Rule 1 - Universal Rules
We reserve the right to change, modify, or adapt all rules as deemed appropriate by Winners League in order to uphold and maintain a spirit of overall fairness and good sportsmanship.
The League Administrators also reserves the right to make judgment on cases that are not specifically supported, or detailed in these League rules, or even goes against these rules may be taken in extreme cases, to preserve fair play and sportsmanship at the Administrator team’s discretion.
If any part of the League rules shall be invalid or inapplicable in whole or in part, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining part of these rules. In lieu of the invalid or inapplicable provision an appropriate provision shall apply which is nearest to the intent of to what would have been the intention in keeping with the meaning and purpose of the League rules.
All players and teams are to uphold the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship at all times.
Unsportsmanlike conduct of any type, including but not limited to racist or abusive remarks and attempts to circumvent or abuse any league policy as determined by is not tolerated and is subject to punishments including forfeits, expulsions, bans, or any other action deemed appropriate by Winners League.
These are the only rules which are valid for the League, it's participants and all matches played within the scope of the League. With his participation the participant states that he understands and accepts all rules.
The content of disputes, support tickets, discussions or any other correspondence with the League Administrators are deemed strictly confidential. The publication of such material is prohibited without a written consent from the League Administrators.
The League administration is not responsible for any additional agreements, nor do they agree to enforce any such agreements made between individual players or teams. The League highly discourages such agreements taking place, and such agreements that are contradicting the League rules are under no circumstances allowed.
Rule 2 - Schedule
The league is played in a round-robin format for Main and Invite Divisions and Swiss System for Starter Division. As such, each team will have the same amount of matches played within the league. To keep up with the schedule, teams shall play each match within the week slotted for the match.
Rule 3 - Standings, Tie Breakers & Playoffs
The league is broken down into the following conferences and regions:
- North America
- Starter division
- Main division
- Invite division
- Starter division
- Main division
- Invite division
If the League administrators decide that a match must be replayed, delayed or rescheduled, or a certain round of the match needs to be replayed, the teams affected must follow the instructions of the administrators.
Group stage placement is determined by points first, followed by round difference and head-to-head matchups as the final criteria.
You will receive your official playoff seed the first round and it will last the duration of playoffs.
At the end of the regular season, playoff eligible teams will advance into a playoff bracket to determine the champion.
Forfeit wins do not grant the winning team a +16 Round Difference.
Rule 4 - Prizes
Payments - winners will be provided with a form that they must fill out in order to receive prize money. Teams will be notified when prize money is distributed, but generally prize winnings are paid to all eligible participants within 14 days of receiving the completed paperwork barring submission errors. Some payment methods will take longer than others to process due to a large volume of transactions. Generally, transactions are completed through PayPal or Bank Wire, but other payment methods can be explored if there are special circumstances.
Rule 5 - Game Settings
Format - Competitive 5v5
Freeze Time - 15 seconds
Round Time - One minute and 55 seconds
Regulation Max Rounds - 15
Regulation Start Money - $800
- Regulation Side Selection - Knife for sides
- The team with the most alive players at the end of the round picks their side
- In case of a draw, a team will be randomly selected to pick their side
Overtime Max Rounds - 3
Overtime Start Money - $16,000
Overtime Side Selection - in overtime, teams first play the side they last played in regulation
Rule 6 - Player Eligibility, Roster Restrictions & Substitutions
All participants must have a WINNERS League ticket to play in the league.
All roster restrictions become active from the time registration for the upcoming season closes until all matches are completed and the season has officially ended. For example, an unlimited amount of players may join and leave the roster before registration closes. However, once registration has closed, teams will need to request a new player to be added to their roster through contacting the admin team at least 2 hours before match start.
A player will only be able to join a league team's roster once if he is eligible.
A join is defined by a user joining a team page in the Winners League, regardless of whether they play a match.
A player can not be on more than one league team (per game), including multiple accounts. A player can not have more than one account on a league team (per game).
