The Evolution Championship Series represents the largest and longest-running fighting game tournaments in the world. Tournaments are an opportunity to meet people from different countries and different walks of life who share a passion for games. They also serve as a meeting grounds where gamers can finally hang out with friends from thousands of miles away whom they might have only talked to online.
Nevertheless, a major part of tournaments is about determining an eventual champion. We all have a competitive spirit within us, otherwise, we wouldn’t be attending tournaments in the first place. As the stakes are raised, so is the pressure to perform... And that's exactly why rules are needed - even if they can be weird and difficult to understand at times, the organizer most likely put them in there because at one point someone tried to pull a fast one and cheat their way to the top.
20 Bracket Seeding
All players in the tournament will be “seeded by region”. Players will be placed in a bracket that minimizes the chances of them playing against someone who lives in close physical proximity to them. This increases the likelihood that they will play against players whom they have not played against before.
19 Choosing Characters
There are 3 methods for choosing characters. Standard Selection, Double-Blind Selection, and Side and Character Courtesy. If the players do not discuss the method of character selection, it should be understood that the Standard method is being used - i.e. both players choose their characters whenever they want. If the players cannot come to an agreement on the method of character selection, the judge will apply the double-blind method.
18 Choosing Sides
When both players are at the game console, they must come to an agreement which side of the machine they will play on - who will sit on 1p and who will sit on 2p.If an agreement cannot be reached, a game of rock-paper-scissors will determine who gets to pick their side.
17 Stage Select
For most of the games, the players will have to agree on a stage within fifteen seconds. If they're unable to come to an agreement, the match will be random stage select. Depending on the game, there can be stages that give certain characters an unfair advantage, and with random select, there's always a chance of getting one of those arenas.
16 The Inevitable Defeat Rule
This is defined as when a player has legally won the round or match but pauses the game before the game awards the round won icon, he will still be awarded the win. However, if the attack does not kill the opponent, then the mid-game pause rules are in effect.
15 Yellow Cards
A Player makes it to the semi-finals where he uses excessive trash talking. He wins his match, but the director issues a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct. During the finals, the player stops his match for a restroom break. This is a mandatory yellow card violation. Being his 2nd yellow card, he receives a mandatory red card. He's eliminated from the tournament even though he hasn't lost a match.
14 Reporting Rule Violations
It is the responsibly of the players in the match to detect all match rule violations and report them to a judge immediately. A player is only allowed to stop a game to report a rule violation when that violation occurs during the match. Stopping a Game to erroneously report a rule violation automatically results in the forfeiture of the round by the player who stopped the game.
13 The Reporting Judge
A judge is actually allowed to report any rule violations on behalf of any of the players. If a judge stops a game to misreport a rule violation, the Game will be replayed with both players picking the same characters, order, and side. No one will be disqualified for this.
12 Non-Gameplay Rule Violations
ALL non-gameplay rule violations must be reported to a Judge before the Game starts (e.g. the winner switching the characters after winning one Game in a Match).Players are not allowed to stop a Game in progress to address a non-gameplay related rule violation. Stopping a Game in progress to report a non-gameplay rule violation will result in the forfeiture the round on the part of the person stopping the game.
11 Failure To Report Immediately
During a Street Fighter match, your opponent uses the Guile handcuff glitch to run down the timer 15 seconds. 1 minute later, near the end of the match, you see that you’re losing and stop the match to report the violation. Since you didn’t report the violation immediately, it is ignored, and since you’ve stopped the match, you are now forced to forfeit. Be careful.
10 Accidental Shutdown
A player is up 1 round to 0 against his opponent when he accidentally kicks the power-strip, turning the console off. Since this is an unauthorized stoppage of play, the player is forced to forfeit the Round. Since the game cannot continue from the point where it left off, the player is forced to forfeit the entire game.
9 Mid-Game Pause Rule
Deliberately pausing the game at any time during the fight will force the player to forfeit the round. We all know accidents happen though, and sometimes in the heat of battle it's easy to hit the pause button. Unfortunately, it still counts and even accidents will cause the player to forfeit the round.
8 The Random Select Rule
It's ok for players to use “Random Select” when it's time to pick their character. However, if the player wins the match, he or she must use “Random Select” again, provided that there is no way for them to pick a certain character in the random box - i.e. the character they just used to get the win.
7 Own Equipment
Players must provide their own controller for games played on all systems. It's possible to share controllers with other entrants, but it will be the player's responsibility to make sure he has a controller available in case both entrants are playing at the same time. Failure to do so results in a forfeit. Brook Converters are allowed. Cronus Max Plus and Titan One converters are banned.
6 Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition
When playing Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, there are a few stages that are not tournament legal, such as the Training Stage, Skies of Honor, Flamenco Tavern, and Kanzuki Beach stages are all off-limits. The reason these are banned is that sometimes the graphic decorations of the background overwhelm the fight, they're distracting, confusing, or can put some players at an unfair advantage.
5 Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat has been a shockingly violent game ever since the first installment in the franchise. That's probably the reason why all entrants must be 18 or older in order to enter. Those between 13 and 17 must have a signed waiver in order to play. Other rules regarding MK11 is that the winner must keep the same character, and unlike most other games; stage select is always random.
4 Tekken And Soul Calibur
For both Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur VI players are not allowed to do any customizing. That means there will be no customizing colors, names or items at any time before or during a tournament match. Any player who does so will automatically be given a loss - so that's probably not worth it then?!
3 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Stage Selection
The first stage is decided in a best of 1 game of rock paper scissors. The winner may choose to either strike a stage first or select a port first. Stages are struck in a P1-P2-P2-P1 order. The following stages are decided by the winner striking two stages from all stages and then loser choosing.
2 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The winning player can change character for the next match, but has to pick before the loser selects character. You can't pick a stage you have previously won on unless mutually agreed upon. You can't play on a stage that is not on the available stages list. This will result in a double disqualification. If a game ends with a self-destruct move, the results screen will determine the winner.
1 Recording Matches
EVO allows recording to the extent that you don’t upload the footage. They expect it to keep it to yourself and for your own personal use. The reason for this is of course because they have their own production team on the job and don’t want any of the footage on the internet before they have a chance to release it.