SMITE Pro League Productions Series Rules

Last updated on February 15, 2017.

1. TERMS OF AGREEMENT.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE!

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCEPTING ITS TERMS AND CONDITIONS. THIS SMITE PRO LEAGUE PRODUCTION SERIES RULES (THE “RULES”) IS BETWEEN YOU AS A PARTICIPANT (“YOU” OR “YOUR”) AND HI-REZ STUDIOS, INC. (“HI-REZ”).

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH AND ARE NOT AT ALL TIMES IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS PROVIDED IN THESE RULES, YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SMITE PRO LEAGUE PRODUCTION SERIES (THE “LEAGUE”).

2. DEFINITIONS.

a. “Administrator” means an individual authorized to act in a limited capacity on Hi-Rez’s behalf with respect to the interpretation and enforcement of these Rules. For purposes of clarity, Hi-Rez may substitute itself in as an Administrator as that term is used and understood in these Rules.

b. “Game” means the online, multiplayer video-game owned and operated by Hi-Rez and known throughout the world as SMITE® on the applicable platform.

c. “God” means a Player-controlled character inside the Game.

d. “Item” means content that is obtained inside the Game to modify the power of a God.

e. “League Game” means a single, playable instance of the Game where one Team competes against another Team in the “Conquest” game mode, with the final outcome being determined after one Team defeats the final objective (i.e., destroying the other Team’s Titan), surrenders, or is disqualified.

f. “Player” means an individual who meets all of the eligibility requirements in Section 3.1 and is currently part of a Team.

g. “Skin” means an aesthetic costume that can be equipped by a God to change its appearance inside the Game.

h. “Split” means regional competitions within the League which span a duration of time and involve Teams competing against one another in their respective regions.

i. “Team” means a registered business with a valid tax identification number (or unregistered sole proprietorship in the Team Representative’s name and tax identification number, if approved by an Administrator) with at least six (6) Players, that meets all of the eligibility requirements in Section 3.2, and that has otherwise qualified to participate in the League based on prior events and/or Hi-Rez’s discretionary approval.

j. “Team Captain” means a Player on each team who will represent the best interests of the other Players to Hi-Rez and who will be responsible for certain communications with Hi-Rez on behalf of the Players and/or Team related to the League.

k. “Team Owner” means the authorized representative of the Team who will represent the best interests of the Team to Hi-Rez and who will be responsible for all business communications with Hi-Rez on behalf of the Team.

3. ELIGIBILITY.

3.1 PLAYER REQUIREMENTS.

a. Player Eligibility. Players in the League must meet the following criteria at all times:

i. Be an individual who is at least thirteen (13) years of age or older.

ii. Be an individual who is at least eighteen (18) years of age or older if you will be responsible for receiving or distributing any prizes or appearance fees, unless your legal guardian or parent is authorized to receive or distribute such prizes and appearance fees on your behalf;

iii. Comply with all policies, terms, and conditions that may apply to you, including those found on the Hi-Rez legal website, located at <http://www.hirezstudios.com/legal>, and these Rules;

iv. Remain in lawful possession of an active Hi-Rez account, which is in good standing.

v. Read and agree to be bound by the SMITE® Professional League Production Series Competitor Eligibility, Consent, and Release Agreement and complete all necessary tax documents as demanded by Hi-Rez.

3.2 TEAM REQUIREMENTS.

a. Team Eligibility. Teams in the League must meet the following criteria at all times:

i. Employ at least six (6) or more Players who are in compliance with these Rules, with one (1) Player being designated as the Team Captain.

ii. Employ at least one (1) individual who is duly authorized to act as a Team Representative on behalf of the Team and its Players. (This individual may be a Player or Team Captain.)

iii. Comply with all policies, terms, and conditions that may apply to the registered business, including those found on the Hi-Rez legal website, located at <http://www.hirezstudios.com/legal>, and these Rules.

iv. Register as a valid business entity (e.g., Corporation, LLC, LLP, etc.) in good standing and in a legitimate jurisdiction approved by Hi-Rez; provided, however, an Administrator may waive this requirement at any time if the Team Representative is willing to act as an unregistered sole proprietorship for purposes of responsibility and performance hereunder (e.g., for Teams that cannot afford to register).

v. Read and agree to be bound by the SMITE® Professional League Production Series Team Eligibility, Consent, and Release Agreement and complete all necessary tax documents as demanded by Hi-Rez.

vi. Officially qualify for the League through applicable methods approved by Hi-Rez, which may include relegations, prior performance, or other criteria set by an Administrator.