Players should not use multiple accounts in order to avoid League roster restrictions. If a user is found to be doing so then they will receive an “account sharing” ban and affected matches will be overturned. To be explicitly clear: If you cannot join a team on one account then you should not use a different account in order to join.
Rosters will be locked for the playoff portion of the competition.
Once competition starts, teams are not allowed to switch divisions.
Failure to show up to a scheduled playoff match may result in harsh penalties, including, but not limited to, expulsion from the league and forfeiture of any prize funds to be received for that season.
If a team qualifies for an Winners League LAN event, all members of the team are responsible to maintain a roster with the ability to compete once the team qualifies for the event. Failure to attend an Winners League LAN event may result in immediate expulsion from the league and all players will be banned for at least the duration of the following season. All punishments will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
For LAN events where Winners League cover expenses: Winners League shall only cover the transport and accommodation to the LAN finals for 5 players and one coach/manager. All of these users must be on a team's Winners League roster in order for Winners League to cover their transport/accommodation. Winners League will not cover expenses for anyone not on the roster. Teams cannot exchange expenses: for example a team cannot cover one player's travel in order for Winners League to cover the expenses of someone else not on the roster.
In order to change your team leader for the duration of one match of the entirety of the league season, a request must be submitted to the admin team at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled match or risk the request not processed until the following match.
Substitutions are allowed and can be made during the substitution portion of the veto process at the beginning of every match. A substitute has to be on the team’s roster prior to the veto for them to be available in the selection menu. If a veto has to be restarted due to the substitution process failing, the completed vetoes need to be kept the same. While you will be allowed to add new substitutes during the group stage, teams will need to make sure that all of their substitute players are on the roster before the start of the playoff bracket.
Winners League reserves the right to remove team names, profile images or biographies which are deemed vulgar, racist or otherwise inappropriate. Teams should not use their team page as a way of harassing other players such as posting their personal information, pictures etc without their permission.
Rule 7 - Promotions & Demotions
Team promotions and demotions may vary from season to season as we build and balance divisions, and as such, will be announced individually for every season.
A total of 512 teams may enter the Starter division with 256 teams making playoffs and top 16 eligible for promotion.
A total of 64 teams may enter the Main division with 32 teams making playoffs and one winner eligible for promotion and bottom 16 demoted to Starter Division.
A total of 32 teams may enter the Invite division with 16 teams making playoffs. Invited teams and demotions are handled on a case by case basis by the admin team.
Rule 8 - Invite Division specific rules
It is not allowed for any organization to own two teams in Winners League at the same time.
A team cannot qualify for the Invite Division if another team from the same organisation is currently in the Invite Division in the same season.
If one roster of the same organization qualifies for the Invite Division while another team from the same organisation is already in that division, the other roster shall be relegated to the next highest division. Alternatively the organisation may sell or trade the players to another organisation before registration closes for the upcoming season. The organisation can also release the players entirely if they so choose. However, this must be resolved before registration closes.
A special exception to this can only be made if the organization in question provides a written confirmation via a support ticket at least 30 days before the end of the regular season that at least four weeks before the part of the competition including the first squad, one of the two squads will no longer be part of that organisation and its players will no longer be under contract with that organisation. This separation from one of the squads has to be permanent and is independent from the results of the squads in the League. Any violation will result in severe punishment for the organisation, including, but not limited to the expulsion of both teams from the league.
Teams in the Invite Division who are marked as inactive or decide to withdraw from the league shall be assumed to be last place in the division (for the purpose of relegation spots) and the team will be removed from the division at the end of the season.
If a team from the Winners League move up structure drops out, they will be replaced by the next highest placing Winners League structure.
Rule 9 - Match Times, Reschedules & Server Assignment
Default Match Times - teams in all division are scheduled for one match per week. The default match times for each division are published at the announcement of the League on the FaceIT platform.
Match Times - for most divisions, matches can only be played between 4:00 pm and 11:30 pm conference local time within a window starting from the Sunday preceding the default day to the following Sunday (8 available days) unless both teams agree specifically on a new time in the match lobby comments for an admin to schedule or contact the admin with proof of agreement reached between both teams.
