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EPT Tournament Management Update - Competitive Integrity & Rules - Feb 2021

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Hello all of you, my name is Alex and I’m happy to share my first update with you of many more to come - today’s topic is Competitive Integrity and Rules. Before we start just a quick sentence on myself; I’ve been with ESL for more than 14 years and I’m currently leading our CS:GO and Dota2 tournaments in my role as Tournament Director. Let’s dive into the topic.

Competitive Integrity
Competitive Integrity is of the utmost importance for us here at ESL and since we moved to online competitions we have gradually updated our guidelines and resources to ensure a fair competition. We started recording the team's voice communication as the first immediate update after the coaching bug incident came to our attention and from there moved on to gradually roll out more measures from tournament to tournament.

The rollout of additional measures and policies led to the following robust protocols ESL has in place during all of it’s EPT master level tournaments like the upcoming IEM Katowice 2021 Masters Championship:

  • Everyone is required to run ESEA’s industry leading anti-cheat client
  • All players are required to record and upload POV demos
  • Referees are recording and listening into each team’s voice communication
  • Referees are monitoring each team's individual player and coach cameras
  • Referees are monitoring each team’s security camera (Bootcamp Teams only)
  • Referees are monitoring the matches directly on the game server
  • All of our broadcast streams have an extended delay

In total we have three (3) Referees working on each individual match for all of our Masters Level tournaments and one (1) Tournament Management supervisor from my team looking over all of it on top.

Rules
When it comes to the rules it’s important to us that teams and players can understand them and easily find what they want to know. Transparency towards the community is key for us as well and over the last couple of months we have been working hard to adjust the structure of rules to make it easier for everyone involved. Moving forward we concentrate on four areas of the rules as well as including specific dates more visibly in communication.

We have made significant progress on our game-specific rules and for us those are most important as it’s how players behave in-game and what is allowed/forbidden. Our plan is that all of our game-specific rules within the ESL Pro Tour are the same and our new game-specific rules will roll out gradually across all tournaments of the ESL Pro Tour with the start of their next tournament/season.

One of our key goals is to make the community understand everything better and therefore we have outlined our replacement rules more clearly and understandably in one document. Additionally, we communicate key dates such as deadlines for ESL Pro Tour invites or ESL World Ranking invites ahead of time.

Here is the example for IEM Katowice 2021, the key dates have been on the website since last year already, early January we added the replacement rules and recently we added the full rules.

 

  • ESL Pro Tour Invites: December 14th, 2020
  • ESL World Ranking Invites: December 21st, 2020
  • Replacement Deadline: January 18th, 2021

With those additional documents and better visibility on dates we want to ensure transparency towards teams, players and the whole community.

Valve Coaching Rules Update
We have acknowledged Valve’s most recent update on their rules concerning coaches during Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournaments. However, we have worked hard over the last year to upgrade and improve all of our competitive integrity measures as listed above and we are confident that those policies and measures let us ensure competitive integrity.

Therefore, we will continue to let coaches be part of the teams, both in their bootcamp rooms as well as part of their voice communication. Over the last years coaches and additional support personnel have improved the performance of teams and individual players as well as the spirit and teamwork within teams. As long as we can ensure the integrity of our tournaments we will continue to support coaches and additional support personnel.

We are going to continuously evaluate all of our policies, measures and rules as well as collect feedback from teams and players directly. Besides the direct communication with teams and players we also browse community feedback and engage directly with the community. If anyone out there would like to provide feedback, raise any concerns or report competitive integrity violations, feel free to contact me at td@eslgaming.com