Game rules

General Rules

As part of the ESL Pro Tour (EPT), this competition is under the effect of all rules and decisions associated with the competitive circuit.


1.1. Players


1.1.1. Eligibility

Players must own a legal copy of Warcraft III: Reforged. To be eligible to play in the EPT competitions and other ESL-run tournaments, players must be compliant with all requirements established on this rulebook, and any other guidelines associated with the EPT. 

Any suspension applied to ESL related products can be extended to all the competitions and may bar the infractor from competing on EPT events. Any player with a standing ban issued by Blizzard for StarCraft II or WarCraft III is ineligible to participate in any competition, and this ineligibility will last as long as Blizzard upholds the ban.

By attending the ESL platform, participants agree without reservations to comply with the rules and regulations as well as the decisions made by the admins. The application of these rules and regulations is at the sole discretion of the ESL admins. Any decisions made may overrule the following rules and regulations to maintain the spirit of competition. Participants have to obey the instructions made by the ESL admins at all times.


1.1.2. Requirements

Every participant is required to enter the WarCraft III account that is used to participate in ESL cups in their profile.


Every participant is responsible for updating his game account if he decides to use a new game account for participation. It is forbidden to use a game account that is different from the one entered in the profile. 


The use of multiple accounts for the ESL cups is prohibited and will result with a punishment.

Only players that reached age equal or superior to 16, 24 hours before an ESL Open Cup, is eligible to win EPT Points.

  1. Hosting


Games will be hosted by one of the players or admin.


Hosting players are allowed to start matches if both participants are ready.


Players have to make sure that the correct map is hosted. A protest after the match has been played for more than one minute is void.


If one of the participants experiences temporary difficulties during a match, he has to communicate this to his opponent by taking a timeout. 


  1. Map Voting


Players have to decide on a race before the veto process starts.


Map vetoes will be made before the match starts.


For a Best-Of-1, both participants alternately eliminate one map until only one remains (A-B-A-B-A-B). The remaining map will be played. The participant mentioned first in the grid starts with the procedure.


For a Best-Of-3, both participants alternately eliminate one map until only three remains (A-B-A-B). The participant mentioned first in the grid picks the first map. Afterwards, the loser of the match prior determines the map.


For a Best-Of-5, both participants alternately eliminate one map until only five remains (A-B). The participant mentioned first in the grid picks the first map. Afterwards, the loser of the match prior determines the map.


A map may only be played once during each match.


Vetoes and Picks must be told to the official broadcasters if asked.

  1. Replays

Every participant has to save and retain all replays until the tournament is over

By participating in the ESL platform, every participants confirms that all replays of the tournament may be distributed to the coverage partners.


  1. Disconnects


In the event of a disconnect during the first four minutes of the match, the game will be restarted if there was no contact yet between the participants. The participants have to call admin  if the problem occurs frequently.


If a participant disconnects after the fourth minute has passed, it is up to his opponent whether the match will be restarted or not. Admin needs to be informed no matter the decision!


If the disconnected participant was clearly winning the match, the replay needs to be uploaded to a match page and admin will then decide whether the match has to be restarted or not. 


In case of a rematch the participants have to choose the same races they picked in the initial match. If a participant chose random races, he has to pick the race which he eventually ended up playing as in the initial match.

  1. Coverage

No observers are permitted, even if both participants agree.


Admins and broadcasting partners (video streams) are always allowed to observe a match.


Video streams have to set up with a delay of at least three minutes.

Players are allowed to stream their own games.



1.1.3. Technical Issues

Players are responsible for their own hardware, software and internet connection. Matches will not be rescheduled because of technical issues. Connection

All players are responsible to have a connection (ping) as good as possible for their region and technical situation. By default the game will be hosted on the following servers:

·         Europe: Default game server


If it is possible to change the game server to a different one instead of the default one, both need to agree on the choice, the tournament administration needs to approve that change. 


