Terminal Virtual Fall 2020: Full details

This post details the event, final competition, and prize structure of the terminal live events taking place in Fall 2020. First, a general overview with the most relevant information is provided. Then, more nuanced details are listed below.

Competition Structure - Overview

  • During the week of the event, all teams will iterate on algorithms that will play the game automatically. Prior to the end of the event, all teams will submit one algorithm
  • After all algos are submitted, they will compete in a Round-Robin-Group competition
  • In each round of the competition, algorithms will be broken off into groups of 6
  • All algos will play a match against every other algo in their group
  • The two algos with the most wins will move up to the next round
  • This process repeats until 4 algos remain
  • These final 4 algos each play a match against one another. These 6 matches will be broadcast during the finale stream. The algo with the most wins is the competition champion

Prize Structure Overview

  • $1,000 will be distributed via raffle, which every team can earn more entries into throughout the week.
  • The top 12 teams will receive $1000
  • The top 4 teams will receive an additional $1000
  • Every win in the final round will earn the winning team an additional $1000
  • The competition champion will win an additional $2000
  • All prizes will be distributed via paypal, 8-12 weeks after the competition ends.

Information below this point handles edge cases and nuanced information that is unlikely to be relevant to a majority of participants. Feel free to ask for further clarifications in this thread.

Raffle Entries

  • There will be a number of special bossess available to face off against during the competition
  • Your team will earn raffle entries equal to the highest number of bosses you have defeated using a single algo

Seeding initial groups

  • Throughout the competition week, algos will automatically compete against other players algos.
  • Based on their performance in these random matches, they will earn a rating.
  • Algos will gain a ‘seed’ based on their rating
  • Round 1 will usually have 6 groups if there are fewer than 36 teams
  • Group 1 will have algos with seeds 1, 7, 13, 19, 25, 31.
  • Group 2 will have algos with seeds 2, 8, 14, 20, 26, 32.
  • This pattern continues for all additional groups. In later rounds with fewer groups, the distance between each selected seed is equal to the number of different groups in the round.
  • The two winners in a group will ‘take’ the top two seeds from their group. This is used for seeding subsequent rounds the same way, as well as for tiebreakers described below.

Tiebreaking the top 2 algos in a group

  • The two algos with the most wins are the top 2
  • If multiple algos have the same number of wins within their group, the ‘better’ algo is the algo with the most wins among the tied algos.
  • In the rare case that victory is circular among tied algos and the above tiebreaker does not resolve the tie, the algo with the higher seed is promoted to the next round

Disclaimer: All information is subject to change, all issues are resolved at Correlation One’s discretion.


It’s quite discouraging how low the global competition rewards continue to be compared to these virtual “live” events, or even other global competitions prior to season 4 (when I started playing).

I understand that these events are able to raise more money via sponsors, but it feels wrong that what is essentially a world championship is worth so little compared to local events, and this comparison is made even more obvious now that both take place online.

On the bright side, the new round robin structure sounds like a good change, as it prevents the situation last year where my team had the second-best algo and lost in the quarterfinals to the best algo and got nothing, while all the teams in the top 4 got thousands.


Its a ‘rock and a hard place’ for us. We feel a similar way about this, and if it was up to us, we would keep prizing at the same pace we did for earlier seasons. However, as you alluded to, we would need a sponsor backing the Global competition to do this. There are always conversations going on in the background, so its not off the table, but also not something we can change on a whim.

Thanks. We have done a ton of iteration on the competition formats and gotten a lot of feedback through the years and are pretty excited with the results. Ensuring everyone plays a reasonable number of matches, ensuring no single game has an extremely large impact on an algos performance, giving everyone a specific final placement, and is reasonable to understand.


How to join this event? And this will use new rules and icons .etc as in season 7 right?

The various regional competitions are only available for students from a handful of select schools in the US and Canada. Attendees from eligible schools can join via the competition page. You can also check eligibility by clicking into each competition page through to the school verification step.

There will be a custom config for each competition, every competition has its own unique ruleset


I have been gone for a while and still am gone due to a demanding PhD. I am teaching and guiding quite a few computer science bsc and msc students from the Delft University of Technology. I frequently recommend them to try terminal as a fun and challenging way to hone their skills. However I got quite a few reactions that it seems to be USA only now.

A global competition is tough, because there is a certain elite player base that already have excellent algos and knowledge. Besides, it cannot be guaranteed that these people are looking for a job. In my case I was looking for a job when participating and stopped when I got one.

Maybe there can be a global student competition, where the student emails have to be used to verify they are students? That way the global competition is more interesting for sponsors?

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I can’t say anything about any student competitions, however I’d say if there were any newcomers, this season would be the one to compete.
The rules are being changed quite drastically and not even people with previously made simulators have that much of an advantage.

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O that is cool, are those new rules already public? Or has the change been announced and will we get the new ruleset later. I took a look at the current ruleset, and those building upgrades look really cool!

I’m pretty sure they’re being released on monday, but if you want to know now, you can rewatch yesterdays stream on twitch. (Somwhere near the end of the stream)

We are planning to release the new ruleset today if all goes smoothly, but are going to be deploying a large amount of changes so there is a chance it takes until tomorrow.

We appreciate all community suggestions and feedback as always. Conversations are ongoing. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more than that unless we have something concrete to share.