Bye: When a player advances to the next round of a tournament without playing a match.
Game: One instance of Hearthstone.
Game of Record (GOR): A tournament game that’s progressed to the point that incidental restarts are no longer allowed except under extreme circumstances.
Match: A best-of series required to move on to the next round of a tournament. A match is often made of one, three or five games. Example: A match made of one game is a best of one
Organizers are responsible for ensuring the tournament goes off without a hitch. This includes general tournament logistics as well as providing an excellent player experience for both competitors and spectators at the event. Organizers and Refs are your tournament officials. Participating as both an official and a player in the same tournament is prohibited. The tournament officials decisions are final and can even overrule the rules stated in all documents if deemed necessary. Tournament officials have the authority to give out default losses for single games and matches. Tournament officials can also ban a player from the tournament if deemed necessary.
The referees’ responsibilities include:
- Dealing with any game or policy rule violations he observes or are brought to his attention.
- Issuing penalties when players break the rules and notifying the other officials of the ruling.
Players need to represent good sportsmanship at all times:
- Behave in a respectful manner toward tournament officials, other players and spectators, and steer clear of any unsportsmanlike conduct during the event.
- Arrive on time and ready for the start of the tournament and at the start of each match.
- Bring any infractions (rule or policy) you notice to a referee or tournament organizer’s attention.
- Bring any discrepancies in match record to a referee or tournament organizer’s attention immediately.
- Have a Hearthstone account geared up and ready to go on the appropriate regional server, including having any cards you might want to use.
- Refrain from enrolling in tournaments you’re not allowed to participate in.
- Be familiar with whichever rules the tournament organizer is using.
- Bring any equipment the tournament organizer lists as your personal responsibility to provide.
Anyone physically present at a tournament, watching online or attending an event is classified as a spectator. Spectators are responsible for upholding good sportsmanship as well, and should never interfere or distract players or tournament officials(TO) during matches. If spectators believe they’ve observed a rules or policy violation, they’re encouraged to alert a referee as soon as possible, so those in charge of infractions can sort things out with minimal interference to the tournament.
Anyone’s eligible to play in a sanctioned tournament, with the exception of:
- Anyone prohibited by local laws, the Tournament Organizer rules or venue management.
- Tournament officials can’t participate in events they’re actively officiating.
- Competitors will be penalized for failing to arrange games according to the tournament rules if the match is not played by the deadline.
- Each competitor must post the Dates they can most definitely play the match. Dates that are unavailable must also be noted.
- Competitors must confirm and acknowledge one of the suggested dates by the stipulated date for finalizing a match. A match date must be set and confirmed to in clear and understandable terms.
- Should neither competitor come to an agreement by the stipulated date for finalizing a match and if the default date was not ruled out by any competitor, the match will be scheduled for the default date automatically. NB: Ensure that you announce the default date as an unavailable date by the stipulated date for finalizing a match if you cannot play on the default date!
- Once the match date is set, credentials must be exchanged within 12 hours after the confirmation is made.
- If a match is not played by the deadline, the admins will make a decision on which player will forfeit the match.
Teams/players which the admins deems to be purposefully unreasonable or intentionally attempting to force a forfeit will, themselves, face penalties.
- Players must use the official tool of communication to agree on a match time. If players fail to agree on a time by the stipulated time for finalizing a match, both players should inform the admins that they have been unable to schedule a match, and should expect to play at the default times.
- If players agree on a time, that time is binding. If a player fails to arrive for their scheduled time, they are automatically given a match loss. Extenuating circumstances may lead to a postponement, but this is at the discretion of the admins, and should not be expected.
- Any player which is not in game and fully ready to start fifteen minutes after the scheduled match time will automatically be given a forfeit. In the case both players are not ready to start fifteen minutes after the scheduled time; the match shall be automatically rescheduled for the default times.
- If only one of the players fails to arrive for a scheduled match, players may mutually agree to try reschedule the game, but if either of players cannot play at another time in the period, the match shall automatically be awarded to the player that was present and ready to play at the scheduled time.
