The competition consisted of two tracks: the Prediction Track and the Innovation Track. Each track had a total prize pool of $30,000. The Prediction Track ran from August 18 to October 19, 2020, while the Innovation Track ran from October 20 to November 1, 2020.
In the Prediction Track, teams competed to identify the lab-of-origin of engineered DNA sequences with the highest possible accuracy. Prizes were awarded to the teams who could achieve the highest accuracy score.
In the Innovation Track, high-performing teams from the Prediction Track were invited to showcase their approaches to a multidisciplinary panel of expert judges. Prizes were awarded to teams who exhibited novel and creative approaches to the problem, or who demonstrated that their algorithms possessed useful properties other than raw accuracy.