11.02.2018
ESL to suspend rule on roster change for Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice
Suspension of rule 2.12.1.1 now allows Team Liquid, VP & Renegades to compete with their new lineups.

Rule to be suspended

2.12.1.1 Restrictions for Adding New Players
.... A player can only join an IEM participant if he has not been playing for more than one other team in ESL Pro Gaming competitions during the last 120 days…
The official IEM rulebook can be found here.


Over the last few weeks several teams, Team Liquid, Virtus.Pro and Renegades have all reached out informing ESL about adjustments to their rosters ahead of Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice.

VP have brought in MICHU who played for Kinguin in the event’s qualifiers. Team Liquid`s new player, NAF, participated with Renegades. Even Renegades themselves have brought in a player who participated for another during the qualifiers.

Neither of these roster moves are allowed under our current ruleset. However, after discussing the matter we have decided to suspend the rule in question and allow these teams to compete in Katowice with their new lineups.  

Reasoning behind the suspension of 2.12.1.1

The rule that`s in place right now renders a player who played in a qualifier for one team ineligible to play for a different team in any other stage of the tournament.

The intention behind the rule is to counteract frequent and hostile roster-changes, to ensure more affluent teams can't poach talent from lesser affluent teams and to encourage stability within the professional scene. However, in its present iteration the rule severely limits the talent pool for teams that need to switch players in the time-frame between a qualifier and the main event.

Since several teams were affected and limited by this rule leading into Katowice we have decided to suspend this rule for this particular event.

Moving forward

Allowing the roster moves for IEM Katowice comes after similar discussions at past events where our thinking concluded differently. It's worth noting that working with rules is always a process. Their function is to provide transparency, create an equal playing field and work as positive safeguards against abuse. Right now we recognize that this particular one is not working as intended.

After Katowice we will review the ruleset governing players transfers in more detail to see if we can better the system and offer flexibility to teams that we believe is needed.

Finally, the roster changes on Astralis and Gambit are not affected by any rules. They are also allowed.