### codex666's blog

By codex666, history, 11 days ago,

Why isn't the top prizes for top performers not as high as other e-sports? Or even brain sports like chess or Go? Like millions of dollars. What can be done to increase this?

• +114

 » 11 days ago, # |   +120 I think it's because of the audience. E-sports has a way bigger audience than CP and I feel people who have no idea about cp will probably think that CP is like studying rather than enjoying and hence they might think its not entertaining.Bigger audience will bring in more sponsers and hence more money for the players.
•  » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   +5 Yeah You are right bruh but In future there will be a lot of craze for cp I am sure for that
 » 11 days ago, # |   +119 Bruh. Coders already have a very bad reputation of being nerds who remain locked up in their rooms and staring at their computer screens for 12 hours a day. CP isn't perceived to be as glorious as chess by the society. (PS: I haven't even told my parents what I do exactly sitting for hours and hours on my PC.)I am totally happy with it being an obscure e-sport. :)
•  » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +102 The primary reason for this is CP isn't as accessible as chess. Just imagine, how easy it is to start playing chess. And how freaking hard it is to even solve div3A if you don't know programming.Chess : Just download the app and start playing. You may win or lose. CP : 1. Learn a programming language 2. Have some basic mathematics and logical reasoning skills. 3. The above two will only let you solve div2A sometimes. Now you need to learn about time,space complexity and efficient algos. If more people were into CP, more money would be there. But the problem is there is a very high learning barrier for CP.
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +1 Basic mathematics and some programming language are taught in schools. But chess isn't. I doubt that you are going to have a great success in an online chess competition if you are a complete beginner. Is chess really easier to start?Also the use of this "CP" abbreviation still rubs me in a wrong way, even though I registered here weeks ago and should have already get used to it.
•  » » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +11 Basic mathematics and some programming language are taught in schools. Programming has become common only since a decade or two. Chess on the other hand has been around for 100s of years. I doubt that you are going to have a great success in an online chess competition if you are a complete beginner. True. But same is true for CP too.
•  » » » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +8 Your original argument in the previous comment was that "CP isn't as accessible as chess". But programming is already reasonably accessible and everything is only going to be better in the future. The popularity of things like Raspberry Pi surely helps.The difficulty of problems can be always scaled down and weaker divisions can be introduced if necessary. If even complete beginners can solve at least one problem (a glorified "hello world"), then they can be ranked.
•  » » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +53 Chess doesn't require any knowledge to start, but CP requires you to have good understanding of math. Not all people have it.
•  » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +8 If you were taught programming language in schools, you are priveleged. Most countries don't have programming in their school curriculum yet. And to get comfortable with elements of programming takes atleast 1 month. To solve a little difficult questions you need to learn Data Structures and Algorithms.With chess, though, you learn how pieces move, learn Queen mate and Rook mate and you are good to go.
•  » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   0 I'm in Sri lanaka and you can't do shit with pascal they cheat us
•  » » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   0 Well, at least some people solved problems using Delphi and FPC during the last contest. You can find them here if you filter by the used programming language.And after somebody can already implement simple algorithms in pascal, learning a different programming language isn't a big problem. Looks like your schools are alright.
•  » » » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +18 I'm not blaming the language. Flow charts on how to make tea and writing codes on how to check if i'm older than 18 is simply isn't enough for 17 yo
•  » » » » 8 days ago, # ^ |   0 I didn't know there exists something like programming language for most part of my high school. My board didn't have any subject called Computer Science till the year I finished my school. I'm sure of the fact that most of the people understands Chess better than CP. Adding to this fact, CP needs internet resources to learn for most of the part, but chess don't and most of the people in the world don't have proper internet connection till now. And, chess is easier to start (at least for me) than CP.Also, how programming languages work is not an easy thing to understand for everyone.
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +5 I don't think chess is the easiest game to start playing either, and it was popular long before phones existed. It's popularity is more likely due to just existing for so long and possibly due to being endorsed by ancient royalty.
•  » » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +38 Not the easiest game to start. But relative to CP it's a cakewalk. Just see how pieces move, what checkmate is, what stalemate is and you are ready to start playing.On the other hand, CP is like mathematical puzzle-solving on steroids. So many prerequisites to even solve the easiest problems.
