Please check the rulebook for the complete tournament series information.
1. Global Rules
The league administration has the right to decide outside or even against the rulebook in special cases to guarantee fairplay.
1.2. Code of Conduct
Every participant has to behave with respect towards the representatives of the ESL, press, viewers, partners and other players. The participants are requested to represent esports, the ESL, and their Sponsors honorably. This applies to behavior in-game and also in chats, messengers, comments and other media. We expect players to conduct themselves according to the following values:
- Compassion: treat others as you would be treated.
- Integrity: be honest, be committed, play fair.
- Respect: show respect all other humans, including teammates, competitors, and event staff.
- Courage: be courageous in competition and in standing up for what is right.
Participants must not engage in harassment or hate speech in any form. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Hate speech, offensive behavior, or verbal abuse related to sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, or religion.
- Stalking or intimidation (physically or online).
- Spamming, raiding, hijacking, or inciting disruption of streams or social media.
- Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
- Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, unwelcome sexualized comments, jokes, and sexual advances.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
Please refer to the AnyKey Keystone Code to learn more about good sporting behavior. Refer to the ESIC Code of Conduct for detailed conduct rules and penalties
Violation of this code of conduct will result in possible exclusion of the offending player from current tournaments in which they are participating, and may result in additional penalties thereafter and also lose their right to receive any winnings. In the case of repeated or extreme violations, penalties may include disqualification or banning from future ESL events.
1.2.1. Insults and offensive behaviour
All insults that happen during an ESL-Match or on the ESL platform, may be punished. This includes but is not limited to ingame chat of the corresponding game, guestbooks, forums, Match- or News-Comments, ESL Messages, Match-Chat, game IDs. Insults that happen on external messengers are not taken into account.
Penalties are no longer limited to Penalty Points and barrages, but may also contain the following depending on the incident, location and frequency of the insult:
- Penalty Points & barrages are given for incidents within ESL-Matches
- Exclusion of the offending player from the current tournaments in which they are participating*
- Insults or inappropriate behaviour within Comments or other options for contacting a player, will result in a Forum- & Comment ban
Severe incidents including, but not limited to the following points, may be punished in other ways:
- Extremist statements
- Threat of violence
- Sexual harassment
- severe insults
- pornographic linkings
The right to appeal is only with the injured.
* Another player registered on the teamsheet may replace the player if the tournament rules allow it. If more than one player of the same team is excluded, the team is disqualified for the current tournaments in which it participates.
The excessive posting of futile, annoying or offensive contributions within the ESL is considered as spamming. Spamming on the website (forums, match comments, player comments, support- and protest pages, etc) is penalized as follows:
- Written warning for the first offence
- 1 penalty point + 1 week comment ban for the second spamming incident.
- 2 penalty points + 2 week comment ban for the third spamming incident.
- 3 penalty points + 3 week comment ban for the fourth and any further spamming incidents.
The decisive factor therefore is the amount of active penalties for spamming.
1.2.3. Public behaviour
All participants shall abstain, at all times, from poor, undesirable, or negative behaviour towards anybody involved with the tournament in any way.
All participants shall abstain, at all times, from any action or inaction that brings anybody involved with the tournament in any way into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule or reduces the public relations or commercial value of any involved party. This includes derogatory comments aimed at ESL, its partners or products in interviews, statements and/or social media channels.
1.3. Matches, competitions, meetings
In all competitions there should be a fair playing field for all players.
Every encounter, whether a ladder match or other competition must be played according to the rules until it is complete and the result on the ESL page entered, or at events the result sheet is completed. Any encounter that did not take place, should be deleted. Matches will be opened only by admins to delete exceptions. Matches that did not take place will be considered fake matches and will be punished.
It is not allowed for participants to bet on matches in their own competition. Betting against yourself (in team leagues: against your own team) will get you (in team leagues: your team) disqualified and the betting player(s) banned.