3.3 RESTRICTIONS.

The following restrictions apply at all times:

a. Domicile Rule. Teams and Players shall only participate in the League that applies to the region where each is domiciled, as determined by Hi-Rez in its sole discretion.

b. Non-League Events. Players understand that there are numerous leagues, tournaments and other competitions outside the League, and that Hi-Rez may prohibit Players who participate in the League from participating in any other leagues, tournaments, or competitions (collectively “Non-League Events“) without an Administrator’s prior written consent. 

c. Skin Restrictions. Players understand and agree that most Skins are permitted in competitive play except for the following:

i. Gold, Legendary, Diamond, and Shadow for all Gods;

ii. Dark Lord Sun Wukong;

iii. Nutcromancer and Galactic Ah Puch;

iv. Starslayer Anhur;

v. Death Machine and Feaster Bunny Bakasura;

vi. Secret Agent Apollo;

vii. Chronos 64;

viii. Recon Artemis;

ix. Sunstar Ra;

x. Noble Knight Osiris

x. Paradigm Awilix;

xi. Paradigm Ward Skin;

xii. Trig eSports Ward Skin

xiii. Hun.Batz and;

xiv. any other Skins that an Administrator specifies should not be used, either orally or in writing, at any time without the need for advance notice.

d. Discretionary Content Ban. Gods, Items, or other content inside the Game may be banned by an Administrator at any time. In the event this provision is exercised by an Administrator, the Teams and/or Players will be made aware of such action at the earliest convenience of an Administrator. You understand and agree that an Administrator’s notice to a Team Representative or Team Captain shall be sufficient under this subsection.

e. Player Names. Players shall not change their names in the Game at any time without advance written permission from an Administrator. Moreover, you understand and agree that your name in the Game shall consist only of alphanumerical characters, which are limited to the letters A through Z and the numbers 0 through 9. Special characters, punctuation, and other symbols may not be used under any circumstances.

f. Team Identifying Marks. Teams shall not change their names, tags, insignia, logos, trademarks, or other identifying characteristics without advance written permission from an Administrator, and shall at all times require the Team’s Players to be properly tagged during League Games.

g. Inappropriate Assets. Hi-Rez reserves the right to deem any names, tags, insignia, logos, trademarks, or other identifying characteristics used by you or your Team as inappropriate. If any material is deemed inappropriate, you or your Team shall immediately remove the applicable material and replace it with material that an Administrator approves in writing. Any cost associated with changing inappropriate names, tags, insignia, logos, trademarks, or other identifying characteristics shall be your or your Team’s responsibility.

h. Sponsorships. Your sponsors, or those of other Players or Teams, are at all times subject to Hi-Rez’s discretionary review. Hi-Rez reserves the right to block, reject, or otherwise interfere with any sponsorship and exclude it from the League and all Hi-Rez content. As an initial matter, Hi-Rez will exercise its rights hereunder and disapprove of any sponsorships with businesses or individuals involved in gambling, narcotics, pornography, firearms, prescription medication, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal activity. Players and Teams will not take any action or inaction that brings either the Players or Teams or Hi-Rez into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or that shocks or offends the community or any group or class thereof, or that reflects unfavorably on Hi-Rez or reduces the public relations or commercial value of Hi-Rez’s association with the Players or Teams.

3.4 REPLACEMENT TEAMS.

a. General. Hi-Rez reserves the right to disqualify or remove any Team from the League for any reason without advance notice. If a Team is disqualified or removed from the League, a replacement Team will be determined by an Administrator. There are numerous reasons a Team may be disqualified or removed from the League. By way of example and not limitation, a Team may be disqualified or removed from the League for failure to field enough Players for a League Game, a pattern of inappropriate behavior, extreme inappropriate behavior (in Hi-Rez’s sole discretion), failure to promptly report inappropriate behavior, participating in conduct that is detrimental to the League.

b. Effect of Replacement. Any Team elected by an Administrator to replace another shall begin with a new record, and shall not receive any credit for the accomplishments of the prior Team.

4. LEAGUE FORMAT.

4.1 GENERAL.

a. Splits. Each Split will start on a date published by Hi-Rez on the official eSports website, located at <http://esports.smitegame.com> (the “Split Term”). During each Split Term, League Games will take place every week on Thursday, Saturday, and/or Sunday based on the schedule set by Administrators. You understand and agree that each Split Term may involve numerous phases, including placement, group stage, and LAN events, and that you and your Team shall at all times comply with scheduling for each phase.

b. Regions. League Games must be played on the appropriate servers. For example, if a League Game is between two Teams in North America, then it must be played on servers designated for North America users

c. How to Create a League Game. League Games may only be created upon the instruction of an Administrator, who must remain present for the entirety of each League Game. If an Administrator is not present, you agree to promptly report such issue to Hi-Rez, including sufficient detail for Hi-Rez to investigate the allegation. Each League Game must be created with the following requirements:

i. name is set (determined by the Team creating the League Game);

ii. password is set (determined by the Team creating the League Game);

iii. spectator password is set (determined by an Administrator);

iv. region is set appropriately (North America or Europe);

v. pick method is set to draft on the “Draft-Conquest” game mode;

vi. party size is set to five (5) versus five (5);

vii. allow spectators and record demo is set to on;

viii. spawn lane minions is set to on;

ix. starting level for Gods is set to one (1); and

x. starting gold for Gods is set to one thousand five hundred (1500).