If an agreement is not reached within 24 hours of default match time, teams will not be able to reschedule the match without administrator intervention.
If a team makes all reasonable attempts to contact their opponents about rescheduling before any agreement is made, but is left unanswered or ignored for longer than 24 hours, Winners League reserves the right to accept that team’s match time proposal.
Reschedules - teams can reschedule any regular season match as needed if the new match time is mutually agreed upon by both team captains, except in cases where a match was confirmed to be on stream of the official Winners League broadcast. For a match to be rescheduled it must be 100% clear that both teams have agreed to a specific exact date and time, with a time zone specified. Any reschedule must be communicated via the Winners League match lobby chat or via the scheduling interface provided by the platform. Teams should not use Steam, Discord, Skype or any third party service that Winners League administrators cannot monitor in order to schedule their matches, unless the record of communication is later provided to the administrators.
It is entirely a team’s responsibility to reject offers which will potentially clash with their other League matches or matches in other events. Certain exceptions may be made if deemed appropriate by the administrator team to delay a match by a specific amount of time if other matches take an unusual amount of time to finish and end up overlapping with the upcoming match.
All times for League matches are displayed with the player's timezone selected in their FaceIT settings.
Initiating a Match Reschedule Offer - The captain from either team can initiate a match offer. When initiating a match offer, the captain proposes a match time through a feature available on the match page. The opposing team’s captain will see the offer as a pop up if he is online or the next time he logs into his account. You can only make one counter-offer using the FaceIT-provided feature and should use the match page to schedule your match with admin assistance. All matches may be scheduled in advance.
Teams cannot schedule two separate matches with the start times less than one hour apart.
Once a time has been accepted then new offers will not automatically accept after 24 hours
If a team is required to use the match page comments to agree on a time to play then they should make an inquiry with administrator team immediately after agreeing upon a new time. Teams should not play the match out, as the results may be taken by the admins as “final”.
Un-agreeable Match Offers - if both team captains cannot agree upon a new match time within 24 hours of the default match time, the match will automatically be assigned to the divisional default match time.
Special exceptions may be issued where necessary by a league admin if teams are attending LAN events given advance notice at least 48 hours of the default time if the even is in conflict with a match.
If the average ping difference between two teams is more than 25, teams need to contact the admin BEFORE the match goes live, in order to evaluate and potentially re-assign the match to a server with the most fair pings. If you would like to have a server change because of a ping imbalance, be sure to have a screen shot with you so that an admin can verify your situation. If a team has players outside of their respective region, the team will not be able to dispute the ping difference. If there is no solution available for the teams to have a fair ping difference, an admin will assign the default server location, if possible.
By playing a round teams are accepting the server in its current state. In the event of a CS:GO update, ISP issue etc that causes significant problems with the server teams should pause the match and immediately contact an admin via direct message.
If a CS:GO update occurs and a player is unable to connect/rejoin the game due to the update then the team should immediately contact and amin. They should not continue playing the match and instead pause or disconnect from the server entirely. The match will then be replayed on an updated server at a different time.
If the Winners League administration team believe a CS:GO update will significantly impact league matches (for example cause crashing ingame etc) then they will relay this information via announcements and request that teams reschedule the night's matches. If the teams ignore this warning and choose to play the match then they do so at their own risk and we will not force replay completed rounds after the match due to playing in abnormal circumstances. The Winners League team will not allow forfeits to be taken for matches affected by CS:GO updates.
Rule 10 - Winners League TV & Streaming Criteria
Teams cannot refuse to have their matches broadcast by Winners League authorized broadcasts, nor can they choose in what manner the match will be broadcast. The broadcast can only be rejected by the league administration. The teams agree to make sufficient accommodation so that broadcasting of matches can take place. This includes, but is not limited to, waiting for the previous broadcast match to end before starting your own match.
