Spoiler: DML Ruleset v1.25 (August 16th, 2021) (Open)
I - Team structure
1. Individual sign-ups must be posted in the sign-up thread, following the template;
2. Each team is comprised of an assigned captain and three other players. The players are acquired by way of an auction draft;
3. After a random draw decides the nomination order, each captain takes turns nominating players they wish to draft, and the highest bid successfully drafts the auctioned player. Captains are given a fictional budget of $30 that is utilised to draft those players in integer values;
4. Teams must be named in accordance to general decency rules (aka common sense);
5. Up to 3 trades between a team and another team or the free agency are allowed;
6. Teams who are technically eliminated from the season may not perform trades.
II - Game structure
1. Games will be played on Zandronum 3.1. The default servers are determined by the participating players' region in a match-by-match basis. The default servers are as follows:
- Demon Crusher (New York, USA)
- Homeless Town (New Jersey, USA)
- Blue Firestick (London, UK)
2. Teams may agree to play in other servers, as long as they meet the CTF standards;
3. The map set to be used is dml2022-v1.pk3;
4. All matches have the following format:
- 3 vs. 3;
- Pointlimit of 5 captures;
- Timelimit of 10 minutes;
- Sudden death (aka overtime) disabled.
5. Teams may field whoever is on their team, as long as they have 3 available players;
6. In the event that a team is unable to field 3 players, they may temporarily sub in a free agent. This can only be done once per free agent, however, and if a team wishes to have a certain free agent play for them a second time, they must perform a trade instead. If both teams are unable to field 3 players, then the team with the lower placing gets first priority on free agency picks;
7. As a follow-up to case 6, if there are no free agents available either, they are allowed to trade in somebody from outside the league that is of roughly the same skill level as the missing member, as per consensus of the DML staff. The skill level priority is as follows:
7.1. Same skill level;
7.2. Higher skill level;
7.3. Lower skill level;
8. Regular season matches:
8.1. best-of-3 rounds;
8.2. played on two different maps, one for round 1 and the other for round 2, determined by the tournament schedule per week, which is released once sign-ups end;
8.3. the 3rd round map is decided by whichever team has the lead advantage (decided by match lead, then point spread), in which case they must pick between the round 1 map and the round 2 map. If both teams are tied in the aforementioned criteria, the round 3 map defaults to the round 1 map;
8.4. in the event that the overall match ends in a tie, the winner is decided by the flag spread. If flag counts are also tied, extra rounds will be played, alternating between the two maps, in a 5-minute, 3-score setting. These extra rounds do not count towards a team's win/loss/tie record or flag ratio;
8.5. points are awarded to teams depending on the outcome of matches (see section III, case 2 for more details);
9. Playoff matches:
9.1. best-of-5 rounds;
9.2. played on four homefield maps selected by each team;
9.3. the map to be played in each round follows this order, looping if necessary:
- higher seed's first map pick;
- lower seed's first map pick;
- higher seed's second map pick;
- lower seed's second map pick;
9.4. Only the win/loss/tie results of each round can determine a winner, meaning flag spread conditions and sudden death do not apply to this stage;
9.5. If no clear victor can be determined after 5 rounds, extra tiebreaking rounds occur indefinitely;
10. Matches continue regardless of what predicaments any player may face. The players themselves are responsible for issues such as connection problems, not the administration;
11. Barring extreme circumstances, any breaks in-between rounds cannot exceed 60 seconds, after which either team is allowed to start the next round with no repercussions;
12. In the event that a server crashes or severely lags in the middle of a match, it must be restarted at the same time frame and team scores as they were before the server crash took place.
III - Tournament structure
1. The tournament is comprised of two stages: the regular season and the playoffs.
2. Regular season structure:
2.1. The regular season pits teams against each other to compete for points in a swiss-system group. This means the 1st-place team will always play the 2nd-place team each week, 3rd-place plays 4th-place, and so on;
2.2. Each team is awarded points as follows:
-Gain 5 points for a two-round victory
-Gain 4 points for a three-round victory
-Gain 3 points for a tiebreak victory
-Gain 2 points for a tiebreak loss
-Gain 1 point for a three-round loss
-Zero points for a two-round loss
-Lose 1 point if a team loses by forfeit;
2.3. At the end of the regular season, the teams with the highest point count overall qualify for the playoffs:
- top 4 in a 6-team season;
- top 6 in an 8 or 10-team season.
- top 8 in a 12-team season.
2.4. Tiebreaking criteria between two or more teams are as follows. If a particular step does not break all ties, it is skipped altogether up until step 5. After steps 1 through 5 are accounted for, if there are still any teams tied, the cycle repeats with these tied teams. Step 6 is a last-resort:
2.4.1. head-to-head (highest priority);
2.4.2. strength of victory;
2.4.3. best game win percentage;
2.4.4. best flag for/flag against ratio;
2.4.5. total flag count;
2.4.6. coin toss/dice roll (lowest priority).
3.1. On the final week of the regular season, teams that are still in contention for the playoffs must pick two homefield maps to be played on in that stage. Teams that are already technically eliminated by this time will not participate in this process;
3.2. Teams make their selections before they play their last group stage match, otherwise the administration will select their homefields in their stead. The homefield selection order is the draft order in reverse, and the first team to pick their first homefield will be the last team to pick their second homefield;
3.3. Maps that are selected as homefields by a team may not be picked again by any other team;
3.4. All maps featured in the hub map are eligible picks.
4. Playoffs structure:
4.1. The qualified teams are seeded into the playoffs in accordance with their standing in the regular season. The playoffs format is as follows, on an 8-team season:
- Seeds #1 and #2 skip the quarter-finals part of the bracket and start at the semi-finals;
- Seeds #3 through #6 face each other in the quarter-finals, with seed #3 choosing whether to play against seed #5 or #6. Seed #4 faces whichever opponent wasn't chosen by seed #3;
- Similarly, seed #1 gets to choose which of the advancing seeds #3-#6 they wish to play against in the semi-finals, leaving seed #2 to face the other team that advances from quarter-finals;
- The winners of both semi-final matches face off in the Championship match.
4.2. The bracket format is single elimination.
IV - Player duties
1.1. Every player who participates in any match must record and upload a demo or livestream from said match until their current team's next match;
1.2. If players fail to comply with their demo/livestream uploads, the ZCA staff will enforce penalties on the offending player's current team;
1.3. The infraction punishments are as follows:
- first infraction: no penalty;
- second infraction: player is suspended for an entire match;
- third infraction: player is suspended from the tournament;
1.4. In the event that a player under a second infraction is absent from their team's next match, their infraction is considered accounted for, and the next time they play can be done so as normal;
1.5. Demo infractions cannot be served retroactively. If the staff overlooks an infraction that was meant to be immediately enforced, the punishment is instead relegated to an offending player's next match.
2. Captains are urged to send their teams' availabilities to the DML administration as soon as the week starts, so their next match can be scheduled to an appropriate time for all parties involved. Failure to comply will result in arbitrary scheduling from the administration.
3. If there are major discrepancies between two opposing teams' availabilities, priorities are given to the following availabilities:
- Weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) over weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday);
- Evenings (6 PM - 9 PM) over late afternoons (3 PM - 5 PM) over late nights (10 PM onwards).
4. After a match is scheduled, teams are obligated to field 3 players at the time and date set by the administration. The grace period is 20 minutes after the scheduled time. In the event that a team fails to show up after that, the match will be rescheduled to a later time (barring limitations stated in case 6).
5. In the event that a match cannot be rescheduled, the team that did not show up will receive a forfeit loss (and lose a regular season point). If both teams fail to show up, the match is considered a no contest, and both teams' points remain unaffected for that week (regular season only).
6. Teams may only apply for a match reschedule once per match, and up to 3 times per season.
V - Rules of conduct
1. Be respectful to other players, especially when they are practising or playing their matches;
2. Show commitment to your matches. This goes double for captains;
3. Cheating is strictly prohibited. Cheating is not limited to, but is characterised by: utilising wallhacks, aimbots, ping manipulators (lag switches), item timers, abusing exploits in the game (including but not limited to rules stated in section II) and getting intel from a third party during a match (ghosting);
4. That's about it. Be nice to your fellow competitors and give this league the respect it deserves and everything will be great!!