Counter-Strike: SourceSeason III Rules - Last updated: 15/12/2008
Participant - A participant is any team, player or player that is on ESL Major Series team account that is taking part in the ESL Major Series.
Time - All times are given in Central European Time (CET), or Central European Summer Time (CEST) during summer time in Europe.
Season - The season lasts from the beginning of the first playweek of the Main Round until the end of the playoffs.
Playweek - A playweek is from 00:00 Monday CET to Midnight CET Sunday.
- Antony 'TheRogue' Seedhouse
For the head admins of this ESL Major Series see #Head_Admins
A protest can only be made using the protest form on the ESL page. Protests filed by email or IRC are not valid. At most, they can help explain the circumstances. Please see the protest procedure: http://www.esl.eu/eu/ems/faq/protest_rules/
If a participant wants to submit a protest concerning a specific match, the protest needs to be filed within 72 hours after the starting time of the match. Any protest filed after the deadline will be discarded.
Continuously filing protests for the sole purpose of getting an advantage out of filing protests will be treated as violation of fair play.
Penalties are given for violations of the rules and fair play.
Any rule violation that does not directly interfere with the competition of the ESL Major Series and does not violate fair play will be punished with a minor penalty.
Any rule violation that directly affects the competition of the ESL Major Series or which is not in line with fair play will be punished with a major penalty, and a forfeit loss in relegation and playoffs.
Participants that accumulate any of the following combinations of penalties will be removed from the ESL Major Series.
- two major penalties
- one major penalty and five minor penalties
- ten minor penalties
Penalties given within the ESL Major Series only apply for the ESL Major Series and not for the normal ESL leagues and ladders. The only exception to this are penalties given for cheating and severe violations of the code of conduct or fraud which will also be penalised in accordance with the normal ESL system.
Penalty points and barrages of the ESL do not apply to the ESL Major Series, except barrages for cheating.
All broadcasting rights of ESL Major Series matches are owned by the Turtle Entertainment GmbH. This includes all forms of broadcasts, i.e. IRC Bots, shoutcast streams, video streams, HLTV, WaaaghTV, Replays, Demos or TV broadcasts. Turtle Entertainment GmbH can pass on the broadcasting rights for one or multiple matches to a third party or to the participants themselves. In this case the broadcast must be arranged with a head admin before the match. A participant cannot refuse to have their matches broadcast, nor can they choose in what way it will be broadcast.
ESL TV is a German television station that will be broadcasting, amongst other things, matches from the ESL Major Series.
Alcohol and drugs prohibition
Playing an ESL Major Series match under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not permitted, be it online or offline. Violation of this rule can result in the exclusion from the ESL Major Series.
The ESL Major Series administration reserves the right to change or modify these rules, and in special cases make decisions not covered by these rules to preserve the spirit of fair competition and sportsmanship.
In team competitions, each team can appoint up to three (3) people who can represent their team in the players forum. In 1on1 competitions, only the players themselves and one orga from his or her team can have access to the players forum. If several players from an organization are in the same 1on1 competition then they must appoint a single orga for all.
The players forum is the only official communication platform between the players and the admin team.
All information within this forum is to be kept between the admin team and the participants of the players. Information or statements placed inside this forum by the admin team are not to be made public (news, public forums, etc.) and teams will be punished depending upon the kind of information and content they make available in the form of penalties or a direct disqualification from the competition.
One of the official means of communication on ESL is e-mail. ESL uses the e-mail addresses entered in the users’ profile to communicate with the users. All users are therefore asked to use a working e-mail address in their profile and to check the content of their mailbox daily if possible. ESL can not be held responsible for problems arising if e-mail does not arrive because the recipient did not keep his account up to date.
In addition to the players forum, to enable quick and easy communication there is usually a private IRC channel that we ask for all participants to join. If there is a channel, the details can be found in the players forum.
Non-disclosure of internal information
All texts written in either protest or support tickets or written by the ESL Major Series administration to members of the ESL Major Series cannot be published without the written permission of the ESL Major Series administration.
The ESL Major Series is organised by the Electronic Sports League (ESL). The Electronic Sports League is part of Turtle Entertainment GmbH.
