Game rules

This is a living document and is subject to change at the discretion of the ESL Administration. Any issue on the localized rulebook must be referred to the English Rulebook.

Compliance with these Game Rules is mandatory. By participating in the tournament, you agree to abide by these Rules, which form a binding contract between you and ESL Gaming GmbH ("ESL" or "us"). We encourage you to carefully read the Game Rules and all other documents mentioned herein, as these are part of the contract with you.

General understanding of the Rulebook

The following rulebook is a guidance document that is valid for all stages of the tournament. Admins reserve the right to make amendments to the rulebook with or without prior notice to the players. Admins are the decision-makers for all cases and disputes which may occur and are not written in this rulebook.


1 General Rules

1.1 Rule Changes

The League administration reserves the right to amend, remove, or otherwise change the rules outlined in this Rulebook, without further notice. The League administration also reserves the right to make a judgment on cases that are not explicitly supported, or detailed in this Rulebook, or to make judgments that even go against this Rulebook in extreme cases, to preserve fair play and sportsmanship.

1.2 Rights

All broadcasting rights of Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022 are owned by Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Tencent, Yoodo and ESL. This includes but is not limited to: Video streams, TV broadcasts, Shoutcast streams, replays, demos, or live score bots.

1.3 Agreements

By participating in the Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022, you agree to the rules that have been set in the tournament.

Players are required to begin any preparations needed to reach the finals. This means, having identification that allows you to travel available to verify all participants in the live Finals (if applicable). This includes but is not limited to, photo ID, state-issued ID, Passport, and Visa.

1.4 Privacy and Data Protection

All participants hereby agree that ESL Gaming GmbH (ESL) will collect, store, share and otherwise process personal data of participants in the tournament, including of players, coaches, team managers and other individuals associated with a Team. Participants are informed that ESL generally processes personal data, including, but not limited to, image and spoken word, name, nickname, and nationality, to organize and conduct the tournament, to broadcast the tournament, to keep in touch with participants regarding the tournament, for prize delivery, etc. ESL will process such personal data in accordance with its privacy policy, available at For more information or any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Any personal data shared with third parties will be processed in line with their privacy policies.

1.5 Game Version

All players must install the latest version of the game in order to participate in tournaments hosted by ESL. Updates must be installed before the tournament starts.

1.5.1 Patch

All online matches will be played on the patch available on the live servers at the time of a match. All offline matches will be played on the tournament server.

1.6 Confidentiality

The content of protests, support tickets, discussions, or any other correspondence with league officials and administrators are deemed strictly confidential. The publication of such material is prohibited without prior written consent from the League administration.

1.7 Alcohol or Other Psychoactive Drugs

To play a match, be it online or offline, under the influence of alcohol or other psychoactive drugs, even if not among the punishable substances, is strictly prohibited, and may lead to severe punishment.

1.8 Player Participation

1.8.1 Player requirements and restrictions

In order to participate in Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022, you must meet the following requirements:

    • The players must agree to and abide by the tournament rules.

    • All Players’ Nationality must be Malaysian.

    • All Players must be residing in Malaysia during the registration period until the end of the whole tournament.

    • At the time of registration for the tournament, the representative person who registers (the “Representative Player”) must be 16 years of age or older.

    • In the event any information pertaining to these requirements are found to be false, players will be disqualified at any time whilst forfeiting all prizes owed to them regardless of the outcome of the tournament. 

1.8.2 Teams and Players

    • A team must consist of 5 - 6 players, including the representative player.

    • The representative player must check in on the day of the tournament, report the results of the match, and communicate with the tournament administration.

    • 5 players from the team must participate in the match.

    • A player cannot be a member of more than one (1) team at the same time.

    • The name of the registered player should match the in-game trainer name.

*The name of the registered player must be the same as the in-game trainer name on the day of the tournament.

*If the trainer name does not match the registration information, the player will not be allowed to participate.

