ESL Major Series

World of Tanks

Season IX Rules - Last updated: 15/09/2011




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

See game specific rules for the 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 Team Owner/Manager to be the official owner of the team. If there is none available before the start of the official season, the team has to elect 1 person.

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

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

Every member participating in an EMS must have premium for the duration of the season starting from the groupstage. In team games, every member that is on the team sheet must have Premium. For more info about premium visit www.esl.eu/eu/premium.

An individual player can be punished with 3 minor penalty point per match week for missing premium. The maximum penalty for a team is 4 minor penalty points per week, even though more than 2 members may be missing premium.

Tournament Structure

Differences in the games

There are 2 types of structures, one with national qualifiers and one with international qualifiers. The games with national qualifiers are typically the most popular games widely covered on our national sections here on ESL. The rankings for these EMS' are calculated based on previous seasons. This type is acompanied by a international qualifier to serve the remaining nations. The games with an international qualifier only are typically new and or sponsored games or a certain format that is not covered by any national section.

For a better understanding the 2 different structures and schedules are split up by "N" and "I".

(N)ational Qualifiers:

  • Counter-Strike: Source
  • Call of Duty
  • Quakelive
  • FIFA
  • League of Legends

(I)nternational qualifiers:

  • Heroes of Newerth
  • World of Tanks
  • Trackmania Nations Forever


N: The qualifiers are played on a national level where it's made available by their national section and the remaining nations are supported with a International (European where ping counts) qualifier.

I: There are 4 different qualifiers spread over four weeks.


N: The groupstage will consist of 4 groups of 6 contestants. Each contestant will play each other contestant in their group once, playing one match per week.

I: 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.


The Ranking is primarily decided with regards to the number of points that a participant has amassed during the season. A participant will earn 3 points for winning a match, and 1 point for drawing a match. The below ranking priority will come into effect if 2 or more teams are on equal points. If at any point, the number of tied participants is reduced or divided into several groups of tied participants, the still tied participants will in each case be compared again starting with the first point.

  1. Points amassed between the participants themselves ('Mini-League')
  2. Score difference between the participants ('Mini-League')
  3. Score (number of wins in the Score Difference) between the participants ('Mini-League')
  4. Overall score difference
  5. Overall score (number of wins in the Score Difference).
  6. If after all 5 points the teams are indistinguishable, a decider match or matches have to be played, in an attempt to separate the participants in question. In special cases, the tournament direction can rule on a different way to determine the order in an unsolvable tie (i.e. coin toss).


N: The playoffs will be 12 contestant single elimination bracket. The top 3 contestants from each group will qualify for the playoffs. The group winners will be seeded 1 to 4, the group 2nd places 5-8 and third places 9-12. This means in the first round the group winners winners will have a bye and the 2nd and 3rd places face each other.

E: The playoffs will be 8 contestant single 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.

The contestants will be seeded so that two contestants from the same group can only meet in the grand final.

Tournament Schedule

We aim to follow the schedule as much as possible.

  • 22/08 - 18/09: Qualifiers
  • 19/09 - 25/09: Qualification Round 1
  • 26/09 - 02/10: Qualification Round 2
  • 03/10 - 09/10: Break or QR3
  • 10/10 - 20/11: Groupstage
  • 21/11 - 18/12: Playoffs


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

Using a disallowed player results in one (1) major penalty point, and also the player will be barred for 2 more playdays before he is eligible to compete. Also, the opponent can demand a rematch.


Any players involved in faking or ringing a player will be barred for 2 playdays, also, one (1) major penalty point will be awarded per incident.


When cheating is uncovered twelve (12) penalty points will be awarded to the player, and six (6) minor penalty points will be awarded to the team of the player. The player will also be banned from all competitions in ESL for two (2) years.

The use of the following programs will result in a cheat ban: Multihacks, Wallhack, Aimbot, Colored Models, No-Recoil, No-Flash and Sound changes. These are only examples, other programs or methods may be considered cheats as well.


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

World of Tanks Specific Rules

Head Admins


Every player must have an entered gameaccount. It's: World of Tanks (EU).

Default match time

By default all matches are scheduled for Saturday 20 CET, first day of the Playweek. Matches may be rescheduled, see "Scheduling" for details.

Match Media

In order to prove anything all players should take screenshots and keep them in case they are needed for protests. For example if a player shows up late or something like that.

Players HAVE to take screenshots of the following:

  • 100% base capture
  • Result screen

Team captains are responsible for uploading all mandatory screenshots to the matchsheet on the ESL website immediately after the match.


Battle Settings

  • Teamsize: 7 players
  • Timelimit: 10 minutes

The map that has to be played will be forced for each match and can be found in the match details on ESL website.

Tank regulations

  • Teams may contain tanks of different nations
  • Premium vehicles are allowed
  • Every kind of skins are allowed!
  • Vehicle tier limit for tanks is 8, tier limit for artillery is 5
  • Total amount of vehicle tiers in one team must not exceed 42 points (7 players). If a player is missing in a battle, the maximum tier points are reduced by 6 per missing player.


Battles are created one of the team captains. The team on the left side of the matchsheet creates the battle room.

Battle room should be created 15 minutes before the official match time. Players should join immediately. If a team is not complete 10 minutes after official match time the team will get one ESL penalty point for each missing player. If a team is not complete 20 minutes after official match time the battle starts without the missing players! 3.4. Results

A battle is won if:

  • All enemy vehicles are destroyed within the timelimit
  • The enemy base is captured within the timelimit

If both bases are captured within the timelimit, the team that capped the opponents' base first wins the match. In this case a screenshot is necessary as proof. If both bases are captured at the same time and there is no screenshot to determine a winner, the battle has to be played again.

In case of a timeout draw both teams lost and are disqualified. In case of BO3/BO5 the match continues with the next battle. If the timeout draw was the last battle in a BO3/BO5 and no winner was determined (e.g. 2:2 or 1:1 overall score) both teams are disqualified and lost. However, an admin may make a different decision in special cases (cup final for example).


  • Cliff
  • Mines
  • Prokhorovka
  • Lakeville
  • Himmelsorf


A battle is won if:
  • All enemy vehicles are destroyed within the timelimit
  • The enemy base is captured within the timelimit
If there is not a winner after the match, then the team with more tier points of still alive tanks is the winner.

Groupstage is played Best of 3 format, a match outcome can be 2-0, 2-1
Playoffs are played Best of 5 format, a match outcome can be 3-0, 3-1, 3-2
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