- Please make sure to use the official tool of communication to organize your matches! If your official tool of communication is left blank or players have failed to show enough effort in organizing a match you will be issued a forfeit for that round/match. Players must request and accept their agreed upon time on the official tool of communication!
- Disputes must be submitted by the tournaments disputes deadline to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Matches may only be played by players listed on the approved player roster.
- Recordings, screenshots and match information must be included when submitting a dispute.
- Players are encouraged to communicate with admins as failure to communicate will affect the final decision.
Game of Record
A game of record (GOR) refers to a game where all players loaded into the game and the game has progressed to a point of meaningful interaction (see below). Once a game reaches GOR status, no incidental restarts are permitted and the game is considered official from that point. After the establishment of GOR, game restarts will be allowed only under limited conditions. Conditions that establish a GOR are:
- Either player lands an attack or ability.
Restarts Before Establishment of GOR
- If a player is experiencing technical issues (hardware or software problems that prevents the match from continuing), the player may call (in Battle.net chat) for a single restart provided the call is made before establishment of GOR.
- If it is unclear if something qualifies as a technical issue contact a tournament official and they will make the decision.
- In the event of a remake, players must play the same deck.
- If a player’s client fails to load after deck selection, then the match must be restarted.
- If a player disconnects and is not able to reconnect to the game, the disconnect will be treated as a loss for the one who lost the connection, unless both participants agree to play a rematch.
- A player must wait at least two minutes in the game to allow for his opponent to reconnect and continue if both players agree.
- All matches will be played on the EU server.
- When a player wins a game, the deck used by the winning player cannot be used for the remainder of the match.
- The losing player can keep the same deck used or switch to a different one of their choice.
- No deck changes allowed in a match.
- You may not leave the challenge screen in a match.
- In the event of a draw (both players die at the same time), that game must be replayed by both players with the *exact same decks*.
- Each player in the best of 5 series, may only have one deck for each class.
- Each player must have a minimum of three different decks but only one from each class.
- On your deck selection screen you may have 9 different decks but only one from each class.
- You may not have two decks from the same class on your deck selection screen at any stage during the tournament.
- A player must win one game with each of his three decks to win the match.
- All matches will be best-of-5. The first player to win 3 games within the match is considered the winner of the match and advances.
End of Match Procedures
Once a match is completed, the players from each match must inform the tournament officials of the results. Both players must provide the specific game score if the match is more than one game. Results must be emailed to email@example.com.
- A deck selection screenshot must be taken at the start of the match. After the challenge has been accepted.
- Both players must email the result, as well as a screenshot of their deck selection page and the end-game result of all games. No screenshot means no result. Results must be emailed by midnight on the final day of the round.
- We will use all legitimate screenshots/videos that players provide of the game in the case of a dispute. Should a discrepancy occur and there is no way to prove one side’s story or the other (via stream or screenshots), it will be up to the referee’s discretion.
Instructions for submitting results can be found here.
- We only reward prizes to players who competed in the game that won the tournament (since we verify the results submission to make sure the players listed actually played in the game).
Dropping from a Tournament
Dropping from the tournament indicates to the tournament officials that the player no longer wants to continue participating. Players can drop from the tournament at any time by notifying a TO. If there’s a previously established policy for dropping out, the players still bound by the tournament rules.
Dropping from a tournament doesn’t prevent tournament officials from assigning any penalties to a player or remove any penalties a player may have already incurred.
If a player doesn’t show up or isn’t logged in and ready at the designated set up time, the tournament official may drop the player in order to keep things on schedule for the rest of the competitors. If both players are no-shows, they might both get dropped from the bracket, so be punctual!
If a player wants to drop or if tournament officials need to drop a player during a match, the player has to forfeit the current match before they can officially drop out of the tournament. All drops have to be publicly announced to other competitors.
In-person spectating is allowed as long as spectators don’t interfere with the tournament proceedings. Spectators must obey the following rules:
- Anyone not currently participating in a match can watch other players in a game.