d. Matches. During the Split, Teams will participate in a format announced by Hi-Rez prior to the beginning of the Split where each Team will play other Teams in a Match format. A “Match” is a set of two (2) League Games.

e. Online Phase. At the beginning of the Split Term, there will be an online phase where the Teams in each region will play each other in at least one (1) Match. Note that the online phase may be played as a LAN event at Hi-Rez’s discretion. Thereafter, based on the standings at the end of the online phase, select Teams will qualify for the offline phase.

f. Offline Phase. After the online phase during a Split Term, the Teams that qualify for the offline phase based on performance in the online phase will play each other in a format announced by Hi-Rez prior to the beginning of the offline phase. By default the offline phase will be played as a LAN event, but might change at Hi-Rez’s sole discretion.

g. Ties. If there is a tie in team standings at any point, the following format will be used to break the tie:

i. Two-way tie: The Team with the better head-to-head record will prevail. Thereafter, if a tie still remains, one (1) League Game will be played. First or second pick for Gods will be determined by an Administrator using a coin toss.

ii. Three-way tie: The Team with the better head-to-head record will prevail. Thereafter, if a tie still remains, a Match will be played between each of the three (3) Teams. Thereafter, if a tie still remains, a randomized single elimination competition will be played with one (1) Team receiving a BYE as determined by the randomizer and confirmed by an Administrator.

iii. Four-way tie: The Team with the better head-to-head record will prevail. Thereafter, if a tie still remains, a randomized single elimination competition will be played. Once two (2) Teams win the initial bracket, a third place match shall be played.

iv. Five-way tie: The Team with the better head-to-head record will prevail. Thereafter, if a tie still remains, a randomized single elimination competition will be played with one (1) play-in round. Once the play-in round is complete, the remaining Teams will play in the same format as the four-way tie.

v. Six-way tie: The Team with the better head-to-head record will prevail. Thereafter, if a tie still remains, a randomized single elimination competition will be played with two (2) Teams receiving a BYE as determined by the randomizer and confirmed by an Administrator. The remaining four (4) Teams will play in the same format as the four-way tie uses.

h. Limited Disclaimer. Hi-Rez and its respective shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, professional advisors, employees, independent contractors, and agencies will not be responsible for: (i) any late, lost, misrouted, garbled, or distorted or damaged transmissions; and (ii) telephone, electronic, hardware, software, network, Internet, or other related malfunctions or failures. Hi-Rez reserves the right to reschedule any League Games based on such technical issues to another date and time, which an Administrator will share with the affected Players and Teams.

4.2 BUGS IN LEAGUE GAMES.

a. Bugs. Without limiting other provisions in the Rules, if a “game breaking” Bug is known or discovered, you understand and agree that Administrators may impose additional restrictions on you at any time, including before or during any League Game. “Bug” means a bug, defect, error, flaw, fault, or other failure of the Game to perform in accordance with documentation, specifications, requirements, developer expectations, reasonable player expectations, or as described (excluding typographical errors).

b. Bug Reporting. You understand and agree to use best efforts to report any Bugs found promptly at the end of each League Game. Any Players found to be exploiting or using one (1) or more Bugs which are known to said Players or reasonably should be known to said Players shall be immediately disqualified from the League. In addition, you understand and agree to use best efforts to report any Bugs that you become aware of at any time.

4.3 COMPENSATION.

a. General. Players and/or Teams may receive appearance fees or other compensation from Hi-Rez based on participation in the League and their placement at the end of the Split. Monetary prizes will be paid by Hi-Rez via check or another payment method of Hi-Rez’s choosing. All compensation is provided “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose). Compensation is subject to verification of eligibility, compliance with the Rules, and any other applicable terms and conditions as determined by Hi-Rez in its sole discretion.

b. Financial Reporting. Hi-Rez may send a report that details how compensation, including appearance fees and prize earnings, will be divided among Players and, if applicable and subject to certain waivers and releases, the Team. These reports are typically sent after each Split. Alterations to a report and compensation structure must be approved by an Administrator in writing.

c. Setoff. You understand and agree that if you fail to follow the Rules, then, without limiting any other remedies Hi-Rez may have, you will pay Hi-Rez (or Hi-Rez may deduct from your compensation) the reasonable costs associated with your misconduct (the valuation of said misconduct to be determined by an Administrator in his or her sole discretion), and, upon Hi-Rez’s request and in accordance with an Administrator’s instructions, issue a public apology.

d. Forfeiture. You understand and agree that you shall not receive compensation for any League Game where you or someone from your Team forfeits the League Game. You further understand and agree that you shall not receive compensation if you fail to submit to Hi-Rez any forms related to your compensation within the established timeline (e.g., tax forms).

e. Taxation. ALL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY COMPENSATION ARE YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY.

