Tournaments are about more than just winning. They are an opportunity to meet people from different countries and different walks of life who share the passion for the game. They also server as a meeting grounds where you can finally hang out with friends from thousands of miles away who you might have only talked to online. Nevertheless, a major part of tournaments is about determining an eventual champion. We all have a competitive spirit within us, otherwise we wouldn’t be attending tournaments in the first place. As the stakes are raised, so is the pressure to perform.
This document is an attempt to strictly codify every rule that will be in effect at the tournament. Our goal is not to make things overly complicated, but rather to make sure everyone is treated fairly. In the event of a conflict, strict adherence to these rules will ensure that things don’t become personal and everyone can have a good time. All tournament competitors are responsible for knowing these rules in advance.
The following terms will be used in this document, around the website, and at the tournament itself
Bracket A flow chart indicating who should play whom at any point in the tournament. The completely deterministic nature of a bracket
ensures fair play. Most tournaments use double elimination brackets.
Match A pairing between two people in the bracket. The two people play each other until a winner is determined. For example, the
final Match in in the tournament determines who gets 1st and who gets 2nd. A Match is usually 2 out of 3 games.
Game A Game is just what you think it is… a single game between 2 players. For example, a game in Super Turbo is over when someone
wins 2 out of 3 rounds. A game of Capcom vs SNK 2 is over when one player loses his last character. Make sure you understand the
difference between a Match and a Game!
The Director The person ultimately responsible for running the whole tournament.
Judge The Director has a lot of people helping him. These people usually watch over Matches and help to resolve conflicts.
Thus, those people are called Judges. They are tournament officials. While they can help to resolve conflicts, the Director
is the ultimate authority in making sure the rules are enforced.
- All participants must register in person in advance of the tournament start time. See the schedule for more details.
- Entry into the tournament after the registration period expires is generally not allowed, but may be accepted at the discretion of the Director.
- Entry fees are non-refundable.
All players in the tournament will be “seeded by region”. To the best of our ability, we will place players in the bracket in a manner that minimizes the chances of them playing against someone who lives in close physical proximity to them. This increases the likelihood that you will play against players whom you have not played against before.
These rules will be in effect while a single Match in the tournament is played. If you are playing in the tournament, be sure to study this section carefully, especially if you have no prior tournament experience.
- Choosing Sides
- When both players are at the game console, they must come to an agreement which side of they machine they will play on (who will sit on 1p and who will sit on 2p)
- If an agreement cannot be reached, a game of paper-scissors-rock will determine who gets to pick their side.
- Choosing Characters
- There are 3 methods for choosing characters. Standard Selection, Double Blind Selection, and Side and Character Courtesy.
- If the players do not discuss the method of character selection, it should be understood that the Standard method is being used. If the players cannot come to an agreement on the method of character selection, the judge will apply the double blind method.
- Standard Selection
- Both players choose their characters whenever they want. This is a free for all. Players pick who they want and go.
- Once either player chooses a character, neither is allowed to request that the Double Blind Selection method be used.
- Double Blind Selection
- Either player must explicitly ask for the Double Blind Selection method before either player chooses a character.
- When a player request Double Blind, the player on the left side (1p) decides which characters and modes (e.g. ISM, Assist mode, or Ultras) they will choose and whispers his selection to the Judge.
- The Judge then signals the player on the right (2p) to pick his characters and play modes.
- Once the player on the right (2p) has finished, the Judge makes sure the player on the left (1p) sticks to his original choices.
- Side and Character Courtesy
- As a courtesy, the player who received his choice of which side to play on (1p vs 2p) can elect to choose his character first.
- This is strictly a courtesy. A player is in no way required to do so.
- Playing the Match
- Once sides and characters have been chosen, the players should begin the first Game in the Match.
- The following rules go into effect once a Game ends
- The Match is over when either player wins the required number of games (Two out of three games for most tournaments)
- Once a player has won the required number of games, the winner of the Match should report the result to the Judge.
- If there are still Games to be played, the player who lost the Game has the option of switching sides (1p vs 2p) for the next Game.
- The player who won the game does not have the option of switching sides. He must stay on the same side if the loser does not want to switch.
- The player who won the last Game is required to keep the same characters, game modes, and order of characters for the next Game.
- The player who lost the last Game is allowed to choose whatever characters, game modes, or character order he desires.
- Reporting Rule Violations: At some point during the tournament, a player may violate either the tournament rules or the rules for a particular game in a tournament. For example, a player may switch his character selection after he won the previous game (a tournament rule violation) or he may choose Akuma in Street Fighter II Super Turbo or do the Gambit Glitch in Marvel vs Capcom 2 (a tournament game violation). The following rules apply toward rectifying rule violations.