- Spectators can’t communicate with players currently in a match by any means.
- If a spectator sees someone breaking the rules, they should report it to the tournament organizer or ref.
Anyone who isn’t actively participating in the match can spectate in-game, provided he doesn’t interfere with the tournament. The following rules apply to in-game spectators:
- No spectators are allowed in the game lobby without the approval of tournament officials.
- Anyone who isn’t participating in the current match is allowed to watch other players in-game via the spectator mode option.
- Spectators can’t communicate with players in the match in any way.
- If a spectator sees someone breaking the rules, he should report it to the tournament organizer or ref.
Players have a responsibility to follow the communication guidelines outlined below. Appropriate communication with the tournament officials and one another leads to a more transparent tournament experience for everyone involved.
Players can communicate with opposing players as long as they don’t violate any of the rules.
Player(s) in a match aren’t allowed to communicate with other player(s) competitors, their player(s) alternates, or any spectators. If they need to, players can communicate with the TOs. Communicating with player(s) or spectators outside the current match is a rules violation and may carry penalties.
Players are encouraged to represent themselves in an appropriate manner. Player representation includes, but is not limited to, player name, jerseys, emblems, banners, etc.
The referee of the tournament has final authority over inappropriate player identification. Inappropriate player identification might include:
- References to any non-over-the-counter drug, tobacco product, brand name or other objectionable material (at the discretion of the organizer).
- Material related to any illegal activities in the your tournament region, such as a lottery or enterprise, service or product that abets, assists or promotes gambling.
- Anything defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, repulsive, offensive or otherwise nasty that describes/depicts any internal bodily functions, symptomatic results of internal conditions or refers to things a reasonable person might consider socially unacceptable.
- Advertisements for pornographic websites or products.
- Anything containing a trademark, copyrighted material or some other element of intellectual property that’s used without the owner’s consent or might subject the tournament organizer and his affiliates to claims of infringement, misappropriation, or other forms of unfair competition.
- Something that disparages an opposing player or any other person, entity or product.
- Impersonating Blizzard employees is also a big no-no.
Penalties can apply to an individual. Consequences can also apply to either a single match or persist for the duration of the tournament.
Player(s) can’t waive penalties assigned to their opponents. Rules are rules, and they need to be enforced regardless of how confident or charitable the opposition may feel.
Penalties include the following:
Warning: an official, recorded notice to the player for a minor tournament infraction.
Game loss: severe infractions may force a player to take an automatic loss in a current or upcoming game.
Match loss: even more severe infractions might force a player to forfeit their current match.
Disqualification: the most egregious infractions might warrant disqualification from the tournament. A player disqualified from a tournament forfeits any prizes they haven’t already received, unless the disqualification was the result of a series of escalating penalties throughout the tournament. A player disqualified due to escalating penalties will still receive prizes based on their final standing.
Unless noted otherwise, successive penalties for the same infraction should follow the following escalation path:
warning—warning—game loss—match loss—disqualification.
Tournament violation – Tardiness
This infraction occurs when the player(s) not ready to play at the beginning of a game. Player(s) need to be on time and ready to play when each game starts. When player(s) are late, they delay the whole tournament.
- Player(s) get a 10 minute grace period before they accrue a penalty.
- If the player is more than 10 minutes late, they receive a game loss penalty.
- If the player is more than 15 minutes late, they receive a match loss penalty.
Tournament Violation – Outside Assistance
Outside assistance occurs when a player communicates with spectators, opposing player(s) or anyone else during a game and, at a referee’s determination, inadvertently gains an advantage over their current opponent.
This infraction assumes the offending player wasn’t deliberately trying to cheat. Intentionally looking for any unfair advantage during the match is covered under Unsporting Conduct – Cheating.
The penalty for outside assistance is a warning.
Tournament Violation – Failure to Follow Tournament Announcements
Every player has the responsibility to follow official tournament instructions and announcements. If officials have to repeat themselves over the course of running a tournament, it can cause delays and unwarranted disputes over the rules.