•  » » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +5 I agree, chess is relatively easy to learn compared to CP, it cost me a lot of work to adapt to the way of solving the exercises, to the mentality so to speak, apart from having to learn a programming language and acquire basic knowledge of mathematics :)
•  » » » » » 8 days ago, # ^ |   +3 But relative to CP it's a cakewalk. Basics of chess can be taught in a couple of CP problems:)
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   0 True. I needed one month to reach 1200+ in lichess and 6 months in codeforces.
•  » » 10 days ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 4 →   +10 [ It may be off-topic ]Hello , I am totally agree with you what you said. But I am not very happy with that- While my other friends are going outside for fun, posting selfies, giving whatsapp statuses and I am sitting in room (I love CP) , but I am feeling like I am not getting what I deserve. So, my question is how to feel good in this situation?I'm poor, unemployed, depressed & my english is bad , 10 sad emojis !
•  » » » 10 days ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   +19 off-topic adviceBro, let me make 1 thing clear. Not everyone who posts happy selfies is actually happy.All you need to do is care about your own life. Don't compare your life with others. See even if you earn a sufficient amount of money, once you start comparing with a richer friend you'll start feeling that you need to have more for happy life(although you don't).Think about what actually makes you happy and stop desiring the materialistic things that seemingly make your friends happy.Trust me, it's coming from a poor, internshiployed, happy with what I have & decent-english person. DO NOT COMPARE YOUR LIFE WITH OTHERS. Especially on social media where 9/10 people are showing their fake happiness. PS: Just start speaking in English, and you'll improve it. :P
•  » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +4 Thanks for your advice. Feeling good !
•  » » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   +8 smileYou should be happy as you have that good tc. to got accepted in most of the problems ;)
 » 11 days ago, # | ← Rev. 3 →   -28 You can organize a contest and give big prizes.
 » 11 days ago, # |   0 Because people dont like maths.
 » 11 days ago, # |   +151 What can be done to increase this? Organize a contest and give big prizes.Or if you want to help a little bit: follow and watch CP events. The bigger the audience, the better.
•  » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   -65 why would audience spend their money to watch nerds solve math?
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +114 Who said anything about the audience paying?
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   0 Why do people watch chess? While I think it would be hard to gain interest and doubt it will gain large sponsorships, it's all about presentation.
•  » » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +103 Of course chess has easier start, and CP is even impossible to start for a lot of people, but after some analysis I can conclude that CP can catch up chess.The reason is people often don't act rationally and often do things they don't gain anything from.I have some experience in chess and I don't understand why 1500-lichess-rated people (the typical audience of chess streams) watch it. They can't say even roughly what's on the board. I think the lowest rating to watch chess and understand something is 1800-1900-lichess (top 19%).The same is true for CP. When World Finals are being broadcasted, hundreds of greens watch it. They don't understand anything but they perfectly work as meat, increasing the number of viewers.Maybe chess viewers are attracted with engine evaluation, feeling they can see the best move before grandmasters do it? When they know the evaluation, they can feel some emotions because they know when exactly some player gets an advantage, and what is funny, without knowing why it is an advantage.This gives CP some chances, actually ICPC Live streams are very close: they show the standings, show the people's faces, show their IDEs. Just some words from commentators about what's happening in the IDEs (e.g. team is working on problem B, they have written about 30% of code, code looks right, expected time to submit is 15 minutes) instead of boring interviews why ICPC is important for working in Google, and we will get the same situation we have in chess. That is, top viewers understand the process, and others are just attracted with some numbers (engine evaluation / standings) changing time to time, with commentators saying some words about position / code in IDE and giving low skilled viewers wrong feeling they understand something.
•  » » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +14 Engine eval at least will tell you which moves are next so the noob viewer thinks they have an idea what is going on. That would be like commentators describing part of the solution in ICPC livestream. But obviously nobody would understand since it's much harder to think about the solution than to look at a move on the board.
•  » » » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   0 If the problems were elegant and we had a really experienced commentator in both the solutions and a good teacher, if we gave a team of them whiteboards to explain maybe it could work for the simpler problems? "Problem D looks tough... it looks like a dynamic programming problem... oh, looks like Team A is working out a solution, oh, look at what they're trying to do! explains their solution" or something like that idk
•  » » » » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +14 If a yellow can't understand some editorials what makes you think a green will? And these are world finals problems, not cakewalks.
•  » » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   0 They are not nerds.They are smart.They can make better decisions in life and know how to handle pressure.If you think cp people are nerd.Try meeting me and my friends.You will get to know who the actual nerd is.
