1.0 OVERWATCH WINTER PREMIERE EVENT INFORMATION

Welcome to the Overwatch Winter Premiere, presented by NGE. The Winter Premiere consists of  three separate stages: Open Play (Qualifiers), Group Play, and the Live Finals. The Open Play (Qualifiers) stage is the qualification segment of the tournament. Registration is open to any and all teams in North America. Teams will Register using our tournament platform partner, Smash.gg, and battle their way through the qualifier brackets to advance to the Group Play. The Group Play consists of a round robin format and will determine which Top 4 teams qualify for the Live Finals event in January. The total prize pool is $100,000 and extends down to all the teams which participate in the Group Play.

This handbook serves as a comprehensive rulebook and guide for the entire tournament’s structure and format. For inquiries regarding rules and signups, please send an email to winterpremiere@nge.io. Please include your team’s name in all emails to NGE.

All Team Captains are required (and all players are welcome) to be present in the Overwatch Winter Premiere Discord channel during tournaments: https://discord.gg/gg9T59E

1.1 RESTRICTIONS

  1. Only North American Teams are allowed in the Overwatch Winter Premiere. To qualify as a North American Team, at least half of the team’s full roster must be North American residents. The only other residents allowed will be European residents, however, flights for players outside of North America will not be accommodated.
  2. Players must be age 16 (before December 9th, 2016) or older to participate in the Overwatch Winter Premiere.
  3. This tournament will be enforcing a ‘No hero skin’ policy. No hero skins may be used in tournament matches under any condition. Golden guns and sprays are allowed.

1.2 DATES

Open Play (Qualifiers): December 10th – December 13th, 2016

Group Play: December 26th – January 11th, 2017

Live Finals: January, 2017

1.3 PRIZE POOL

Total Prize Pool: $100,000

1st: $40,000 (Live Finals)

2nd: $20,000 (Live Finals)

3rd/4th: $12,000 (Live Finals)

5th-6th: $5,000 (6-Team Group Play)

7th-8th: $3,000 (8-Team Group Play)

1.4 TEAM RULES

  1. All Players must register on Smash.gg prior to the start of the tournament. The Team Leader must register a Team and invite players to their roster. A roster consists of up to eight persons (with a minimum of six), one Team Leader and up to seven Players. There is no differentiation between the main roster and substitutes.
  2. Any qualification obtained in the tournament belongs to the team which has at least five out of eight (5/8) of the players (or the majority in the case of a roster with less than eight players) which were used during the tournament where the qualification was obtained (e.g. qualifying from Open Play to Group Play).
  3. Rosters will be locked the day before the tournament begins, Friday, December 9, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST.
  4. There will be one allowed roster change in between Open Play and Group Play.
  5. Teams may request roster changes by contacting an NGE Admin. Rosters will not be changed during the tournament. All roster changes must be approved by NGE.
  6. Teams are not allowed to change their name or logo after the tournament has begun unless approved by NGE.
    1. An example of a case in which we would consider a last minute change would be a Team acquiring a sponsor or organization.
  7. Matches must be played with six players who are on the Team’s roster.
    1. Emergency roster changes may be approved by NGE in the case of military deployment, hospitalization, etc.