1.9 Use of Correct Player IDs

  • A player must only use one ESL account and a Pokémon UNITE account during a competition.
  • If two players with identical account names are entering the same competition at approximately the same time, then the players should work together with the competition organizer to find a compromise. If no compromise can be found, then the account name shall be disallowed for both players, and both shall be required to select a new account name that conforms with these guidelines.
  • ESL reserves the right to deny or revoke the use of an account name for any reason.

1.10 Names, Symbols, and Sponsors

ESL reserves the right to forbid the use of unwanted names and/or symbols in their competitions. Any legally protected words or symbols are generally forbidden unless the owner gives permission. 

No advertisement or promotion of sponsors that are solely or widely known for pornographic, drug use, or other adult or mature themes and products is allowed in connection to Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022.

1) Team and trainer names may not include any words protected by third-party rights without written permission.

2) Team and trainer names may not include any names similar to or match any brand name.

3) Team and trainer names may not include any names that resemble or match a real person’s name, except for the person himself.

4) Team and trainer names may not include any words that violate the law or public order and morals.

5) Team and trainer names may not include any words that contain elements of commercial names (e.g. product names), slander, derision, aggression, obscenity, indecency, incitement to hatred, or bad manners. It is also a violation to use alternative spellings, meaningless strings, or incorrect spellings to circumvent the above conditions.

Tournament adminis reserve the right to expand, change, or replace the above conditions if deemed necessary.

1.11 Deny of Participation

Players may not change accounts/account names once they’ve started their participation in the tournament. Admins may in special cases decide to allow account/name changes. In the event that a player is required to change their account/account names during the tournament, Admins will inform the player at the earliest possible convenience and the player shall comply in order to maintain the flow of the tournament. Should a player be found utilising an account which goes against the rules, they will be denied participation at the sole discretion of the Admins. 


2 Schedule

2.1 Qualifiers Round

  • Registration opens: 27th July 2022, 12:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)

  • Qualifiers Day 1 & Day 2

  • 24th September 2022 - 25th September 2022

    • Qualifiers Day 1 / 24th September 2022 - Swiss Rounds 1, 2 & 3

    • Qualifiers Day 2 / 25th September 2022 - Swiss Rounds 4, 5, 6 & 7

  • 1 Hour per Swiss Round

  • Tournament Time: 12:00 PM SGT (GMT+8) across all 2 Qualifier Days

2.2 Playoffs 

  • Date: 1st October 2022 

  • Format: Double Elimination Best-of-Three (BO3)

  • 1 Hour per Match

  • Tournament Time: 12:00 PM SGT (GMT+8)


3 Tournament Format & Match Rules

The tournament will be running in a stage format starting with the Qualifiers and ending with Playoffs.

3.1 Tournament Format

3.1.1 Qualifiers

Qualifier Day 1

    • Swiss Round Format
    • Best-of-Three (BO3)
    • Players will play Swiss Rounds 1, 2 and 3 for Day 1

Qualifier Day 2

    • Swiss Round Format
    • Best-of-Three (BO3)
    • Players will continue playing their Swiss Rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7 for Day 2


3.1.2 Playoffs

Top 8 teams from the Qualifiers will be competing in a Double Elimination bracket; all matches will be played in a Best-of-Three (BO3) format. 

3.1.3 New Pokémon License

New Pokémon Licenses will be automatically restricted for fourteen (14) days from their release on the Live patch unless otherwise stated by the Tournament Organiser.

Example: Pokémon A was released on September 2nd, so Pokémon A will become eligible to be used in all Matches on September 16th. This implies 14 days prior to the first day of the tournament. Otherwise, the Pokémon is banned for the whole duration of the tournament.

3.2 Match Formats

  • Type: Online Battle

  • Game Mode: Tournament Mode

  • Pokémon UNITE License: All Pokémon are allowed to be used

  • Items: All items will be available and are Max grade.

  • Winner determination: The team that manages to score the highest goals within 10 minutes wins the match.

3.3 Match Changes

ESL may, at its sole discretion, change the start time of a match. ESL will notify all involved players at the earliest possible convenience.