 » 11 days ago, # |   +56 I think if CP were to become very popular, everyone would be more attracted to the speedforces aspects of it. Just look at tmw's kickstart round A video last year; it went viral because of his insane speedforces. I doubt many people would want to watch people sitting down for hours trying to solve 4-5 problems, but it would be more interesting to see them do it over the span of 20-30 minutes, just by the nature of the latter being a lot more volatile. Many upsets can happen, which is something people really like to see. Even I have to admit it's more fun watching speedforces than slowforces.
•  » » 11 days ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   +27 Pretty sure this is true for literally anything.Math? No one watches the 6 strongest participants in the country do the IMO for 9 hours. But MathCounts Nationals Countdown Round? At least that's on TV.Chess? I don't think many popular streamers upload more classical games than bullet/blitz games (correct me if I'm wrong)Music? Just look at the Guinness world records: how fast you can play Flight of the Bumblebee on the violin, how many times you can press a note on a piano in 1 minute... literally nothing to do with music.Seems like society is only interested in SPEED.
•  » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +183 What is more, I think CP fundamentally can't become that popular. It is simply too hard to understand for too many people. Let's consider other sports, like rally: there are probably tons of techniques I don't understand, but I can understand "car go fast", "other car go faster", and "car crash" -- and those things are enough to make it interesting. With CP, the average person won't understand anything besides "participant x got problem y accepted at time z" which simply isn't enough to hook someone.Personally, I wouldn't even want competitive programming to become that popular. I think the community would be pretty much ideal-sized if we threw out the job hunters. Increased popularity would bring new challenges, for example: cheating would become even more rampant; people outside the community who don't understand things would still feel the need to generate stupid drama; platforms that have quality problems might get outcompeted by sites that have shitty problems that make people feel good. And on the other hand, I see barely any advantages.
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   +40 Actually there is a significant advantage to there being money in CP. Top competitive programmers do it as just there hobby, not their main pursuit. If there is enough money in CP for it to be a career in its own right (and it is already for some, like Umnik and Errichto and Endagorion, but they don't get that money from doing CP), then the level of competition and hence problems and contests will rise considerably. Imagine, that if Magnus or Caruana did chess only kn their free time. That would mean being at the top is not that hard. CP is at that stage now. Being Grandmaster in CP is exponentially easier than being one in chess (just my opinion). Even the CF top10 don't spend all their day training. If there is much more money in CP, it would mean that guys like Petr wouldn't have to work as an SWE to earn enough stable money. They can give ALL of their time to CP.
•  » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +12 I think a pretty massive benefit is that CP would be more accessible if it were more popular. There would be more quality tutorials and discussions online. Sponsors would be more willing to give money to CP events (more people at things like USACO camp and ICPC world finals, and more places can hold ICPC regionals). Universities would be more willing to fund their ICPC teams, so they can spend more time training. Sponsored contests would be able to pay their problemsetters more, so more people would be willing to spend the time it takes to write quality problems. In terms of cheating and general website drama, if sites like Codeforces had more money, they'd be able to hire a moderator team dedicated to handling things like cheating and garbage blog posts.
•  » » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   0 Personally, I wouldn't even want competitive programming to become that popular. In other words, you are enjoying being a big fish in a small pond. cheating would become even more rampant; Is cheating really rampant? A very small percentage of cheaters does not seem to affect ranking scores of the others in a significant way. And this percentage can't be completely eradicated, they are similar to germs. people outside the community who don't understand things would still feel the need to generate stupid drama; Is cheating really rampant or is it a generated stupid drama? platforms that have quality problems might get outcompeted by sites that have shitty problems that make people feel good. I think that being able to solve shitty problems is still better than not being able to solve any problems at all. Sites that are more friendly to beginners may indeed become more popular than codeforces, but this isn't necessarily bad.Are you worried that a hypothetical champion of one of such sites with shitty problems may be arrogant enough to look down on you? And being top rated on a more popular platform may give extra credibility to him? And on the other hand, I see barely any advantages. The humankind as a whole may benefit from having more people educated and interested in programming.
•  » » » » 9 days ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   0 woah you don't need to flame fft for stating his opinionsI disagree with most of your points; cheating is already a problem that may become worse if CP gains popularity, thus more submissions and it will be hard to analyze a lot of cheating requests.So what if an "easy" site is more popular? I'm sure fft can make his way to the top of that easily. Plus, I don't think your mentioned situation will happen, that person will try CF problems himself.Although I do agree that "humankind as a whole may benefit from having more people educated and interested in programming."
