Battlecode usually consists of 5 tournaments: the Sprint Tournament, the Seeding Tournament, the Qualifying Tournament, the Newbie Tournament, and the Final Tournament.
- 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 - On January 31st, the top teams compete for glory and fame.
We are now allowing non-MIT teams to compete in the January Tournaments. In order to be eligible to compete in the Seeding, Qualifying, and Final Tournaments, at least half of your team members must be current students (any school). Scrimmages and the Sprint Tournament will be open to anyone. In addition, if there is sufficient interest we will run an Open Tournament in which every team is eligible.
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.
Only students may win prizes in the tournaments. Employees of Battlecode's sponsor companies may not win any prizes in the Tournaments.
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).