Feature Request: pools in tournaments

Hi everybody!

In the past code bullet tournament, I noticed something interesting in the tournament. My algo got beaten quite quickly in the 4th round

Masteroliw(Highest elo: 1806)'s algo ‘pizza_time_algo_V0.2.12’ beat kkroep(Highest elo:2000)'s algo ‘EMP^ERROR_v1.0’ in 33 turns - https://terminal.c1games.com/watch/627743

The main reason for losing this battle is due to an experiment in this algo that tries to anticipate large scale attacks and counter with scramblers. I found that this particular idea is effective against more algorithms than not, so I left it in. However against the very specific strategy where the opponent doesn’t attack at all and saves up very big, it fails spectacularly (see replay).

It is an interesting example of why I think the current competition method is flawed. I think algorithms should be encouraged to win most of the matches all algorithms, and preferably all their matches against the top dogs. There are a lot of trade-offs to consider to counter different strategies. Countering all requires an extremely perceptive algorithm.
Having the entire tournament be single-elimination increases the risk of algorithms that attempt adaptability be eliminated by accidental hard counters.

I think the solution would be to make the tournament style multi-stage, with round robin groups at the start. This way only top dogs with superior strategies and/or adaptability end up in the single elimination tournament.

What do you guys think?
PS: I wouldn’t have won the tournament regardless, as I’m pretty sure both finalist comfortably beat my algo :stuck_out_tongue:

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We definitely want to experiment with alternative competition structures at some point, as it would make competitions more unique, varied and interesting.

Our first priority is maximizing usability, so changes to matchmaking, the CLI, and on-boarding as well as cleaning up other issues are our focus for now. We will likely work on alternative competition structures once our core features are very stable.

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That makes sense. Matchmaking is definitely one of the most noticeable problems right now. Good luck working on that! I’ll be happy to see the project evolve.

I feel like there is no perfect matchmaking strategy and all of them are a bit ad-hoc anyway.

But yeah single-elimination tournaments for thousands of entries is a bit overkill. Single elimination is too high varianced and good algos now have to fade major upsets to get to the top. Who gets to the very top may be drastically different given the seed.

So I also vote for something different, something similar to kkroep’s suggesting, something like CS:GO’s majors structures. There are round robin “group” stages which decide the qualifiers for the final knockout tournament. The final tournament itself is relatively small.

I think a Swiss style tournament is the best. The downsides dont really matter because algos dont “purposely play poorly because they already know they are going to win”

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