1.1.4. Unsportsmanlike Behaviour

For an orderly and pleasant game, it is essential that all players have a sportive and fair attitude. Breach of this rule will be punished with one to six penalty points.


Every player should represent themselves and their team by participating to the best of their abilities. Anything that falls short of this is considered to be unsportsmanlike and will be penalized depending on the severity of the behaviour as determined by the administration. This includes but is not limited to spamming, insulting, trolling or unsportsmanlike behaviour in general towards other players, teams, casters, and the administration team.


1.3. Tournament rules


1.3.1. Settings for the tournament

All players are expected to follow the given settings and rules. Different agreements between the players, beyond what is stated on the rules, are not allowed and tolerated unless approved by an admin through a protest.


1.3.2 Cup Chat

If a Cup Chat is available during a cup, all attempts to contact an admin, including support or protests, must be made through it. Contact attempts made through other channels including support tickets or protests may not be handled as a priority.


1.3.3. No show

If a player is not ready to play the match after 15 minutes has passed then they should be reported for a no-show to the admin team. The 15-minute countdown starts from the moment both players have progressed to the match, and not at the time stated on the match page. Additional time will then be given by the admin team depending on the circumstances. Delaying the tournament will result in disqualification.


1.3.4. Forfeit

If a player chooses to forfeit a match, they will forfeit any points and prizes conquered through the competition. A player that chooses to forfeit his match in the competition can be replaced by their opponent in the previous round.


1.3.5. Match Results

Both players are responsible to enter correct results on the ESL website. Therefore, both players should report the match score and upload the replay files to the match page, or provide it to the admin team when requested. If there is a conflict in the match, contact the admin team or open a protest. The decision made by the admin team can also mean that both players are disqualified if there is not enough proof for either player to be the clear winner. Match media

All match media (screenshots, demos, etc) must be kept for at least 14 days. In general, you should upload the match media from a match to the match page as soon as possible. Faking or manipulating match media is forbidden and will result in severe penalties. Match media should be named clearly based on what it is (eg. Ro16 - Me vs Grubby G1.WC3Replay). Closed matches

Both players of the match lose their right to file a protest ticket after the match has been closed. A closed match will stay closed in almost every scenario unless ESL representatives deem it needs to be reopened.


1.3.8. Disqualification

To keep the delay during the cup as low as possible we reserve the right to disqualify players from the tournament. This will only be done in cases where a player shows no real effort to get a match done or is even obviously stalling. In severe cases, this can even affect both players. 


The disqualification of a player can also be issued for any other case which the admin team evaluates as appropriate and necessary to keep the integrity of the competition, for example, toxic language, meeting channel spam, offensive language, etc, stream sniping, using any unofficial third-party software.


1.4. In-game


1.4.1. Player drops - disconnects

If any of the players will disconnect during the first four minutes of the match, the game will be restarted if there was no major contact yet between the participants. The participants have to call a referee if the problem occurs frequently.


Any player, on the first occurrence, has 15 minutes from the time of the disconnection to resume playing the series. Failure to do so will lead to map loss followed by match loss.


1.4.2. Re-host

If a participant disconnects after the fourth minute has passed, it is up to the opponent whether the match will be restarted or not.


In a re-hosted game, each player has to choose the same race as they picked in the original game. In case of a race decided randomly by the game, the player should use the same race that was given prior to the re-host.


1.4.3. Pausing the game

If a player pauses a game they must state the reason for the interruption and how long it will approximately last. The game can only be resumed by the player that paused the game after they receive a confirmation from their opponent. Violation of this rule is handled as unsportsmanlike behavior and can lead to re-host through the “recovery from replay” feature.


A pause cannot extend the time of 15 minutes without approval by the admin team. Any extension of the pause time must be requested to the admin team for approval, if justifiable.


1.4.4. Observers

Unregistered observers are forbidden by default, the exception to these rules are ESL admins and people that are explicitly allowed to observe by an admin (e.g. shout casters or streamer). Under no conditions is it allowed to play with referees other than those decided by an admin. Admins are allowed to revoke the permissions of Casters and Observers any time when ghosting is suspected.


