December 1, 2020 TCO20 Awards Ceremony
TCO20 has come to an end. It was definitely a unique TCO that nobody could have foreseen happening last year. The Covid-19 pandemic turned things upside down all around the world with many big name conferences and events being cancelled. The Topcoder team went to extraordinary efforts to organize this TCO in a virtual manner.
On the bright side, there were no VISA issues for the finalists and everyone who wished to attend made it a reality. They competed from the comfort of their homes, sometimes surrounded by family or animals or listening loudly to their favorite music. They were able to work on the same systems they are used to, which probably speeded some things up, as all their accessed resources were already ready and the shortcuts they used were defined.
It was an intense eight days full of enthusiasm, energy, tension, and adrenaline for our competitors. While the finalists were in the first line of fire, pretty much all Topcoder admins were involved in helping to supervise them during the competition. The other Topcoder members who didn’t qualify for TCO could join in Hopin or watch the livestream to see how everything was running.
While the competitions took place from November 13 to November 22 and we had provisional scores for each of them, it was difficult to anticipate who would become the champions. The much awaited Award Ceremony started Sunday morning with a short video introduction from staff and a few members. Then Nick Castillo, the magician behind the show, officially opened the Award Ceremony by thanking all the finalists and trip winners and of course our sponsors: AlefEdge, Pony.AI, Digital Ocean, JetBrains, Now Coder, and IT Crowd.
Next came theTCO Queen, Jessie, to announce the Spirit Award. The Spirit Award is given to someone who exemplifies the TCO spirit, who’s supportive at TCO and brings a lot of joy to the team. This year, the trophy was awarded to lunarkid, Dedy Wahyudi, who helped with the Development and First2Finish Finals, the development spectator competition, and volunteered for stage duty for several tracks and was always there to help.
Then it was time for adroc to officially announce the TCO champions and he began with the QA track. TCO QA Finals included three phases: regression phase, followed by the bug hunt phase and the challenge phase. codejam became the TCO20 QA Champion with a total of 67 bugs, followed by SATKAN in second place and Subhu in third place.
Next, the First2Finish champion was announced. First2Finish was a race among the fastest developers in the world to solve fifteen problems of varying difficulty, from easy to medium and difficult. This year we had a new champion, cunhavictor who was followed closely by neonray in second place and Ansary on third place.
The much awaited Marathon Match champions were announced next. This year the final consisted of a twenty-four hour match. Some competitors had to wake up early, some did not sleep at all during the competition and some took a nap during those twenty-four hours. The problem this year was written by our problem writer dimkadimon and tested by JacoCronje and mugurelionut. The task seemed pretty straight forward. You were given a clean pizza base, with a limited supply of ingredients to place on the base. We wanted a nice, neat pizza, so the ingredients couldn’t overlap with the boundary of the base or with each other, but they could touch each other. From looking at the provisional leaderboard at the end of the match it was difficult to predict who would win as the scores were tight. Congratulations to our champion this year – iehn as well to the second place, tourist and tomerun, the third place.
For the development competition the finalists were asked to implement solutions to three problems of increased difficulty and then they were challenged by an automatic testing system and time-based scoring. In the end, birdofpreyru turned out to win the trophy for the second time, followed by diazz (second) and seriyvolk83 (third place).
The design competition this year was a Design Bracket Double Elimination Tournament style, which meant that a finalist would be eliminated if he lost twice. We had eleven finalists and eight design rounds over three days. The championship was a battle between iamtong and rajeshrathod. Rajesh had an incredible performance across the bracket, winning everything in his way, but in the end iamtong was the one who became our champion for the third time. rajeshrathod was second and iaminfinite got the third place.
Moving onto the Algorithm competition, tourist became the Algorithm champion for the third consecutive TCO. The Algorithm competition consisted of two semi-finals and one final. Eight competitors made it to the final: scott_wu, egor, KalininN, Petr, Sevenkplus, ecnerwal, tourist and um_nik. Right before the system tests tourist was in second place and um_nik in first place, but um_nik’s hard problem solution failed during the system tests which put tourist on top of the leaderboard. Second place was taken by ecnerwal and third place by Sevenkplus.
In the end, Adam thanked all the people watching the live event, the sponsors, all the finalists and trip winners, the community members for supporting the finalists and all the copilots and admins who helped run the TCO. Special thanks were brought to the TCO team for all the support.
The Award ceremony was wrapped up by an interview session with all our TCO20 champions where they shared how happy they were to win the big prize and be the best in their tracks.
TCO20 was definitely different this year, but as always, filled with emotions and adrenaline. Congratulations to all our champions and see you next year!