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VEX RoboticsMy next chapter
Written by Matthew Choi | Published. 2019.05.14 16:56 | Count : 366
After competing in the VEX national competition in South Korea, I felt that it would also be appropriate to also describe the experience at VEX worlds. VEX worlds is an event that allows teams invited from all around the world to compete in a tournament. In other words, it is basically like the world cup for robots. A total of 580 teams around the world participated in the tournament, several of which were from various countries ranging from the United States, China, and Canada to Turkey, South Korea, and more. A total of 4 teams, 3 high school teams, and 1 middle school team participated in VEX Worlds from South Korea. The competition took place in Kentucky, Louisville, at the Kentucky exposition centre. 
The competition lasted for a total of 5 days, and involved several events, such as the qualification rounds, and then the elimination bracket. The qualification round involved all 580 teams being divided into 6 divisions, each with approximately 90 to 100 teams. Each team played 11 games, and was ranked based on the amount of wins they have. After that, the highest ranked teams chose teams they wanted to play with as an alliance, and entered the elimination round to see which alliance is the best in their division. The champions of each division entered a “round robin” tournament, where the top two teams make it to the final round. After the final round, the next annual game for the VEX Robotics Competition is revealed. 
[Day 1 of VEX robotics with all of the teams hanging out in the main hall. Photo by Matthew Choi]
This competition is an unforgettable memory for me, with having a chance to see how other teams got to work on their robots as well as witnessing several famous teams who inspired us using their videos, and reuniting with some of the teams we met in the Korean National Tournament. Furthermore, I felt that although our team had made a notable change compared to previous season in VEX, our team still had a lot to improve on if we wanted to make it to a higher ranking in VEX Worlds, and receive international recognition. 
The VEX Worlds event also marks the finale of the current VEX game, and I have to say that it was one that I will never forget, since I was able to foster my hobby of making something that I want, and realizing the value of teamwork at the same time, and understanding the importance of being able to support each other, rather than working in simple role division. Over reliance on each other is the true downfall of teams, leaving the other members unable to do anything. Furthermore, I have to say that this season was a very long road that changed my mindset and my attitude towards robotics, since I began the season with reluctance due to failure at my first national tournament in 2018. However, as the season progressed, I became more confident with my team’s ability, and our team eventually ended up as one of Korea’s representatives to enter VEXES Worlds. Even in VEX Worlds, we received the community award from our division, which was awarded to a team that was able to represent the school community, as well as showcase perseverance during the VEX Worlds competition by trying to spread our school culture internationally.  
[A view of the VEX Robotics Competition finals matches. Photo by Matthew Choi]
All in all, VEX, without a single doubt, was an experience that I will never forget, due to how it has provided me with one of the most thrilling experiences in my entire life, and an incentive for me to continue focusing on my hobby of building things. Furthermore, it gave me a new incentive: to not only try my best, but also to try to become the best. After all, what makes goals so much appealing is the fact that they always appear in the form of a challenge. 

Matthew Choi
Asia Pacific International School

Matthew Choi  student_reporter@dherald.com

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