•  » » » » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   0 I disagree with most of your points; cheating is already a problem I did notice these recent grandiose "mass cheating discovery" posts, rollbacks of the recent contest results and rating recalculations. In fact I had some pretty high expectations because of all this noise and kept refreshing the browser to see what happens. But in the end my rating score didn't change much. It's almost like all these mass cheaters are just a blip on the radar.Did you notice any significant rating jumps on your account as a result of recent cheaters removals and score recalculations? that may become worse if CP gains popularity, thus more submissions and it will be hard to analyze a lot of cheating requests. Isn't the plagiarism checker more or less fully automated?In my opinion the real challenge is accidental code similarity. Which is inevitable when 10k+ contestants submit correct solutions for the same simple problem using the same programming language. It's a variation of the birthday problem. So what if an "easy" site is more popular? I'm sure fft can make his way to the top of that easily. Plus, I don't think your mentioned situation will happen, that person will try CF problems himself. What makes you think that you disagree with me about this?
•  » » » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   +10 In other words, you are enjoying being a big fish in a small pond. I know that explanation would make sense but that doesn't mean that it is true.
 » 11 days ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +26 Because everyone is already rich. SpoilerBrain is more worthy than money!
•  » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   0 A fun fact : that thought is generated by a BRAIN
 » 11 days ago, # |   +85 Because there is no difference between watching tourist submit E and watching me play Codeforces simulator.
 » 11 days ago, # |   0 Because it still hasn't gathered that market value. To give prizes, organizers need sponsors. And the sponsors sponsor those event where they get more audiences and performers with high face value. And the number of CP audience and performers are not that much to attract big sponsors.But, still it's not money by which we should judge an sport. It's the contentment of the performers and the audiences.
 » 11 days ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +9 Because watching paint dry is more entertaining than a bunch of scrawny dudes typing text onto a screen
 » 11 days ago, # |   0 Because Generally in world money is only in that sports which is interesting + easy to understand but hard to master e.g football/chess/baseball/basketball anything you take all games are easy to understand but hard to master that's why many people enjoy watching them. But in the case of CP, it's not easy to understand and master CP is altogether a different hell of a task so that's why people are not so interested in it and money flow is less.
 » 11 days ago, # |   0 I want to say that as Errichto says that should watch CP events but i think is it really fun to watch others coding ???? I mean how can it be ?
•  » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   0 I enjoy watching touristream. Also I enjoyed the last Hackercup final round, watching over the leader-board. I wish for Errichto to win. Like in any other sports you wish for your favorite team / player to win.
•  » » » 11 days ago, # ^ |   0 But bro I am saying that yeah its okay that you wish someone to win but watching a Icpc for 5 hrs ? How is it exciting to you .
•  » » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   0 its like classical chess match
 » 10 days ago, # |   +3 people in many countries don't even know what cp is before attending to college (maybe less than 5% of em knew). I somehow clicked on a video of william lin (I used to do web dev and programming so it poped up in yt suggestion).now I stopped doing web dev,gaming and started doing cp and I watch streams of Errichto, tourist,william lin even if I don't understand a thing what they are doing(I barely can solve div2A div2B) I fell in love with it. Before January I din't even know that something called CP existed lol.There are many people like me who will enjoy if we can make them engage in this that way we can increase the audience of CP
 » 10 days ago, # |   +17 There were a lot of comparasions with chess in comments.I think that chess is more popular than CP just for one main reason: in chess, you can see the progress of the game: the position, the moves. In CP you can only see the result: task is done or not done. And watching how somebody stare at the screen and typing the text is pretty boring.
•  » » 8 days ago, # ^ |   0 this is on point. a main reason is also the fact that CP has a lot of math and is associated with academia and the prerequesites are many. Chess on the other hand only requires you to know basic moves and you can learn as you play. In CP you also might have to study books or resources to understand algorithmic paradigms. I started playing on Lichess with only the basics and i just continued playing without learning any opening theories or midgame strategies and i could reach 1500 in a few months
 » 10 days ago, # |   0 Competitive Programming is not viewed as a sport, it is seen as a part of academics. Think about it, why don't people come and watch IMO ? You can watch people solve theorems/problems, because no one wants to use their brains when enjoying something.Also, the thing with other e-sports and physical sports is that it is fun to watch. Watching people play football or pubg is more fun than watching someone struggle to find that error in their code.