5. LEAGUE PARTICIPANTS.

5.1 YOUR CONDUCT.

a. Representations. You represent and warrant that:

i. You will at all times follow the Game’s End User License Agreement, Hi-Rez’s Terms of Use and Service, and any relevant League Eligibility, Consent, and Release Agreement (for either Players or Teams) disclosed to you by Hi-Rez, all of which are hereby incorporated herein. For example, but not by way of limitation, you will at all times comply with Section 12 (Online Rules of Conduct) in Hi-Rez’s Terms of Use and Service.

ii. You will at all times use your best efforts to display superior integrity and well-mannered behavior during each Split and for so long as you are or intend to remain a League participant. You shall communicate in a responsible, appropriate, and positive manner in all public forums, including, without limitation, on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and inside the Game.

iii. You will at all times abstain from poor, undesirable, or negative behavior towards Hi-Rez or its respective shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, professional advisors, employees, independent contractors, and agencies, or toward sponsors, other Players, or other Teams.

iv. You will not manipulate or otherwise exploit the Game, whether directly or indirectly, in order to obtain an unfair advantage over another user, and you will promptly report to Hi-Rez any Player who you have a good faith belief is manipulating or otherwise exploiting the Game to obtain an unfair advantage over others.

v. You will not abuse the spectator client in the Game, including, without limitation, using said client to “stream snipe” or “ghost” other users of the Game.

vi. You will not share Game accounts or use multiple accounts in the League.

vii. You will not participate in any illegal activities while attending or travelling for Hi-Rez events, at all times obeying the laws of the jurisdiction in which such event is held (e.g., the legal drinking age within such jurisdiction).

b. Prohibited Conduct. You understand and agree that all of the following conduct is strictly prohibited:

i. Using any injector, cheat, hack, third party software, third party hardware, or other instruments, tools, materials, or methods to obtain an unfair advantage over other users of the Game.

ii. Inappropriately pausing a League Game, as described in Section 6.4.

iii. Acting in an unsportsmanlike manner, including, without limitation, (A) taking inappropriate actions toward other Players, Team Representatives, Team Captains, the community, Administrators, Hi-Rez personnel, or the general public, (B) taking inappropriate actions in a League Game such as “intentional feeding” or collusion, (C) constantly spamming emotes or other taunts in the Game, (D) verbally taunting another Team or Player, (E) sending inappropriate messages to another Player before, during, or after a League Game, or (F) spamming the “ping” tool in Game, including during a pause.

iv. Using or otherwise interacting with anyone on Twitch or any other social media or interactive website whenever a League Game that you are participating in is being broadcast by Hi-Rez on Twitch (or an alternative streaming platform of Hi-Rez’s choosing) for the first time, or beforehand if your use or interaction involves or in any way relates to a League Game that has not yet been broadcast by Hi-Rez as described herein.

v. Breaching or otherwise acting in non-compliance with any provision in any agreement that applies to you and Hi-Rez, including, without limitation, the Game’s End User License Agreement, Terms of Service and Use, etc.

vi. Private messaging another Player during a League Game.

vii. Harassment or sexual harassment, disparagement, or any other behavior that makes another person feel unsafe or unwelcome.

viii. Communicating in any way with any other person other than members of the Player’s Team during a League Game.

c. Interviews and Other Content. During each Split, if an Administrator asks you to participate in an interview, whether video, oral, or written, or other additional content, you agree to make yourself available for such requests and to participate in the manner directed by an Administrator and using your best efforts.

d. Multiple and Serious Offenses. If at any time in the previous five (5) years, you are suspended for a total of six (6) or more calendar days or permanently banned by an Administrator, or similarly serious disciplinary action in any organized eSport, you shall not be allowed to participate in any Hi-Rez competition, event, or other organized eSport, including the League, unless you receive written permission from Hi-Rez’s lead eSports Administrator. As of the last amendment date for the Rules (listed at the top of the Rules), the lead eSports Administrator is Daniel “HiRezDan” McHugh.