We allow players to personally stream their matches if we are broadcasting them on our Twitch channel as long as they meet our specific criteria. Players are responsible for streaming with a significant delay (120 sec+). We will not accept accusations of “stream sniping” as if you are choosing to stream your matches then this a risk you are acknowledging and can prevent by simply adding a reasonable delay to your stream.
Rule 11 - Forfeit Wins & Loses
If neither team is able to field five players then the teams should reschedule the match. The match cannot be played four versus four. If a team has attended with four players and none of their opponents have connected they may claim a forfeit win via calling an admin to the lobby after 20 minutes.
If a match has not been played by 40 minutes past the scheduled time the teams should reschedule the game via the match lobby chat and call an admin to the lobby. If both teams agree they may reschedule the match to be played as soon as possible, in which case they need to wait for an admin to join the lobby to make adjustments. Due to high admin demand during default times wait times may be higher than normal.
In the event that neither team attends the match and no reschedule attempt has been made, a staff member may choose the winner of the match by coinflip or cancel the match entirely. In the event that neither team posts times that they can play then then the match will be randomly forfeit. In the event that one team posts times that they can play but the other does not then the team that did not post will be forfeit. If both teams post times but are unable to come to an agreement then a league official will make a judgement call as to which team put more effort into trying to find a reasonable time. For example teams posting time early in the morning or late at night that are completely unreasonable for the vast majority of players would be deemed as not putting effort into scheduling.
Starting a match later than the scheduled time does not remove a team's right to pause the match for their designated pauses per half.
By starting a match teams are passing on their right to claim a forfeit win if their opponent was late.
Once a team receives five forfeit losses they may be marked "dead" (ie inactive) for the remainder of the season. Teams which are marked as inactive are removed from the League at the end of the Season and must begin in the Starter division.
Teams will not be marked as inactive during the playoffs regardless of the number of forfeits/active players on the roster
Teams may agree to play a forfeited regular season match up to 7 days after the forfeit has occurred. After that point the match cannot be replayed. Teams cannot agree to replay matches after the regular season has ended.
Rule 12 - Match Process
Game Servers - all matches must be played on the assigned Winners League game servers. Team captains will have the ability to veto which location they don’t want until one server location is left over. The entire match must be played on the assigned server - you cannot play each half on a different server
Steam ID - be sure your Steam ID in your profile is consistent with the Steam ID you are using to compete with. All rosters are automatically validated by Steam ID upon joining the server. Only registered and eligible participants from the assigned teams will be allowed in the assigned game server
Client - all participants must be running the FaceIT AC Client at all times during their matches or they will automatically be kicked by the server. Any attempt to circumvent the Client will results in a forfeit loss and expulsion from the league. You join your assigned match server through the FaceIT Client
A League match cannot end with a draw. A winner and a loser are to be set for each League match.
Once a match goes live, it cannot be restarted, if a player disconnects during the round, pause the match during the next freeze time.
Teams are limited to 2 x 5 minute pauses per each half and 1 pause per each overtime set. Teams may initiate these by writing "!pause" during freezetime. A pause will last 5 minutes and then both teams have the right to unpause.
Players cannot be changed at any time during a live League match.
All matches must be played to the end (where a winner and a loser have been found). A team leaving the League match before a winner has been found will forfeit the remaining rounds. Leaving a match shall result in the remaining rounds being awarded to the opponents. A team shall still keep any won rounds in the match and the game will not count as a forfeit for the season.
Rule 13 - Stats & Demos
Statistics - box score statistics will immediately be available for viewing on your team and individual profile page immediately following all league matches. Weapon and map statistics will also be added to your cumulative individual statistics and can be filtered out individually on the page in your WIN.GG profile.
GOTV Demos - demos are available for download and viewing in the match lobby on the FaceIT platform and later will be available on the match page on WIN.GG.