- It is the responsibly of the players in the Match to detect all Match Rule violations and report them to a Judge immediately.
- ALL non-gameplay rule violations must be reported to a Judge before the Game starts (e.g. the winner switching the characters after winning one Game in a Match).
- Players are not allowed to stop a Game in progress to address a non-gameplay related rule violation. Stopping a Game in progress to report a non-gameplay rule violation will result in the forfeiture the round on the part of the person stopping the game.
- The only time a player is allowed to stop a Game to report a rule violation is when that violation occurs during the middle of the match (e.g. The Gambit Glitch in Marvel vs. Capcom 2).
- Stopping a Game in progress to erroneously report a rule violation (e.g. your opponent using the Juggernaut glitch in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which is allowed) automatically results in the forfeiture of the round by the player who stopped the game.
- Rule violations must be reported at the time they occur. Otherwise, they will be ignored.
- A Judge is allowed to report any rule violations on behalf of a player.
- If a Judge stops a game to mis-report a rule violation, the Game is replayed with both players picking the same characters, order, and side. No one is disqualified.
- The only people allowed to stop a Game to report a violation are the Judge and the players. Anyone else (e.g. a spectator) stopping a Game (for any reason) will receive a mandatory Red Card (see Rule Enforcement and Disqualification).
- If a player accidently or intentially stops his game for any other reason, he will be forced to forfeit the round. Example include accidently pressing the start button on his controller to pause the match, unplugging his or his opponents joystick, etc. If the game cannot be restarted from the exact point of interruption, the player is forced to forfeit the Game.
- Match interruptions beyond the players control (e.g. the game crashes or freezes) will be dealt with directly by the Judge. All best attempts will be made to resume the round from where it left off. If that cannot be accomplished, the Game will be replayed with both players picking the same characters and modes.
- Example: Suppose a player loses a Game during his Match. During the middle of the next Game, he notices that his opponent changed characters (a rule violation, since his opponent won the previous Game). Since the player did not notify a Judge immediately after the violation occurred, the player must live with the situation. If he stops the Game now, he will be forced to forfeit the Game.
- Example: During your MvC2 match, your opponent uses the Ruby Heart glitch to freeze time for 15 seconds. Near the end of your match (2 minutes later) you see that you’re losing and stop the match to report the violation. Since you didn’t report the violation immediately, it is ignored, and since you’ve stopped the match, you are now forced to forfeit. Be careful.
- Example: A player is up 1 round to 0 against his opponent when he accidently kicks the powerstrip, turning the console off. Since this is an unauthorized stoppage of play, the player is forced to forfeit the Round. Since the game cannot continue from the point where it left off, the player is forced to forfeit the entire game.
- Reporting Equipment Failure: Video game hardware has a tendency to break down during tournaments. Buttons or joysticks will occasionally break down in the middle of a match, leaving the player on the broken side at a significant disadvantage. The following rules will be used in the event of a breakdown.
- In the event of an equipment failure, they player has the option to stop the Game in progress to obtain an replacement.
- If a Game is stopped in progress, the reporting player must forfeit the current round.
- New equipment must be immediately available. If replacement equipment cannot be obtained in a timely manner, the player must continue to play on their current equipment or forfeit the Match.
- Once replacement equipment is obtained, the player is given the rest of the round to configure their buttons and test the new equipment. If the player gains an undue advantage by doing so (e.g. charging an abundance of super meter), they must forfeit the Game.
- A player may opt to switch out equipment between Games at no penalty. When this occurs, the player will be given ample time to configure his buttons before the next Game begins.
Rule Enforcement and Disqualification
- Every participant starts off the tournament with a clean slate.
- Judges must report each rule violation to the Director immediately.
- The Director has the discretion to issue one (or more) of the following in response to each rule vioation: Match forfeiture, a Yellow Card, a Red Card. Consequences for each violation are explained below
- Match Forfeiture
- When a Match forfeiture is issued, the particpant automatically loses the Match in dispute (not the Game… the Match. Know the difference!).
- The other player automatically advances in the bracket. He is not required to play a replacement.
- If no Match is in dispute at the time the forfeiture is awarded (e.g. the forfeiture was issued while the participant was waiting to play), the particpant automatically forfeits his next Match.
- If the particpant was in the Losers’ Bracket at the time of the forfeiture, he is eliminated from the tournament.
- Recommended Circumstances for Issuing a Match Forfeiture
- Inabilty to locate the particpant at the time of his Match
- Violation of Match rules during the Match (e.g. using a timeout glitch in Marvel vs Capcom 2).
