Metal League Rules

The Metal League will be split into two different phases: Qualifiers and Playoffs. The Qualifiers phase will be split in 6 Stages which will happen on a weekly basis, always on Saturdays. The 8 best teams at the end of this period will be qualified for the Playoffs, which will happen one week after the last Qualifiers’ Stage. The Qualifiers will follow an in-game ranking system created by Hoplon. The Playoffs will follow a single-elimination bracket system handled by ESL.

To join the Metal League, players will just have to play with their team in one of the Qualifiers’ Stages. The registrations are free and everyone who plays at least one match will automatically be competing for a chance to make the Playoffs. Also, there are no level requirements, everyone is able to join the Metal League.

The Qualifiers ranking system was designed to provide a fair chance for all players to be able to get a spot in the Playoffs phase, no matter on which Stage they joined.

There are two types of points that players can earn during the Metal League

  1. Stage Points 
    1. Stage Points can be earned by playing matches on the Metal League queue during the Qualifiers.
  2. Ranking Points 
    1. Ranking points are accumulated by playing Stages. The accumulated Ranking Points are used to qualify a Team to the Playoffs phase

Global Rules


1.1. How to Participate

  • Register on Steam and download Heavy Metal Machines for free.
  • Create a team using the “Teams” feature with a maximum of 5 players and a minimum of 4.
  • To play a match on the Qualifiers phase, enter the special Metal League queue with your team in a group (party). The queue will not accept individual players, groups with players who are not from the same team and groups without 4 players.
  • When you enter the Metal League queue, the system will create a match between you and another team who is competing on the tournament too. The result of every match will count for the team’s rank position.
  • The team’s registration happens automatically  when the team tries to find a match on this queue.
  • The queue will be available on specific days and time. The time is always from 4pm until 10pm (GMT 0)
  • The Stages will happen on the following days:
      • August 10
      • August 17
      • August 24
      • August 31
      • September 7
      • September 14

1.1.2 Playoffs

  • Players qualified for the Playoffs phase will be invited to create an account on ESL
  • Make sure you confirm your participation (check-in) 30 minutes before the Playoffs phase start
  • The Playoffs phase will happen on September 21th, 2019
  • Current Hoplon employees or ex-employees for the past 12 months are forbidden to participate in any phase. Any team that has players in any of these two conditions, will be disqualified.
  • Hoplon employees’ relatives are also forbidden from participating in any phase. Any team found to have players in this condition will be disqualified.

1.2. Tournament Qualifier Settings

1.2.1 Game mode settings

  • The Qualifiers will have six (6) Stages.
  • All Qualifiers matches will be played at Metal God Arena or Temple of Sacrifice. The system will choose randomly between them at the beginning of each match.
  • A Stage is a period of time when players can Queue for the Tournament.
  • During a Stage, every team that participates will be able to earn and lose Stage Points.
  • All matches will be played with 4 players per team in a group, without drafting, and with opponents selected by the matchmaking system.
  • Team members can be changed at any time of the Qualifiers phase. However, the roster registered at the beginning of the last Stage (first match) will be necessarily the roster available to play on the Playoffs phase.
    • Every team has a maximum of 5 players. They can change the starters freely in any way they want it between matches.

1.2.2 Personal Streaming

  • All players are allowed to stream their matches during the Qualifiers phase.

1.3. Tournament Playoffs Settings

1.3.1 Game mode settings

  • After the Qualifiers, the top 8 teams in the Stage Ranking will be selected to join the Playoffs phase.
  • Every team has 24 hours to accept the invitation to play in the Playoffs. If a team declines, the next one in the list will be invited, following the Stage Ranking system. 
  • The Playoffs phase will work in a single elimination bracket system. 
  • Teams will be split into two tiers:
      • Tier 1 – Group made by the best 4 teams in the Qualifiers phase.
      • Tier 2 – Group made by the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th best teams in the Qualifiers phase.
  • Each bracket will be filled with a team from Tier 1 and the staff will draw randomly which team from Tier 2 will fill each bracket.
  • Playoffs will have four phases: quarter-finals, semifinals, third-place games and finals.
  • All phases will be Best of Three.
  • All Playoffs matches will be played in Metal God Arena.
  • All matches will be played with 4 players per team, with draft made in an external site offered by the staff, and using the Custom Match feature.
  • Teams can’t change their roster during the Playoffs phase. They will have to play with the roster used at the beginning of the last Stage during the Qualifiers.
      • Every team has a maximum of 5 players. They can change the starters freely in any way they want it between matches.

1.3.2 Lobby Host

  • Any player participating in the game can be the Custom Match creator/leader. The Custom Match creator has to select the appropriate region on the bottom left corner before creating the lobby.

1.3.3 Adding your opponents via Access Code

  • After creating a lobby, send out the invite link to the opposite team. Please make sure that the correct players are in the lobby before starting the match.

1.3.4 Lobby Setup

  • Server Region: North America
  • Arena: Metal God Arena

1.3.5 No Show

  • Teams have 20 mins time to start the match, and whoever causes delays or doesn’t make it in time will be disqualified.

1.3.6 Screenshots

  • A screenshot of the on-screen results must be made of every game that is played. The screenshots must be uploaded onto the ESL page with the match details as soon as possible after the game has ended. One screenshot showing each result (e.g. per each game) is needed and can be uploaded by either the winners or the losers.

