Game rules

Madden NFL 20 Open Ladder Rulebook

Eligibility to play

All participating players must enter their PlayStation (PSN ID). The game account is needed to see if the correct player is playing the match and to invite his opponents to a custom match. In order to participate in PSL tournaments, the following requirements must be met:

- You need a registered ESL account.
- You must have your PlayStation Online ID linked to your ESL profile. 

If these requirements are not met, you will not be eligible to participate in ESL tournaments.


Every player agrees to comply with the mentioned settings.

Please note that if you play a match to the end, you automatically accept it with all settings, modes, etc., and it will be evaluated.
Even if a wrong setting was chosen and you play the match to the end, the match will be counted. You have the possibility to protest at the beginning of a match to avoid this.

Tournament Format

  • Tournament Type: Ladder


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.

How to play

  • Add your opponent as a friend
  • Start Madden NFL 20
  • Go to the online Lobby
  • Invite your opponent
  • Select the "Game settings" found below
  • Start the match

Game Settings

  • Mode played: 1on1
  • Round: 1 match
  • Time limit: 5 minutes per quarter
  • AI Skill: All-Pro
  • Accelerated Clock: On
  • Play Clock Remaining: 20 seconds
  • Stadium: Home Team Stadium
  • Weather: Clear
  • Teams: All teams allowed



The team with the higher seed (lower number) will be the hosting team. The hosting team will be responsible for setting up the game lobby, with the above settings, and inviting the opposing team. The hosting team will also have the "Home Team" in the match.


Both players are responsible for entering the correct results in the following manner (if it is not automatically reported due to technical problems):

1. On the ESL website
2. Through the tournament app on the PS4

Both players are responsible for uploading screenshots of the game results at the end of the game. The screenshots must include the nicknames of both players and the score. If a player enters a defeat for himself, the match is automatically closed and scored. The result can then no longer be corrected.
Entering a result while a match is in progress disqualifies the player.
If you have a conflict in the game, please open a protest so that an admin can review the case and make a decision. The decision may also mean that both players will be disqualified if there is insufficient evidence that either player is the clear winner.

Match media

All game media (screenshots and videos) must be kept for at least 15 days. You should always upload match media to the match page as soon as possible. Simulating or manipulating the game media is forbidden and will be punished.


Both players are responsible for uploading screenshots of the game results at the end of the game. The screenshots must include the nicknames of both players and the score. We also recommend that players take screenshots of controversial situations (such as disconnections, problems with game settings, etc.). These screenshots can and will be used as evidence in case of dispute.


As soon as both players are being shown in a match, the match should be started as soon as possible. Intentional delay of the tournament may result in disqualification of the player. If a player does not respond to invites within 15 minutes, the unresponsive player is subject to be forfeited from the bracket.

If there is no result or comment after the round time has expired, no opponent has been reported as not present or a protest/support ticket has been opened, the ESL has the right to disqualify players from a cup.

Players who have set their PSN settings so that they cannot be added as friends or received messages will be excluded from the tournament in order to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly.

Game Version

All players must have the latest version of the game installed in order to participate in ESL tournaments. Updates must always be installed before the tournament starts in order to avoid delays.


Everyone is responsible to reach the best possible connection (ping) for himself, limited to the region and the technical situation.
All downloads and programs that are not needed to play the match must be stopped.
In case of non-compliance with the rules, the team may be disqualified.

Technical Issues

Players are responsible for their own technical problems (Hardware/Internet).
Matches are not postponed due to such problems and must be played.

Illegal Actions & Bugs

Any actions that allow an unfair advantage are illegal.
This includes taking advantage of play bugs in any way.


A minimum of fair play is required to ensure that the leagues run smoothly.
Every player is obliged to treat his opponent in the same way as he would like to be treated by him.
The Admin Team reserves the right to impose further sanctions in addition to the penalty points if this fair play rule is disregarded.
Disregarding the fair play rule includes all unsportsmanship!

Streaming & Viewers

Spectators are only allowed if both parties agree. This does not include ESL admins or people who have received the authorization (streamer, caster). Personal streaming is basically allowed if the match is not broadcast or cast by ESL.