Battlecode usually consists of 5 tournaments: the Sprint Tournament, the Seeding Tournament, the Qualifying Tournament, the Newbie Tournament, and the Final Tournament. We stream and commentate all tournaments online. Most years we also have some bonus (for-fun) tournaments.
- Sprint Tournament - One week after spec release, you're given a chance to win small prizes in this tournament. The goal is to get an idea of the meta-game, and a chance to test your bot prototypes.
- Seeding Tournament - One week after the Sprint Tournament, this tournament determines your positioning in the Qualifying Tournament.
- Qualifying Tournament - One week after the Seeding Tournament, this tournament determines the contestants going into the Final Tournament, and showcases the final strategies of all the competitors. Final submissions must be in by this Tournament. Historically, the top 16 teams have advanced to the Final Tournament.
- Newbie Tournament - As part of the Final Tournament, the top newbie teams also compete for a prize.
- Final Tournament - At the end of IAP, the top teams compete for glory and fame live in Kresge auditorium.
The Zombie Armageddon tournament is a special 2016 tournament featuring its own game mode, developed and co-sponsored by Bloomberg. Read more about it here.
2017 eligibility rules are not finalized. The following is what we had for 2016.
Anyone can compete in the January Tournaments, regardless of whether you are a student or not. In order to be eligible for prizes, your team must consist entirely of students. A team that is not eligible for prizes can still enter every tournament, but will not receive any prizes if the team does well.
In order to be eligible for the Newbie Tournament, your team must consist of entirely MIT students who have never competed before. Teams can enter both the Newbie Tournament and the Qualifying/Final Tournament, and the same submission will be used.
Dates and Deadlines
See the calendar for all the important dates. Generally, the submission deadline for a tournament is about 24 hours before the tournament. The submission for the Qualifying Tournament is also used for the Final Tournament and Newbie Tournament.
Scrimmage rankings will be used to determine seeds for the Sprint and Seeding Tournaments. For all other tournaments, results from the previous tournament will be used to seed teams.
Tournaments will be in a double elimination format, with the exception of the Sprint Tournament, which is usually single elimination. The Final Tournament will start with a blank slate (any losses from the Qualifying Tournament are reset).
Each match within a tournament will consist of 3 games on 3 different maps, and the team that wins the most matches will advance. The maps used for each tournament are usually brand new.