1: Basic Idea
RTS-League is based on the idea that fun and fair play come before competition. Therefore these rules are limited to only those most necessary to ensure smooth play and to prevent or decide possible disputes. In all cases, the League Staff will have the final decision.
- A Clan is a group of players (minimum of 6 ACTIVE) that are registered under a common ESO or Voobly tag for an extended period of time, preferably with a publicly accessible website and/or forum.
- The official language of the league is English. All Clan Operators must be able to speak English fluently. All posts in other languages will be deleted, and the Staff will not tolerate the use of any online translators.
- We do not strictly define Clan structure, as varying situations exist. We do, however, REQUIRE that each player be a member of the Clan for whom he is playing, with the exception of Guest Players complying with the specific conditions listed below (Rule 4). The League Staff reserves the right to exclude any individual from competing if we believe the intent of this rule has been violated.
- Admission into the League is handled through a formal application process. At the beginning of each season, interested Clans will be given the opportunity to apply for admission through a signup thread in the official League forums. The League Staff will assess each applicant and admit those clans which it deems qualified for participation in the League.
- A Clan may enter a second team into the League (sometimes called a "B-Team") under the following conditions:
- The Clan successfully participated in the previous Season.
- The Clan did not receive any Admin Losses or Misses during the previous Season. Note: this condition applies to every team that the Clan fielded during the previous Season.
- Participation in the League is free for all Clans. Operating costs (website, etc.) are paid by the members of the League Staff and/or donations.
- All members of a Clan, including applicants who use the clan's tag, are eligible to play for the Clan. However, all players must be listed in the official Player-List in the RTS-League Clan Profile. Each Clan is solely responsible for maintaining their own Player-List before, during, and after each Season.
- All players, including Guest Players, must play under the tag of the Clan they are representing.
- Any individual who has played for one Clan (team) during a Season may not play for another Clan (team) during the same Season.
- The Player-List is to be submitted at the beginning of the Season. Changes can be made at any time; however, new players can only play after a waiting period of seven days, starting from the day they are added to the Player-List. The eligibility of a Player can be checked in the Player-List.
- If a Clan signs up multiple Teams, the full roster of each Team must be submitted with the Clan's application at the beginning of each Season.
- All players must play in Voobly and IP games under their Main Nickname, indicated in the Player-List. If, when asked, a Clan refuses to swap out an ineligible player, and the games are not played as a result, that Clan will receive a Miss (see below, Rule 10.2).
- A Main Nickname is a name under which the player is primarily known. Clearly recognized derivatives of the Main Nickname (minor variations such as an alternate spelling or a username with additional/different underscores) are also eligible for use by the same player. Only the Main Nickname needs to be registered on the Player-List.
- A player may not hide his identity by playing on an unknown secondary nickname, even if that secondary nickname is on the Player-List.
- "Smurfing", in any form, will not be tolerated. Players are required to use their own nicknames. Using "borrowed" nicknames (even if they are from the same clan) is not permitted. The League Staff reserves the right to exclude any individual from competing if we believe the intent of this rule has been violated. In addition, a Clan may be forced to forfeit any games in which a "smurf" nickname was used.
- If a Clan is unsure of the identity of an opposing player, then that Clan should ask for the player's true identity or other nicknames. The opposing Clan must fully identify that player. If the opposing Clan incorrectly identifies the player in question, then it will be considered a smurfing incident.
- A Clan may not refuse to play if it suspects the opposing Clan of smurfing. In such instances, the games should be played, and a formal complaint filed with league staff following the match. If a Clan refuses to play based on suspicion of smurfing, than that Clan will receive a Miss (see below, Rule 10.2).
4: Guest Players
- Guest Player is a player who plays for a Clan, but is not its member. A Clan may use Guest Players only under conditions listed below. Other forms of guest playing are strictly forbidden.
- A player may become a Guest Player only if his/her home Clan is not participating in the same season.
- Guest Player can be registered to a Clan only at the start of a season, when signing up the Clan for participation. The Clan must list each Guest Player in the sign-up application with his/her exact Main Nickname, including the home Clan tag. Later addition of Guest Players is not allowed.
- Guest Player must play under the tag of the Clan s/he is representing. That can be achieved either by temporarily joining the Clan with the Main Nickname for the duration of the Season, or by registering a clearly recognisable nickname derivative to the Main, which would be accepted into the Clan.