Players and teams that are already qualified for or participating in an event (e.g. Pro League or any offline event) or the later stages of a tournament (e.g. Open/Challenger League, but not Sony Open Series) are not allowed to participate in any of its ongoing or upcoming qualifiers. In the case of a player or team breaching this rule, they will be disqualified from the current qualifier and may face further punishment, up to and including disqualification from the event.
1.4. Game / client
In general, all programs which are not part of the original game, including custom-data and modifications, are not allowed in any ESL game. All external voice programs are allowed (e.g. Teamspeak, Ventrilo etc.). Scripts and changes to the game's configuration are allowed, unless they are partly or completely forbidden by the league specific rules. Programs that provide an advantage during game play (e.g. drivers that allow the removing of walls) are forbidden. Any programs that change the game itself are forbidden.
1.5. Game Coverage
The ESL reserves exclusive right to the coverage of ESL matches. This includes all forms of transmission, including IRC Bots, Shoutcast-streams, HLTV and ESL-TV Broadcasts. The ESL can assign the coverage rights of a match or of several matches to a third party or to the actual players themselves. In this case, terms and conditions would have to be arranged with the ESL management before the match.
In general, the ESL will contact any player or team if they wish to broadcast one of their matches. If no contact is made, individual players are allowed to arrange their own broadcasts. Should the game take place on a server that ESL administrators have no direct access to, it must be made sure that enough slots are available for the according clients.
1.6. Internal Texts
All texts written in either protest or support tickets, or written by the administrators to members of a certain league or tournament, cannot be published without the permission of the ESL.
The official language of this national section is English. All players should be able to communicate in English and to do so.
ESL is a member of ESIC, the Esports Integrity Commission. The Esports Integrity Commission is a not for profit members’ association established in 2015 by key esports stakeholders to deal with issues of common interest – in particular the threat that match manipulation and betting fraud and other integrity challenges pose to esports.
Membership of ESIC centres around key Principles that the members have agreed and they have also agreed to be bound by a Code of Ethics to govern their behaviour amongst themselves. ESIC is a historic Commission of businesses that are usually in competition with each other, but recognise that they are all threatened by attacks on the integrity of esports.
The attempt to deceive admins or other players with wrong or fake statements, information or data will not be tolerated.
2.2. Other unauthorized offences
Including but not limited to the abusing of bugs in the website.
These penalties are at the discretion of the responsible admin and are penalized according to severity.
All forms of cheating in ESL matches are forbidden and will be penalized by the ESL. Players found cheating outside of the ESL may be barraged on the ESL depending on the evidence available. Note, we do not accept publicly submitted demo or screenshot evidence in these cases. Should it become known to the ESL administrators that any form of cheating was used to the advantage of a player or a team during an ESL match, the ESL reserves the right to punish them to the full extent of the rules available. By breaking any rule a player risks being barred or completely excluded from a specific league or from all leagues. This also includes their team.
The use of programs (or "hacks") or other methods to circumvent, modify or in any way manipulate ESL Anticheat is forbidden. Any use of such programs or methods will be punished as cheating. Even testing of such programs or methods in a match not happening within the ESL will be punished.
2.3.1. Distribution of cheats
Contributing to the distribution of cheats in any way is not allowed on ESL. This includes but is not limited to referring to the name, website or logo of cheats anywhere on ESL, such as player profiles, team profiles, forums, comments, guest book entries, etc.
Violating this rule will be punished from a warning up to exclusion from ESL.
2.3.2. Cheating Sanctions
Disqualification from the tournament, results voided, forfeiture of prize money, ban between 2 years and lifetime depending on age and level of player and nature/size of tournament and how the player cheated. Cheating at a professional level (i.e. where qualification for a professional event is at stake) should normally result in a 5 year ban, but, in aggravating circumstances, can result in a lifetime ban.
Nevertheless first offenders willing to intensively deal with their situation can get a second chance. More information about the cheater rehabilitation can be found here.
2.4. Match-Fixing/betting fraud
Engaging in any action that improperly influences the outcome of a game or match by any means.
2.4.1. Match-Fixing Sanctions
Results voided, 5 year ban unless significant mitigating factors in line with the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code or, in the presence of aggravating circumstances, a longer ban, forfeiture of prize money and monetary fine (if discovered before the end of a tournament, disqualification).