3.4 Rule Enforcement

The rules are a guideline and the decisions by admins may differ from them depending on the circumstances. The tournament administration may change these rules at any time without prior notice.

3.5 Game Preparations

Please resolve any problems that might occur before a match starts. Connection or hardware problems during a match could lead to disqualification by ESL admins. Agreements between the teams/players have to be notified to the tournament admins. The match must be played with the correct settings. 

3.6 Game invitation

Players will be required to share their lobby ID or add each other to be invited to the game lobby.

3.7 Tiebreaker

In a case there is a tiebreaker in the qualifying rounds, the tiebreaker will be determined by:

  • Points

  • Head-to-Head between tied teams

  • Games Win/Loss score differential

  • Tiebreaker Games (Best-of-1)

3.8 Devices

Players will be required to play using their Apple or Android mobile devices. The usage of any other device or emulators is not allowed.

3.9 Technical Issues

Players are responsible for their own technical issues, including hardware, software, and/or internet issues. Matches will not be rescheduled because of technical issues and matches will be played nevertheless. Any form of delay caused by any team member which potentially compromises the schedule of the tournament will not be tolerated. Such delays will be heavily penalised.

3.10 Request for Rematch

If one of the players in a team does not load into the game, the other team members of that team must not exit their side’s base. The team must report the incident to the tournament adminis as soon as they face this issue. Teams will be required to take a screenshot of the issue that they are facing or any form of error as a form of evidence for tournament admins to review. 

If the opponent can be seen outside their base once the round has started, the round will not be

stopped or replayed even if a player is unable to continue the round due to loss of network communication or malfunction of the device. Players must attempt to return to the game by themselves. Players who are able to continue playing their game shall proceed to play out the game. If lobby settings are found to be incorrect after the round has started, players will be required to raise the issue to a tournament admin and a rematch will be granted. Should a rematch be granted, all Held Items, Battle Items, and Pokémon shall remain as per the loadouts that were chosen before the rematch was requested. 

3.11 Submission of Evidence

If a player decides to report to the tournament admins regarding an issue pertaining to pre-match, mid-match and post-match, the player must take a screenshot of the current game state or error as a form of evidence. Any reports without evidence and consent of the opponent may be deemed invalid at the discretion of the tournament admins.

If a player raises an objection towards a decision made by the tournament admins without any valid reason which interferes with the progress of the tournament, the tournament admins may impose penalties on the team as described in Section 6.12 Penalties.

3.12. Device and Internet Environment

Players are responsible for their devices and the internet environment.

4 Prizing

4.1 Prize Structure

1st Place

USD 5,600

2nd Place

USD 4,400

3rd Place

USD 3,200

4th Place

USD 2,000 for each placement

5th & 6th Place

USD 1,400 for each placement

7th & 8th Place

USD 1,000 for each placement

Upon competing in a prize-earning Cup, Players agree that they meet the requirements for the series and are eligible to receive any prizes. In turn, Players agree to share any requested information with the person responsible for delivering the prizes to the player who is receiving the prize. This takes into account that any players who are receiving a prize must be the same who played in the Cup.

4.3 Delivery Times and Claims

All prizes earned in the tournament will take a maximum of 90 days to be sent after the end of the competition. If the corresponding term expires and the prize in question is not received, the player should open a support ticket from the Cup’s support page informing the administration of the missing prize so it may be reviewed.


5 Communication & Support

5.1 Support

The primary method of communication and support is via the Discord Server here Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022 Discord. All players are advised to join this server to be up to speed on rule changes and to communicate with admins and participants. Teams shall be responsible for checking the associated Discord channel at all times when they are paired for each round. Items may be communicated exclusively in this discord server. Not being aware of these items due to not being in the server will not be seen as a reasonable excuse.

5.2 Admins

All participants must adhere to the decisions and rules of the tournament organizers, admins, and referees. All decisions are final, except in cases where the option to appeal is clearly stated.

