Overwatch Rulebook

  • Rulebook

Last Modified: September 7, 2019

These rules are subject to change at the administrator’s discretion. If rules should change, all captains will be notified accordingly.

The Handbook’s General Rules apply to all CEA games, please read them first!

I. Overwatch Overview

  1. Player Eligibility: All players participating in Overwatch competitions must have an active (Americas) account in good standing displayed on their Battlefy profile. Only registered team members playing under their own account are allowed to play for a team.
  2. Team Roster Size: A team consists of 6-13 participants. Rules for qualifications for rostered members can be found in CEA general rules.
    1. After the beginning of Regular Season play (Week 1 matches), a player rostered on a team in Battlefy may not transfer to another roster within the same company for the same game without the Game Lead’s approval.
      1. The main circumstance permitting a transfer would be a team losing players and falling below the minimum team size.
      2. Companies with multiple teams playing the same game may have one player on multiple rosters as outlined in the general rules under "Team Eligibility." Being a floater is not considered transferring.
    2. At the end of Regular Season Week 5, the maximum team size will increase to 14 players. After Week 5, removing players from the roster does not free up additional spots.
  3. Registration: The Overwatch registration fee will be $240 per team. The captain pays this fee during registration on the CEA website.
  4. Game Version: All players must have their game up to date with the latest patch. PC only.
  5. Weekly Structure: 
    1. Monday: Matchups for the following weekend are distributed (assuming all previous round match results have been entered) and an ordered list of maps for the next week's matches is released.
    2. Saturday : All matches are played on Saturday starting at 12pm Pacific (3pm Eastern). In the case of either team having a conflict with an Open Division match, the default match time will move to 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern) to accommodate.
  6. Season Format: Exact season format will be announced before the season begins when we know the exact number of teams. This section will be updated along with an announcement email for all captains. There will be two at minimum two stages: Non-elimination Regular Season (~5-8 weeks) and Elimination Playoffs.
  7. Charity Selection: In agreement with Blizzard, the CEA will place the following restrictions on charity selections:
    1. Teams that nominate charities before 8/17 of the season will have their submissions reviewed by Blizzard. Teams may be asked to change their charities after review.
    2. Teams that do not nominate charities by 8/17, or who wish to change their charity after 8/17, will be required to select a charity from a pre-approved list.

