UW captures Terminal Live’s top-prize

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By: Qiao Liu

Saturday night, Jan. 25, 2020, teams representing the UW managed to beat those representing the University of Toronto seven out of nine times in Terminal Live, an overwhelming victory for UW. 

Terminal Live is an event hosted by Correlation-One, and sponsored by Citadel and Citadel Security, where various teams composed of 2-3 people compete on who can create better algorithms for their artificial intelligence (A.I.) to win a game called Terminal. 

Terminal is a turn-based game in the tower defense genre created by Junaid Nomani, one of the Correlation-One event coordinators present at Terminal Live. Unlike most turn-based games, the two players actually make their moves at the same time. 

A mechanic similar to rock-paper-scissors where, instead of showing a hand sign, independent units strategically placed on a grid to attack and defend.

Terminal has two types of unit, offence and defense. The three defensive units remain stationary to defend against attacks, the three offensive units move varifying speeds and attack the opposition differently. 

The goal is to make the opposition’s “health” reach zero first. Terminal is also online and available for people to play manually or with algorithms they created. They can play against A.I. bosses created by Correlation-one or against their own algorithm. The competition, on the other hand, is invite only. 

People can apply on the Terminal website, submitting an application is simple, no payment required, but the questions on the application are fairly challenging. 

This is the first time Terminal Live pitted two educational institutes against each other. With Terminal Live gaining more institutes interested, it became possible to have schools compete against each other. 

This season the first competition was between UW and University of Toronto. There were a few technical issues on the day of the competition took place that acted as an extra challenge for the participating teams, but overall, the participants had fun at the event. The event lasted roughly eight hours and the teams spent the majority of it creating the algorithms for their A.I.’s. Food and refreshments were provided and coordinators from Correlation-One were on site to provide technical support and ensure everyone had a great time. 

According to Rebecca Rodriguez and Alex Klufas of Correlation-One, they encourage participants to prepare beforehand, read the rules and play against the A.I. bosses. Doing so poses no problem to the competition because the game is modified, requiring the teams participating to make changes to their algorithms in order to compensate The representatives for the universities were picked from the highest scoring teams that were in the competition. The three that scored the highest and became the representatives for the UW were Yellow Goose, Traveling Wilburys, and Garpuz. 

The teams from the University of Toronto that scored the highest and became the representatives were Free Snacks, Alpha Pro, and Terminal Hackermans. 

Alpha Pro and Terminal Hackermans managed to eke out victories, but the teams representing UW came out victorious. Team Garpuz being the overall winner of Terminal Live.  

According to Victor Hall, one of the four coordinators of from Correlation-One, Terminal Live is a great place to network with competitors and recruiters. 

When asked, many of the participants stated that they would recommend Terminal Live to others because it is a fun and competitive experience.