Turtle Entertainment GmbH
Siegburger Str. 189
Player and team accounts
All ESL Major Series players must comply to the following:
- Have their full name entered and made public
- Have a suitable photo uploaded
- Have their necessary gameaccounts entered (see #Gameaccounts)
All ESL Major Series teams must comply to the following:
- Have a suitable team name
- Have a suitable team logo
- Have a team account that is not active in any other ESL leagues, ladders or cups
- Have no inactive/honorary members listed
Players or teams that do not comply to the above will be punished with 1 minor penalty each playweek.
All players added to a team after 23:59 CET of the Sunday before the first playweek begins are considered new players.
A new player must be added at least 24 hours before playing in a match.
A player is only allowed to change their team once per competition stage (groupstage, playoffs). Should a player change their team in a competition stage, they are not allowed to play against their old team or against teams that they played against with their former team for the remainder of that competition stage.
For each new player in a team a support ticket must be made for the player to be approved by the head admins for that ESL Major Series. Before being approved new players must meet all the requirements for playing.
Pre-match statements and line-ups
Between 7 days and 24 hours before a match is scheduled it is compulsory for both players or teams to post a pre-match statement and announce their line-up for the match (for team games). This should be done using the 'add report' link on the match page.
Players or teams that do not comply to the above will be punished with 1 minor penalty per match.
The groupstage will consist of 4 groups of 6 teams. Each team will play each other team in their group once, playing one match per week.
If at the end of the groupstage stage two or more teams are tied in the rankings by points then first the match result between them will be considered followed by the score difference. Should this still result in a draw, tie break matches will be played if needed to decide which teams will move on to the next stage.
The relegation will consist of the 2nd place and 3rd place teams from the groupstage put against each other in a round of knockout, the winners will go through to the playoffs.
The matches in the relegation will be A2 vs B3, A3 vs B2, C2 vs D3 and C3 vs D2.
The playoffs will be 8 team, double elimination. See this graphic for seeding
It is our aim to follow this schedule as best as possible.
- Week 1: Monday 27th October - Sunday 2nd November
- Week 2: Monday 3rd November - Sunday 9th November
- Week 3: Monday 10th November - Sunday 16th November
- Week 4: Monday 17th November - Sunday 23rd November
- Week 5: Monday 24th November - Sunday 30th November
- Catch up: Monday 1 December - Sunday 7th December
- Monday 8th December - Sunday 14th December
- Winner Bracket Quarter Finals. Monday 12th January - Sunday 18th January
- Winner Bracket Semi Finals. Monday 19th January - Sunday 25th January
- Winner Bracket Finals. Monday 26th January - Sunday 1st February
- Lower Bracket Round 1. Monday 19th January - Sunday 25th January
- Lower Bracket Round 2. Monday 26th January - Sunday 1st February
- Lower Bracket Round 3. Monday 2nd February - Sunday 8th February
- Lower Bracket Final. Monday 9th February - Sunday 15th February
- Grand Final. Monday 16th February - Sunday 22nd February
Any agreement to reschedule a match must be made by both participants on the ESL website, either in a protest ticket or match comments, otherwise the official match time is that stated on the match page.
The deadline for rescheduling a match is midnight Sunday of the preceding play week. Rescheduling after this deadline will result in penalties
If a participant wishes to reschedule a match they should do so by opening a match protest by midnight of the last day of the preceding playweek. After this deadline participants will be punished with 1 minor penalty.
Playoffs and relegation matches cannot be wildcarded, or rescheduled past the deadline date without a serious reason and the permission of the admin team. One player being unavailable is not a valid reason.
Participants have 1 wildcard to use in the groupstage.
A wildcard is used when within 48 hours of the scheduled match time a participant reports they cannot play. Usage of the wildcard will automatically lead to 1 minor penalty.
When a participant has already used up their wildcard then they will receive a total of 2 minor penalties.
If a participant is not ready, in full, for the match 30 minutes after the scheduled start time they are a no show.
If the participant still has a wildcard, one major penalty will be given and a wildcard will be removed. If they do not have any wildcards remaining they will receive 1 major penalty and 1 minor penalty.
During the groupstage a no show does not result in a forfeit loss, all matches must be played.
