August 31, 2021 TCO21 Regional Events Recap
The Topcoder Open Regional Events are one of the best perks of being a Topcoder member. Competing against each other, learning from each other, and chatting virtually are cool. But, it’s the times when we meet face to face to compete, win prizes, and take photos which are the most memorable. Through the years Topcoder has organized regional events all over the world and gathering community members together to celebrate has been awesome. Although we had to hold the 2021 regional events virtually because of the pandemic, the week was an amazing one, full of adrenaline-pumping competitions and a lot of fun (and prizes and T-shirts)..
Here’s what the event looked like: All the regionals were held at the same time, in one week, virtually on Hopin. All seven regionals had dedicated meetups and competitions. Read about all the regional meetups here:
- Eastern Asia
- Europe and Central Asia
- South-Eastern Asia and Oceania
- Africa and Western Asia
- Caribbean and South-Central America
- North America
- Southern Asia
Check out the awesome TCO21 T-shirts (designed by our veteran designer, oninkxronda) that were presented. These will go to all members who attended TCO.
Challenge highlights included a twenty-four hour Design Seed challenge in which the designers had to rethink Topcoder payments to be more modern and produce a better experience and a seventy-two hour lightning Marathon Match. The problem statement was to minimize the number of moves to obtain exactly C 4-connected components. In other words, each colour should form a single 4-connected component.
Here’s wleite’s solution showing his visualizer for the seed 10
Topcoder MM128 – BallSwaps— Wladimir Leite (@wleite) August 5, 2021
Seed 10 – 689 moves (running with more time, got 767 in the last example submission). pic.twitter.com/sgMCLhYETh
The end of the match was exciting, as we saw veteran wleite edging past my316g in the final to win.
The Development Competition was organized as a hackathon this year and was also launched on the first day. The problem statement was to re-innovate education in the digital world. cunhavictor had the best submission and took the overall reward home, along with the regional champion reward.
His entire application was a good prototype of an online education platform. It implemented all the basic features, including
- Browse the course list
- Enroll/unenroll in a course
- A course should contain several lectures, each lecture should contain one or more video tutorials.
- A course should contain some quizzes/homework.
- Students should be able to take notes
Apart from that, it provided two real courses – math and chemistry. Students can chat with each other and he designed a decompression room to help students have fun for a short break.
Algorithm Competition: Qualifying Round One
On Wednesday morning it was time for the competitions to start. The first was the Algorithm Competition qualification round one. Things were super close and it was very tough to make it to top 128.
Here are the round results for you to take a look.
There was also a post match analysis session for the algorithm round, hosted by misof.
This year’s QA final was focused on finding bugs in a popular e-commerce site called newegg.com. The competition was broken down into two phases (bug hunt and challenge phases) and two spot challenges (test case execution and security hunt). In the bug hunt (aka exploratory testing) phase, the user was asked to report functional and UI bugs. In the challenge phase, competitors were given the opportunity to challenge the bugs reported by others and gain some extra points. In addition to that, there was a “test case execution” phase so that competitors could execute some test cases and record videos. Next we held a security bug hunt to explore the vulnerabilities of a website.
From the start it was a close race between youDare, malfoys76, rajanmourya2015 and macs054. But in the challenge phase malfoys76 and rajanmourya2015 scored more points. Then, in spot challenges, all scored full points for the “test case execution” and in the “security hunt”, r_prakash_2020 and malfoys76 got more points and moved up in the points table.
youDare won first place, second place went to malfoys76, and third place went to rajanmourya2015. Apart from the overall champions, there were regional champions as well.
Algorithm Qualifying Round Two
The Algorithm Competition qualification round two took place a few hours later, and thirty-two qualified for the final round. You can see the Algorithm leaderboard here.
Right after the round, we had a post match analysis with misof and it was amazing to see members chat and ask questions.
On Friday, the first design competition for the regional event began. For this event we ran a bracket tournament with single round elimination. The event was run by Adam, DaraK and Jessie and there were twenty-four designers in total. The members who qualified for round one based on the seed round results were: weltmoon, ngraphics, Brianbinar, Sir_Luis, nestwasp, joni7sunny, d.fachri, indra6079, neenasatija9300, eng01, deviam, atomicenergy, mosaixel, wahyu.ts, uber and molderacs. For round one, the scope of the challenge was to plan and design a way for Topcoder members to celebrate their victories with their friends when they win challenge prizes in one hour. Adam judged the amazing designs and the members with the best advanced further: Brianbinar, joni7sunny, d.fachri, deviam, wahyu.ts and molderacs.
The round two challenge was about designing a Slack/Discord chat tool into the existing Topcoder website. This problem was interesting as it’s something the Topcoder team is looking to do. The problem was focused on the desktop experience for a new or existing member who wants to join Slack but doesn’t know anything about it or why he/she should join. This one was more difficult to judge fast as the submissions were even better now but Adam and Jessie did a great job. The advancers of round two were: iamtong, Hari_Om_Pandey, joni7sunny, jivkoss, iaminfinite, deviam, iqbalhood and rajeshrathod.
The last day of the Regionals event was dedicated to the final competitions for design and algorithm and then was followed by the closing and awards ceremony. The two competitions started early at 06:00 AM UTC-4 on Sunday, August 8th and everyone was excited about finding out the winners.
For design, we had another three final rounds of thirty minutes each. The round three challenge asked members to design a table application which should guide members on their learning journey for design, development, etc., from a novice to the master level.
To see the entire tournament check this link.
The designs we received were awesome and judging was even more difficult as we approached the last round. In the end, iamtong, joni7sunny, iaminfinite and rajeshrathod were the members who advanced further.
The bracket tournament round four challenge asked the designers to create a tablet experience for people who come to Topcoder and start their journey but don’t know what Topcoder offers and what they can do on the site. The battle was now even stronger with iamtong against joni7sunny and iaminfinite against rajeshrathod . This was a short round of just thirty minutes, with lots of adrenaline, fast thinking and designing. In the end it was iamtong and rajeshrathod who advanced to the final round. Some would think this was a replay of the TCO20 finals when the two met again.
For round five, the championship round, the designers had to work on a mobile application to help coders find more information about competitive programming when they land on Topcoder. In the end both designs from iamtong and rajeshrathod were great and impressive for such a short amount of time. Adam and Jessie shared their feedback, however the winner was not announced until the award ceremony.
In parallel Algo Wild Card Rounds had begun. It was 1vs1 initially and then in the end eight competed in a TCO Final-styled competition.
We had some amazing 1 vs 1. One of the very interesting ones was Rubikun vs tourist where tourist made a submission in the last few seconds to win the bracket. Everyone in the chat and commentary was rooting for Rubiken as he was against the best. We saw a very close battle and it was super fun to watch.
Here’s how the leaderboard looked after two rounds:
The last round was pretty interesting. tourist and bqi343 took the top two positions, and because they have already qualified to the finals grumpy_gordon and krijgertje won the wildcard berth to the TCO21 Algorithm Finals. Here are region-wise winners and editorials of elimination rounds.
The award ceremony started at 09:00 AM UTC-4 and was much awaited by the members as winners were announced and prizes were shared. As we had several regions and different tracks per region, we had lots of winners. To read about the winners for each region, check the TCO21 site.
Congratulations to the members who were the champions of their tracks:
UI Design: rajeshrathod
Based on the results from the competitions as well as playing games, members received points that added up to the overall tournament leaderboard. Congratulations to our overall winners:
Thank you to the admins adroc, jmpld40, and hmehta, and several other community members who helped make the event so exciting! It is worth noting that they worked hard to accommodate all the different time zones into the structure of the events.
This event was a success and we were happy to see everyone at the regionals. Hopefully next year we get to meet each other live. Meanwhile, TCO21 Finals are coming in a few months. Stay tuned for more details about the main event!