Terminal Live Waterloo Participation Criteria

Terminal Live Waterloo Participation Criteria


Hello all,
This post is meant to raise an issue with the Terminal competition policy for local competitions. We have been informed, as winners of Terminal Waterloo in Winter 2019, that we cannot participate in the competition again. This seems slightly unfair as:

  1. This policy does not hold for the general competition. Moreover, the rules of the game are going to be tweaked on competition day, so we do not hold any distinct competitive advantage over other teams.

  2. We have been preparing already for the local competition and it seems unfair that all our work should go to waste when other teams who won (other) prizes at the last competition can still compete. (We weren’t informed of this until yesterday.)

Therefore, we request that the organizing team take note of our grievances and address them.

Sidhant, Joakim and Ronak


I can see how frustrating it can be, to prepare for the competition, and not be allowed in …

But also I can see where this is probably coming from.
Imagine if one team over invest in preparation, and win every competition close by …
This can definitely destroy the motivation of others to try the game.

Just a idea that may help, for this situation:
If there is enough interest, parallel to the official competition, hold mini All Stars competition
For players that achieved significant result in other competitions or are otherwise not eligible for participating in the current one.

This will help keep the involved of motivated players.


Ah, I was looking for this post.

I got the same barring for the UMich competition held yesterday. Regarding point #1, I believe it was for ranking first in Season 2, as I had not actually won the live event last year. I agree with the decision to promote fairness, however it does seem to be barring only some people going in to the competition with a super strong algo. I’m assuming, but haven’t checked, that the other Michigan friend here stomped the remaining competition.

Considering the UMich comp has passed now, I’ll share that even changing the configurations doesn’t remotely remove competitive advantage. I, too, had wasted a good deal of time preparing for the competition before being barred, and had redeveloped my algo from scratch to be able to simulate any configuration, as well as adaptable metrics for those configurations. I additionally added strategy configuration files integrated closely with the Map Maker which made it a trivial 30-40 minutes to develop a top-tier algo under a new configuration, which any veteran player can do with an intuitive sense of the game settings could use. The configuration problem is only amplified by the forum post that revealed the same set of configs was being used for each live event, which would’ve given me, and any other student that saw that post before it went unlisted…, several additional days/weeks of configuration-specific development, which conveniently you can just upload directly to the playground and begin testing.

Given how large these live events prize pools are compared to any winnings I’ve had so far, I think your best bet is to stay off the leaderboards and try again next year. This probably isn’t the end result C1 is looking for, though, so perhaps we’ll see further clarification about how fairness in the live events would be balanced with keeping the engaged part of the community interested in continuing to be engaged.


Yes, I agree with this. C1 does this with their Datathon series and winning each “contest” enrols you for their Data Open Final wherein the winning team is eligible for $200K, I believe. In such a case if they didn’t let one participate again because their team has already been enrolled into one such competition, we would be totally fine with it. But I don’t believe something like the Global Leaderboard equates to that yet, especially when you can win at most something around $2K a season (while you could win $12K just in one live event). Until something of this sort has been properly implemented I believe people who have previously competed should be allowed to compete again. Just because a sports team has some “competitive advantage” doesn’t mean they are not allowed to play in a series (Barring the case that they are in another league with higher stakes involved.)


@Ryan_Draves Hahaha, yes I did take first in the live competition yesterday, although a good friend got very close to beating me! Actually, I had assumed you didn’t get to compete in the live event because you had won the competition last year. I presume you must have at least won some amount of money at the live event, though? I got the impression you were less banned for winning season 2 than for the overall amount of winnings you have accumulated so far, and for the sheer scale of the prize pool at the live event.


I just wanted to add that maybe previous winners of live events and global competitions should be able to participate but not win prizes. It would at least keep the live events more competitive without completely discouraging new players.


I believe my prize breakdown is:
UMich 2018 - $133 (x3 for partners)
Season 1 - $500 (x2 for partner)
Terminal X - $300
Season 2 - $650
Season 3 - $55 (x2 for partner)

Total - $1638 ($2560 including partners), a bit shy of $10,000.

I had forgotten I had outright won Terminal X, one of their smaller competitions hosted near the end of season 2. Last year’s live event had a $2500 prize pool, and I had finished runner-up.


Hey everyone,

Just to give some acknowledgement this is being discussed internally. We will get back to you all with what comes out of that. As always, any and all feedback is heard and appreciated.


Hey everyone,

Winners from Uwaterloo and CMU have been contacted about participating in a ‘title belt match’ at the end of their respective competitions, where they will be able to win a chunk of the prize money. We expect winners to be able to participate in some capacity in competitions in the future.


As a bit of extra info, I have a friend who in the UM competition had the second highest algo by elo, but didn’t win any prize money because of unfortunate seeding in the final 8. He is slightly concerned that doing well in the S4/S5? global competitions might make him not eligible for next year’s UM competition. Thoughts on this? What he should do or be worried about?


First World Problems :slight_smile:

The goal here is to learn something, be part of a great community, get a Job or put something interesting in your Resume, and have some fun in the process.
Please, don’t try to optimise for the “best monetary wining strategy”.
(or at least don’t make it so publicly as they will probably “patch it” )


All those things are great, but so is an entire semester of tuition.


If C1 wanted to make the money less of an incentive, then they would just have the prizes in the live events be smaller! I think it is a bit unfair to say that someone who really loves the game should accept that as enough while their classmates who don’t care as much just come to the competition for a fun day and the money.

Whenever we have a reward structure we have to ask, what behavior are we rewarding? I’m sure that C1 appreciates this and will come to a reasonable solution even if it isn’t perfect for everyone.



We appreciate the feedback we have received on this policy. Ultimately it is up to C1’s discretion to determine competition rules, and they are likely to evolve over time as we do our best to provide both our players and clients with positive experience and outcomes.

While we care deeply about our most devoted players, we also want to make sure that the majority of new players have positive experiences. Even though game variants help level the playing field, we felt our 2019 competition winners would have had too much of an advantage over the other players, and that it would detract from the experience of the majority. Ultimately, it does not support the long-term success of Terminal if a small a handful of players continue to win every competition – it only discourages new players from joining and the community from growing.

We have taken this thread into consideration, and as C1Ryan mentioned above, have developed a new policy for past winners which we think strikes a fair balance between involving past winners and giving new players a fair opportunity.



About your friend competing in online events, we won’t count online victories for barring you from live events going forward. Only winning live events will factor into it. So don’t be afraid to keep competing online inbetween live events.

Of course first your friend has to win against the very awesome competitors we have in our online community :stuck_out_tongue:


Wonderful, thank you! This sounds very fair to me!