Fall League 2021 - Competition & Tournament Details

Fall League 2021 - Competition & Tournament Details

Fall League 2021 begins tomorrow, September 24th at 12:00 pm PDT!

As always, we're making some changes to the competitive ladder and tournaments to address concerns, incorporate feedback, and hopefully build on the Battlesnake league format :)

We love hearing your ideas to make Battlesnake Leagues better and more fun for everyone! If you have ideas, please don't hesitate to let us know. Thanks!

Fall League 2021 Schedule

  • September 24th (12 pm PT / 3 pm ET / 7 pm UTC) - League Opens, ladder matches begin
  • November 12th (12 pm PT / 3 pm ET / 7 pm UTC) - Competitive Ladder freezes
  • November 13th (10 am PT / 1 pm ET / 6 pm UTC) - Live Broadcast - Gold & Platinum Group Stages
  • November 20th (10 am PT / 1 pm ET / 6 pm UTC)- Live Broadcast - Gold, Platinum & Elite Finals

Additional Technical and Scoring Transparency

Firstly, we are striving for more transparency around the rules, structure, and technical details of the competition so everyone knows how things are going to work ahead of time. In fact, this blog post is a major part of meeting that goal.

Game Mode - Royale Returns!

The Fall League 2021 competition will use the Royale game mode. We tried this first in Summer League, and overall we liked the results. Royale games seem to strike a good balance between accessibility and interesting problem space. That said, we're still committed to the idea of experimenting with new and more challenging game modes in future leagues.

Royale Game Settings

  • 4 Battlesnakes per Game
  • 500 ms Timeout
  • Moving in Hazards costs 15 health
  • Hazards expand every 20 turns

We've also recently made some adjustments to Royale games.

Ladder Scoring System Updates

The tiered scoring system we introduced with Spring League is based on gaining fixed points for a win and losing fixed points for a loss. When we used that system for competitions involving more than two Battlesnakes, as in Summer League, it became apparent that the system needs to better differentiate 2nd, 3rd, 4th place finishers. Battlesnakes that consistently came in 2nd place against high-ranking competitors should still be rewarded with progression.

For Fall League, the scoring system will award different point values based on the Battlesnake's placement in the match. Early tiers will have some positive point inflation to facilitate ladder progression for everyone, and competitive tiers (Gold and above) will use an expected point gain of zero per game.  

Tier 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Inflation
Intro 10 -2 -2 -3 +3
Bronze 10 -2 -3 -3 +2
Silver 10 -2 -3 -4 +1
Gold, Platinum, Elite 10 -3 -3 -4 +0

Update (September 27, 2021): We have updated the system so that once a Battlesnake achieves Bronze tier, it can no longer demote back to the Intro tier.  Instead their minimum points value will become 1000. We believe that the Bronze tier is a  notable achievement that represents a milestone for your Battlesnake in the League. Demoting from Bronze back to Intro just feels bad and has no mechanical benefit to the competition as a whole.

An Example
The Battlesnakes in the example game below would get the following points if they were in the Gold tier.

Sample Royale Game
  • 1st - Venusian 2: +10 points
  • 2nd - cipher-serpent: -3 points
  • 3rd - Polar Unicorn: -3 points
  • 4th - devious-devin: -4 points

Note: Battlesnakes that are eliminated on the same turn will end up with the same placement all Battlesnakes in that placement will earn the same points. If in the example above, both cipher-serpent and Polar Unicorn eliminated each other on turn 9, they would both und up in 2nd place and lose 3 points.

Match-Making Updates

We are tweaking the match-making system to be fairer for all competitors and reduce some of the repeatedly bad matches we throughout Summer League. The system will remain centered around Trueskill, and will introduce some more variety into who's being matched with who at all tiers.

Ladder Tiers & Rewards

Fall League Tiers will be very similar to previous leagues, with a few updates.

The Bronze tier is no longer a freebie, and all Battlesnakes now must earn 1,000 points to promote into the Bronze tier. We've learned most functioning Battlesnakes that can avoid walls should be able to achieve Bronze by the end of the competition. Reaching the Bronze tier will earn the Shiny Tail customization.

Shiny Tail customization

The Silver tier requires a Battlesnake to earn 2,000 points, earning the Happy Head customization. We are expecting Battlesnakes with some basic heuristics and avoidance to achieve Silver by the end of the competition.

Happy Head customization

The Gold tier is where the ladder starts becoming very competitive. A Battlesnake must earn 3,000 points to reach Gold and once they do they will start battling for a place in one of the tournaments. Reaching Gold tier will earn you the Offroad Tail customization. The Top 32 Battlesnakes in Gold on November 12th will qualify for the Gold Tournament

Offroad Tail customization

The Platinum tier represents the Top 32 Battlesnakes that have earned at least 5,000 points but have not qualified for the Elite tier. During the competition, Battlesnakes may be moving in between Gold, Platinum, and Elite frequently as they compete against each other. Battlesnakes that hold Platinum rank on November 12th will earn the Whale Head customization and qualify for the Platinum Tournament.

Whale Head customization

This Elite tier represents the Top 16 Battlesnakes having earned at least 7,000 points. There are only 16 slots in Elite and a Battlesnake must be highly competitive to maintain a position in the Elite tier. Battlesnakes that hold Elite rank on November 12th will earn a Fall League Medal and qualify for the Elite Tournament on November 20th.

Fall League Medals

Note: Customizations rewarded for Bronze, Silver, and Gold tiers will be awarded when the Battlesnake first reaches those tiers. The Platinum and Elite rewards will be granted after the competitive ladder is locked on November 12th, 2021 at 10 am PT (1 pm ET / 6 pm UTC).


There will be 3 tournaments held for Fall League 2021: Elite, Platinum, and Gold. Tournament brackets will be determined and published on November 12th.

Some of these tournaments may include fewer Battlesnakes than prescribed above depending on how those tiers play out throughout the competition. In these cases we will introduce byes to make the tournament brackets work.

Live Tournament Broadcasts

Tournament broadcasts will be split across two days.

  • November 13th - Gold Group Stages, Platinum Group Stages
  • November 20th - Gold Finals, Platinum Finals, Elite Finals

Both broadcasts will be live shout-casted on our Twitch Channel by the Battlesnake Casting Crew.

Tournament Prizes

Prizes for the tournaments will be given to all the Battlesnakes that reach the final round in each tournament. The top prize will be given to the tournament winners and the remain three competitors will earn the secondary prize. Prize packages will be combinations of Amazon and Battlesnake store gift cards. Competitors that reach the final round of the Platinum and Gold tournaments will also earn a Fall League 2021 Medal.

For Battlesnakes that are developed and entered by a team, we will be sending the prize to the team leader and it will be their responsibility to decide how to split up the prize.

Fall League 2021 starts on September 24th when the competitive ladder matches start running. Good luck, and happy Battlesnaking!