Game rules

1. Overview

The PlayStation®5 NBA 2K21 PlayStation Tournaments: NBA Playoffs (“NBA2K21PO” or “Competition”) is operated by ESL Gaming (alternatively “ESL” or “Tournament Organizer”). The NBA2K21PO is a video game competition conducted using 2K Games NBA 2K21 (“NBA2K21”) for the PlayStation®5 console (“PS5”).

This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, 2K Games.

If you have any questions about this competition, its registration process and how to participate, please visit the ESL NBA Discord server.

2. NBA Terms & Conditions

  1. Definition of “NBA Entities”: NBA Properties, Inc., the National Basketball Association (the “NBA”), NBA Media Ventures, LLC and the NBA member teams (collectively, the “NBA Entities”). 
  2. Exclusion of Employees of the NBA Entities from Eligibility: Employees of the NBA Entities, including affiliates, agents and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of such employees, are not eligible to enter or win the promotion.
  3. Limitation of Liability: The NBA Entities and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, governors, owners, distributors, retailers, agents, assignees, advertising/promotion agencies, representatives, and agents shall have no liability and will be released and held harmless from any claim, action, liability, loss, injury or damage, including, without limitation, personal injury or death to winner or any third party or damage to personal or real property due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by any reason, including the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prize and/or participation in this promotion.
  4. Right of Publicity Release: Participants in this promotion (if minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) agree to be bound by these Official Rules and agree that the NBA Entities and their designees and assigns may use the participant’s name, voice, city/state of residence, photos, video or film clips, and/or other visual likeness for advertising and/or trade purposes and/or for any other purpose in any media or format now or hereafter known without further compensation (financial or otherwise), permission or notification.

3. Eligibility

3.1 Registration and acceptance of official rules

Participants must sign up for NBA2K21PO using the integrated tournament app on the PS5 (“Tournament App”) through or the ESL Play landing page to be considered for eligibility. Participants (individually a “Player”, “competitor” or “Participant”) who meet the eligibility requirements must also:

  • Own or have access to NBA 2K21 for PS5
  • Own or have access to a PS5 system and compatible controller
  • Have a valid PlayStation Network account (“PSN Account”) and an associated PSN ID
  • Have a valid subscription to an active PlayStation Plus membership
  • Be residents of an applicable region, country or jurisdiction

Players must link their Account for PSN to their ESL account on the Tournament App or on the ESL Play tournament hub page. Players must read the NBA2K21PO ruleset and relevant privacy policies, including the ESL privacy policy, and agree to these rules before entering the tournament. Once a Player has registered, they are considered for eligibility for the NBA2K21PO.

3.2 Age

Players must be eligible to play NBA 2K21 according to their local age restrictions, at the point of tournament registration, as outlined in Appendix B: Countries & Age.

Spain: If Players are minor (under 18 years old), they must obtain consent from their parents or legal guardians on their entry of Competition. If minor Players have entered Competition, it shall be deemed that they have obtained the prior consent from their parents or legal guardians. 

3.3 Employees & conflicts of interests

Employees of ESL, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (“PlayStation”), 2K Games (alternatively “Publisher”), the NBA 2K League, its teams, NBA 2K League, LLC, the National Basketball Association, its member teams, NBA Properties, Inc. and its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, representatives, advertising, promotion and publicity agencies are not eligible to participate in the competition. This also excludes family members or persons living in the same household of such employees.

3.4 Team and player names

ESL reserves the right to edit nicknames or Gamertags and/or URL aliases. The names of teams or players that are very similar to those of another team or player are subject to change by ESL. For more information on team and player names, see section 3.1.2 of the ESL global ruleset: "Nicknames, team names, and URL aliases." If a team name has been changed by mistake, submit a support ticket with proof of ownership of the name. Players with in-game names that violate this rule will not be able to compete. After competing in a qualifying match or tournament, your name will be blocked for the duration of the league and cannot be changed without administration approval.

3.5 Identity fraud

Only official registered players can play. Players and teams must compete with their officially registered nicknames at all times during official matches. Playing as a substitute is prohibited and will result in immediate disqualification. Players may not share their account at any time during the tournament or regular game.

3.6 Game version

All players must install and update to the latest version of the game in order to participate in tournaments organized by ESL. Updates must be installed before the tournament begins. Any delay in a match caused by an update will result in a match loss.

4. Competition structure

The NBA2K21PO will be run in the following regions:

  • North America East
  • North America West
  • Europe East
  • Europe West

The full list of countries per region is available in Appendix B: Countries & Age.

The competition will replicate all the matches played during the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Once all the Playoff rounds are completed, a grand final event will be held and broadcasted with a selected number of finalists.

4.1 Playoffs

All players are eligible to participate in the NBA 2K21 PlayStation Tournaments: NBA Playoffs.

Tournament Format Details

  • Mode: 1on1
  • Tournament system: Single elimination bracket
  • Player seeding: Random
  • Mirror match: Allowed
  • Bo1 matches

The Playoffs tournaments will be divided into 4 parts:

Round 1 (Only for PS4): Each tournament will have two (2) NBA Teams to choose from; 8 tournaments total. The winner of each tournament moves on to the Round 1 final. After the Round 1 qualifiers and Round 1 Final are played, Players who qualified must qualify again in the following tournaments. 

Round 2 (Only for PS4): Each tournament will have two(2) NBA Teams to choose from; 4 tournaments total; Only the NBA teams that made it to Round 2, in the NBA Playoffs, can be selected. The top2 winners of each tournament (8 winners) move on to the Round 2 Final. After the Round 2 qualifiers and Round 2 Final are played, Players who qualified must qualify again in the following tournaments. 

Conference Finals (Only for PS4): Each tournament will have two (2) NBA Teams to choose from; 4 tournaments total; Only the NBA teams that made it to NBA Conference Finals, in the NBA Playoffs, can be selected; Top2 winners of each tournament (8 total) move on to the PlayStation Tournaments Conference Finals - Finals. After the Conference finals qualifiers and Conference Finals Final are played, Players who qualified must qualify again in the following tournaments.

NBA Finals: Each tournament will have two (2) NBA Teams to choose from; 2 tournaments total.Only the NBA teams that made it to NBA Finals, in the NBA Playoffs, can be selected; Top4 (8 winners) move into the Grand Final.

Grand Finals: Players can choose between two (2) NBA Teams that made it to the NBA Finals.

4.2 Grand finals

Players must qualify through NBA Playoffs Finals qualifiers

Tournament Format Details

  • Mode: 1on1
  • Tournament system: Single elimination bracket
  • Player seeding: Ranking-based
  • Bo1 matches
  • Bo3 final match

4.3 Match rules

Match start time
All players must be online and ready to play at the scheduled match time. Match times are always subject to change. Any change in the game time will be communicated to the players as soon as possible. To see the match schedule access the match event page in your PS5 by going to My Events or visit the ESL Play tournament page.

How to join your game lobby

  1. Add your opponent to friends
  2. Set up the lobby and invite your opponent to the match
  3. Play the match
  4. After the match is finished, please enter the result via PlayStation Competition Center, ESL Play website or ESL Play App
  5. Save a screenshot proving the result in case a protest is required

Match Details

  • Game style: Pro
  • Quarter Length: 5 minutes
  • Fatigue: On
  • Controls: All
  • Game speed: Normal
  • Allowed teams: Only the teams specified in each tournament

Players positioned on the top side of the bracket (left side in the match page) must be the host. The host must play as the home team. He or she will also be responsible for setting up the game room with the correct settings and inviting the opposing player.

Game preparations
Solve any problems that may occur before a match begins. Connection or hardware problems during a match will result in disqualification by ESL administrators. In the event of problems during games, players should always take and upload screenshots. In the captures, it must be possible to identify both players before the game, the final result and any questionable situation.

No show
All participants have up to 10 minutes to join the game, starting the countdown from the scheduled start time of each game. Any player that does not join the match within this given time will receive a default loss. All delays must be reported immediately to the tournament administrator opening a protest ticket. Failure to report that your opponent has not appeared may result in a delay in the tournament. Any unreported delay will result in the disqualification of both players to ensure that the tournament can be completed in a timely manner.

Results have to be manually submitted by the players at the end of the match via PlayStation Competition Center, ESL Play website or ESL Play App.

In the event that a player goes offline during a game, that player will receive a default loss. Participants can also choose to leave a game if they wish. Abandonment will always be considered as a loss.

ESL is not responsible for any connection, software and/or hardware problems that players may have while participating in the competition.

4.3 Match disputes

If any issues are encountered in a match, it is the players’ responsibility to create a protest ticket and reach out to the admin team.

  • In order to create a dispute go to "My Events" in your PS5 console, choose the match you need assistance and select "Go To Support Page". You can also open a protest ticket directly from the ESL Play website or ESL Play App. (
  • Players are responsible for providing proof of match problems and/or results. This can be done with screenshots or video replays uploaded to websites such as YouTube or Twitch.

Match media
The following match media are acceptable forms of proof during match reporting and protests:

  • Livestream VODs with clear naming of the players, selected teams, date, tournament round and results.
  • Screenshots or photographs showing both players and the result/issues.

5. Prizing

The following prizes will be distributed to the players based on their finishing position/point of exit from the tournament series as stated below:


Round 1 (Only for PS4)


Spot in Round 1 finals


50 PS Store Credit

3rd - 4th

20 PS Store Credit

Round 2 (Only for PS4)


Spot in Round 2 finals


Spot in Round 2 finals

3rd - 4th

50 PS Store Credit

Conference (Only for PS4)


Spot in Conference Finals


Spot in Conference Finals

3rd - 4th

50 PS Store Credit

NBA Finals


Spot in Grand Finals


Spot in Grand Finals

3rd - 4th

Spot in Grand Finals


Round 1 Finals (Only for PS4)


250 PS Store Credit


200 PS Store Credit

3rd - 4th

150 PS Store Credit

5th - 8th

50 PS Store Credit

Round 2 Finals (Only for PS4)


250 PS Store Credit


200 PS Store Credit

3rd - 4th

150 PS Store Credit

5th - 8th

50 PS Store Credit

Conference Finals (Only for PS4)


250 PS Store Credit


200 PS Store Credit

3rd - 4th

150 PS Store Credit

5th - 8th

50 PS Store Credit

NBA Grand Finals


$500 + 250 PS Store Credit


200 PS Store Credit

3rd - 4th

150 PS Store Credit

5th - 8th

50 PS Store Credit

PS Store Credit will be delivered in local currency. The email address that was used to sign up for the tournament will be used to receive the PS Store Credit voucher code. The Player must redeem the code via PS5 Console or

Cash prizes are always before taxes. For this competition ESL uses Matcherino to deliver prize money. Matcherino will automatically deduct taxes from the prize winnings, based on local law.

5.1 Prizing Terms and Conditions

Prizes are not transferable. No substitution of Prizes for other goods and services is permitted, except ESL reserves the right to provide a substitute Prize of approximately equal value if the advertised prize is unavailable. All expenses not specified above, including, without limitation, all applicable federal, state, and local taxes, and international tariffs are the sole responsibility of the individual Winner.  Players can participate in this competition against players from across their tournament Region (as defined in Appendix B). As a result, prize winners are not guaranteed to be participants from a particular country except where stated otherwise. 