- Guest Player must be registered to the Clan's Player-List in the following form:"Main Nickname - [home_clan_tag]exact_main_nick - GP" (E.g. Black Adder - [nex]Black__Adder - GP)
- For each individual League game, a Clan may use only 1 Guest Player.
5: The League Staff
- To make RTS-League successful, we are dependent on the assistance and support of all participating clans. The League Staff is grateful for suggestions and constructive criticisms; we will address all suggestions with a private vote of all staffers. If necessary, the League Staff can also hold a public vote on ideas to change or improve the league. During these votes each clan, represented by their clan operator, and each staff member have one vote; decisions are made with a simple majority.
- The League Staff decides about the accommodation and the exclusion of clans as well as about everything related to the league operation. At present the following persons belong to the League Staff Team:
- For future seasons, the composition of the League Staff can change.
- The League Staff decides with simple majority. A member of the League Staff is excluded from a decision if his own clan is directly concerned.
- Each Season begins with the formation of divisions, where each division consists of at least 6 and at most 10 Clans. There is no promotion or demotion through the divisions; instead, they function separately. After the regular season, the top teams in each division advance to the Playoffs, where an overall champion is determined (See below, Rule 7).
- During the Season, each match consists of two games. Each Clan will play one game as the home-team and one game as the away-team (see Rule 9.3, below).
- All results have to be posted without delay in the Clan Panel. Each game is posted by the winner. If one Clan wins 2-0, that Clan uploads both games. If the match is split 1-1, each Clan uploads the game that they won. Careful and correct filling out of the forms is presupposed, because this is the only way the rankings are updated. Failure to upload a game for an excessive length of time after it was played is qualification for an administrative loss.
- The duration of a Season depends on the size of the divisions. Over the course of a season, Clans will play one match against every other clan in their division. After all of the scheduled rounds have been played, one extra week will be given for any delinquent games to be made up.
- At the end of each Season, active Clans that do not advance to the Playoffs will participate in the League Cup competition (see below, Rule 8)
A. General Format
- At the end of each Season, the top two Clans in each division will advance to the Playoffs. The Playoffs consist of a single-elimination, "knockout" style tournament to determine an overall champion.
- Each Playoff match will be played in a best-of-three-games format. The first two games will be played using the same settings as a regular Season match. If the Clans split the first two games, however, the third game must be played on the map "Random." If both clans agree, the third game may be played on the map "Random RTSL" (see Rule 9.3). Upon the discretion of the League Staff, matches can be extended to best-of-five (etc.) format and concrete maps to be played may be set.
- The winner of each Playoff round is responsible for uploading all of the recorded games through the Clan Panel.
B. Determination of Playoff Participants
- The top two Clans in each division with the most points at the end of the regular season will advance to the playoffs. In addition, depending on the size of the League and the number of divisions, the League Staff may select a number of third-place clans as "wild-card" teams to fill out any remaining spots in the Playoff bracket.
- Only one Team from each Clan may advance to the Playoffs. If two teams from a single Clan would otherwise be eligible for the Playoffs, the advancing Team will be determined by the following procedure:
- The Team with a higher rank within its Division.
- The Team with fewer losses (including Admin Losses).
- The Team that has a higher standing within the Clan (e.g., the "A-Team"), as designated by the Clan at the beginning of the Season.
- If there is a tie between two Clans in the same division, only one of whom can receive a playoff spot, a one-game tiebreaker on the map "The Unknown" must be played to determine the winner.
- If there is a tie between two or more Clans competing for wild-card spots, the playoff participants will be selected based on a random drawing.
- Clans in the Playoff bracket will be seeded from highest to lowest based on the following criteria:
- The place they achieved in their division (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
- The number of points earned during the regular season.
- If two or more Clans are still tied after applying the factors above, the seeding order will be determined by a random drawing.
- If there is a tie between two clans in the same division, both of which have already secured playoff spots, the following criteria will be used to determine which Clan will receive the higher seed:
* Note that admin losses and misses are NOT factored into tiebreaker decisions because they have already been penalized and included in the current point totals.
- The outcome of the Head-to-Head matchup during the season.
- The outcomes of the matchups vs the highest ranked common opponent during the season.