The penalty for failing to follow official tournament announcements is a game loss penalty.
Failure to follow tournament instructions directed at a specific player is a separate infraction that falls under Unsporting Conduct – Major Infraction.
Unsporting Conduct – Minor
All players have the right to a safe and enjoyable tournament experience and a player should be made aware they need to stop if their behavior infringes on those principals.
Minor unsporting conduct occurs when a player does something disruptive to the tournament or its participants. Examples include, but aren’t limited to:
- Excessive swearing or profanity.
- Demanding that an opponent receives a penalty, even after a ref makes it clear he’s rendered his decision.
The penalty for a minor unsporting conduct infraction is a warning.
Unsporting Conduct – Major
This infraction falls into three specific categories and occurs when a player does one of the following:
- Fails to follow official tournament instructions aimed at a specific player.
- Directly insults someone using hate speech that targets a specific group (race, religion, gender, disability, etc.).
- Aggressive or violent behavior during the course of the tournament that’s not directed at another person.
The penalty for major infractions is a game loss.
Unsporting Conduct – Severe
Severe unsporting conduct includes cases that are too outrageous to fall under unsporting conduct minor and major.
The official penalty for severe infractions is a disqualification. In addition, it is appropriate for the tournament organizer to ask the offender to leave the tournament and inform the police in extreme situations.
Unsporting Conduct – Collusion
Collusion is conspiring or cooperating with opposing player(s) in a tournament in order to deceive or cheat others.
Player(s) can’t intentionally determine the outcome of games or matches. That’s not in the spirit of competition, and doing so negatively affects the other tournament participants.
The penalty for collusion is disqualification for both player(s).
Unsporting Conduct – Bribery and Wagering
Player(s) can’t drop from the tournament or concede a game or match to receive some outside reward or incentive. Offering or accepting an incentive (bribe) to rig a match goes against the spirit of competition.
Player(s) and tournament officials are also prohibited from wagering or betting on matches. For tournament organizer in particular this creates a clear conflict of interest, so don’t do it.
The penalty for bribery and wagering is disqualification.
Unsporting Conduct – Aggressive Behavior
Aggressive behavior has no place in the tournament setting, particularly when it’s directed at a specific individual. Needless to say, the safety of all tournament participants is of paramount importance. Examples of this infraction include, but aren’t limited to:
- Threatening a tournament official.
- Threatening a spectator.
- Violence toward any tournament participant or spectator.
The penalty for any aggressive behavior is disqualification from the tournament. In addition, it is appropriate for the tournament organizer to ask the offender to leave the tournament and/or inform the police in extreme situations.
Unsporting Conduct – Cheating
Players have a right to expect fair and balanced treatment during a tournament. Those players who knowingly do something against the rules to gain an advantage are cheating. Cheating doesn’t need to be successful to qualify as a violation. Examples of cheating include, but aren’t limited to:
- Ghosting, or any general attempt by a player to spectate his own match or get information from a person spectating the match.
- Any attempt to modify the Hearthstone client, play on an unofficial Hearthstone client or play with software that grants extra information not normally provided by the game client, such as: Adjusting the in-game zoom or UI overlays.
- Impersonating another player in the tournament, playing under false name, playing using another player’s Battle.net tag or account sharing.
- Attempts to damage or alter equipment to trigger a pause, delay the tournament or gain any other advantage.
Exploiting or intentionally using any in-game bug to seek an advantage. Exploiting includes, but is not limited to, acts such as: glitches in buying items, glitches in using cards, or any other game function that, in the sole determination of the referees.
The penalty for cheating is a disqualification from the tournament.
• The Clan MaD Hatters tournament terms and conditions apply • Right of admission reserved • The tournament officials decision is final • The Clan MaD Hatters reserves the right to modify any and all rulesets without notifying the contestants
Thank you to Ryan Norden and Francois Mouton for your help with the tournament rules.