Sunday, August 27, 2023

An onsite week

Harbour.Space Scholarship Contest 2023-2024 on Codeforces was the main event of the week (problems, results, top 5 on the left, discussion, analysis). Radewoosh solved the first eight problems 20 minutes faster than everybody else, and therefore had all but guaranteed himself first place by the middle of the contest. Still, he kept his focus and managed to get problem I accepted as well with just 3 minutes to go. Huge congratulations!

I skipped this round and therefore cannot tell you much about its problems. Therefore, I'd like to use this post to talk about the upcoming onsite event that you might not be aware of :) I'm not referring to the IOI, which takes place next week in Szeged, Hungary, since I expect everybody interested in it to know where to find more information. Instead, I'd like to talk about the AtCoder WTF that takes place on September 8-9 in Tokyo, Japan.

When AtCoder announced its own onsite competition, the World Tour Finals, back in 2017, the world of onsite algorithmic competitions was quite packed. They have managed to host one edition of the WTF before the pandemic hit. All onsite competitions were cancelled or moved online during the pandemic, but instead of returning after global travel became relevant again, most were cancelled completely: Google Code Jam, TopCoder Open, likely Meta Hacker Cup. There were a few more Russia-based onsite competitions that are of course no longer a thing. ACM ICPC and high school olympiads such as the IOI are back in the onsite mode, but they have age upper bounds for participation.

AtCoder did not move the WTF online, instead they kept running the yearly qualification cycle, promising to invite the top 8 from each year to the onsite round in Japan when it becomes possible again. This is finally happening in two weeks! 18 finalists out of the maximum of 32 from the four qualification cycles will compete on the same problems over two competition days. This approach lies in contrast to the ACM ICPC approach where the finals for the 2022 and 2023 seasons are happening together in Egypt but the actual competitions will be kept separate. Which one do you think makes more sense?

I am really excited both for the competition (where to be honest I no longer stand a chance), and for the onsite event atmosphere. As an added twist, AtCoder have announced the online participation option for the future WTFs; I can't predict how this will work out, but when TopCoder did the same for TCO22, so few people decided to come onsite that they decided to cancel the onsite event altogether. Therefore this might be the last onsite event without the age upper bound ever :)

Thanks for reading, and check back next week!


  1. Oh I somehow missed this blog till now. I'm very excited to meet you this weekend!

    BTW, our rule about online participation wasn't clear and I made some updates on the relevant post.

    I hope it would work as a rule that accept wider participants, not the one that stops onsite things.

    1. Thanks! I hope it won't have any material effect on the onsite, too :)