Receiving a prize is contingent upon compliance with these Official Rules; all prizes claimed in accordance with these Official Rules will be awarded. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified, or the prize is forfeited for any reason, ESL will award the applicable prize, time permitting given the nature of the prize, to the next eligible runner-up Competitor. Only 3 alternate runner-up winners will be chosen, after which the tournament organizer retains the discretion to donate the applicable prize to a charity of ESL’s choosing. Potential winners may be required to provide a shipping address to claim the prize. Allow up to 3 months for delivery of prizes.

6. Game coverage

PlayStation reserves exclusive rights to the coverage of PlayStation Tournament matches. This includes all forms of transmission, including IRC Bots, Shoutcast-streams, live broadcasts on platforms like Twitch, Youtube and the likes. PlayStation 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 PlayStation management, or ESL as tournament organizer, before the match.

In general, PlayStation or ESL as tournament organizer, 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.

7. General terms 

Participants’ personal information will be subject to ESL privacy policy and Cookie Policy, available at for the purposes listed therein. Furthermore, Participants’ personal information will be processed for the purpose of organizing, running and monitoring the Competition and prize fulfilment, including, if Participant wins a prize, publishing (i) their name on the Winner(s) List and (ii) their name and country of residence online or in any other media in connection with the Competition.

Players can remove their name from the Winner(s) List by unlinking their PSN and ESL account and deleting their ESL account.

Personal information will be processed in the United Kingdom or any other country in which ESL, its subsidiaries, or third party agents operate. By entering the Competition, you consent that your personal information may be transferred to recipients in the United States and other countries that may not offer the same level of privacy protection as the laws in your country of residence or citizenship.

Participants have the right to access, withdraw, and correct their personal information on their account page.

By participating in this Competition, each Participant further agrees:

(a) That the tournament organizer’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Competition;

(b) The Competition is governed by the laws of the State of California and all claims must be resolved in the United States.

Nothing in these Official Rules shall have the effect to deprive you of the consumer protection rights granted to you by the laws of your country of residence that cannot be derogated from by agreement.

(c) The Tournament Organizer reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by the Tournament Organizer in its sole discretion. If terminated, the Tournament Organizer may, in its sole discretion, determine the winners from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to the time of such action using the judging procedure outlined above. The Tournament Organizer, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or those of any other Competition, or the PlayStation Network Terms of Service and Users Agreement, or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and void all associated entries. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Tournament Organizer reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Tournament Organizer’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

(d) By accepting any of the prizes, you acknowledge and agree that the Tournament Organizer and its designees have the right to use the below information and any other information provided in the administration, marketing, and promotion of the NBA2K21PO, without further consent or compensation to you, unless otherwise noted below:

Background info: Full name, country of residency, age, platform, persona (including PSN ID), likeness
Social Media info: Twitter handle and Twitch account (if applicable)


Nothing in these Official Rules shall be deemed to exclude or restrict any of the Winner’s or the Entrant’s statutory rights as a consumer. 

Commercial rights
All commercial rights (including without limitation any and all marketing and media rights) relating to the NBA2K21PO, belong to the Tournament Organizer and its licensors.

Participant shall not associate themselves with the NBA2K21PO, ESL, 2K, the NBA 2K League, its teams, NBA 2K League, LLC, the National Basketball Association, its member teams, NBA Properties, Inc. or PlayStation in any commercial manner, nor use any intellectual property rights of those parties, nor shall they permit any third parties to do so, without the prior written consent of the Tournament Organizer or the applicable rights holders, which consent may be granted or withheld in each of their sole discretion.

Any Participant or Participant ad sponsor wishing to carry out or facilitate any promotional or marketing activities with respect to the NBA2K21PO, will need prior written consent from the Tournament Organizer or from the respective rights holders, which may be granted or withheld in each of their sole discretion.

The recording and dissemination of images or footage of the NBA2K21PO for commercial purposes by or on behalf of participants is strictly prohibited.