Rule 14 - Exploits & Infractions
Dispute Resolutions - all disputes must be filed via a direct message to an admin or within a support ticket within six hours of the conclusion of the match along with the demo, specific infraction, and the round in which the infraction occurred. Disputes will be resolved by League Administrators and all decisions are final
Exploit & Infraction Penalties - exploits and infractions will be dealt with on a case by case decision, but standard resolution for the infractions include overturning the round in which the infraction occurred (if the infraction had a direct impact on the outcome of that round).
You are welcome to play your league match at a LAN center or any other computer.
If we are not notified in advance, you risk an account sharing ban and a match over turn.
In order to avoid potential false positive account sharing bans. Similarly if a player will be attending a LAN center or internet cafe to play their match they should alert Winners League administrators via a support ticket or direct message BEFORE the match is due to be played.
- If a player, team manager, or team sponsor, is found betting on their own match, regardless of their bet placement, the league match will be overturned and the offending player, team manager, or team organization that placed the bet will be expunged from the league. This also encompasses placing bets with a secondary account or through a third party. We strongly recommend players discourage friends, family members, roommates or other affiliates from betting in order to lower the risk of a false positive ban. We will also be offering an incentive for coming forward with indisputable evidence of a player placing bets directly or through a third party. All disputes will be handled on a case by case basis.
- Caster, admin or production crew members, WIN employees or their affiliates are also barred from betting on Winners League matches.
Illegal Bomb Plants - it is illegal to plant the bomb in a position that cannot be defused by the opposing team.
Joining opponents team - Players joining their opponent's team during a live round shall be treated as a standard infraction. Players joining their opponents team during a pause shall be examined on a case by case basis looking at the frequency of occurrence, the length of the incident and the user's history of such incidents.
Illegal Bomb Defuses - it is illegal to intentionally distort your hit boxes while defusing the bomb. Each dispute will be handled on a case by case basis, reviewing multiple aspects, including, but not limited to, the speed at which movement is made, the action of movement made, as well as the outcome of the exploiting action.
- Map Exploits - Boosts that result in clipping are illegal. Clipping is when a player is either boosted through a solid layer, or when a player manipulates him/herself so that they can see over, under, and/or through any solid entity such as a wall or box.
- If any player or team wants to use a new position which is unknown to anyone else or just known to a small part of the community, it’s strongly recommended to contact tournament officials to check if that position is allowed before using it in any official match. Players and teams have to consider that it takes time to check new positions and therefore they have to contact tournament officials in a reasonable timeframe before an official match.
- All matches will be played on the latest version of the map.
Rule 15 - Cheating
If a player is found to have been letting another user access their account during a match, the match will be overturned, and the player will be banned from the Winners League for account sharing. At the admin's discretion, the team who had a ringer can be banned from the competition.
If a player is found to be cheating and/or using illegal customization on any server that is part of the Winners League, any matches played by the user for the team he/she is on at the time of the detection (not the time of the ban), in addition to any matches played for any other team after the time of the detection, will be overturned.
If a player/account is found to be ban evading on the Winners League, any matches on any team that he/she has played may be overturned.
If you carry a ban on the FaceIT platform preventing you from playing in the Winners League, you will not be able to participate in the league.
Rule 16 - Server Crashes & Disconnects
Server Crash - if a server crashes, contact a League Administrator with a support ticket or direct message. If possible, the match will be restored, but may result in the entire match being replayed if there is no match medic.
- Player Disconnect
- For non Winners League TV matches - if a player disconnects, ONLY the Captain (or a designated player if the Captain disconnects) of the disconnected team may pause the round during the freeze time of the next round. The match will remain paused for no more than five minutes, at which point the match will be un-paused and resumed by the designated player of the disconnected team. Teams are limited to 2 pauses per each regulation period and 1 pause per each overtime set. A pause can last no longer than 5 minutes If there is an issue reconnecting to the server or the server itself, the pausing team must create a league ticket to contact staff to assess the situation.
- For Winners League TV matches, all pause limits are reviewed on a case by case basis by League administrators.
Rule 17 - Support & Admins
If you need help please contact the admin team via direct message in our discord.
- Current League Administrators: