ESL India Premiership is one of the most well-known esports tournaments in India. It consists of 3 ladders- Masters, Challengers and Starters. However, as pointed out by several people, the rule book had a loophole from which a few players/teams could benefit.
Due to how discretely this loophole was created, without any official statements, many people believe it to be an attempt at bending the rules for some teams.
According to the rule book issued by ESL India Organisation, referring to 1.2,
A tournament participant is a Player who is participating in the tournament. No Player can
be part of more than one team while taking part in ESL INDIA Premiership 2019 except
in case of clause 8.2 provided here under.
And when you would refer to 8.2, it says,
Out of 5, every team has to retain 3 players and can take in 2+1 substitute. There will be no
transfer window in between phases.
Teams are allowed to change names only during the transfer window period.
In the recent ESL India Premiership CS:GO Summer Season Master’s League, there were a few roster jumps. This shouldn’t have been allowed according to the clause 8.1 in the rule book that says,
No team will be allowed to make changes to their line-up mid season. A Season consists of
two phases of Masters League (1 and 2), two phases of Challenger Cups (1 and 2) and two
phases of Starter Cup (1 and 2).
The justification given for said action by one of ESL’s support staff was that the rule applied to the 6 players registered for Masters, and that the 7th player could be from any player except the players already locked in with them. The 7th player could have been from the starter’s/challenger’s cup or a non-eslip participant. Below is the conversation of a concerned esports enthusiast with a member of ESL’s support staff.
Marzil and Hellfighter have played in the tournament for multiple teams. Marzil’s issue is the 7th man stand-in issue while Hellfighter’s issue is the cross-ladder issue. These issues shouldn’t be there since the basic rule is that players cannot play for multiple teams and it should have applied to the 7th man too. It shouldn’t be bent whatsoever for the comfort of some teams or players.
Thankfully, ESL India noticed their mistake and decided to rectify it
Though it is commendable that they made the right decision eventually, a few questions still pertain. Like why did this loophole slip past the concerned team at ESL, why they changed a rule in the rule book without any official statement in their social media handles, that too during the course of the tournament, and what of the teams that have already benefited from this loophole.
We reached out to ESL India but did not receive a response.