5.2 PLAYERS.

a. Restrictions. Players may not participate in or otherwise be affiliated with more than one Team at any given time. Unless determined otherwise by an Administrator, each Player shall use the account name he or she held at the beginning of the Split Term for the entire applicable Split. Players shall not broadcast, livestream, or otherwise distribute footage from any League Games prior to said League Games being broadcast for the first time by Hi-Rez (as further described in Section 5.1(b)(iv)).

b. Scheduling. Players shall be available to play during the scheduled times provided to them by an Administrator. You understand and agree that each Team must field a complete roster no later than the scheduled start time for each League Game. Players may only create a League Game after an Administrator provides them with express permission to do so. Unless an Administrator approves otherwise, each Player shall participate in all League Games or other related events that the Player qualified for, subject to the other restrictions set forth in these Rules (e.g., maximum players in a League Game, etc).

c. Mandatory Documents and Requirements. Hi-Rez may provide Players with documents and other requirements at any time. Players must complete all such documents and other requirements, including final signature (where necessary), before the first week of each Split Term or by such other time that is disclosed by an Administrator. Failure to do so may result in liquidated damages or other appropriate measures, including, without limitation, liquidated damages equal to ten percent (10%) of any compensation due and payable for each week that the Player has not completed his or her documents and other requirements, and/or the intentional withholding of all compensation due to anyone on the Team until all documents and other requirements by each Player are fulfilled or the non-compliant Players are removed from the Team.

5.3 TEAM CAPTAINS.

a. Appointment and Responsibility. The Team Representative shall appoint a Team Captain prior to the start of each Split Term, whereupon such appointment shall be permanent for the remainder of each Split. The Team Captain shall serve as the primary point of contact for Administrators to deliver any information related to the League or Team, including, without limitation: (i) roster information; (ii) LAN logistics, including, without limitation, required forms, travel accommodations, dietary restrictions, and other necessary information; (iii) Team availability; (iv) Team and/or Player information; and (v) any League communications.

b. Team Assistants. Each Team Captain may designate a backup representative (the “Team Assistant”) should the Team Captain be unavailable due to unforeseeable or emergency circumstances, including events force majeure. To designate a Team Assistant, the Team Captain must provide written notice and confirmation to Hi-Rez’s lead eSports Administrator stating that the relevant individual may act as the Team Assistant on all matters except for roster changes. If a Team Assistant is required to act in the Team Captain’s place, he or she shall be responsible for all of the Team Captain’s duties until otherwise instructed by an Administrator.

c. Communication with Administrators. Team Captains shall be solely responsible for promptly updating Administrators with any information pertaining to their Teams, answering any Administrator requests applicable to their Teams, accounting for their Players, ensuring that Players are in the correct location(s) and available when necessary and appropriate (including at LAN events), and owning any other responsibilities reasonably associated with being the primary point of contact for a Team. This includes, without limitation, the obligation to report the outcome of League Games with the proper “Match ID” in the relevant location customarily used for the League or as otherwise disclosed by an Administrator.

d. VOIP. Team Captains shall at all reasonable times be available to Administrators during each Split Term and Matches using a voice-over IP solution or other communications software (the “Designated VOIP”) disclosed to the Team Captains by the Administrators. This information will be sent by email to each Team Captain.

i. If any Team Captain is not playing in a relevant League Game, then he or she must appoint a Player, approved by an Administrator, to be available throughout the duration of that League Game to relay any requested information using the Designated VOIP. This includes, without limitation, God picks, God bans, and pauses.

ii. Team Captains, Team Assistants (but only when acting as a Team Captain), and Players appointed pursuant Section 5.3(d)(i) are the only non-Administrators allowed to use the Designated VOIP. Any other use of the Designated VOIP is strictly prohibited.

e. Check-in Duties. Team Captains shall check-in their first roster and team name the Tuesday before the start of the League and every week thereafter no later than 11:59 pm (ET). All necessary items such as the Team Captain designation, Team logos and other marks, style guidelines, and other related materials must be provided at the time of check-in. If additional assets are requested by Hi-Rez, the Team Captain shall supply those materials promptly (and the Team Representative agrees that such action shall be necessary and appropriate).

f. LAN Duties. Team Captains shall be responsible for submitting to Hi-Rez the information of Players that will be attending LAN events on the Team’s behalf. Hi-Rez will communicate any restrictions on attendance to the Team Captains, including, without limitation, the maximum number of Players permitted to attend each LAN event for the Team. Once a Team Captain submits a roster and the deadline for submissions has passed, no other Players may be substituted or invited unless there are exceptional or severe circumstances (as determined by Hi-Rez in its sole discretion).

5.4 TEAM REPRESENTATIVES.

a. Appointment and Responsibility. Team Representatives shall be the primary point of contact on business matters and retain final say for all decisions related to the Team; provided, however, the Team Representative must be an authorized representative of the Team and have the requisite power and authority to execute and deliver agreements on behalf of the Team.

b. Ownership Restrictions. Each Team Representative may have an equity and/or financial interest in no more than one (1) Team during the League Term across all regions. This restriction does not apply to the Challenger Circuit; provided, however, each Team Representative agrees to comply with the rules and restrictions applicable to said Challenger Circuit, including restrictions on equity and/or financial interests, either memorialized in writing or communicated by Hi-Rez. If a Challenger Circuit team is promoted to the League, then the Team Representative must disassociate with one of its two (2) Teams immediately, whether by sale or otherwise.

c. Sales. Team Representatives are permitted to sell their placement in the League to third parties approved by Hi-Rez; provided, however, (i) any such sale shall comply with any and all restrictions, terms, conditions, or other instructions provided by Administrators, and (ii) the sale does not occur during any LAN event.

d. Team Roster. Team Representatives shall submit their roster of Players before each Split Term. If an Administrator fails to receive a roster from a Team Representative, that Team may be disqualified. Without limiting its other rights herein, Hi-Rez reserves the right to reject, at its sole and absolute discretion, any submitted roster on the grounds that one (1) or more Players are unacceptable to Hi-Rez.