A no show in a non-groupstage match will result in a forfeit loss.
Counter-Strike: Source Specific Rules
Default match time
By default all matches are scheduled for Sunday 20 CET of the playweek. Matches may be rescheduled, see #Scheduling for details.
Players must enter their SteamID (HL2/CSS) on their ESL profile before taking part in ESL Major Series matches.
Playing with a wrong or missing gameaccount will be punished with 1 minor penalty point.
Every player must use Aequitas for the entire duration of the match.
Each player must upload the Aequitas file (the ZIP created by Aequitas) without reminder, within 24 hours of the end of the match. The player and their team are responsible for the upload, meaning he or she has to check if the files are complete and working.
Missing, not working, incomplete or modified Aequitas files must be reported by the other team in a protest and will be punished with 1 major penalty for the team. A period of 48 hours will then be given to replace the files in question. Should the Aequitas files be replaced with the correct ones the penalty will then be reduced to 1 minor penalty. If the files of the winning team are still not complete after the period of 48 hours the match will be replayed.
Procedure for non-working Aequitas
If the website is offline then Aequitas will not work. This is the only situation where it is possible to play without Aequitas. It is responsibility of the player to ensure that Aequitas works for them and report it to the admin team as soon as possible.
Should Aequitas not work for a player, the player must take a screenshot of the error message and upload it after the match.
Once in game, each player not using Aequitas will have to take smoke and model screenshots. If a player reconnects during the duration of the match, he needs to make new screenshots and upload all of them. All media needs to be uploaded to the ESL Major Series website within 24 hours of the end of the match.
The model screenshot needs to include the following things: 1 Terrorist model, 1 CT model, netgraph, primary or secondary weapon.
The recording and uploading of a SourceTV demo is compulsory by the team who is responsible for the server. If the SourceTV demo is not uploaded within 24 hours of the match ending, the team responsible will be punished with 1 minor penalty.
Point of View (player)
All players must record point of view demos of the entire match. The demos can only be requested by an admin. Missing point of view demos may be punished with 1 minor penalty, or 1 major penalty with a sufficient tiemtable.
Cheat accusation (timetable)
If a team wishes to accuse a player or players of another team of cheating in an ESL Major Series match than a timetable based on the SourceTV demo for each half for each player must be submitted in a protest within 48 hours of the demo being uploaded to the ESL match page.
If the SourceTV demo is not available then the point-of-view demo is used if the team making the accusation was not the team responsible for the server, otherwise an accusation cannot be made.
Each timetable must contain:
- Download link and name of demo
- Player name and type of suspected cheat/hack (wallhack, aimbot...)
- Specific times in the demo which look suspicious, along with a reason for each (I.e. why it cannot have been coincidence, luck, hearing or skill)
The head admins for the ESL Major Series will decide whether the timetable is sufficient to be forwarded to the Anti Cheat Team to be judged.
The punishment for missing screenshots is no more than 1 minor penalty per match.
Both teams are responsible for taking a score screenshot of the end of each half and uploading them to the match page.
Both teams are responsible for taking a status screenshot showing all players in the match. If a player reconnects or a player is changed, a new status screenshot should be taken. If a team has rcon access to the server then they must take rcon status screenshots.
The following CVAR values must be used:
- mat_dxlevel 80/81/90/95 (using a mat_dxlevel between 80 and 95 is mandatory)
- mat_bumpmap 1/0 (if you use "mat_bumpmap 0", you also have to use "mat_specular 0"; if you use "mat_bumpmap 1", you can either use "mat_specular 0" or "1")
- mat_fastnobump 0
- mat_fastspecular 1
- r_rootlod 0/1/2 ( 0, 1, 2 is allowed)
- cl_pitchspeed 225
- cl_yawspeed 210
Illegal script and binds
In general, all scripts are illegal except for buy-, toggle- & demoscripts. Some examples of illegal scripts:
- Turn scripts [180° or similar]
- Stop-Shotscripts [Use- oder Awp-scripts]
- Bunnyhop-scripts [any kind of bindings or scripts, +jump wheelup/wheeldown is illegal]
- Ratechangers (Lagscripts)
- Anti flash scripts or binding
Regardless of being actively used, if these scripts are found in parts or in full in your configfile, you will be penalized.