- Minor misconduct during a tournament (e.g. disruptive behavior, failing to obey the instructions of the judges, etc.).
- Yellow Cards
- The first Yellow Card violation in and of itself has no effect. However, a Yellow Card violation will almost always also be accompanied by Match Forfeiture.
- A 2nd Yellow Card violation REQUIRES that the tournament organizer also issue a Red Card
- Recommended Circumstances for Issuing a Yellow Card
- Excessive stalling/misconduct during a Match (e.g. repeatedly “accidently” picking the wrong character, taking a bathroom break between games in a Match, excessive physical contact with the other player during a Match (e.g. kicking out his stool)).
- Major misconduct violations during a tournament (e.g. punching, or slamming the screen or joysticks, excessive trash talking, etc).
- Red Cards
- A player is immediately disqualified from the tournament after receiving a Red Card violation.
- Red Card may be given immediately, without any prior violations, in extreme circumstances.
- Recommended Circumstances for Issuing a Red Card
- Upon issuing a 2nd Yellow Card.
- Physically harming another tournament particpant (smacking, punching, etc).
- Excessive Misconduct (e.g. theft, causing a disruption which delays the tournament, racial slurs or excessive trash talking, etc.)
- Example Rule Violations
- Player A is in a Match against Player B. During the middle of the Match, Player C claims that Player B is cheating and demands that the Match be stopped. After repeated (and loud) protesting by Player C, a Judge is forced to stop the Match. Player C is issued a Red Card for disrupting a tournament match regardless of the actions of Player B.
- Player A is in a heated battle with Player B in the quarter-finals of the Winner’s Bracket. After losing the last game in the Match, Player A loses his temper, stands up, and shouts an obscenity. The tournament Director issues a Yellow Card for misconduct. At his discretion, the Director may also issue a Match Forfeiture. If he does so, Player A will be eliminated from the tournament (1 loss to Player B + 1 loss due to the Match Forfeiture). Keep your temper.
- Player A makes it to the semi-finals of the Winner’s bracket. During that Match, he uses excessive trash talking to distract his opponent. Although he wins his Match, the Director issues a Yellow Card for unsportsman-like conduct. During the finals of the Winner’s bracket, Player A stops his Match for a restroom break. This is a mandatory Yellow Card violation. Since this is his 2nd Yellow Card, Player A receives a mandatory Red Card. Player A is eliminated from the tournament even though he has not lost a Match.
- Any tournament players that are not present when their match is called for pool or semi final matches, without giving staff a valid reason for not being present, will have a period of two (2) minutes to report, to their station with the required equipment. After the two minute period has expired, you will be forced to forfeit your Match. This is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy, and friends or staff can’t save you.
- Equipment sharing is no longer a valid option for being late to a match. You can take the risk and borrow someone’s equipment, but if it is use, and your match is called, you will have two (2) minutes to report with valid equipment or be disqualified.
- There will be no ties in any tournament. Anyone refusing to play any Match (including the finals) will be disqualified and forfeit all rights to any titles or prizes they might have otherwise earned for that tournament.
- A draw match as determined by the game must be replayed, unless the game awards the draw to a player (i.e. SFIII, Third Strike).
- Inevitable Defeat rule is in effect. This is defined as when a player has legally won the round or match (i.e. landed a move that will kill the opponent) but pauses the game before the game awards the round won icon, will still be awarded the win. The most common occurrence of this rule is when Player 1 lands a super on Player 2, but the super animation is a grab and the damage isn’t awarded till the final hit connects, but the opponent has legally lost the round. If there is a dispute over whether the move would have knocked out the other player, a tournament official will unpause the match, see the result of the action, and proceed from there. If the attack does not kill the opponent, then the mid game pause rules are in effect.
- Anyone visibly intoxicated or otherwise under the influence will be immediately ejected from the tournament, and may be banned. If you do not cooperate immediately, we will not hesitate to contact the local authorities. We have always enjoyed violence-free events, and this a zero tolerance issue. Keep it in the game, or keep it to yourself.
- Collusion of any kind with your competitors is considered cheating. If the Tournament Director determines that any competitor is colluding to manipulate the results or intentionally underperforming, the collaborating players may be immediately disqualified. This determination is to be made at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director. Anyone disqualified in this manner forfeits all rights to any titles or prizes they might have otherwise earned for that tournament.
- We have a zero tolerance policy toward violence, threats of violence, intimidation, and other forms of thuggery. Any threat of violence, extreme intimidation, or violence of any kind will result in an immediate and lifetime ban.
- Gambling is prohibited in and/or around the event hall. Any player that gambles on the property will be immediately ejected from the tournament, and may be banned. If you want to gamble, go play at the tables, that is what they are for.