5.5 FREE AGENTS.

a. Definition. The term “Free Agents” means any individual who (i) meets the eligibility requirements set forth in Sections 3.1(a) through (d), (ii) is not currently participating in the League as a Player, and (iii) (ii) is not subject to any restrictions which would prevent the individual from converting to a Player and joining a Team (e.g., roster lock restrictions, platform lock restrictions, etc.).

b. Recruitment and Eligibility. Free Agents are eligible to convert to Players if a Team agrees to recruit them; provided, however, an Administrator must approve the recruitment before it may take effect. Free Agents must meet all the eligibility requirements of a Player in order for an Administrator to approve the recruitment, and shall be subject to all the same rules and restrictions imposed on Players, including, without limitation, check-in rules, Player designations (e.g., “starters” vs “substitutes”), etc.

6. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.

6.1 GENERAL RULES.

a. Picks and Bans.

i. The Team that wins a coin flip prior to a Match may select whether to draft its Gods first or second in the first League Game. Then, in the second League Game, the other Team will possess that right (e.g., the choice to draft first or second).  The drafting order will alternate thereafter if there are more than two Matches between those Teams.

ii. Picks and bans for League Games shall be handled in the following format: where the first Team picking is “A” and the second Team picking is “B,” God bans will be conducted in the order of ABABBABA and God picks will be conducted in the order of ABBAABBAAB.

iii. You understand and agree that (A) all picks and bans must be executed through the automated process with the Game client, and any use of chat or other alternative methods to conduct picks and bans is strictly prohibited, (B) picks and bans may not commence until an Administrator is present, and (C) the most recent God to be released in the Game shall not be available for use in the League until after that God is available in the “Ranked Conquest” game mode for at least seven (7) calendar days.

iv. If a Team fails to ban one (1) or more Gods during the allotted banning time, then that Team forfeits its right to those bans.

v. If a Player fails to pick a God during the allotted picking time, then the Team Captain for that Player’s Team shall immediately contact an Administrator and explain, in sufficient detail, the cause for the Player’s failure to pick a God during the allotted time. Thereafter, the League Game may be remade at the instruction of an Administrator; provided, however, that each Team is only allowed one (1) remake per Match due to a failed pick, and that any prior remakes were unrelated to God picks or were the result of unforeseeable circumstances outside of the non-picking Team’s control (e.g., events force majeure). You understand and agree that you or your Team may be subject to liquidated damages or other measures for repeated use of this subsection, and that this subsection should be triggered under exceptional circumstances only.

b. Surrenders. After playing in good faith for at least ten (10) minutes in a League Game, your Team is permitted to surrender the League Game. If your Team surrenders, it will be credited with a loss for that League Game. You understand and agree that if the League Game you surrendered is part of a Match or series and additional League Games remain to be played, that you and your team shall participate in those remaining League Games in good faith for at least ten (10) minutes or more.

c. Punctuality. You understand and agree that each League Game shall start within one (1) minute of an Administrator’s request; provided, however, said Administrator request is made at or after the scheduled time for the applicable League Game. You shall contact an Administrator proactively if, for whatever reason, your League Game is unable to start within the one (1) minute period.

d. Delay of Game. Unless instituted by an Administrator, any delay of a League Game is strictly prohibited. You understand and agree that it is your or your Team Captain’s responsibility to communicate with Administrators about any actual or foreseeable delays.

e. Disconnects.

i. If a Player fails to load into a League Game or disconnects during a League Game where no Gods have been defeated and the timer inside the Game reads ten (10) seconds after the minions have spawned or less, then either Team may request a remake of the League Game, subject to Administrator approval. Until an Administrator approves the remake, Players are expected to continue playing the non-remade League Game. Each Team may receive only one (1) remake each Match, unless otherwise agreed by two (2) or more Administrators.

ii. If a Player disconnects during a League Game and does not meet the criteria set forth in the preceding subsection, then there will be no remake remedy available unless an Administrator determines otherwise.

iii. If a remake occurs pursuant to subsection (i), then the Team affected by the disconnect may use a checked-in “substitute” Player. While the picks and bans must remain the same, Players may exchange which Gods are being played by whom on both Teams.

f. Technical Victories. In the event of a server crash, malfunction, or other technical difficulties any affected League Game(s) will be remade from the start unless an Administrator agrees to award a Team with a victory. Teams may be be awarded a victory if all of the following conditions are met:

i. The League Game has lasted more than twenty (20) minutes.

ii. The gold differential between Teams is twelve thousand (12,000) or more.

iii. A Team has destroyed at least two (2) Phoenixes and has at least one (1) Tower remaining in all lanes.

