How to Ladder
First of all you need to know that there are no commitments for joining a Ladder. If you are in the Ladder, you are not forced to play a match, but that's what the Ladder is for. Everyone in a Ladder wants to play actively against other teams and sometimes it matters who you are playing against, but sometimes it doesn't. In our Ladders there are three different ways to find an opponent and all of them have advantages depending on what you are looking for or how fast you need a match.
In a ladder, any participant may challenge another. The challenge may be refused by the challenged if they choose. In ladders with more than 20 participants compulsory challenges are activated. If a participant is within 20 places above the challenging participants the refusal will be punished with one penalty point. If both participants are in the top 10 then the refusal will be punished with 2 penalty points.
A challenging participant from the newcomer pool (unranked) is considered as being at the bottom of the ladder, therefore the 20 participants ranked last in the ladder would be punished for rejecting a challenge.
Participants that have more than 5 outstanding challenges in a ladder, no matter if the matches are confirmed or not, may not take on any further challenges. This is scripted into the ESL system and cannot be changed.
If a participant is inactive for 42 days in a ladder, he will be kicked and most of the times (depends on the ladder setup) the player will also get a temporary ban of 5 days which prevents him to sign-up again to the ladder. After the player is kicked the first time and he rejoin the ladder, he will be kicked from the ladder for inactivity after 28 days. On Open Ladders the participant will not lose the points he had before the kick. On Major Ladders, the points are reset.
1. Free challenges - Find a suitable opponent If you are logged in and have signed up for a Ladder, you will find a link "Challenge" in every line of the ranking. Here you can choose the necessary settings such as the date and the time. You should, however, also contact your opponent via private messages or other communication tools.
If you already have agreed with another team to play a match on ESL, then you should use the free challenges to get a match. But you can also challenge any other participant in the Ladder to find a new match.
If you want to know which team you are playing against before the match is created, use the Free Challenge.
2. Instant Challenger - Playing right now The Instant Challenger is the fastest and most direct way to find a suitable opponent for an immediate match. As soon as the the button is clicked, a search starts for an equally strong opponent, who is also searching for an opponent.
No more annoying arrangements of matches in advance, and no need to search in IRC! Simply start the Instant Challenger, sit back and wait for an opponent!
The ESL Instant Challenger consists of three steps: a. Before the ESL Instant Challenger is started, certain parameters can be chosen, e.g. the selection of a specific map. Only if one map is played, will the map be picked at random. Then simply click on "Play!" and the ESL Instant Challenger will start.
b. After the search has been started, a popup window will open. Each search consists of several opponent searches. The small numbers in the center indicate, how many opponent searches have been completed and also when the search will stop. If no opponent can be found after the maximum amount of searches, the main search may be repeated at wish.
c. As soon as an opponent is found, the webpage directs you to the "Pre-Match" window. Here you will find out who your opponent is, the name and some additional information is displayed. The most important feature is the chat in the lower half of the window. Here you can directly talk with your opponent and discuss everything which is needed in order to organize your match (server, IP's, etc.). You will also find a direct link to the match results in the "Pre-Match" window.
If you want to play a match right now, use the Instant Challenger.
3. Matchmaker - Playing on a specific date With the Matchmaker you are able to search a match on a specific date!
All you have to do is to enter an appointment at the appropriate ladder for you or your team, when you want to play. The other participants of the ladder will now see that someone is looking for a match at this or that time - however, no one will see who entered the date. If one participant accepts the challenge, the match will be created immediately. It is of course a compulsory match.
This "hidden" system is necessary as some highly ranked teams sometimes get a hard time finding an opponent. We've also included another protection. Stronger and weaker opponents (relative to yourself) will be marked. The weak opponents cannot be selected (to protect them), but you are able to choose a very strong opponent at your own risk!
4. Challenges - What happen to unanswered challenges? Unanswered challenges are deleted after 7 days. If it's a mandatory challenge, the player who didn't reply to it will get penalties.
5. My opponent didn't confirm the match result! Unconfirmed results will be auto-closed after 1 day.
6. How is my activity calculated? The activity bar is calculated the following way: [number of matches in last 4 weeks]/2 = number of activity points (semi circles). So in order to have the maximum activity, you need to play 12 matches in 4 weeks.
Instant Challenger - How to
The ESL Instant Challenger is the fastest and most direct way to find a suitable opponent for an immediate match. As soon as the button is clicked, a search starts for an equally strong opponent, who is also searching for an opponent. When successful, the EIC automatically creates an obligatory match and sends both participants into the "Pre-Match" window. In this they can talk directly with one another and discuss the details of the match (server, IP's, etc..).
How do I know when the ESL Instant Challenger is active?
Where can I find the ESL Instant Challenger?
If the ESL Instant Challenger is activated in a certain league/ladder, a large ESL Instant Challenger logo will be displayed in the right-hand menu. This will indicate whether the ESL Instant Challenger is currently active, and/or the next date and time at which it will be activated. On the ESL Instant Challenger page / submenu "Times" you can see all dates and times at which the ESL Instant Challenger will be active.
Do I have to install a special program?
No, there is no additional software required.
My opponent has not appeared in the Chat?
Under normal conditions it takes 0-30 seconds for users to connect to the chat. If your opponent does not join the chat, then try to contact him via private message or other options in his profile.
If you have not succeeded in contacting your opponent after 10 minutes, please enter the match result "Opponent did not turn up."
I don't want to play the person the Instant Challenger has found.
The Matches generated by the ESL Instant Challenger are obligatory matches and must be played. You cannot select which opponents you would like to play!
Both me and my opponent don't want to play the match!
If both participants do not want to play the match, then one of the two must fill out a protest ticket and the other player must confirm this. Then an Admin can delete the match.
What happens if somebody doesn't click ready?
If your opponent doesn't click ready he will be thrown out of the queue but you will remain in it and will get higher priority in finding the next opponent.
If you didn't click ready you will be thrown out of the queue.
I closed the window. What happens?
If you reopen the search window again, nothing will happen but if you open it too late and your opponent was already found you will be kicked out of the queue and need to start the search again.
I do not have a game server, can I play anyway?
For games which require a game server, you can choose whether or not you have one available to you. If you do not tick this box it is assumed that you do not have a server and the ESL Instant Challenger will only look for opponents who have an own game server.
Why is the ESL Instant Challenger not active all the time?
The more people there are looking for a match, the better the ESL Instant Challenger will work. Therefore the time in which the ESL Instant Challenger is available has been reduced to maximize its activity. This increases its probability of finding a suitable opponent when it is active.
What criteria must a league fulfil in order to enable the ESL Instant Challenger?
A ladder/league must have a certain size, and/or activity, before the ESL Instant Challenger can be enabled. This is specified individually for each ladder/league. If the ESL Instant Challenger is not currently active in a ladder/league in which you play, then write a thread in the ladder/league forum of the according game!
Does the ESL Instant Challenger also work for team games?
Yes, but only the Leader/Co Leader/Match Orga can start the ESL Instant Challenger. If an opponent is found and if the match is generated, then all team members can come into the "Pre-Match" chat if they wish. To do this, they should click on the ESL Instant Challenger page and click the link to the "Pre-Match" window in his/her open matches.
Can I search for friendly wars over the ESL Instant Challenger
This feature is currently not available. Any match which is generated is an official match!