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.
- Newbie Tournament - As part of the Final Tournament, the top newbie teams compete for a prize.
- High School Tournament - *New in 2017, the top high school teams also compete for a prize.
- Final Tournament - At the end of IAP, the top teams compete for glory and fame live in MIT's Kresge auditorium.
Anyone can compete in Battlecode, but only teams of all students are eligible for prizes.
All teams can compete in the Sprint, Seeding, Qualifying, and Final Tournaments, regardless of student status.
In order to be eligible for the Newbie Tournament, your team must consist of entirely MIT students who have never competed before. In order to be eligible for the High School Tournament, your team must consist of entirely high school students. Teams entering the Newbie Tournament or High School Tournament will automatically also be entered in 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.
Even if you miss earlier tournaments, you can participate in later tournaments. This includes the Qualifying Tournament - you can participate even if you miss every other 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 games will advance. The maps used for each tournament are usually brand new.