ESL Major Series

League of Legends

Season VIII Rules - Last updated: 14/3/2011




Participant - A participant is any team, or player that is on ESL Major Series team account that is taking part in the ESL Major Series.

License Holder - A license holder is the legal entity (registered association, Ltd company, etc.) or the person to whom an ESL Major Series License is in control of.

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 to Midnight Sunday.

Tournament Administration

Tournament Directors

For the head admins of this ESL Major Series see #Head_Admins

Validity of the Rules

Should any of the rules in this rule book be void for any legal reasons in any specific country, the remainder of the rule book remains valid for that country.

Rule modifications

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.

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.

Code of conduct

All participants are asked to behave in an appropriate manner towards other competitors and to any member of the ESL Major Series administration. Exceptional cases of violation of this rule will be punished with all possible severity.

Additional agreements

The ESL Major Series administration is not responsible for additional agreements between players or teams and these agreements are only allowed if they do not violate any of the existing rules. The ESL Major Series administration advises against such agreements. The ESL Major Series administration will not enforce any additional agreements.

Contract conditions

The ESL Major Series administration will not interfere with and is not responsible for any legal issues between a player and his or her team.


It is not permitted to bet on matches of leagues, in which you are a participant. Violations of this rule are punished by one (1) Major Penalty for the team/the player. If a deliberate attempt to manipulate a match can be proven, the ESL can also bar the player(s) in question for a number of matches or have matches replayed. In extreme cases, the league administration reserves the right to remove a team/player from an ongoing season.


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 made 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.

Barrage for dropping out from the ESL Major Series

Any participant who drops out of the current ESL Major Series cannot return later. This applies to any kind of drop out, no matter whether it is by his or her own decision or due to a disqualification e.g. because of too many penalties. The ESL Major Series administration reserves the right to bar a participant for more than one season in extreme cases.


Penalty points may be awarded for any discrepancies, and rule breaking made by any team in the competition. The penalty points are awarded based on the severity of the offence. A major and minor penalty point is not mutually exclusive, and both may be given for the same offence.

Minor penalty points

Any rule violation that does not directly affect the competition of the EMS, or fair play will normally be penalized with minor penalty points. Each minor penalty point will deduct 1% (one percent) of the overall prize money awarded to the team/player.

Major Penalty points

Major penalty points are given for major incidents such as deliberately deceiving admins, failing to show up for matches, repeated rule breaking, and so on. Every major penalty point deducts 10% (ten percent) of the overall prize money awarded to the team/player.

Scope of penalty points

Penalties received in EMS are for EMS only, and will not affect other competitions, the same way penalties in other competitions will not affect the EMS. The only exception is for cheating, or other violations of the code of conduct. When a cheater is caught it is a ban in all ESL related competitions.

Assigning penalty points

Minor and major penalty points are not mutually exclusive and may be given as seen fit by the tournament administration.

Treshhold for being removed from the tournament

A team that reaches the equivalent of 30 minor penalty at any one stage of the tournament, will be disqualified, and unable to participate in the remainder of the season.


Players forum

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.

Game broadcasts

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.

Tournament direction

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
50679 Köln

Team accounts

Ownership of Team accounts

The ESL Major Series administration considers the user with tag Team-Owner on the team page the official owner of the team.

Requirements: 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

Teams that do not comply to the above will be punished with 1 minor penalty each playweek. The team account may not be used for anything other than the EMS. Also the team "Name" is that of the team without "EMS", sponsors or the game, additions to the team name go in to "Name extension".

Team nationality

The first match a team plays in the ESL Major Series (either in a Qualifier, Qualifying Round or the Groupstage) determines the country a team based on a simple majority. 51% of the lineup in any match must be resident in the country that the team in question qualified itself from. Being passport holder does not count as being a resident. If in any future matches the team's country is no longer 51% or more from that country, then the team's country must be set to Europe for the rest of the season.


All players added to a team after 23:59 CET of the Sunday before the first playweek of the Groupstage begins are considered new players.

Up to three new players can be added to a team during the season.

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. A new player must be requested at least 24 hours before playing in a match, and approved before the match.

Player accounts

Player country & nationality

A player's country (of residence) must be set to the country that they live in, and their nationality must be set to the citizenship they possess, provable with a current passport.


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 country set and made public
  • Have their nationality set and made public
  • Have their birth date entered and made public
  • Have their necessary gameaccounts entered (see #Gameaccounts)

Players that do not comply to the above will be punished with 1 minor penalty each playweek. An individual player may only hold one ESL account, breach of this rule is punishable according to the standard ESL multi-account rule-set. Also no participant can play for more than one organization at the same time in any ESL Major Series, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Pro Series, or ESL Amateur Series. Every participant in the EMS must be at least 12 years of age, unless a higher age is required as specifically stated in the rules for that game.

Premium Accounts

For all of the EMS games. Every member participating in one of the above games must have premium for the duration of the season starting from the Mainround/Groupstage. In team games, every member that is on the team sheet must have Premium. For more info about premium click here An individual player can be punished with 2 minor penalty points per week for missing premium. If there is a member in a team missing premium the penalty can be 1 minor penalty point per player missing premium, although the maximum penalty for the team is 2 minor penalty points per week, even though more than 2 members may be missing premium.


If a player or a team violates one or more of the league rules, they will be punished according to the degree of the infringement. This penalty catalogue contains a list of offences with which penalties may be awarded to players and teams.

The administration will decide whether an offence has affected the outcome of the match to an extent that it can not be counted and must be repeated.

