Game rules

Madden NFL 20 Open Cup Rulebook

The rules are a guideline and the decisions by admins may differ from them depending on the circumstances. If you have any questions about the rules, please write a support ticket.

1. Eligibility to play

All players participating in Madden NFL 20 Open Cup must enter their Game ID correctly (PSN ID). The Game ID is required to invite players to a custom game and to verify if the correct player is playing. To participate you must meet the following requirements:
  • You must be a registered player on the ESL Play platform.
  • You must have an active Madden NFL 20 Game ID in good standing and add it to your profile.
  • Your account must be eligible to play online.

If you do not meet these requirements, you will be considered ineligible.

2. Tournament Details

  • Game Mode: 1on1.
  • Format: All matches are Bo1.
  • Tournament Type: Swiss System.
  • Number of rounds: The number of rounds to be played can vary based on the amount of participants and results.
  • The tournament will progress until a clear prize ranking, using Buchholz tiebreakers, is reached.
  • Elimination after 1 loss.
  • Round time: Each round lasts 45 minutes. If a score or answer is not reported on time, the match will be deleted and both players will be disqualified, thus preventing delaying the tournament for all players.

3. Tournament Rules

3.1. No show

Each player has 10 minutes to show up to a match. (scheduled match start time +10 minutes). Not showing up within 10 minutes results in a default loss. The player that is waiting must create a Protest Ticket (which is available in the match event page).

3.2. Protests

  • If any issues are encountered in a match, it’s the players responsibility to create a protest and reach out to the admin team.
  • In order to create a protest, go to the match page in your PS4 (“Events” > “My Events” > Choose the match you need assistance) and select the option “Go to Support Page”.
  • Players are responsible for providing proof of match results in case of protests. This can be done with screenshots of each victory or video replays uploaded to website such as Youtube or Twitch.

3.3. Results

Both players are responsible for entering the correct results in the following manner:

1. On the ESL website.

2. Through the tournament app on the PS4.

  • Player is responsible for uploading screenshots of the game results at the end of the game. Screenshots must include the nickname of the opponent and final 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 ticket so 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.

4. 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.

4.1. Screenshots

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 protests.

5. Match Settings

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 before the second quarter of the match is over to avoid this.

5.1. Game Settings

  • Fatigue: On
  • Quarter Length: 5 minutes
  • Game Skill: All-Pro
  • Accelerated Clock: 20 sec
  • Weather: Clear
  • Stadium: Home Team Stadium
  • Teams: All teams allowed

5.2. Hosting

Player positioned on the left side will always be the HOME team while the right side will always be AWAY team. The hosting team will also have the "Home Team" in the match. The hosting team will be responsible for setting up the game lobby, with the above settings.

6. Match rules

6.1. Mirror matches

In the event that both players select the same team, at the end of the match we need two screenshots, one where we can see both players usernames in the team selection screen, and other with the final results of the match.

If none player has a screenshot of the team selection screen, it will be assumed that the home team is the one positioned on the left side of the match page in ESL Play.

6.2. Disconnection

In case of disconnection, both players must share with the admin staff screenshots with the message of disconnection. In the screenshot, the opponent’s nickname must be visible and understable, as also the last score that was kept until the moment of the unexpected situation.
  • If only one player shows the disconnection screenshot, that player will be the winner.
  • If both players have the disconnection screenshot, the highest score player will be the winner.
  • In case of disconnection with a 0-0 score, both players must remake the match as soon as possible and play only two quarters (half time), always reaching the admin (via protest ticket) staff to avoid closed matches. The selected teams must be the same as the last match. This rule doesn’t apply for finished matches by “excessive griefing”.

6.3. Disqualification

  • 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 10 minutes, the unresponsive player is subject to be forfeited from the match.
  • If there is no result after the round time has expired, no opponent has been reported as not present or a protest ticket has been opened, 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.

6.4. Technical Issues

Players are responsible for their own technical problems (Hardware/Internet).

Matches are not postponed due to such problems and must be played.

6.5. Illegal Actions & Bugs

Any actions that allow an unfair advantage are illegal.

This includes taking advantage of play bugs in any way.

7. Prizes

7.1. Prizing distribution

The following prizes will be distributed to the players based on their finishing position as stated below:
  • 1° place: $25 USD PSN gift card
  • 2° - 8° place: $10 USD PSN gift card

7.2. Prizing delivery deadline

Prizes will be delivered to the email that the winner player has registered on its ESL profile, within the following 90 days after the competition finished. If the deadline is reached and the prize was not sent yet, the player must open a support ticket to inform the admin team about the situation.

The admin team will have all the decision power over the situations that are not described on the rules. According to the evidences and proofs collected on support or protest tickets, the admin team can punish with 1 and up to 6 penalty points depending on the case.

System rules

1. ESL Swiss tournaments

1.1. Concept

The ESL Swiss tournaments are intended to resolve the best players or teams during a multiple round one-versus-one pairing system. Our system calculates pairings based on your amount of wins in the previous rounds and potentially your initial seeding value if they're being utilized in the tournament. The player with the highest amount of wins overall will be ranked highest. You can read more from our Swiss FAQ.

1.2. No show

If your opponent does not show up after 10 minutes, you must enter the result as your opponent did not appear in time. Do not enter a default win for yourself. Please refer to the specific tournament rules for further details.

General rules

1. Global Rules

1.1. General

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 penalty points. In the case of repeat 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
  • 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
  • Stalking
  • severe insults
  • pornographic linkings

The right to appeal is only with the injured.

1.2.2. Spamming

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.

1.3. 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) 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.

1.7. Language

The official language of this national section is English. All players should be able to communicate in English and to do so.

2. Fraud/deception

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.

2.1. Deception

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.

2.3. Cheating

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.

2.3.3. Rehabilitation

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).

2.5. Doping

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.

3. Accounts

3.1. Player

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.

3.1.1. Multiaccounts

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.

3.1.3. Photo

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!

3.1.4. Country

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.

3.1.5. Nationality

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.

3.2. Teams

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.

3.2.4. Sponsors/partnerships

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 Turtle Entertainment, 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.

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
General
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
Unsportsmanlike behaviour
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
* In cup and league matches default wins are given instead of a match deletion and penalty points.

Matches get only deleted if the team/player violating the rules won the match.

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