And just wondering- do most teams bring full builds to MIT or somehow builds mysteriously do poorly at events for some unforeseeable reason
Little bit of both. Some high-aiming teams with complicated designs need 6-8 months to actually build and debug their devices and only aim to succeed at nationals and therefore their builds that are brought to Invitationals and Regionals are nowhere near ready. Other teams find a consistently strong build design that they can construct and debug within 2-3 months and will bring to competition.
In both scenarios, it is rare for even the highest caliber of teams to bring a "fake" device to invites to hide their real device unless it is a game changing design so you can assume that 99% of devices are the real thing. I do know of exceptions that have occured in the past, but they are very few and far between.
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UT Austin (B/C), MIT (C), Solon (C), Princeton (C), Golden Gate (C), Nationals (C)