for a year until it debuted on the Discovery Channel in 2018.

BattleBots Winners on Discovery Channel

While it debuted separately from the ABC series, the continued with consecutive numbers for the seasons.

Season 3 – Bite Force

Season 4 – Bite Force

Season 5 – End Game

Season 6 – Tantrum

In August of last year it was announced that BattleBots will continue for at least one more beyond the current one but with its growing popularity, it will probably be around for quite some time to come.

BattleBots: Bounty Hunters

This spinoff series only had one season back in 2021 and was initially only available on Discovery+ but eventually appeared on Discovery Channel as well. I caught one of the brackets a couple of weeks ago and man-oh-man, I’m looking forward to more.

This is a gauntlet-style knockout tournament with the bots battling for a chance to take down an iconic BattleBot (bounty holder). There were six brackets across 12 episodes, with each bracket starting with eight contestants that played out over two episodes.

For each bracket, the eight contenders are paired off to battle head-to-head for the first episode. The second half of the bracket is played out in the next episode with the four winners returning for the semi-finals. The final two then fight each other to see who gets the title of Bounty Hunter and the battle with the bounty holder.

Here’s how the brackets ended up and who won the Bounty Battles.

Bounty Holder – Bronco

Final – Rotator

Bounty Battle – Rotator

Bounty Holder – Icewave

Final – Skorpios

Bounty Battle – Skorpios

Bounty Holder – Tombstone

Final – Gruff

Bounty Battle – Tombstone

Bounty Holder – Beta

Final – Lock-Jaw

Bounty Battle – Lock-Jaw

Bounty Holder – Witch Doctor

Final – SubZero

Bounty Battle – Witch Doctor

Bounty Holder – Son of Whyachi

Final – Gigabyte

Bounty Battle – Gigabyte

The entire season is available on Discovery+ and as I just figured that out while researching for this article, I have it playing at this very moment.

BattleBots: Champions

This just premiered this past August and season 2 has been confirmed. It’s basically a spinoff of Bounty Hunters because five of the Bounty winners (Lock-Jaw, Witch Doctor, Rotator, Skorpios, and Gigabyte) returned to defend their crowns in another bracket battle.

The winner of each of the five brackets qualified for a final match where they were joined by former BattleBots Giant Nut winners, Tombstone, Tantrum, and End Game. The winner of this eight-person tournament won the Golden Bolt.

However, I hope they do things a little differently for season 2. While I haven’t seen it, apparently in season 1 they only televised the first half of each bracket and revealed the overall winner at the end of the episode. Apparently they didn’t even show the Golden Bolt fight in its entirety and only revealed the winner via social media.

Champion – Gigabyte

Final – Hypershock

Qualified – Hypershock

Champion – Lock-Jaw

Final – Ribbot

Qualified – Ribbot

Champion – Rotator

Final – Glitch

Qualified – Glitch

Champion – Skorpios

Final – Bloodsport

Qualified – Skorpios

Champion – Witch Doctor

Final – Whiplash

Qualified – Witch Doctor

Golden Nut Winner – End Game

That Covers It

The BattleBots competition is as fierce as ever, with teams vying for awards such as Best Design and Best Driver along with the coveted Giant Nut for the winner of the season. The future of my new guilty pleasure looks bright, with more teams entering each season and even more intense combat taking place in the arena. Whether you’re a fan of robots smashing into one another or a fan of the incredible ingenuity of robot design, there’s something for everyone.

You can find all the episodes of BattleBots and more on Discovery+, available now for streaming. Sign up today to watch every episode of BattleBots as it airs and don’t forget to follow the teams and robots on social media for updates on their progress!

You can also catch some exclusive videos/battles on the BattleBots YouTube channel.

Got a favorite that I missed or a prediction for this season? Leave me a note below!


BattleBots Winner List

Long Beach – Ziggo, Son of Smashy, and Biohazard

2000 BattleBots – Vlad the Impaler and Minion

Comedy Central Season 1 – Backlash, Hazard, Vlad the Impaler, and Minion

Comedy Central Season 2 – Ziggo, Spaz, Biohazard, and Diesector

Comedy Central Season 3 – Dr Inferno Jr, Hazard, Son Whyachi, Vladiator

Comedy Central Season 4 – Ziggo, Hazard, Biohazard, Toro

Comedy Central Season 5 – Dr Inferno Jr, T-Minus, Biohazard, Diesector

ABC Season 1 – Bite Force

ABC Season 2 – Tombstone

Discovery Channel Season 1 – Bite Force

Discovery Channel Season 2 – Bite Force

Discovery Channel Season 3 – End Game

Discovery Channel Season 4 – Tantrum

Bronco Bounty – Rotator

Icewave Bounty – Skorpios

Tombstone Bounty – Tombstone

Beta Bounty – Locl-Jaw

Witch Doctor Bounty – With Doctor

Son of Whyachi Bounty – Gigabyte

Gigabyte Champion – Hypershock

Lock-Jaw Champion – Ribbot

Rotator Champion – Glitch

Skorpios Champion – Skorpios

Witch Doctor Champion – Witch Doctor

Golden Nut – End Game

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