 » 10 days ago, # |   -52 Because it is not a brain-sport. Chess and Go have a set playstyle. In CP you most of the times apply things you already know (thats the definition of algorithm). This is definitely not as exciting. There is not the factor "talent" as in Go and chess where you can be totally new to the game and still beat strong players.
•  » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   -25 Downvote my post little snowflakes.
•  » » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   +8 When someone disagrees with you(downvote), you think you're badass and others are snowflakes? smh
•  » » 10 days ago, # ^ |   0 Wow, i've never seen such an objectively wrong comment in this site, and that's saying something.Secondly, I see you don't play go or chess. And btw it is a lot more likely for new people to compete with strong players in cp because of all of the math behind it. I know at least one person that became a grandmaster on cf in just a year
 » 10 days ago, # |   0 CP is not a sport or e-sport unless you are using a simile.
 » 9 days ago, # |   +3 I think a differnt form of cp can be made proper esport like lockout tournament(organised by neal,errichto,sorry if I have forgotten other name) ,,Also Cp with less problem on advanced algorithm nd more on logic building can be popularised easily,I believe cp can be easily popularised if some big cpeer really wants to promote.And there are two reasons supporting this: 1st)India and china are biggest nation in term of population and people in both nation knows what cp is and In India more and more people started knowing cp,although some of them needs some guidance to look upon cp in right waays 2)Cp is already fun even in this form.I love watching HealthyUG stream and In lockout I was genuinely supporting ecnerwala whole time
 » 9 days ago, # |   +29 Answer is simple. It should entertain it's audience. Do you love watching Um_nik's stream for hours? xD. Kidding. Don't take it serious Alex :)
•  » » 9 days ago, # ^ |   +5 I do enjoy them for the moment to come when he would roast out the problems in his streams lol
•  » » 8 days ago, # ^ |   +17 I'm open to suggestions on how to make them more watchable :)
 » 9 days ago, # |   +18 Because everyone knows only tourist wins and he's rich xD.
 » 9 days ago, # |   +4 Here's some random thoughts on this topic.I think in order to become popular as an esport-type thing, CP would somehow have to attract casuals, i.e. people who have no idea what's going on, but who are still interested in watching. And at the moment, there really isn't anything to watch — F5ing a scoreboard is really, really boring.Can this be changed? Maybe.Chess was mentioned a lot — I think it shows that people will watch just about anything, as long as there's something to watch. I mean, it's a 2D black-and-white board that is static for most of the time, and sometimes for very long consecutive periods of time. People still watch, even though few can really appreciate what's going in a match between grandmasters — they can still admire that the players are really smart and that probably great moves are happening and if there's an experienced caster telling that a certain move was genius, they can be entertained.So for CP, we would need to give viewers something to watch. Maybe one approach would be some way of visualizing solutions. Some problems are about controlling some agent(s) and making it (them) do smart decisions and perform smart actions — if the actions of the agent(s) can be visualized nicely, I think this can be entertaining even for casuals. They may not know what the algorithm is really doing, but they may still recognize and appreciate that the agent(s) is (are) displaying intelligent behavior. For example, problems similar to some of the past Google Hash Code problems might be suitable here, like drones delivering packets, cabs moving through cities, robotic arms trying to grab things, etc...But of course, the problems that can be nicely visualized (and in reasonable time) constitute only a very tiny fraction of current CP problems. Moreover, writing the software for cool visualizations requires a lot of effort. So while I think that some flashy stuff to look at is the best way to get people watching and interested, it will be very hard to do so with the current state of CP. Maybe some other version, more tailored towards programming intelligent agents to do something and possibly even directly competing with each other, as described above, would have more potential. But then again, that would be quite dissimilar from traditional CP.
 » 8 days ago, # |   +20 As it was mentioned a lot already, the reason for no money is no viewers (from whom potential sponsors could get revenue), and the reason for no viewers is that it's not interesting to follow the competition. One thing that wasn't mentioned is that there is no direct confrontation between participants, you just try to do your best and then the results are compared. Then, there is no "game state" to watch, as most of the work is done inside one's brain. It's even hard to commentate on because it's hard to grasp what do people code sometimes. Maybe it's partially solvable by introducing different formats, like Lockout. Maybe it's time someone organises another big Lockout tournament?