5.3 Confidentiality

Conversations, either verbal or written, between organizers, admins, or referees, and participants are confidential. Publicly posting or sharing these conversations with outside parties is strictly forbidden, unless ESL’s permission is obtained. 


6 Player conduct

6.1 Competitive integrity

Players are expected to behave at their best at all times. Unfair conduct may include, but is not limited to, hacking, exploiting, ringing, and intentional disconnection. Players are expected to showcase good sportsmanship and fair play. The tournament administration maintains the sole judgment for violations of these rules.

6.2 Compliance

Players must follow the instructions of the tournament administration at all times.

6.3 Unfair Play

  • Players are prohibited from engaging in any behaviors that constitute unfair play, as defined herein.

  • Collusion 

    • Collusion is defined as any agreement among two (2) or more players to disadvantage opposing players. This includes behavior among players who are part of the same esports organization or otherwise affiliated outside of the competition. Collusion includes, but is not limited to, acts such as: 

      • Soft play, which is defined as any agreement among two (2) or more players to not damage, impede or otherwise play to a reasonable standard of competition in a game. 

      • Pre-arranging to split prize money and/or any other form of compensation (except as otherwise permitted under the rules of the competition). 

      • Sending or receiving signals, electronic or otherwise, from a confederate to/from a player. 


6.4 Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Any other further act, failure to act, or behavior which undermines the competitive integrity of the competition or otherwise violates this Rule Book and/or the standards of integrity established by ESL for competitive game play. 

6.5 Unprofessional Behavior 

6.5.1 Hostility

Profanity and Hate Speech 

    • A player may not use language that is obscene, foul, vulgar, insulting, threatening, abusive, libelous, slanderous, defamatory or otherwise offensive or objectionable; or promote or incite hatred or discriminatory conduct, in or near the match area, at any time. A player may not use any facilities, services or equipment provided or made available by ESL or its contractors to post, transmit, disseminate or otherwise make available any such prohibited communications. 

Disruptive Behavior / Insults

    • A player may not take any action or perform any gesture directed at an opposing player, fan, or official, or incite any other individual(s) to do the same, which is insulting, mocking, disruptive, or antagonistic. 

Abusive Behavior

    • Abuse of ESL officials, opposing players, or audience members will not be tolerated. Repeated etiquette violations, including but not limited to touching another player’s computer, body or property will result in penalties. Players and their guests (if any) must treat all individuals attending a match with respect. 


    • Harassment is forbidden. Harassment is defined as systematic, hostile and repeated acts taking place over a considerable period of time, or a singular egregious instance, which is/are intended to isolate or ostracize a person and/or affect the dignity of the person. 

Sexual Harassment

    • Sexual harassment is forbidden. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances. The assessment is based on whether a reasonable person would regard the conduct as undesirable or offensive. There is zero tolerance for any sexual threats/coercion or the promise of advantages in exchange for sexual favors. 

Discrimination and Denigration

    • Players may not offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigrating words or actions on account of race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, financial status, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason. 

Disparaging Remarks

    • Players may not give, make, issue, authorize or endorse any statement designed to undermine the perception of a competition or competition officials, or have any other effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interest of ESL or its affiliates, as determined in the sole and absolute discretion of ESL. 

Criminal Activity

    • A player may not engage in any activity which is prohibited by common law, statute, or treaty and which leads to or may be reasonably deemed likely to lead to conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

Moral Turpitude

    • A player may not engage in any activity which is deemed by ESL to be immoral, disgraceful, or contrary to conventional standards of proper ethical behavior. 

6.6 Betting

Betting during any ESL event (by a player, team, or on behalf of anyone associated with the team) is off-limits. Those partaking will be disqualified from the tournament and will receive a 6 months ban.

6.7 Cheating

Any form of cheating will not be tolerated. When cheating is uncovered the team in question will immediately be removed from the tournament and banned from all competitions for 6 months. Players may be requested to install anti-cheat software on their devices for the duration of the tournament. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

6.7.1 Match Fixing

Attempting to intentionally alter the results of a match by losing or otherwise trying to affect the results.

