Well...i dont know if its smart of oda or not but he gave a few characters some backbone and a slight backstory. Aka we cant just treat them as easy stepping stones. There's now a chance that the gladiator in group b is actually kyros so that might be interestiing.
The old guy towards the end looks like one of the five "leaders" of the marines, through we've never seen them fight before. Cavendish finally realizes it's luffy as well.
Who do you think will win group b in general though? Betting my money on the gladiator.
kLuT- read the mangastream version instead of the mangapanda version and it will make more sense.
I think Bartolomeo will advance in the end. It is very Oda to have Bellamy's dream get crush and I think he will be among the final 3 as with the king.
The Tank Commander and the Long leg dude will be take out pretty soon. Same with the two dirty back stabbing dude. If you have to resort to dirty trick to win against fodder. You are not gonna make it against some crueler players.
I think all of them will play some sort of role in this saga and beyond. But, it seemed Oda level up the fodders quite a bit. Even Bellamy seemed to have a little difficulty with his fight.