- Repeat the previous step using the next highest common opponent until a discrepancy is found.
- If a winner still can not be determined, the outcome will be decided by a coin flip.
8: League Cup
A. General Format
- At the end of each Season, active Clans that do not advance to the Playoffs will participate in the League Cup competition. The League Cup is awarded to the winner of a single-elimination, "knockout" style tournament.
- Each League Cup match will be played in a best-of-three-games format. The first two games will be played using the same settings as a regular Season match. If the Clans split the first two games, however, the third game must be played on the map "Random."
- The winner of each League Cup round is responsible for uploading all of the recorded games through the Clan Panel.
B. Participants and Seeding
- All active clans that do not advance to the Playoffs are eligible to compete for the League Cup. At the conclusion of each Season, the League Staff will, in its sole discretion, determine which Clans are considered "active" for the purposes of this rule.
- The seeding for the League Cup tournament will be randomly selected by the League Staff.
9: Game Settings
- The game in use will be Age of Mythology: The Titans with the latest Voobly Balance Patch (currently version 1.02).
- By default, all games must be played using the Voobly client. If both Clans agree, however, the games may alternatively be played using ESO or direct IP connections.
- By default, all games are played as a 3vs3. If both Clans agree, the games may alternatively be played as 2vs2 or 4vs4 instead. Note: A Clan may not demand a 2vs2 or 4vs4 without agreement from the other Clan.
- Game Type: Supremacy. Team may choose Conquest on its home map.
- Handicap: None
- Difficulty: Easiest
- Map Size: Normal
- Visibility: Normal
- No team shared population nor team shared resources.
- Selectable Maps: The respective home-team (see schedule) selects the map and announces it to the opponents before the game launches. Both clans can still change their team after the map is announced till the game starts.
- Any standard (non-custom) maps, plus the new and updated custom maps approved by the RTS-League staff (see below) may be selected. Nomad, however, may be selected only if both clans agree.
- If the map is Nomad, the winning clan must save a screenshot of the victory screen, and post a link to the screenshot in the scheduling thread on the Official Forum.
- The following new maps and updated versions of original maps are approved by RTS League: Frozen Wastes RTSL, Ghostland RTSL, Lamia RTSL, Midgard RTSL, Molde RTSL, Nile Delta RTSL, Painted Desert RTSL, Sacred Pond RTSL, Sea of Worms RTSL, Siwah RTSL. In addition, the following mapsets are approved: Random RTSL and Random All RTSL. All of the maps and mapsets listed above are available through the mod "Official RTS League Mapset" at Voobly.
- If clans cannot agree on player and god selection (eg. because of continuous counter-civing), clan choosing the map selects its players and gods first, and then the other clan. Further changes are not possible for either side. In case of a decider in a "Best of" series, home clan chooses first.
- All RTS-League games must be recorded. The home team is responsible for recording the game and uploading the recorded game to the forum after the match. If the recorded file is corrupted (for example after save game), it is recommended (at least with disputes during or at the end of a game) to make screenshots.
- The use of any kind of cheats, hacks, is not permitted and will be punished severely.
- The goal of the League is to ensure fair play and fun for all participants. Abusive tactics, such as hunt deleting or building excessive wall segments (e.g. 1x1 wall pieces spam) near settlements, gold mines, or wonders, are not permitted. Using Kronos's Time Shift and Poseidon's Lure on the map King of the Hill, in order to control the vault, is also prohibited.
10: League Operation
- All games are to be played during the appropriate week. In exceptional cases, and with the approval of the League Staff, games can be moved into a later play-week but have to be played as soon as possible. Playing matches in advance is not permitted.
- If a Clan does not appear for a scheduled game (delay for more than 20 minutes will be regarded as absence) or only with an insufficient number of players, the match is to be rescheduled for a later date. The offending Clan will receive a "Miss" in the standings, and will be penalized with (-1) points. If the Clan does not appear at the rescheduled date, they will receive a second Miss (another -1) and the games will be counted as administrative wins for the respective opponent.
- In resolving a dispute about the scheduled time or date of a match, only entries in the official forums or personal messages sent to the League Staff will be considered. Evidence of external communication (meaning any communication between Clans occurring outside of the official Forums) is not relevant and will not be considered by the League Staff.
