The BOTCup is an international contest administered by Canadian user Gumby. Participants choose a league filled with bots, and if a team from that league advances farther in the national cup than any other bot, they win.
Each BOTCup takes place in a country with a lower division largely filled with bot teams. The ideal countries are those that have just had their leagues expanded, since all the newly created teams will be bots. If no league expansions occur, then an existing division will be chosen in a suitable country.
Participants enter the contest in a dedicated sign-up thread in the Global conference.
Everybody picks one of the leagues in the lowest division in the chosen country. Once a league has been chosen, it's off limits to everyone else. The participant picking the league that produces the bot team that does the best in the national cup, will be declared the winner.
All leagues not picked will be dropped and cannot win. If a bot team gets taken over by a human player, that team is officially disqualified from winning the contest.
Normal Hattrick tie-breaking rules apply. In the event of a tie after normal HT tie-breaking rules, the bot team that beat the higher-ranked team in the deciding round of the cup, will be declared the winner.
The contest is open to everyone that plays Hattrick, regardless of the country they play in, although Gumby reserves the right to limit the playing of this contest at his own discretion. Participants do not have to have purchased Supporter to enter the BOTCup.
The first BOTCup took place in Canada in season 30, following the expansion of the Canadian league to include a sixth division. The winner was Godless667, manager of Max's Marauders in the USA, who had chosen league VI.771. The Northwest Territories Polar Dogs from that league survived until round 3 of the cup with a goal differential of +3.
BOTCup II took place in Russia in season 31, after the Russian league expanded to include a sixth division. This season's winner was hlupak, manager of Atlin AFC in Canada. He chose VI.808, and that league's Sportakademklub Vladimir made it to round 3 of the cup.
BOTCup III returned to Canada in season 32. There were no league expansions this season, and Canada's sixth division was still largely filled with bots. The winner this season was stepanogil, manager of Vilma and the Beep Beep Minica in The Philippines, who chose VI.82. The Ontario Timbermen from that league made it all the way to round 4, the only bot to survive that far in the cup.
The BOTCup took a break for two seasons, but returned for season 35. Although HT did expand some countries' leagues, the expansions were announced after the contest started, and it had already been decided that BOTCup IV would be held in Hong Kong. The winner this time was adiraven, manager of FC Titans Satu Mare in Romania. The victorious bot team was Kam Tin from VI.46, who survived until round 5 of the cup.
BOTCup V took place in season 36 in China. This time, the decision to use an existing league instead of a new or newly-expanded one, was based on a desire to make sure there were enough teams for all participants -- BOTCup IV was very popular and almost every club was chosen. The winner of BOTCup V was garscow, manager of Pummeled in Oceania. The chosen league was VII.181, from which Yunnan Club1 made it to round 4 of the cup.
Many participants in the BOTCup also offer prizes to the winner. The most common prize is to support the winner for one season. Other prizes have included subscriptions for Supporter, a new team logo, rare flags, and U-20 or NT friendlies at the winner's stadium.