2.0 OPEN PLAY (QUALIFIERS)

2.1 DATES AND TIMES

  1. Start times will be influenced based on how many teams sign up.

Saturday, December 10, 2016 12:45 PM PST

Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:45 PM PST

Monday, December 12, 2016 1:00 PM PST

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 1:00 PM PST

2.2 OPEN PLAY (QUALIFIERS) GENERAL INFORMATION

    1. Each day of the Open Play (Qualifiers) will consist of one single elimination bracket tournament with a maximum of 512 teams.
  • Every match before the Finals will be played as a Best-of-3 games series; the Finals will be played as a Best-of-5 games series.
  1. All players must register on Smash.gg. A player’s Smash.gg Gamertag must match his/her Overwatch in-game name.
  2. All teams must utilize the Smash.gg platform before and during tournaments in order to:
    1. Check In to each Round
    2. Pick Maps and Sides
    3. Create or Join a Game Lobby
    4. Report Game and Match results
    5. Upload results Screenshots in the event of a dispute
    6. Verify Game and Match results
  3. The First place team from each of the four (4) Open Play (Qualifier) day tournaments will also advance to Group Play.
  4. The Second through Eighth place teams will be assigned points based on their placement. Points will accumulate for teams who earn multiple Second through Eighth place finishes throughout the Open Play (Qualifier) tournaments.
  5. At the end of the Open Play (Qualifiers), the four (4) teams with highest amount of points will join the four (4) First place winners to constitute the full Group Play teams.
  6. In the event of a tie in points the following differentiation process will be applied to determine who advances.
  • Head to head results
  • +/- differential
  • Tie Breaker Match (best of 3)
  1. Points will be distributed as follows:
    1. 1st Place: 500
    2. 2nd Place: 100
    3. 3rd Place: 50
    4. 4th Place: 40
    5. 5th through 8th Place: 20
      1. Note: Points for 1st Place will be used to identify winning teams on the top of the Points Leaderboard.
  2. Teams which qualify for Group Play must submit a vector graphic of their team’s logo within 48 hours of qualifying.
  3. All player communication with admins will be conducted via Smash.gg during this stage of the tournament.

2.3 GAMEPLAY OPTIONS AND CUSTOM GAME SETTINGS

    1. All matches will be played via the Custom Game Lobby system in Overwatch.
    2. All Custom Game Lobbies must use the following settings in their entirety:
      1. Rule Set
        1. Rule Set: Competitive
    3. Map Options:
      1. Map Rotation: After a game
      2. Map Control Point: All
      3. Map Order: Single Map
      4. Return to Lobby: After a game
      5. Maps: Maps will be chosen according to the procedures outlined in Section 2.4.
    4. Hero Options:
      1. Hero Selection Limit: 1 per team
      2. Role Selection Limit: None
      3. Allow Hero Switching: On
      4. Respawn as Random Hero: Off
    5. Heroes: All heroes are available
    6. Tournament lobby setup options:
      1. High Bandwidth: On
      2. Control Game Mode Format: Best of 3
      3. Health Modifier: 100%
      4. Damage Modifier: 100%
      5. Healing Modifier: 100%
      6. Ultimate Charge Rate Modifier: 100%
      7. Respawn Time Modifier: 100%
      8. Ability Cooldown Modifier: 100%
      9. Disable Skins: Off
      10. Disable Health Bars: Off
      11. Disable Kill Cam: On
      12. Disable Kill Feed: Off
      13. Headshots Only: Off
    7. Team Options:
      1. Team Balancing: Off
      2. When Balancing Occurs: N/A

2.4 PICKING MAPS AND SIDES

  1. All matches must follow the Map picking and Team Side picking procedure described here.
  2. Game 1:
    1. The higher seeded team (the team on the top of the bracket matchup) will choose any Map.
    2. The lower seeded team (the team on the bottom of the bracket matchup) will then choose either Side to play: Team 1 (Blue, Defend) or Team 2 (Red, Attack).
  3. Game 2:
    1. The losing team will choose any Map except the Map played in Game 1.
    2. The winning team will then choose either Side to play.
  4. Game 3:
    1. The losing team will choose any Map except the Maps played in Game 1 and Game 2.
    2. The winning team will then choose either Side to play.
  5. Map Pool: The map pool will be restricted to a specific six (6) maps only which will vary between each Open Play (Qualifier) Day.
    1. Day 1:
      1. Hollywood  
      2. King’s Row
      3. Watchpoint: Gibraltar
      4. Nepal
      5. Ilios
      6. Volskaya
    2. Day 2:
      1. Hollywood  
      2. King’s Row
      3. Route 66
      4. Watchpoint: Gibraltar
      5. Ilios
      6. Anubis
    3. Day 3:
      1. Hollywood  
      2. Route 66
      3. Watchpoint: Gibraltar
      4. Nepal
      5. Anubis
      6. Volskaya
    4. Day 4:
      1. King’s Row
      2. Route 66
      3. Nepal
      4. Ilios
      5. Anubis
      6. Volskaya

2.5 OPEN PLAY (QUALIFIERS) RULES

  1. Pauses in game are only allowed in the case of one or more players disconnecting. In the case of a Pause, an Admin will investigate to determine whether the Pause was legitimate or illegitimate. A Pause found to be illegitimate will result in a Loss of game (not the entire match) for the offending team.
  2. NGE Admins will have the final ruling on all foreseen and unforeseen disputes and may need to make rulings regarding situations not described in this Handbook.
  3. Teams must be ready to play again within two (2) minutes in between each map or six (6) minutes in between each series.