- At the end of the Season, any Matches that have not been played will be decided by the League Staff. In the interest of fair play, result arrangements (without playing) between Clans are not permitted.
- Clan Operators must visit the scheduling threads for their current or delinquent matches often (at least once every two days) and leave a constructive message there that keeps the discussion moving towards compromising on a game time. Failure to do this will result in a miss, and continued disregard for this rule will result in removal from the League, at the discretion of the League Staff.
- Scheduling problems and failure to follow League standards for scheduling will be a significant factor in the Staff's decisions in disputes regarding the Clan, as well as a factor in whether or not they will be re-admitted to the League for following Seasons.
- If a Clan does not finish a season for any reason, they will not be accepted for participation in the following season.
- Clan operators are required to fill out the fairplay form for every match they play, regardless of the result. Clans who fail to submit fairplay ratings may be excluded from the League in future Seasons. In addition, 1 point will be deducted from the Clan's end-of-season total for every two fairplay ratings that are not submitted.
11: Valuation of Games, Results and Tables
- Ranking System:
- Win = 3 points
- Normal Loss = 1 point
- Admin Loss = 0 points
- Miss = -1 points (see above, Rule 10.2)
- If a team leaves or is removed from the League during the Season, each game they played will become an administrative win for the opposing team regardless of the actual result. All of their submitted fairplay ratings will be removed. The rest of their scheduled games will be treated as byes with the opposing teams automatically receiving two administrative wins.
- The schedule results and rankings are updated automatically upon match submission. Mistakes or inaccuracies should be reported by personal message to your division's Staff member as soon as possible.
12: How to Deal With Problems
A. Handling Lag:
- Any Players foreseeing lag problems should turn all graphics options to the lowest possible settings before the start of a game. Clans forseeing a problem can choose to play 2vs2 instead of 3vs3 as long as both clans agree before the game.
- If a game begins to lag badly, pause and try to fix any possible problems. All players should turn down graphics settings to the minimum. Players should close all outside applications that might slow performance. If there is no improvement, both Clans can agree to restart the game as a 2vs2. The game may not be restarted as a 3vs3 under any condition, and can only be restarted as a 2vs2 if both clans agree. If one Clan deems the lag playable, and does not want to restart, the game must be continued. If a Clan Operator suspects an opponent is "laming" by choosing to play through terrible lag just to annoy or force a resign, they should play out the game, then report it to the League Staff.
- If one clan is clearly winning when the lag begins, they can opt to post the game for an administrative decision rather than restart or continue. Any admin decision in this case will be final.
B. Handling Drops:
- If a player's connection aborts, the game must be restored (restarted, if game lasted less than 10 minutes). If one team's connection aborts three times in an attempt to play a game, the game is automatically lost.
- All saved games must be restored within 20 minutes.
- If the game cannot be restored due to technical reasons, then the game is automatically lost by the clan with the technical difficulties. Exception: If the losing clan was clearly ahead at the time the game crashed they may petition the League Staff to decide.
C. Handling Map Bugs:
- If a serious map bug - distinct factors that would adversely affect one Clan outside of their control - is discovered in the first 5 minutes of the game, a Clan may demand a restart. The recorded game must be submitted to the League Staff for verification. If no such bug existed, or if it is determined that the restart was demanded for other reasons, the Clan will receive an administrative loss.
- If a map bug is discovered after 5 minutes, the game may not be restarted on account of it.
13: Streaming and Spectating
- Official streaming is mandatory for the clans. Stream can be revoked only for serious reasons and only by a League Staffer.
- Official streaming must be prioritized over custom streams unless otherwise decided by a League Staffer.
- The official streamers currently are:
Note: List of official streamers may change during the season.
- Live streaming of a League match must include a minimum of 2-minute delay between the actual game progression and the live streaming picture. Streaming without delay is possible only after explicit approval of both clans documented by a screenshot or agreed upon beforehand in the League scheduling forums.
- Spectating in Observer Mode is allowed only if both teams agree. If a match is being streamed live by an official streamer, spectating may be forbidden upon the discretion of the League Staff or the official streamer. To preserve the recorded game, only 1 Observer may be present during the game, unless otherwise stated by a League Staffer.
If you have any questions about the rules, please feel free to contact a League Staff member at any time. Good luck and have fun!