1.4.5. Surrender

The only way to surrender a match is to using the surrender function in-game. Saying "gg" or similar does not count as surrender. If your opponent types "gg" or similar while you believe they are at a disadvantage, you should continue to play to win, until the game is won, or until they have surrendered.


1.4.6. Illegal Actions

Any actions that result in an unfair advantage are illegal, including the usage of bugs or glitches of any kind. If a player is found to be intentionally using a bug or a glitch in a tournament it will result in a map loss, recurrent violations of this rule will lead to disqualification.


1.5. Casting

Casting an ESL match is only allowed with an ESL admin approval. In order to be approved, write a support ticket on the link below. 


Approved streamers, have to set up their stream, with a delay of at least one minute. Streaming with a delay shorter than a minute will cause removing the streamer from the approved streamers list.


A list of official ESL Community Casters, as well as information to apply yourself, can be found here:



1.5.2. Personal Streaming

Personal Streaming is always allowed if the contrary is not specified by the admin team. If ESL or a Community Caster broadcast a match, personal streaming is not allowed without an admin agreement. 


A player who decides to stream his own point of view is the sole responsible for actions against stream sniping. Stream sniping will not be prosecuted as a rule breach.


1.6. Cheating


1.6.1. The accusation of cheating by timetable

Cheating accusations must be done through a protest ticket within 72hrs of the end of a match and must be followed by the replay file. A timetable should be handed in along with the opening of the protest ticket. An accusation of cheating by the timetable will not be executed during a tournament. All timetables which are not in the correct form will be directly declined. Timetable structure

The timetable has to contain the following information:

·         name and account link of the accused player

·         the in-game nickname of the player you want to be checked

·         sort, description and the name of the suspected cheat

·         link and name of the video/photo evidence

·         specific times of the demo which look suspicious, along with a reason for each (e.g. why it cannot have been a coincidence, luck, hearing or skill) Example

I have the suspicion that the Player1 cheated against Player2 because he was afraid to lose the match.


Player link: In-game nick: W3PLAYER#0001


Cheat: Zoomhack, Maphack

 Replay file link: Must be uploaded within the ESL Play platform, on the match page or on the protest itself. External links won’t be accepted

 03:16 - He changes the zoom scale-out of standard.

 05:34 - He can see my units, even fog of war is on it!


 1.6.2. It is forbidden to watch or to listen to any sort of broadcast of your own matches while the match is still underway. 


1.6.3. Technical lose can be given for abusing in-game bugs. Decisions are made by the head admins. For example:

·         infinite invulnerability (during teleportation and cancellation of teleport to a moving Tree of Life)

·         staffing of the Goblin Zeppelin by the hero with this hero jumping inside of zeppelin


2. Penalty points and barrages

In general, players can receive up to 6 penalty points per match, unless a single violation has a higher punishment. Where a player receives penalty points for multiple violations, the penalty points are added together.


2.1. Barrages

Players that receive barrages during a cup related to following violations are not allowed to continue the cup:

  • Cheating
  • Fake and multi-account
  • Ringing
  • Unwanted contents & behaviour
  • Underage barrages


2.2. Bypassing barrages and penalty points

Bypassing barrages and penalty points due to the creation of new accounts is a violation of the Terms of Service, and it is strictly forbidden. Existing penalty points/barrages will be transferred, barrages which result out of it may remain. Further sanctions may be applied for players in case of recurrence.

Game-Specific Penalty Point Catalogue

Rule violation Number of penalty points
Forbidden scripts/Macros Player: 2, 4, 6 / Team: 2 - 4
Custom files Player: 3; Team: 2
Match media
Missing, incomplete replays Player / Team: 1
Missing matchmedia with cheat suspicion Player / Team: 6
Faked matchmedia Player / Team: 6