All blogs / The AI Sports Challenge 2021 Recap
The AI Sports Challenge returns! Between April 22nd — May 7th, 24 teams from around the world competed in the second AI Sports Challenge for a slice of $5,000 AUD. After an intense 16 days of coding and two tournament phases, we crowned our AI Sports grand champions of 2021. Keep reading to find out what happened.
The AI Sports Challenge 2021 is an online AI competition sponsored by Deputy, Lab17, MongoDB and GitLab. Thank you also to our community partners Hackathons Australia, General Assembly, SitePoint and the Data Science and AI Association of Australia (DSAI) for your support!
Opening the tournament was the Qualifiers phase. In this phase 24 teams from around the world played over 552 matches to determine the top 16 teams advancing into Playoffs.
After a diverse showcase of playstyles from trapping opponents into corners (aka lockers), to taking the control of the middle square, or just gambling their health points and running a kamikaze strategy. The final top 16 teams were established as:
Qualifiers phase standings
Playoffs introduced a double elimination bracket and a new set of conditions where the first team to win four games advanced to the next round. In the opening matches, it was to no one’s surprise the higher seeded teams quickly showed why they topped the qualifiers and swept aside their opponents through a series of convincing victories.
Upper Quarterfinals and Lower Elimination 1
Most of the higher seeded teams saw the continuation of their success and dominated this round, however magic flowed through the sixth seeded AvadaKedavra and they knocked :3 to the lower bracket in 4–1 upset.
In the lower bracket we saw the first eight teams fight to stay in the tournament.
The seven game series between The Screw Shop and 🤔 things got unscrewed when the score tied up in the middle. But true to their name, 🤔 proved to have the calmer game face and went on to take the win 4–1 out of 7 games.
Upper Semi-finals and Lower Elimination 2
The round started with the upper semi finals matches between Wigglyblob vs bruh and AvadaKedavra vs ValGrowth. Both matches were won convincingly by our first and second seeded teams and they flew into the upper finals.
In the lower bracket, the new teams proved too much of a challenge and we bid farewell to teams import numpy as Py, rng for the win:>, LEVAI ACKERMAN and 🤔
Lower Elimination 3 and 4
Ascend emerged as the successful gauntlet runners of 2021, having won both their matches in straight 4–0 sets. While Silver Snakes’s victory was short lived and they slithered into 5th place tied bruh.
Lower Elimination 5
Ascend fought to stay in their first AI Sports Challenge against the returning 2020 finalist team AvadaKedavra (formerly known as Donkie). However this time the magic did not answer the wizards call and Ascend pulled a dominating 4–0 victory, advancing to the next round and knocking AvadaKedavra to a fourth place finish!
Upper and Lower Finals
Our 2020 champions Wigglyblob (formerly known as Jigglybluff) was up next. After losing a 10 game series against ValGrowth in the winners final, they dropped down to the lower finals against Ascend.
Unfortunately for Ascend, game one and two quickly set the tone for the series with Wigglyblob using the classic strategy of shoving opponents into the lockers. The series ended 4–2 and Wigglyblob advanced into the Grand Finals for a rematch against Valgrowth!
It all ends here… The 2021 AI Sports Challenge Grand Finals!
Wigglyblob took the first game in an explosive double bomb win, but not to be out-bombed ValGrowth quickly responded with a triple bomb win of their own in game 2.
But after a gruelling six game set resulting in ties for both teams, the champion title could only be guaranteed if one of the teams wins the last three games.
Valgrowth struck first leaving Wigglyblob in the dust after a long 2000 tick game win! But Wigglyblob hit back and tied up the score once more. With tiebreakers now guaranteed, both teams fought to gain a lead in the final game. Unfortunately for Wigglybluff, ValGrowth learn the ways of the locker strategy and finished the series with a point advantage.
With tie matches back into consideration, the team that initiated the tie will incur a game loss. In the final moments of game 3, Wigglybluff slipped the opportunity and executed a play that forced the tie and ultimately awarded the match winning point to ValGrowth, allowing them to take the series 4–2.
Congratulations to ValGrowth, our 2021 AI Sports Champions!
Thank you and congratulations to all teams who participated in the AI Sports Challenge 2021 🎉
Keep an eye out for our next blog where we’ll highlight our top 16 teams.
Interested in our next AI competition? Stay up to date by following us on Twitter @CoderOneHQ.