“PlayStation”, “PS4”, and “PS5” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

Appendix A: Code of conduct

The below Code of Conduct applies to all Players in the NBA2K21PO at all levels of the competition unless otherwise specified. The tournament organizer reserves the right to levy penalties, sanction or disqualify any player at its discretion.

Competitors must conduct themselves in a reasonable manner, maintaining an appropriate demeanour to spectators, members of the press, tournament administrators, and to other Players. These requirements apply to both offline and online, including with respect to social media conduct and activity on live streams. All Players are expected to adhere to these standards of sportsmanship.

Players must conduct themselves in a reasonable manner, maintaining an appropriate demeanour to spectators, members of the press, tournament administrators, and to other Players. These requirements apply to both offline and online, including with respect to social media conduct. All players are expected to adhere to the standards of good sportsmanship at all times.

Players will refrain from using vulgar or offensive language.

Abusive behaviour, including harassment and threats is prohibited.

Physical abuse, fighting or any threatening action or threatening language, directed at any Player, spectator, official or any other person is prohibited.

Any action that interferes with play of a game, including but not limited to purposely breaking a game station, interfering with power, and abuse of in-game pausing, is prohibited and can result in match forfeiture and/or disqualification from the competition.

Gambling, including betting on the outcome of games, is prohibited.

All Players must not disclose any confidential information provided by the tournament organizer or any of its affiliates to any other people or groups of people, including via social media.

Collusion is defined as any agreement among two or more Players to disadvantage other Players in the Competition. Collusion between Players is strictly prohibited. Any Players determined by the tournament organizer at any phase of the NBA2K21PO to be engaging in Collusion will be removed from the competition, and be forced to return any compensation and prizes they’ve received from Live Events.

Examples of collusion include, but are not limited to:

Intentionally losing a match for any reason.
Playing on behalf of another competitor, including using a secondary account, to aid them.
Any form of match-fixing.
Agreeing to split prize money.

Violation of any part of these Official Rules will, at the Tournament organizer's election, result in (a) sanction(s) and/or (b) loss of winner status. All Players must follow the tournament organizer's directions. All decisions and rulings of the tournament organizer are final and binding. The Tournament organizer reserves the right to sanction any Player in competition at any level, at any time for any reason. Sanctions may include, in no particular order, the following:

Forfeiture of single match
Forfeiture of all matches
Loss of awards (including prize money and other paid expenses)
Disqualification from the NBA2K21PO

The tournament organizer also has the right to publicly announce penalties that have been levied on Players. Players who have been penalized by the tournament organizer hereby waive any right of legal action against the NBA2K21PO and PlayStation, and/or any of its affiliates.

Players in the NBA2K21PO have the ability to acquire ad sponsors. Ad sponsorship acquisition is limited, however, to exclude certain categories and industries. If the ad sponsor falls under the below limited categories, then the ad sponsorship may not be displayed by the Player in conjunction with or during the NBA2K21PO. The Tournament Organizer and its designees reserve the right to update the below list at any time. The following is a nonexclusive list of prohibited ad sponsors:

Gambling or gambling websites
Alcohol, Tobacco, and/or Non-“over-the-counter” Drugs
Firearms or any type of weapons
Pornographic or adult material
Products or services from direct competitors of PlayStation, its partners, and its other subsidiary brands
Direct competitors of PlayStation

The Tournament Organizer reserves the right to prohibit any third party at their sole discretion.

Appendix B: Countries & Age

Below is a comprehensive list of all eligible countries, their respective tournament region and minimum age required to participate in the NBA2K21PO tournaments: 





North America


United States

North America

















Czech Republic



















































Russian Federation
























United Kingdom



System rules

1. ESL Cups

1.1. Concept

The ESL cups are intended to resolve the best players during a single tournament bracket. They can be either single or double elimination. This means you might be able to continue even if you have one loss during a previous round. You can read more from our tournament guide.

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.

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 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
  • Stalking
  • 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.

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.

1.2.3. 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.

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 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
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.