Tournament Structure


The groupstage will consist of 4 groups of 6 contestants. Each contestant will play each other contestant in their group once, playing one match per week.


If two or more contestants are equal on points on completion of the group stage, the following criteria are applied to all tied teams to determine the ranking between all of them:

    Return to point 1. in case the number of tied participants has been reduced by any criteria point.
  1. Points amassed between the participants themselves
  2. Round/map-difference between the participants
  3. Number of won maps/rounds between the participants
  4. Overall Round/Map Difference
  5. Overall Higher score (as counted in column “score difference”)
  6. If after all points the teams are still indistinguishable, a match or mini league between the teams has to be played.


The playoffs will be 12 contestant single elimination bracket. The top 3 contestants from each group will qualify for the playoffs. The group winners will be seeded 1 to 4, the group 2nd places 5-8 and third places 9-12. This means in the first round the group winners winners will have a bye and the 2nd and 3rd places face each other. The contestants will be seeded so that two contestants from the same group can only meet in the grand final.


It is our aim to follow this schedule as best as possible.

Qualifiers & Qualification Round 1 + 2

  • National Qualifiers: Monday August 23 - Sunday September 12
  • Qualification Round 1: Monday September 20 - Sunday September 26
  • Qualification Round 2: Monday September 27 - Sunday October 3


  • Week 1: Monday October 11 - Sunday October 17
  • Week 2: Monday October 18 - Sunday October 24
  • Week 3: Monday October 25 - Sunday October 31
  • Week 4: Monday November 1 - Sunday November 7
  • Week 5: Monday November 8 - Sunday November 14
  • Catch up: Monday November 15 - Sunday November 21


  • Relegation: Monday November 22 - Sunday November 28
  • Round One: Monday November 29 - Sunday December 5
  • Quarter Finals: Monday December 6 - Sunday December 12
  • Semi & Finals: Monday December 13 - Sunday December 19

Call of Duty 4 Specific Rules

Head Admins

Default match time

By default all matches are scheduled for Sunday 20 CET of the playweek. Matches may be rescheduled, see #Scheduling for details.


Players must enter their CoD4 PB GUID on their ESL profile before taking part in ESL Major Series matches.

Playing with a wrong or missing gameaccount at the time of a match will be punished with 3 minor penalty point.


Every player must use Aequitas for the entire duration of the match.

Aequitas Files

Each player must upload the Aequitas file (the ZIP created by Aequitas) without reminder, within 24 hours of the end of the match. The player and their team are responsible for the upload, meaning he or she has to check if the files are complete and working.

Missing, not working, incomplete or modified Aequitas files must be reported by the other team in a protest and will be punished with 1 major penalty for the team. A period of 48 hours will then be given to replace the files in question. Should the Aequitas files be replaced with the correct ones the penalty will then be reduced to 3 minor penalty. If the files of the winning team are still not complete after the period of 48 hours the match will be replayed.

Procedure for non-working Aequitas

If the website is offline then Aequitas will not work. This is the only situation where it is possible to play without Aequitas. It is responsibility of the player to ensure that Aequitas works for them and report it to the admin team as soon as possible.

Should Aequitas not work for a player, the player must take a screenshot of the error message and upload it befor he start the match. If you are not able to run Aequitas properly, you are not allowed to participate in an ESL EMS match. In case of problems without an errormessage you have to postpone the match (if necessary by filing a protest).

Match Media


The punishment for missing screenshots is no more than 3 minor penalty per match.

Score screenshot

Both teams are responsible for taking a screenshot showing the final score and uploading it to the match page.


Both teams are responsible for taking a pb_plist screenshot showing all players in the match. If a player reconnects or a player is changed, a new screenshot should be taken.

Client settings


CVAR values are forced by the GV Punkbuster configs.

To load this type in the console /rcon pb_sv_load ESL.cfg

Illegal script and binds

Illegal binds are binds which are not listed on the exception list in any form. If a player has illegal binds, he will get 1 minor point per bind and maximum 6 minors per match.


Screenshotscripts (pb_plist only)
Weapon/-menu/-select-Scripts (includes all grenades)
Filmtweaks (automatically enabled in the new promod)
Scoreboard team rename
Scoreboard colour and size changes
Volume binds/toggles
Thirdperson binds
Toggle FPS (range is 60 <-> 250 FPS)
vstr binds*

  • Note: vstr binds are allowed as long as it doesnt give you an advantage during the game.

Graphics card drivers or other tools

All changes of models, crosshairs, HUD or other files are forbidden. Changes of the game graphic or textures with graphics card drivers or other tools of that kind are also forbidden. Programs allowing these changes are strictly forbidden, programs and config-settings allowing strong advantages are also strictly forbidden.

Changes to the game

All changes of models, crosshairs, HUD or other files are forbidden. Editing of the *.IWD files is strongly forbidden.

Server settings


All ESL Major Series matches must be played with Punkbuster enabled. Download the ESL Punkbuster config


All ESL Major Series matches must be played with the latest version of Promod and the match_mr12 match mode. Download here


Servers must be setup to stream to Games-Violations. Download the ESL Punkbuster config


Map pool

  • mp_citystreets
  • mp_backlot
  • mp_crash
  • mp_strike
  • mp_crossfire

Map choice (groupstage)

The map used for each playweek of the groupstage is fixed in advance by the ESL. The map to be played will be shown on the match page.

Map choice (relegation, playoffs)

To decide which map is played in a relegation or playoff match a veto system is used. Each team withdraw frist one map - after this the each team picks one map the last one will be the decider map if we have a draw after 2 maps.