2.6 TEAMS GIVEN PREFERENTIAL SEEDING

  1. Due to past tournament results, the following teams will receive preferential seeding in the Open Play (Qualifier) tournaments to insure that they will be separated during the first stages of the bracket. This list is subject to change before seeding is determined.
    1. Cloud9
    2. Complexity
    3. EnvyUs
    4. FaZe
    5. Fnatic
    6. Immortals
    7. Method
    8. NRG eSports
    9. Splyce
    10. Team Liquid

3.0 GROUP PLAY

3.1 DATES AND TIMES

First phase of the Round Robin (8 Teams)
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Second phase of the Round Robin (6 Teams)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017

The exact start times of each day of the tournament and the broadcast will be determined in the week preceding Group Play.

3.2 GROUP PLAY GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. Group Play will consist of two (2) single round robin phases.
  2. Every match in Group Play will be played as a Best-of-3 games series.
  3. Upon completion of the first round robin phase, the two (2) lowest placing teams will be eliminated and the remaining six (6) teams will advance to a second round robin phase.
  4. Upon completion of the second round robin phase, the two (2) lowest placing teams will be eliminated and the remaining four (4) teams will advance to the Live Finals.
  5. During Group Play, Smash.gg will no longer be used by the players. Instead, all match coordination (including checking in, picking maps and sides, and joining game lobbies) and communication will be carried out between the NGE Head Admin and all Team Captains via in-game messaging and the NGE Winter Premiere Discord channel.
    1. Use of the Discord platform by all Team Captains is mandatory.
  6. There will be a scheduled weekly meeting every Thursday led by the NGE Head Admin for all of the team leaders to receive detailed instructions and information, ask questions, and address concerns.
    1. Attendance is not mandatory but is strongly recommended.
    2. An email recap will be sent out shortly after each meeting to inform any team leaders not in attendance of any relevant changes or updates.
  7. Each team will be required to have one representative with a working webcam and headset to be available for post-series interviews.
  8. Any concerns that are not addressed in a timely manner or during the weekly meetings should be sent to winterpremiere@nge.io.

3.3 GAMEPLAY OPTIONS AND CUSTOM GAME SETTINGS

    1. All matches will be played via the Custom Game Lobby system in Overwatch, hosted by the NGE Head Admin. The same in-game rules will be used as in group play.
    2. All Custom Game Lobbies must use the following settings in their entirety:
    3. Rule Set
      1. Rule Set: Competitive
    4. Map Options:
      1. Map Rotation: After a game
      2. Map Control Point: All
      3. Map Order: Single Map
      4. Return to Lobby: After a game
      5. Maps: Maps process will be determined after the Open Play. NGE will work with qualifying teams and Blizzard to establish rules.
    5. Hero Options:
    6. Hero Selection Limit: 1 per team
    7. Role Selection Limit: None
    8. Allow Hero Switching: On
    9. Respawn as Random Hero: Off
  1. Heroes: All heroes are available
  2. Tournament lobby setup options:
    1. High Bandwidth: On
    2. Control Game Mode Format: Best of 3
    3. Health Modifier: 100%
    4. Damage Modifier: 100%
    5. Healing Modifier: 100%
    6. Ultimate Charge Rate Modifier: 100%
    7. Respawn Time Modifier: 100%
    8. Ability Cooldown Modifier: 100%
    9. Disable Skins: Off
    10. Disable Health Bars: Off
    11. Disable Kill Cam: On
    12. Disable Kill Feed: Off
    13. Headshots Only: Off
  3. Team Options:
  4. Team Balancing: Off
  5. When Balancing Occurs: N/A

3.5 GROUP PLAY RULES

  1. Teams must check in 60 minutes before the start of the broadcast. Players must join the lobby created by the NGE Admin at the beginning of the final stage of the second map leading up to their scheduled match.
  2. Upon being invited to the lobby by the NGE Admin, players have 5 minutes to join before their team will be forced to forfeit the match.
  3. In order to initiate a pause, a player must request a pause in chat, upon which the Admin will pause the game and investigate the issue. If the Admin cannot determine a legitimate reason for the pause, the team will receive a single warning. If an illegitimate pause is initiated by the same team again, they will be disqualified and forfeit the series.
  4. Teams must be ready to play again within two (2) minutes in between each map or six (6) minutes in between each series.