The use of No-Flash and No-Recoil Bindings/Scripts in any and all forms will be punished as in Rule 4.4 Cheating with 12 Penalty Points.
Graphics card drivers or other tools
Changes made to the in-game graphics or textures by the use of graphics card drivers or other tools or programs are forbidden.
Only the default Counter-Strike Source models are allowed.
Servers used for ESL Major Series matches should use the ESL Major Series server configs.
SourceTV (tv_enable 1) must be enabled.
- de_tuscan (Download: ftp://ftp.gnw.de/esl/css/ems/de_tuscan.zip)
Map choice (groupstage)
The map used for each playweek of the groupstage is fixed in advance by the ESL. The map to be played will be shown on the match page.
Map choice (relegation, playoffs)
To decide which map is played in a relegation or playoff match a veto system is used.
The left Team on the Matchpage eliminates the first map. Teams take it in turns removing maps until one map remains.
Map choice (Overall Final)
The first map to be used in the grand final is chosen by elimination. Both teams alternatingly remove one map from the pool (the team from the Lowerbracket starts) until only one map is left. If needed the second map to be used in the grand final is chosen by elimination. Both teams alternatingly remove one map from the pool (the team from the Winnerbracket starts) until only one map is left.
A groupstage match is one map, full 30 rounds, each team playing 15 rounds as Counter-Terrorists and Terrorists.
Playoffs and relegation
A playoffs or relegation match is one map, first to 16 rounds. In the event of a tie, overtime will be MR5 with 10k startmoney for the first round of each half.
Before the match
It is each team's own responsibility to check if the correct version of the map is loaded. Should bugs still be present you should ask to reload the map. Not testing the map means you agree to using this version of the map and also accept the consequences if the bugs are used. If a team uses bugs intentionally then rounds may be awarded to the opposing team.
Using bugs is strictly forbidden. If bugs which are not listed below should be used, the admin can still decide to give out penalties.
During the match
- Moving through walls, floors and roofs is strictly forbidden. This also includes skywalking.
- "silent bombs" (i.e. the planting of a bomb which doesn't make a sound ) are illegal.
- Planting bombs so that they cannot be defused is illegal.
- This does not include plants where multiple players are needed to defuse.
- Boosting with the help of team mates is allowed in general, but it is forbidden in places were the textures, walls, ceilings, floors become transparent or penetrable. For more information read the map specific bugs section.
- Flashbugs are forbidden.
- Throwing grenades under walls is not allowed, throwing grenades over walls or roofs is allowed.
- "Mapswimming" or "Floating" is illegal.
- "Pixelwalking" is illegal (Sitting or standing on invisible map edges).
- General: Using bugs which change the game principle (e.g. spawn bugs) is illegal.
- "bug defusing" i.e. defusing a bomb that is not visible to the player or through another object is legal.
- "crouchbug" i.e. switching between standing and crouched position quickly is legal.
Map specific bugs
Only one player at a time is allowed to stand on the following position:
The following positions are illegal:
Looking through these gaps is not allowed:
The following positions are illegal:
To plant the bomb at/in the fountain so that it cannot be defused is illegal.
The following positions are illegal:
Looking over this wall is not allowed:
Leaving the match before the match has been decided will be punished with 1 major penalty point and all remaining rounds being given to the opposing team.
Leaving a groupstage match before all 30 rounds have been played will be punished with 1 minor penalty point and all remaining rounds being given to the opposing team.
If the server crashes before three rounds have been completed, the server must be restarted and the game's score will be reset to 0-0. If the server crashes after the third round has been completed, the game must be restarted with startmoney 5000 and the score will be counted from the last completed round. The maxrounds of the half should be changed to equal the remaining rounds left at the point of the server crash.
If a player's computer crashes before the first kill has been made in the first round, the match will be restarted. If a player's computer crashes after the first kill has been made, the server will be paused at the end of the current round. Once the player has rejoined the server and the teams are notified of his or her return, the game will be resumed. It is the each player's responsibility to make sure their hardware/software/internet connection is fully functional before participating in a match. If they are in doubt, they should notify their team captain and appropriate actions should be taken.