Match format


A groupstage match is one map, full 24 rounds, each team playing 12 rounds on both sides.

Playoffs and relegation

A playoffs or relegation match is best of 3 maps, first to 13 rounds each map. In the event of a tie, overtime will be MR3.

In-game rules

Bug using

Using bugs is strictly forbidden. If bugs are used which are not explicitly mentioned in the rules, the admin can still decide to give out penalties.

Leaving server

Leaving the match before the match has been decided will be punished with 1 major penalty point and all remaining rounds being given to the opposing team.

Leaving a groupstage match before all 24 rounds have been played will be punished with 3 minor penalty point and all remaining rounds being given to the opposing team.

During the match

  • Moving through walls, floors and roofs is strictly forbidden. This also includes skywalking.
  • "silent bombs" (i.e. the planting of a bomb which doesn't make a sound ) are illegal.
  • Planting bombs so that they cannot be defused is illegal.
  • This does not include plants where multiple players are needed to defuse.
  • Boosting with the help of team mates is allowed in general, but it is forbidden in places were the textures, walls, ceilings, floors become transparent or penetrable. For more information read the map specific bugs section.
  • Flashbugs are forbidden.
  • Throwing grenades under walls is not allowed, throwing grenades over walls or roofs is allowed.
  • "Mapswimming" or "Floating" is illegal.
  • "Pixelwalking" is illegal (Sitting or standing on invisible map edges)

General: Using bugs which change the game principle (e.g. spawn bugs) is illegal.

Map specific bugs

Backlot: 1 , 1 , 3 , 4

Crash: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4

Crossfire: 1

Strike: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

Missing bugs which give a team a strong advantage and are not listed here can also punished.

Crash procedures

If a player's computer crashes before the first kill has been made in the first round, the match will be restarted. If a player's computer crashes after the first kill has been made, the server will be paused at the end of the current round. Once the player has rejoined the server and the teams are notified of his or her return, the game will be resumed. It is the each player's responsibility to make sure their hardware/software/internet connection is fully functional before participating in a match. If they are in doubt, they should notify their team captain and appropriate actions should be taken.


If a player or a team violates one or more of the league rules, they will be punished according to the degree of the infringement. This penalty catalogue contains a list of offences with which penalties may be awarded to players and teams.

The administration will decide whether an offence has affected the outcome of the match to an extent that it can not be counted and must be repeated.

The administration reserves the right to give penalties not covered by this catalogue or give different penalties than the ones listed here.


As in daily life, a certain degree of courtesy should be maintained between players and teams of the ESL Major Series. Violations of this rule will be punished depending on the severity and frequency.


All insults occurring in connection with the ESL Major Series will be punished. This primarily applies to insults during a match but also on the ESL website (forums, match comments, player guestbooks, support and protest tickets, etc.). Insults on IRC, IM programs, E-mail or other means of communication will be punished if they can be linked to the ESL Major Series and the evidence is clear.

Particularly severe abuse cases with extreme statements or the threat of physical violence can result in significantly heavier penalties including the exclusion of the player.

Depending on the nature and severity of the insult the penalty will be assigned to the player or to the team in team leagues. In team leagues players may also be barred from playing for one or more match weeks.


The excessive posting of senseless, harassing or offensive messages is regarded as spamming.

Spamming on the website (forums, match comments, player guestbooks, support and protest tickets, etc.) will be punished depending on the nature and severity.

Unsportsmanlike Behaviour

For an orderly and pleasant game it is essential that all players have a sportive and fair attitude. Breaches of this rule will be punished with (1) to (3) minor penalties. The most important and most common offences are listed below. However, the administration may assign penalties for not explicitly listed types of unsportsmanlike behaviour (e.g. harassment).

In-game Spam

Up to three (3) minor penalties may be awarded for the abuse of the game's chat functions if it's used for excessive spamming, in order to distract the opponents or to disrupt the game. These functions are solely meant for communication with the opponent and the match admin.

Kicking Players from the game server

Six (6) minor penalties will be awarded for kicking players from the game server. It is prohibited to kick players of the opposing team from the server during a match. The match admin present on the game server decides whether the kick affected the outcome of the match. A rematch may be set in grave cases.


The attempt to deceive the administration or other players using false or fictitious information, statements or data is punishable as follows:

Fake Results

Four (4) minor penalties are awarded for entering a fake result, for example: if the opponent leaves the server prematurely or refuses to play the match. If anything is unclear, e.g. the players cannot agree on a solution, a protest always has to be filed.

Fake Match media

Match media includes all records, such as e.g. Demos, screenshots, or logs, that are produced in the context of a match. The counterfeiting of Match Media is prohibited and will be punished depending on the seriousness with one (1) to four (4) minor penalties.

Serious Circumstances

If counterfeit match media is submitted and there is a suspicion of cheating the punishment is increased to six (6) minor penalties.

Miscellaneous Deceptions

Other attempts to deceive an admin or another player, depending on the severity, will be punished at the discretion of the administrators with one (1) to four (4) minor penalties.

Use of ineligible players

The use of an ineligible player is punished with one (1) major penalty.


One (1) major penalty point will be given if a player is found to be playing under the name of another player.


Cheating in an ESL Major Series match will result in the participant being kicked. The player(s) will be punished with 12 regular penalty points and a 2 year barrage from the ESL.


The tournament administration can remove any participants that he sees fit, for any reason.