II. Rules

  1. Game preparations: It is the responsibility of the team Captains to verify game settings prior to match start. Agreements between the teams/players must be made in writing and saved as a screenshot. The match will be played on a standard competitive ruleset following the 2-2-2 role lock, with the following adjustments made:
    1. Workshop Code:
      1. DNV61
      2. (K4CZQ -- Alternate settings for if both captains agree to disable pause on disconnect)
      3. Both of these codes apply all of the following settings except for the Series length and the visibility settings.
    2. Series length:
      1. Pre-Season & Season: Best of Three
      2. Playoffs: Best of Five
      3. Grand Finals: Best of Seven
    3. Visibility: Invite Only (Recommended)
    4. Preset: Competitive
    5. Lobby:
      1. Pause Game On Player Disconnect: Yes
      2. Max spectators may be increased to accommodate more persons following the guidelines provided in the CEA General Rules Handbook.
    6. Modes/All:
      1. Kill Cam: Disabled
      2. Skins: Disabled
      3. Limit Roles: 2 of Each Role Per Team (This is standard as of the addition of role lock)
    7. Maps:
      • All maps are disabled except for the map that is currently selected to be played.
    8. Heroes:
      • All heroes enabled.
  2. Heroes and Role Lock: As the tournament started after the anticipated date of Role Lock, we will be observing the 2-2-2 lock within CEA matches. All heroes that are live as of September 1st will be allowed in play. This is expected to be all 31 heroes, up through the release of Sigma.
  3. Lobby Hosting:
    1. The team that is on the left side of the Battlefy bracket will be responsible for setting up the lobby by default. If both teams agree, the lobby host duty can be passed off to another player.
  4. Map Selection:
    1. Map Pool:
      1. The following are the maps that will be played across the Fall 2019 season.
        1. Control: Lijiang Tower, Busan, Nepal.
        2. Assault: Horizon Lunar Colony, Hanamura, Volskaya Industries.
        3. Hybrid: King’s Row, Numbani, Hollywood.
        4. Escort: Dorado, Junkertown, Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
      2. Swiss Stage:
        1. The first 6 weeks of swiss will follow the Bo3 format.
        2. The team listed on the left side of the Battlefy bracket will be responsible for selecting the first map. If applicable for the map type, the team on the right side of the Battlefy bracket will be responsible for selecting if they would like to Attack or Defend first on the map.
        3. After the initial map, the loser of the previous map gets to select the next map to be played, while the winner gets to pick attack/defend first. In the case of a draw, the team that selects the next map and the team that selects the initial sides will remain the same for the map following the draw.
        4. A set of 4 weekly maps will be assigned to each week (a set of 3 for the Bo3, and then a 4th for a potential Tie Breaker in the case of a 1 Win - 1 Loss - 1 Draw score line after 3 matches). The fourth map is only to be played in the case of a tie after 3 maps.
      3. Playoffs:
        1. In playoffs, the format will become a Bo5 format. For the grand finals match, a Bo7 will be used.
        2. Both of these formats will have a designated initial Control map set, and then the following maps will be losing team select map (from the set map pool), and winning team select side (attack/defense), just like in the Bo3 format. The same rules for map selection in a draw are also the same as the Bo3 format.
        3. No maps may be repeated from the pool, unless all maps of that type have already been played.
        4. For the best of 5 format, map order is:
          1. Control
          2. Assault
          3. Hybrid
          4. Escort
          5. Control
        5. For the best of 7 format, the map order is:
          1. Control
          2. Hybrid
          3. Assault
          4. Escort
          5. Control
          6. Hybrid
          7. Escort
          8. Control (In the case of a tie score line)
      4. Weekly Map Rotations:
        1. Preseason (Bo3, played like a regular stage match)
          1. Week 0 Maps: Nepal, Volskaya, Gibraltar. Tiebreaker: Lijiang.
        2. Stage (Bo3, maps to be picked as outlined)
          1. Week 1 Maps: Lijiang, King’s Row, Dorado. Tiebreaker: Busan.
          2. Week 2 Maps: Horizon, Numbani, Junkertown. Tiebreaker: Busan.
          3. Week 3 Maps: Busan, Hanamura, Gibraltar. Tiebreaker: Lijiang.
          4. Week 4 Maps: Nepal, Volskaya, Hollywood. Tiebreaker: Lijiang.
          5. Week 5 Maps: Horizon, King’s Row, Dorado. Tiebreaker: Nepal.
          6. Week 6 Maps: Lijiang, Numbani, Junkertown. Tiebreaker: Nepal.
        3. Playoffs (Bo5/Bo7, starting Control map)
          1. Week 7 Control Map: Busan.
          2. Week 8 Control Map: Nepal.
          3. Week 9 Control Map: Lijiang.
          4. Week 10 Control Map: Busan.
          5. Week 11 Control Map: Nepal.
  5. Substitute Players: There is no limit to the amount of substitutes used from your roster. Substitutes can only join in between maps. If a player disconnects in the middle of a map and is unable to reconnect, the map must be played out without subbing in a new player to fill the empty spot.
  6. Scheduling/Forfeits: The first game of each round must begin at the specified time. See [General Rules] in the handbook for rescheduling rules and post in the #reschedule-reporting channel on the CEA Discord server if a reschedule is agreed upon.
  7. Disconnects: In the case that a player(s) disconnects, the team is allowed to continue to play the match at a disadvantage.
  8. Re-host: A re-host can only be played with prior Game Lead approval. Please contact the Game Lead via Discord to receive approval. In a re-hosted game each participant must choose the same side as they picked at the start of the the original match. Disconnects and lag issues will only qualify for a re-host if the issue occurs the within the first 60 seconds of the game. In the event of a game server crash, the Game Lead will determine next steps.
  9. Streaming: While streaming is generally allowed as per the CEA Handbook, CEA matches may not be streamed by any party during official Overwatch League broadcasts.

III. Technical Issues

  1. The default pause hotkey in Overwatch is shift + ctrl + =. Lobby leaders should commit this to memory.
  2. The Lobby Leader will have the ability to pause the game and must do so at the first fair opportunity once the pause request is seen.
    1. A fair opportunity to pause is defined as a time when there is no teamfight occuring. In the case a pause is requested during a teamfight, teams must disengage before pausing, so that players won’t be interrupted in the middle of a fight.
  3. Team that requested a pause must announce the reason before or immediately after pause.
  4. Each team is granted a total of 10 minutes pause time during the match.
  5. When resuming the game from pause, both teams need to confirm in chat that they are ready to continue.
  6. If total pause time of 10 minutes runs out, the game has to be resumed. If one team refuses to resume the game, the opposing team will receive a default win.
  7. Admins hold the right to request teams to pause during the match in case of any other issues, and the time used to pause the match will not count for the team it was requested to.
  8. If both teams agree, you may enable “Pause Game On Player Disconnect” in the Match/Lobby settings. This will immediately pause play if the server detects a player disconnecting. Since this can occur in the middle of a fight, it is not recommended, but allowed if captains agree.

IV. Contact Info

  • Discord Server: discord.gg/cea
  • Email Contacts:
    • Game and Rules related: tournaments@cea.gg
    • Business, money, and sponsorship related: business@cea.gg

Other: administrator@cea.gg