All blogs / What to expect at the AI Sports Challenge 2021
April 11, 2021 • Joy Zhang • Community • 6 minutes
The AI Sports Challenge 2021 is an online AI programming competition sponsored by Deputy, Lab17, MongoDB and GitLab. Thank you also to our community partners Hackathons Australia, General Assembly, SitePoint and the Data Science and AI Association of Australia (DSAI) for your support!
Whether this is your first time participating or you’re a return competitor, here’s a summary to get you up to speed on what to expect at the AI Sports Challenge.
The AI Sports Challenge is the place to be if you’ve ever…
Between 22 Apr — 7 May (AEST), teams will program a bot capable of competing in a multiplayer game. The bots will face off in a multi-stage tournament for a chance to make it to our live-streamed finale and win prizes and global recognition for their team. Check out last year’s finale here.
We welcome everyone from professionals in academia and industry through to students. Fair warning: we’ll get you started with a basic bot to enter, but you’ve got some tough competition if you want to make it to the finals!
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our write-up of the first-ever AI Sports Challenge.
Dungeons and Data Structures (abbr: D&DS) is a Bomberman-inspired 2P game. It featured in our first AI Sports Challenge and has received a revamp for the upcoming challenge.
The final game rules are still a secret that will be revealed at the start of the challenge on April 22, but here’s what to expect:
Since last year’s tournament, the game architecture has been entirely rebuilt. Agents will now communicate with the game server via websocket protocols and need to be submitted for tournament matches as a containerised Docker image.
The major benefits include:
Expect a new development and submission workflow, as well as new experimental tools to make training and running search algorithms more accessible. As for programming languages, we’ll provide starter templates for Python and TypeScript. For those wishing to use other programming languages, we’ll provide documentation on how this will work but as a heads up, you’ll need to be quite proficient at your language of choice.
We experimented last year with a single round-robin into single-elimination finale tournament format. This time, we’re trying something new and splitting the tournament into two phases:
Phase 1 — Qualifiers (22 Apr — 2 May)
During this phase, all teams will be able to submit an agent to the tournament. This will be held as a double round-robin, best of 1 against every other team in their group (seeded randomly). The top 16 teams from qualifiers proceed to play-offs.
Phase 2 — Play-offs (2 May — 7 May)
The top 16 teams from Qualifiers are seeded into a double elimination bracket. Teams will be seeded according to their performance in Qualifiers (such that it will be in your best interest to rank highly during Qualifiers for more favourable match-ups). Teams are given an additional few days to make any final changes to their agents. This phase culminates in the finale play-off tournament, with the final matches played out live on Twitch and the winning team being crowned the AI Sports Champion 2021.
Two other things to note:
1 — Scrim Sessions: there will be two scrims held during Qualifiers phase, during which teams have the opportunity to submit their work-in-progress for some practise matches against other teams in the tournament.
2 — Load in: the first 3 days of Qualifiers phase is considered a ‘load in’ phase. During this phase, we’ll be on the lookout for reported bugs and feature requests from the community. New game patches may be released during this period. This phase will be a good time to formulate strategies and create building blocks for your agent.
Outside of the competition, we’ll also have some pre-finale activities to look forward to. More on this coming soon!
Here’s a full rundown of the prize and giveaway list for the upcoming challenge:
Top 8 teams: will share a total cash prize pool of $5,000 AUD. This is distributed as follows:
Cash prize pool distribution
Best team name: $150 workshop vouchers (sponsored by General Assembly)
Community MVPs: 1-year premium membership to SitePoint
Finale stream giveaway: 2x Google Nest Minis (sponsored by Google)
Stickers & swag: Refer friends to the AI Sports Challenge
This year’s challenge features a line up of new and returning sponsors and partners. We’d like to thank all of them for their generous support of the AI Sports Challenge!
💎 Diamond Sponsor: Deputy
That being said, last time our participants surprised us with their creativity and ability to push the limits of our tech. So as for what to expect for this next AI Sports Challenge… expect the unexpected. 🤷♀️
If you’re interested in joining the upcoming AI Sports Challenge, you can register by heading over to our event page here.