Any kind of doping is forbidden.
2.5.1. Prescribed medication
If players have an active prescription for a substance on the WADA list, they have to send proof to the tournament administration before the first day of the tournament (deadline in local time). They may still be subject to a doping test, but a positive result for the prescribed substance will be disregarded.
2.5.2. Doping Sanctions
Mild cases of doping will be punished with a warning and possibly minor penalty points for the participant. Severe cases (i.e. use of drugs containing performance enhancing substances, like Adderall) will be punished as follows: Results voided, ban of between 1 and 2 years, forfeiture of prize money (if discovered before the end of a tournament, disqualification).
2.6. Competition manipulation and bribery
Bribing or attempting to bribe a referee or organizer or trying to manipulate the competition.
2.6.1. Competition manipulation and bribery Sanctions
Results voided, ban of between 1 and 2 years, forfeiture of prize money and monetary fine (if discovered before the end of a tournament, disqualification)
2.7. Second and subsequent offences
For second and subsequent offences, participants should expect far harsher sanctions and in all likelihood a lifetime ban from esports.
An ESL Account can only be created if the user is at least six years old. When registering, each player must provide an up-to-date and correct email address and it is the player’s responsibility to keep this up-to-date. To play in a ladder, a method of contact must be available and visible to all users in your player profile.
Also, the permanent residence must be chosen according to the country he/she is currently living in. Should the country differ from his/her nationality, the player can add an additional flag in the settings.
Each player in the ESL must only have one account! If a player can not access his account and then creates a new one, then he/she must write a support ticket explaining in detail the reason for not being able to access the account.
3.1.2. Nicknames, Team Names and URL Aliases
We reserve the right to edit Nicknames and/or URL aliases, if they fail to comply with the following requirements.
Nicknames/aliases are forbidden if they:
- are protected by third-party rights and the user has no written permission
- resemble or if they are identical to a brand or trademark, no matter whether it has been
registered or not
- resemble or if they are identical to a real person other than themselves
- use names of ESL Gaming products
- resemble or if they are identical to the names of ESL Gaming employees
- are nonsense
In addition to the above, any nicknames/team names/aliases that are purely commercial (e.g. product names), defamatory, pejorative, offensive, vulgar, obscene, anti-Semitic, inciting hatred, or offending against good manners are forbidden. Using alternative spelling, gibberish or wrong spelling in order to avoid the requirements mentioned above is illegal. We reserve the right to extend, change, exchange or delete these rules if necessary.
It would be nice if a player's photo clearly shows the face of the player, for adding anything else (graphics, other people, other parts of body, etc.) please use the logo function. For anything else please use the gallery. Photos with weapons are not allowed!
A player's country must be set to their country of residence. Deliberately faking the country of residence is punishable.
If a player's country of residence is changed in order to avoid any country restrictions or if the player is trying to fake or abuse they will be punished with 2 penalty points. If the player does so and plays in a team match, the team will get 3 penalty points and the match is deleted.
A player's nationality must be set to their nationality that is proven by a current passport. Deliberately faking nationality is punishable.
3.1.6. Account sharing
Each ESL account is strictly personal and cannot be shared with other ESL users and / or other players that don't have an ESL account. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a ban of up to 6 months.
The original registrant must always be the final user of the account, which cannot be lent or transferred in any case. This will be considered as account sharing or multi account and pursued according to the ESL rules.
A team's name does not have to be unique, but the ESL reserves the right to refuse clans with the same or similar names as a well-known clan (e.g. If you named your team “Schroet Kommando" or “Schroet Commando” etc, that would not be allowed).
Names which are restricted by law will not be accepted and will be deleted and punished with penalty points if found. Also, names which go against all forms of etiquette and good manners will not be accepted.
If a team deletes its account because of a certain amount of active penalty points and registers a new account, the penalty points will be transferred to the new account if the team rejoins the same ladder. Furthermore 1 additional penalty will be added for the attempted deception.