6.7.2 Hacking

Hacking is defined as any modification of the Pokémon UNITE game client by any player, or person acting on behalf of a player. 

6.7.3 Exploiting

Exploiting is defined as intentionally using any in-game bug to seek an advantage. Exploiting includes, but is not limited to, any intentional use of bugs or glitches to gain an in-game advantage, in the sole determination of ESL officials, is not functioning as intended. 

6.7.4 Illegal Spectating

Players are not allowed to look or attempt to look at opponents point of view through any other third person or from any monitor or broadcast that shows opponents feed. 

6.7.5 Ringing 

Playing under another player’s account or soliciting, inducing, encouraging or directing someone else to play under another player’s account. Additionally, a player may not have others provide advice to them during tournament play.

6.7.6 DDoSing

Limiting, or attempting to limit, another participant’s connection to the game through a Distributed Denial of Service attack or any other means.

6.7.7 Software or Hardware

Using any software or hardware to gain benefits that are otherwise not available in-game. Examples include, but are not limited to: any 3rd party software (unapproved apps that manipulate gameplay), playing on private servers, scripted attacks.

6.8 Bribery

No player may offer or solicit any gift, cash, or other reward to another player, team, tournament operator or any other person connected with ESL in order to influence the process or outcome of a game in Pokémon UNITE Tournament.

6.9 Gifts

No player may accept any gift, reward or compensation for services promised, rendered, or to be rendered in connection with competitive play of the game, including services related to defeating or attempting to defeat a competing player or services designed to throw or fix a match or game. The sole exception to this rule shall be in the case of performance-based compensation paid to a player by a team's official sponsor or owner. 

6.10 Unauthorized Devices

The use of any kind of cheating device and/or cheat program is not allowed.

6.11 Intentional Disconnection

An intentional disconnection without a proper and explicitly-stated reason is prohibited. In the event that such an event occurs, players will be disqualified at any time whilst forfeiting all prizes owed to them regardless of the outcome of the tournament. 

6.12. Penalties

If the tournament admins decide that a player has violated the tournament rules, the tournament administration may give the player the following penalties.

  1. The tournament administration gives a warning to the player and the team.
  2. The player’s team loses the round.
  3. The player’s team loses the match.
  4. The player will be restricted from participating in future official tournaments.

The tournament admins will decide the mentioned penalties by comprehensively considering the severity of the situation.

6.13 Disqualification

ESL reserves the right to disqualify teams and players. Any team found to be using a known exploit will forfeit their game upon the first occurrence of the exploit. If the team is found to use another known exploit for a second time, and it is determined to have been done on purpose, they will be removed from the event and barred from any future events. All prizes owed to them will be deducted based on the following scenarios:

  • First Exploit Occurrence: 15% Deduction from the Prize amount owed to them.

  • Second Exploit Occurrence: 100% Deduction from the Prize amount owed to them.


7 Live Broadcast

All contents, photos, videos, replays, and other resources generated by players and the Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022 belong to ESL. Players accept this condition by agreeing to compete in the Pokémon UNITE Malaysia Open 2022.

7.1 Media Obligations

If the league decides that one or more players need to be part of interviews (short pre/post match interviews and/or longer interview-sessions), a press conference or an autograph, photograph or video-session, then the players cannot deny this and must attend. In addition, players might be asked to provide pictures or other assets to the League based on ESL requirements. 

7.2 Non-Compliance to Media Obligations

In the event that any of the players do not comply with these obligations, prizes owed to them will be deducted based on the compliance of each team member:

  • Non-Compliance by 1 team member : 5% Deduction from the Prize amount owed to them.

  • Non-Compliance by 2 team members : 7% Deduction from the Prize amount owed to them.

  • Non-Compliance by 3 or more team members : 15% Deduction from the Prize amount owed to them.


8 ESL Play Rules

General ESL Play rules and participation requirements including penalty point rules and catalog please visit

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 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.