The administration reserves the right to give penalties not covered by this catalogue or give different penalties than the ones listed here.


As in daily life, a certain degree of courtesy should be maintained between players and teams of the ESL Major Series. Violations of this rule will be punished depending on the severity and frequency.


All insults occurring in connection with the ESL Major Series will be punished. This primarily applies to insults during a match but also on the ESL website (forums, match comments, player guestbooks, support and protest tickets, etc.). Insults on IRC, IM programs, E-mail or other means of communication will be punished if they can be linked to the ESL Major Series and the evidence is clear.

Particularly severe abuse cases with extreme statements or the threat of physical violence can result in significantly heavier penalties including the exclusion of the player.

Depending on the nature and severity of the insult the penalty will be assigned to the player or to the team in team leagues. In team leagues players may also be barred from playing for one or more match weeks.


The excessive posting of senseless, harassing or offensive messages is regarded as spamming.

Spamming on the website (forums, match comments, player guestbooks, support and protest tickets, etc.) will be punished depending on the nature and severity.

Unsportsmanlike Behaviour

For an orderly and pleasant game it is essential that all players have a sportive and fair attitude. Breaches of this rule will be punished with (1) to (3) minor penalties. The most important and most common offences are listed below. However, the administration may assign penalties for not explicitly listed types of unsportsmanlike behaviour (e.g. harassment).

In-game Spam

Up to three (3) minor penalties may be awarded for the abuse of the game's chat functions if it's used for excessive spamming, in order to distract the opponents or to disrupt the game. These functions are solely meant for communication with the opponent and the match admin.

Kicking Players from the game server

Six (6) minor penalties will be awarded for kicking players from the game server. It is prohibited to kick players of the opposing team from the server during a match. The match admin present on the game server decides whether the kick affected the outcome of the match. A rematch may be set in grave cases.


The attempt to deceive the administration or other players using false or fictitious information, statements or data is punishable as follows:

Fake Results

Four (4) minor penalties are awarded for entering a fake result, for example: if the opponent leaves the server prematurely or refuses to play the match. If anything is unclear, e.g. the players cannot agree on a solution, a protest always has to be filed.

Fake Match media

Match media includes all records, such as e.g. Demos, screenshots, or logs, that are produced in the context of a match. The counterfeiting of Match Media is prohibited and will be punished depending on the seriousness with one (1) to four (4) minor penalties.

Serious Circumstances

If counterfeit match media is submitted and there is a suspicion of cheating the punishment is increased to six (6) minor penalties.

Miscellaneous Deceptions

Other attempts to deceive an admin or another player, depending on the severity, will be punished at the discretion of the administrators with one (1) to four (4) minor penalties.

Use of ineligible players

The use of an ineligible player is punished with one (1) major penalty.


One (1) major penalty point will be given if a player is found to be playing under the name of another player.


Cheating in an ESL Major Series match will result in the participant being kicked. The player(s) will be punished with 12 regular penalty points and a 2 year barrage from the ESL.


The tournament administration can remove any participants that he sees fit, for any reason.

League of Legends Specific Rules

Head Admins


It is our aim to follow this schedule as best as possible.


  • 21 March - 1 May


  • 9 May - 29 May



The groupstage will consist of 4 groups of 4 contestants. Each contestant will play each other contestant in their group twice, playing one match per week.


If two or more contestants are equal on points on completion of the group stage, the following criteria are applied to all tied teams to determine the ranking between all of them:

    Return to point 1. in case the number of tied participants has been reduced by any criteria point.
  1. Points amassed between the participants themselves
  2. Round/map-difference between the participants
  3. Number of won maps/rounds between the participants
  4. Overall Round/Map Difference
  5. Overall Higher score (as counted in column “score difference”)
  6. If after all points the teams are still indistinguishable, a match or mini league between the teams has to be played.


The playoffs will be 8 contestant signle elimination bracket. The top 2 of each Group will qualify for the playoffs. The teams will be seeded A1 vs D2, A2 vs D1, B1 vs C2, B2 vs C1.

Default match time

By default all matches are scheduled for Saturday 20:00 CET of the play week. Matches may be rescheduled, see #Scheduling for details.

Player Disconnects

After the disconnect of a player the game will continue. He has to return as soon as possible back to the game and continue playing.

Game Preparation

Side Selection

The lower ranked team can decide what side they want in a match. In Playoffs: The team without 1st ban and pick can elect the side.

Champion Bans

Each team can ban 3 champions from the match. The lower ranked team starts with the first ban. The teams ban 1-1-1-1-1-1 alternately. In Playoffs: The team on the left side of the match page has first ban and pick, in the next round has the looser of the match before 1st ban and pick.

Pick Mode

The ESL Major Series has an exclusive open pick mode (snake pick), it's not allowed to pick a champion twice. Banning and picking should not take longer as 10 minutes.

Champion Picks

Each team picks the champions before the match starts open in the pre match lobby. The higher ranked starts team with the first pick. The teams pick 1-2-2-2-2-1 alternately. In Playoffs: The team on the left side of the match page has first ban and pick, in the next round has the looser of the match before 1st ban and pick.

Player Preparation

After the share of bans and picks, each team has 5 minutes for needed player preparations, change of runes or masteries. It's not allowed to change a player.

Match Media


It's mandatory to take screenshots of the champions bans, champions picks and after match of the after match lobby and upload it as match medias on the match page. The duty for uploading lies by the match winner and there's 24 hours to do so.

Match format


Groupstage matches are played as a Best of 1.


Playoff matches are played Best of 3.

In case there are problems with the match settings, please contact a member of the Admin team.

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