6.2 ROSTER AND SUBSTITUTION RULES.

a. Each Team is required to have (i) a roster that includes at least five (5) Players who are all registered under the same clan inside the Game, and (ii) at least five (5) Players who are able and ready to play at all times when a League Game for that Team is scheduled.

b. Each Team must submit its roster, using its Team Captain and in the same format as set forth in Section 5.3(e), each week during the Split, which shall include all starting Players for that week and all substitute Players that may be used during that week. Hi-Rez may elect to collect this information through an automated form. In addition, the following restrictions apply:

i. Teams shall check-in at least six (6) Players each week, but no more than eight (8) Players in any given week. Among those Players, five (5) must be designated as “starters” and at least one (1) must be designated as a “substitute.”

ii. If a Player plays four (4) or more League Games, that Player may no longer participate in the Game’s Challenger Circuit or Combine for the applicable Split Term. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this subsection restricts the Player’s ability to leave a Team and not participate in the League, or an Administrator’s ability to waive this restriction in limited circumstances.

iii. Teams may alter which Players are designated as “starters” and “substitutes” only by written notice to an Administrator at least twenty-four (24) hours before the League Game where the new “starters” will be available to play. You understand and agree that “substitutes” are not eligible to play in a League Game unless those Players have been moved to “starters” as described herein. Without limiting other remedies herein, an Administrator may waive this restriction in his or her sole discretion.

c. Administrators may, at their discretion, implement a Hard Roster Lock. “Hard Roster Lock” means a duration, specified by an Administrator, where any Player who plays at least one (1) League Game for a Team shall be restricted to playing only with that Team until the set duration expires. Without limiting the foregoing, you understand that a Hard Roster Lock is customarily active during any offline phase.

d. If you play four (4) or more League Games, you may no longer participate in the SMITE Console League or any other competition hosted by Hi-Rez on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 until after the next League World Championships for the applicable period where you played four (4) or more League Games.

6.3 SETUP TIME.

a. “Setup Time” means the time before or between League Games.

b. During Setup Time, every Player on each Team must: (i) be available for any communication requests from Administrators; (ii) properly test and ensure that all hardware and software that the Player will use is working without any material defects or other issues; and (iii) attend to any personal needs promptly and before expiration of the Setup Time, including reasonable restroom breaks, food, beverages, etc.

6.4 LEAGUE GAME PAUSES

a. You understand that there is a pause system built into the Game, which when activated will freeze time for all Players in a particular Game instance. The pause system may be used for any of the following reasons: (i) a Player has disconnected from the League Game due to no fault of that Player’s own actions; (ii) a Player is experiencing technical malfunctions related to hardware or software; or (iii) a Player is experiencing sudden and severe illness. Hi-Rez has attempted to mitigate abuse of this system by instituting a combat pause parameter, which is designed to prevent Players from initiating a pause during any combat or skill channeling phase in the Game. You understand and agree that the combat pause parameter is not a replacement for Player judgment, and that Hi-Rez reserves the right to evaluate any pause, including whether it is an inappropriate pause in breach of these Rules. Given the effectiveness of the combat pause parameters, Hi-Rez may, in its sole discretion, presume a pause is valid if it is not blocked by the combat pause parameter.

b. If there is a pause during a League Game, each Team Captain shall immediately notify an Administrator of the pause, the exact time it occurred, and the perceived or actual reason for the pause depending on whether the pause originated from that Team Captain’s Team. Thereafter, all Players in the relevant League Game understand and agree that no one may remove the pause (i.e., resume the League Game) until an Administrator has cleared that all Players are ready and the League Game may continue.

c. Subject to the restrictions set forth herein, each Team may pause a League Game up to a maximum of three (3) times on their own Team’s behalf. Each pause’s duration shall be restricted to a maximum of three (3) minutes. If a Team’s pause is being used to resolve a problem and the duration is almost complete, the Team Captain may inform an Administrator that the problem is taking longer than usual to resolve. At that point and without unpausing the League Game, the next pause’s duration will begin. This can continue for a maximum of nine (9) minutes if no pauses were used prior to the first pause, unless an Administrator approves a longer duration at his or her discretion.

d. Inappropriate pauses are strictly prohibited. If you pause during a League Game at a moment that an Administrator determines is key or involves a combat engagement between Players such that your pause may provide at least one Team with an advantage or perceived benefit, you and your Team may be required to forfeit the League Game in addition to any other liquidated damages or other measures assessed to your actions. Pauses for the opposing Team are also considered inappropriate.