1.3.7 Spectator

  • Observers are allowed only if both teams agree. The exceptions to these rules are ESL admins and people that are explicitly allowed to observe by an admin (e.g. shout casters or streamer). Under no conditions is it allowed to play with referee’s other than those decided by an admin.
  • Teams should only allow observers they trust. It is not allowed to protest after a match to complain about observers that were allowed in the game.

1.3.8 Casting

  • Casting an ESL match is only allowed with an ESL admin agreement. To get an agreement, please write a Support ticket.

1.3.9 Personal Streaming

  • Personal Streaming is always allowed if ESL TV is not casting a match. If ESL TV is casting a match, personal streaming is not permitted without an admin agreement. Personal Streaming of a match shown by ESL TV, without permission from an ESL admin, can lead to a disqualification of the team or ban of the streaming player in the tournament. ESL advises using a delay in streams.

2. In-game

2.1. Number of players

The number of players must be at least 4 (four) for each team. A team missing a player will get a default loss.

2.2. Game Pause

It is forbidden to pause a game for no reason. After you pause a game, you must say in all chat (in-game chat with everyone who joined the match) the reason for the pause.

  • Each team will be able to pause 5 times maximum. The total paused time for both teams will be 2 minutes per match. Whatever ends first (pauses or time) will prevent the team from pausing again.
      • We strongly encourage sportsmanship and fair play. Both teams could agree to terms that seem fair to them in order to have a fair game.
  • Abuse of the pause will lead to the loss of that match. When a team experiences an unsportsmanlike conduct from the opponent, they must take a screenshot of the match and open a formal ticket to the tournament’s organization (Hoplon).

2.2.1. Player Disconnection

If a player is disconnected during the game, the game automatically will replace the player with a BOT. If the team still has pauses left, they can use it and explain their reasons in chat

2.3. Illegal Actions

Any actions that result in an unfair advantage are illegal. This includes intentional bug abuse of any kind. The organization staff has the power to decide about unexpected cases.

3. After the Match

3.1. Protest Tickets

Protest tickets have to be filled within 15 minutes after the match finishes (in Playoffs) or 15 minutes after the end of the Stage (Qualifiers), otherwise, they can’t be used to influence the result.

3.2. Results

During the Playoffs, both captains are responsible for entering the correct results on the ESL website. Therefore both players must take a screenshot at the end of the match, where we can see the correct result, and then upload it after the match to the ESL website. If you have a conflict in the match, please open a protest ticket, so the staff team can check the case and make a decision. The decision may also lead to both players being disqualified, if there is not enough proof for either player on who is the clear winner.

3.3. Match Media

During Playoffs, all match media (screenshots, demos, etc.) must be kept for at least 15 days. In general, you should upload the match media from a match to the match page as soon as possible. Faking or manipulating match media is of course forbidden and will result in severe penalties. Match media should be named clearly based on what it is. It is not possible to file a protest or write a support ticket to complain about bad match media naming. However, if an admin is hindered in their work because of bad match media names, then it can be punished for.

3.3.1. Screenshots

A screenshot of the on-screen results must be made for every game that is played. The screenshots must be uploaded to the page with the match details as soon as possible after the game has ended. One screenshot showing each result (e.g., per each match played) is needed and can be uploaded by either the winners or the losers.

4. Penalties

The Metal League will follow the Rules of Conduct used in Heavy Metal Machines. A player and the team can receive two light penalties or one heavy penalty – either cases result on elimination. The organization of the tournament is responsible for applying the penalties and keeping the registers about penalized teams and players. A team is only punished once per violation, regardless of how many players. 

4.1. Light Penalties

Here’s the list of violations punished by light penalties:

  • Disrespect with other players
  • Disrespect with the tournament’s staff
  • Missing match media
  • Intentional bug abuse
  • Giving advantage to opponents on purpose
  • Unwanted contents & behavior

4.2. Heavy Penalties

Here’s the list of violations punished by heavy penalties:

  • Cheating
  • Using multiple accounts
  • Quiting match
  • Playing on alternative accounts
  • Faking country
  • Fake result
  • Fake match
  • Unregistered player

4.3. Unexpected cases

The tournament organization (Hoplon and ESL) can decide how to apply a penalty for unexpected cases not-described on this document.

4.4. Appealing

Any player or team can appeal to any decision offering proofs in order to get any decision reversed. The appealing must be made in 24 hours after the punishment application and the organization will have 24 hours after that to announce its final decision.

5. Prizes

In Metal League, players can earn two different types of prizes: in-game prizes and real prizes. All of them will be delivered in up to 90 days.

5.1. In-game prizes

Here’s the list of in-games prizes given by Metal League:

  • Portrait Frame of the event.
    • Given to all players who play every Stage during Qualifiers.
    • Given to the top 50 best teams after the Qualifiers (including the Playoff teams)

5.2. Real prizes

5.2.1. Heavy Metal Machines t-shirt

All teams qualified to the Playoffs will get a Heavy Metal Machines t-shirt for each one of their players.

  • Everything related to the Heavy Metal Machines t-shirt will be handled directly with Hoplon.

5.2.2. Real money prizes 

The best 4 teams at the end of the Metal League will receive real money prizes, split into the following amounts:

  • 1st Place: US$ 2,000.00 
  • 2nd Place: US$ 1,500.00 
  • 3rd Place: US$ 1,000.00 
  • 4th Place: US$ 500.00 

Everything related to payment will be handled directly by ESL.