4.0 FINALS

January 27-28, 2016

Day 1: Single elimination semi-finals matches.
Day 2: 3rd/4th place match and finals match.

All matches in the Live Finals will be played as a Best of 5 series.

4.1 FINALS RULES

  1. Teams are not allowed to leave the stage without permission from tournament officials.
  2. With two (2) minutes of pre-game remaining a tournament official will notify the teams that the game will begin shortly and to be prepared to start.
  3. Players will have at least 10 minutes before the start of a match and maximum 5 minutes between each game of a match to setup and ensure their mouse, keyboard, earbuds, and headset are working properly. NGE will assist players in resolving issues with a player’s peripherals and provide replacements if needed.
  4. Players may not look at an opposing player’s monitor or projected screen during a game.
  5. Players and team representatives may not intentionally manipulate a player’s mouse or keyboard during a game.
  6. Only six (6) players are allowed on stage at any given time during competition. Coaches will be allowed to step onto the stage and communicate with players in the before and in between matches. Coaches must listen to the directions of stage admins on when they are allowed and not allowed on stage.
    1. a. Coaches are not allowed on stage during pauses.
  7. If a match is involuntarily interrupted (player crash, network cuts, etc.) the team must call for a pause, upon which an Admin will pause the game and attempt to resolve the issue.
  8. All matches will be played on the latest version of Overwatch.
  9. All third party software that is not allowed by the game publisher and/or that can give an unfair competitive advantage to a player or team are classified as cheating
  10. Teams will have access to a practice area at the venue to play against other teams and warm up before their matches.’
  11. Players will be required to play on stage in the tournament environment provided. Computers, monitors, and chairs will be provided.

4.2 EQUIPMENT RULES

  1. Players must provide their own mouse, keyboard, mouse pad, and earbuds for use on stage as well the in their practice rooms.
  2. For tournament matches, players must use the PC, monitor, tournament station headset, team communication software, and network equipment provided by NGE. Players are exclusively responsible for ensuring proper function of the audio equipment prior to the start of all games.
  3. If a tournament official is able to confirm that an issue has occurred, they will determine whether the game should be paused, restarted, the game win awarded to a team, or the conditions under which the game should be resumed. Use of the restart option must be approved by the tournament director.
  4. All player equipment is subject to the approval of NGE Management and designated tournament officials. NGE reserves the right to deny the use of any equipment, device or other facilitative object suspected of providing an unfair competitive advantage. NGE also reserves the right to inspect all equipment.
  5. Mice and keyboards must utilize standard USB interfaces. Players may not use PS2 interface equipment.
  6. Players competing in a tournament match must wear their earbuds in their ears for the duration of all games. Players competing in a tournament match must wear the NGE-provided headset over their ears for the duration of all games.
  7. Players may not use third party applications, programs, or download any software onto tournament computers without approval from an NGE official.
  8. Players may not use a USB flash drive or another storage device.
  9. Players may not alter game files or modify drivers.
  10. During a game, players may not have applications, browsers, or streams open other than the Battle.net client, Overwatch and any necessary drivers.
  11. Players who break equipment rules 7–11 above, may be given a warning or be subject to forfeit the game. After the first warning, each subsequent warning a team receives will result in forfeiture of the game
  12. NGE will attempt to help players with technical issues related to their mouse, keyboard, or earbuds, but will not allow such issues to delay the tournament.
  13. If a player’s equipment is malfunctioning, they will have three minutes to replace the malfunctioning equipment before they will be forced to use an NGE-provided mouse or keyboard.
  14. Equipment that is provided by NGE for use in the Player Practice Rooms must remain in Player Practice Rooms at all times.