6.5 LAN RESTRICTIONS.

a. No person may participate in a LAN event on behalf of a Team unless that person is a Player on an approved roster submitted by a Team Captain pursuant to Section 5.3(f).

b. Players and Team Representatives will be provided with forms and other requirements that have strict deadlines in order to participate in a LAN event. Failure to complete the relevant forms and other requirements before the disclosed deadlines may jeopardize or cause revocation of a Team’s invitation to a LAN event, at which point the next highest Team in the standings will be invited instead.

c. Players are required to attend LAN events during the designated times of travel, as disclosed by an Administrator. Late arrival and early departures may be requested, but Hi-Rez is under no obligation to approve such requests.

d. LAN event invitations for Teams are restricted to Players, Team Captains, and Team Representatives. If the Team has managers that are not Players, Team Captains, or Team Representatives, Hi-Rez may approve their attendance on a case by case basis.

7. MISCELLANEOUS.

7.1 DISPUTES.

a. Definition. The term “Dispute” means any disagreement, controversy, claim, or other issue arising out of or relating to the League that is between you and one (1) or more of the following parties: Players, Team Captains, Team Representatives, and/or Teams (the “Offended Party”).

b. Negotiation. You agree to meet with the Offended Party and negotiate in good faith in order to resolve any Dispute which may arise between you and them.

c. Mediation; Right to Resolve Disputes. If an Administrator determines that a Dispute cannot be settled through negotiation, you and the Offended Party agree to try in good faith to settle the Dispute by mediation led by that Administrator. If settlement is not reached within seven (7) calendar days, any unresolved Dispute shall be submitted to Hi-Rez, who reserves the sole right to settle the Dispute by unilateral decision. You understand and agree that Hi-Rez’s unilateral decision shall be final and binding upon you and the Offended Party.

d. Temporary Freeze. You understand and agree that if you are involved in a Dispute, as a condition precedent to settlement or a final and binding decision by Hi-Rez, you and the Offended Party shall continue to perform and participate in the League as if no Dispute had occurred. If you fail to comply with this subsection, it will be deemed a waiver of your rights under these Rules and Hi-Rez may immediately issue a final and binding decision, including in favor of the Offended Party, and cite this provision as the sole reason for doing so (without the need for further explanation).

7.2 RULES VIOLATIONS.

a. Liquidated Damages. If Hi-Rez or an Administrator determines you are in breach of any provision of these Rules, you or your Team may be subject to liquidated damages, the amount of which shall be determined by Hi-Rez or an Administrator without the opportunity to appeal. Furthermore, you understand and agree that Hi-Rez reserves the right to deduct, divert, withdraw, or set-off the full amount of any liquidated damages assessed to you from any compensation Hi-Rez may owe to you, now or in the future. You shall, upon Hi-Rez’s request, promptly take such action and/or provide any such authorizations, consents, instructions, or other documentation, which may be required in furtherance of the foregoing.

b. Other Measures. If Hi-Rez or any Administrator determines you are or may be in breach of any provision of these Rules, you or your Team may be subject to disciplinary action at Hi-Rez’s or the Administrator’s sole discretion, including, without limitation, disqualification, suspension, forfeiture of any and all compensation associated with the League or Game, loss of God bans, loss of pause time, prohibition from attending future Hi-Rez events, loss of your Game account, etc. You shall, upon Hi-Rez’s request, promptly take such action and/or provide any such authorizations, consents, instructions, or other documentation, which may be required in furtherance of the foregoig.

8. RULES DISCLAIMER.

The names of individuals, groups, companies, products, and services mentioned herein, and any corresponding likenesses, logos, and images thereof reproduced herein, have been used for identification purposes only and may be the copyright properties and trademarks of their respective owners. The mention of any person, or the inclusion of a product or service as compensation, does not imply any association with or endorsement by such person and, unless otherwise indicated, no associated or endorsement is intended or should be inferred. The invalidify or unenforceability of any provision of these Rules will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision of these Rules is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, the other provisions will remain in effect and will be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained therein. Hi-Rez’s or an Administrator’s failure to enforce any of these Rules will not constitute a waiver of that provision.

All rules are subject to an Administrator’s interpretation. Hi-Rez reserves the right to modify, add, or delete any provision of these Rules at any time, without prior notice and/or reason. These Rules will be governed, construed, and interpreted under the laws of the State of Georgia, United States of America. Unless otherwise stated, all decisions made by an Administrator pursuant to these Rules are final and binding upon all applicable parties. If you do not agree with all of the rules and stipulations listed above, you may not participate in the League. By requesting entry into the League, you represent and warrant to Hi-Rez that you have read, understand, and agree to these Rules, and promise to act in compliance with these Rules at all times.