“My Archon Died BellmanFording the Stream” Beats Prof. Mordemort

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the winning 6.370 BattleCode team. The correct name is “My Archon Died BellmanFording the Stream,” not “BellamFording.” Bellman-Ford is an algorithm for computing shortest-paths in networks.

“Some of you may remember me. All of you should remember me. I am Professor Mordemort, Evil Lord of the Robots.”

In an e-mail sent out to campus, the fictitious Professor-Who-Probably-Should-Not-Be-Named announced to students the commencement of the iconic 6.370 BattleCode competition, which took place last Saturday in Kresge at 7 p.m.

Out of about 400 competing teams and 1,400 participants, team “My Archon Died BellmanFording the Stream” walked away with the first place title and $5,000 from this year’s 6.370 BattleCode competition, defeating all other teams and the evil “Professor Mordemort.”

The winning team was composed of Steven P. Bartel ‘10, David Chen ‘10, Curtis B. Liu ‘10, and Spenser J. Skates ‘10. Bartel and Skates were also on last year’s winning team, “gtg ice skating lessons.”

In BattleCode, teams of one-to-four students program virtual robot armies each other to battle in a real-time strategy game. This year, teams were also required to mine “flux” from the ground and construct buildings to gain points.

Sponsors offer nearly $40,000 in prizes, according to the event’s website.

After defeating the other top seven teams, the team “My Archon Died BellmanFording the Stream” competed against “Professor Moldemort,” who appeared in the competition two years ago. Andrew Sugaya ’11, one of the organizers for 6.370, commented that the competition was much more interesting due to the use of the “Professor Moldemort” theme, saying “I think we will definintely be using Professor Moldemort more next year.”

The winning team focused on combat insead of collecting resources, Skates said. In that vein, “Identifying enemy strategies [and forming] specific ways of countering the enemy” were vital, added Bartel.

Want to win BattleCode? “Don’t be afraid to ask previous year’s top teams for help,” Skates said.