Already posted this on reddit, figured I'd get the RT community's thoughts.
The actual brilliance of the random team assignments.:
It was a lesson.
In the field, you're going to have to work with other huntsmen and huntresses. Sometimes ones you've never met before. Sometimes, maybe, ones you don't like, or have ideological differences with. It's not always going to be your friends or respected comrades.
Well, freaking deal with it, kid. That's the reality of the situation. It's already true in real-world militaries and paramilitaries, and it would be even more true with hunters considering their increased independence and mercenary nature. The randomness of being launched into the woods and being partnered with the first person you make eye contact with drills this idea: you might run into your friends out there, or you might run into your rivals, but whoever it is, you'd better suck it up and make it work, because if you don't, you're both screwed.
And we can see the evidence that this works. You gets failures like Team CRDL, sure, where a meatheaded jackass is paired with three other meatheaded jackasses, and the four of them go nowhere, leeching off each other's dickery and setting bad examples for each other to become subpar students. And that's exactly how every member of CRDL would have had it, given their choice: to be teamed with other guys as thuggish and
cocky as them.
But when the plan goes right, you have Ruby and Weiss. They never would have chosen to work together, but thank goodness they were teamed up, because they make for an excellent partnership, perfectly complementing each other's weaknesses. Had you left it up to them, Ruby would be with Yang and Weiss would be with Pyrrha, and we wouldn't have that.
Team BRNZ, for as little of them as we see, seem to be a good example of this methodology working as well, since the boys seem to be country types, while Mei looks more like a city girl. But hey, defeated in round one or not (and killed by a nevermore or not), you can't deny they knew how to work together to complement one another.
That is, of course, assuming Shade Academy also does the random partnering thing (I'm now visualizing first-year shade students being launched into a Grimm-infested labyrinth of barren canyons and plateaus...).