3279 programmers aged between 14 and 23 applied for participation in the championship. The competition is conducted in a pair programming format. Every team consists of no more than two members, working together on the same task. Such approach allows to reduce the number of mistakes, though participants are also allowed to perform solo.
The final round started with trials during which the participants took part in the Code Game Challenge Competition. They were offered to come up with a game strategy for their football team, that is to program the players’ behavior, as well as their speed and movements. Already at this stage, Mikhail Putilin and Alexander Logunov’s team 120 Minutes Adventure showed the best results.
The last round of the competition was held on August 12. During the final showdown, the teams were faced with seven complex tasks which they had to solve in three hours. Although solutions could be written in fifteen different programming languages, the C++ language proved to be the most popular among participants. The VK Cup tasks are developed in collaboration with prominent programmers community Codeforces. The 2018 VK Cup qualification round tasks can be found here.
The 120 Minutes Adventure team became the absolute winner of the 2018 competition and was awarded a 1,048,576 RUB prize. Last year’s champion Aidar Sayranov from St. Petersburg State University took the second place, while Lomonosov Moscow State University’s students Vladislav Makeev and Mikhail Ipatov scored third. Second and third place winners got the 524,288 RUB and 262,144 RUB worth of prize money respectively. Other teams who made it to the top-8 were awarded 131,072 RUB. These lucky winners include ITMO University Bachelor’s students Alexandra Drozdova and Arseny Kirillov, who got the seventh best result. Full results table can be found here.
This isn't the first time ITMO students triumph at VK Cup: the 2016 competition was won by ITMO’s Gennady Korotkevich and Adam Bardashevich, who also scored the first place at the world’s most prestigious student sport programming contest АСМ ICPC. This year’s VK Cup champion Mikhail Putilin, too, has a long winning record; this ITMO high-achiever came in on top of the 2018 Google Hash Code tournament, having also participated in the 2018 Programming АСМ ICPC World Cup as part of ITMO University’s team. This allows us to say that VK Cup brings together the best of Russia and CIS countries’ programming talent, which is highlighted by the competition organizers who state that one of their main goals is to support the new generation of programmers and attract more people to the field.