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Lund University 2nd at NWERC 2022

30 Nov 2022

The team EZCP from Lund University placed second in the Northwestern Europe Regional Contest 2022 (NWERC), qualifying to the ICPC World Finals!!!

Team EZCP - from left to right: Teodor Bucht, Björn Magnusson and Erik Amirell Eklöf.

[email protected] went to NWERC in Delft, the Netherlands with three teams representing Lund University.

The contest featured 12 problems, and the teams had 5 hours to solve as many of them as possible.

Out of 140 teams, the Lund teams did extremely well:

  • 2nd place: EZCP (10 solved problems)
  • 42nd place: [email protected] (7 solved problems)
  • 67th place: ECON 101 (5 solved problems)

All the members of EZCP had already competed at NWERC 3 or 4 times, while the members of [email protected] and ECON 101 are students in the 2nd or 3rd year.

A summary of the contest:

EZCP had a flying start, and were first to solve problem C in 13 minutes, solving their first 4 problems in just 45 minutes.

After about two hours EZCP entered the lead with 8 problems solved, just ahead of a Norwegian team with 7 problems! Lund’s other two teams started well, each with two problems solved after two hours.

EZCP kept the lead until the scoreboard froze after 4 hours. They where one of only two teams with 10 solved problems. [email protected] and ECON 101 had improved their positions and had now solved 5 and 4 problems each.

As the end of the contest was approaching, the emotions were running high at camp [email protected] (the coaches and the students following our live blog from home). Were EZCP going to win? Could they bring home the title? They were trying to solve one of the remaining problems (F), sending 1, 2, 3, … 4 submissions in the last 20 minutes! When the competition ended there where only 5 other teams that had the possibility to beat EZCP. During the last hour ECON 101 managed to solve one and finished in 67:th place. [email protected] solved 2 problems and finished in 42:nd place but all eyes where on EZCP - did they win? During the scoreboard reveal the teams are resolved from the bottom up to the top on the scoreboard, revealing if they solved the problems they tried at during the last hour.

With only tree teams score unresolved EZCP were still in the lead but Trinity’s Trinity from University of Cambridge solved problem F, moving up to first place. And with the team from Norway not solving problem A all was on the table. If EZCP had solved problem F they would be the winners but unfortunately they didn’t. They got a time limit exceeded in python 15 minutes before the contest ended, and tried to rewrite it in C++ in the last minutes but unfortunately they were just a few minutes short of finishing it! They finished in second place, receiving a gold medal (top 4 teams get gold), qualifying for ICPC World Finals, which will take place in November 2023 in Egypt! This is a huuuuge achievement! This is the first time since 2006 a team from Lund University has qualified to ICPC! A massive congratulations to EZCP! Big congrats also to the other two teams who were on NWERC for the first time - it’s a really great achievement solving 5 and 7 problems!

Now the practice season starts to do well at NWERC and ICPC next year!

Thanks to our sponsors Voyado and neo4j, who sponsored the local competition NCPC and this trip to NWERC!

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