The logo must represent the team and have some reference to the team's name or to the team's short handle. Copyrighted logos, or logos which go against etiquette and good manors will not be accepted.
3.2.1. Changing team names
A team can change its name at any time. This also applies when a team is restructured.
Changing a team's name in order to fool other teams is forbidden. Extremely long names, or consistent changing of team names is prohibited and can be punished with penalty points.
3.2.2. Team nationality
In general, during matches of ESL national sections, at all times in-game a team must have more than 50% of its players that are residing in or have the nationality of the country or countries that the national section represents.
3.2.3. Players in team
A player may only play for one team in a tournament or league. Participants in an EPS may not also play in the EAS underneath it.
In tournaments or leagues that require Premium or Trusted then only players with this status are eligible to play. In general players that are marked inactive or honorary on a team page are not eligible to play.
If a homepage is required for a tournament or league then a every player that is on the team account must also be on the homepage.
The ESL administration reserves the right to prohibit or remove teams with sponsors or partners that are solely or widely known for pornographic, drug use or other adult/mature themes and products from partaking in ESL Play events at any time.
4. Penalty points
If a player or team disregards or violates one or more of the rules of the league, this can have various consequences depending on the severity of the offence.
As a rule, the penalty points are deleted after a certain period of time. There are different clearance periods depending on the amount of points:
- 1-2 penalty points: 2 months
- 3-6 penalty points: 3 months
- 7 penalty points: 6 months
- 12 penalty points: 2 years
In addition to penalty points, players and teams may be barred (also known as frozen, locked and barraged) if they have accumulated a certain amount of penalty points:
- After obtaining 4 penalty points: 1 week barrage
- After obtaining 8 penalty points: 2 weeks barrage
- After obtaining 10 penalty points: 1 month barrage
Barred players and teams must finish playing their open matches. They cannot challenge nor be challenged. Barred players may not take part in team matches with exception of 2on2 teams.
Penalties (penalty points/barrages/bans) given on ESL subplatforms (e.g. ESL Europe, ESL America) are valid on all ESL subplatforms.
5. Participation in prize tournaments & pro qualifiers
Unless otherwise explicitly permitted, it is not allowed for employees of ESL Gaming GmbH, its subsidiaries or partners, volunteer or contractor staff or employees that are in some way connected to a respective tournament including sponsors, publishers or game developers, to participate in prize winning tournaments, qualification for prize winning tournaments or pro qualifiers.
Prize winning means any tournaments with physical (e.g. hardware) or money prizes. Those prizes will be offered under the raffle conditions, which regulates claiming and receiving prizes. Tournaments with only virtual ESL awards, such as ESL Premium or awards are exempt.
In case you win prize money, depending on the payment method you choose, there might be fees. ESL will cover the fees on the sender end and recipient will cover the fees on the recipient's end.
If in doubt, please contact support.
6. Penalty Point Catalogue
In general, a player and the team can receive up to 6 penalty points per match, unless a single violation has a higher punishment. A team is only punished once per violation, regardless of how many players. Where a player or team receives penalty points for multiple violations, the penalty points are added together.
|Rule violation||Number of penalty points|
|No show||Team: 3; Player: 2|
|Reject compulsory challenge||Normal: 1 |
Intense (top 10): 2
|Abort match||Player / Team: 2|
|Use of ineligible player|
|Inactive barrage||Player / Team: 3|
|Barraged||Player / Team: 6|
|Unregistered player||Player / Team: 3|
|Missing Premium (where required)||Player / Team: 3|
|Missing Trusted (where required)||Player / Team: 3|
|Ringer/Faker||Player / Team: 6|
|Playing with wrong gameaccount||Player / Team: 3|
|Playing without a registered gameaccount||Player / Team: 3|
|Multiple/Fake accounts||Warning / 1-4 penalty points|
|Deception||Player / Team: 1 - 4|
|Fake result||Player / Team: 4|
|Fake match media||Player / Team: 6|
|Fake match||Player / Team: 6|
|Cheating||Player: 12 / Team: 6|
Matches get only deleted if the team/player violating the rules won the match.