4.3 GENERAL RULES

  1. The Tournament Admin will be responsible for the creation of the custom game lobby in Overwatch where the game will be played.
  2. All player apparel must be approved by NGE. NGE reserves the right to require the removal of unapproved apparel as well as the right to disqualify a player/team for wearing unapproved apparel.
    1. No blacklisted sponsors can be represented anywhere on team jerseys or apparel.
  3. In order to dispute game results, players/teams must notify the referee that they would like to protest the game before a new game has begun. In order to dispute match results, players/teams must notify their referee that they would like to protest the match before the match results have been submitted.
  4. Request made pertaining to #4 will be decided upon by a Tournament Official.
  5. In-Game Player names, Player avatars and Team names must be pre-approved by NGE. Player and Team name have to be clean and without a sponsor (with the exceptions of their team organization.)
  6. All players will turn in their cell phones and all other electronic devices to the referees prior to a match, to be returned once the series is over.
  7. Only Players playing in the match will be allowed on the stage at the time of a game
  8. Teams can still join another organization as long as 4 out of 6 of the original players who qualified through the Open Play qualifiers are remaining the same.
  9. If a team decides to change out a player after travel arrangements have been issued, then the Team will cover all resulting incremental travel costs for such Player.
  10. Players are not allowed to hang jackets or other object over the chairs, in front of cameras, or anywhere else where it deemed by NGE officials to be obstructing the broadcast or fair play of the tournament. Same rules apply to hats or hoodies covering the headphones.
  11. Photography and/or audiovisual recording of any kind inside NGE events is permitted with the prior written consent of NGE. Players and/or teams may not use the names, trademarks or logos of NGE and/or its affiliated entities for any commercial purpose (including for publicity or public relations), without the prior written consent of NGE in each instance.
  12. By participating in the Overwatch Winter Premiere, NGE takes the right to use team logos, player pictures and videos for use on stage material, live-streaming, television broadcasts of NGE and related events, online use, including but limited to, social media posts and videos, and for the advertising/promotion of the NGE television and/or online broadcasts, (e.g., institutional promotion), and in connection therewith, NGE corporate partners and sponsors.
  13. Teams are required to be in uniform (jerseys) and wearing any credentials including but not limited to wristbands or lanyards at the event.
  14. Teams are required to be available and in uniform for photo and video shooting on media day preceding their match days. Exact details of the photo and video shooting schedule will be delivered to teams prior to their arrival.
  15. Players and/or other team representatives shall not, at any time during NGE competitions, mention or “plug” any commercial product, service, venture or entity (including the name of an individual’s employer) (collectively, “Commercial Products/Services”), including, without limitation, by using equipment, apparel, and/or other items featuring the name/logo of such Commercial Product/Service, without pre-approval from NGE officials in each instance. NGE officials reserve the right to require teams/players to take reasonable steps to obscure (e.g., tape over) any visible manufacture names/logos on any team/player supplied equipment.
  16. Each team and player will be required to use their official Battle.net account or the account provided for the local server if applicable.
  17. NGE management has the final ruling on all tournament matters.

5.0 ADDITIONAL RULES

  1. Players and Team representatives are expected to put forth their best effort in all games.
  2. Players, Coaches, Team staff and/or managers, and other Team or Player representatives shall not participate in or otherwise be involved with, either directly or indirectly, any fantasy sports, betting or gambling that uses tournament stats or results or that is otherwise related to NGE in any way, and shall not associate with betters or gamblers, or provide anyone any information that may assist betting or gambling, either directly or indirectly, any fantasy sports, betting or gambling that uses tournament stats or results or that is otherwise related to NGE in any way. Any betting or gambling by a Player, Coach, Team staff and/or manager, or other Team or Player representative against his/her own Team’s/Player’s matches will result in immediate disqualification of the entire Team and, at the discretion of NGE Management, a ban from one or more subsequent NGE competitions (up to permanent expulsion from all future NGE events).
  3. Players and Team representatives may not intentionally forfeit a game or conspire to manipulate rankings or brackets.
  4. Public discussions of, or agreements to, avoiding the use of abilities, items, weapons, or strategies are prohibited.
  5. Public statements made about private tournament, Blizzard, NGE or its partners information are prohibited.
  6. Prize money will be paid within 30 days after the finals and after receiving accurate paperwork from Teams. Prize money will be paid out to the Team unless, prior to the start of the tournament, the Team requests (and NGE agrees) that NGE pay the Players directly. Prizing is in USD.
  7. Any applicable withholding or other taxes on prize money paid out by NGE shall be the sole responsibility of the Team/Players receiving payment. Each Team/Player receiving payment of prize money from NGE, as applicable, may be required to complete certain tax-related or other documentation prior to payment as requested by NGE, and the payment of any prize money by NGE will not be made until such documentation has been completed and returned to NGE. It is heavily recommended that Teams are represented by an LLC.

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