Over the past couple of months the anticipation for the 2006 MLG Season has heated up to a boiling point, and Major League Gaming is thrilled to announce that the details have finally arrived. This year will certainly mark a major turning point for professional gaming, as MLG drives the nation’s fastest growing sport into the greater public consciousness. What you will find below is a complete explanation of how the 2006 Season will work, including the complete rules and regulations, tour schedule, event schedule, and other useful information about how this, the most exciting year yet for Major League Gaming, is all going to go down. We are incredibly excited about what lies in store for competitive gaming, and we hope that you are too. Please be sure to read this entire article carefully, because the league rules have been significantly altered to enhance competition. Read on to discover what the future of Major League Gaming holds, and rest assured that we have additional exciting news regarding 2006 in store for you shortly.

2006 MLG Schedule

Regular Season Event #1 – New York
April 21 – 23
Regular Season Event #2 – Dallas
May 19-21
Regular Season Event #3 – Anaheim
June 23 – 25
Regular Season Event #4 – Chicago
July 21-23
Regular Season Event #5 – Orlando
August 25 – 27
Wild Card & Playoffs – New York @ Digital Life
October 13 – 15
National Championship – Las Vegas
November 18-19

When an event date and venue location is finalized, we will make an official announcement on the homepage.

At the end of the 2006 Season, MLG will be taking the National Championships to Las Vegas, one of the liveliest and most exciting places on the planet.

2006 Season Format

Permanent Game Roster

Halo 2

Super Smash Brothers Melee (SSBM)

***Another title may be added to the roster at any time during the season.

Regular Season Event

Open Entry

Separated into Open and Championship competitions

No more than 128 teams can register for the Halo 2 Open 4v4

16 spots in the Open competitions will be reserved for Semi-Pro players / teams

No more than 1024 players can register for the Halo 2 Open FFA

560 spots in the Open FFA will be reserved for 4v4 participants

The top 16 eligible Halo 2 players / teams by point standings will automatically qualify
for their respective Championship competition.

The top 16 SSBM players / teams by point standings who register online will automatically qualify for their respective Championship competition.

Amateur players / teams are not eligible to receive an automatic bid into a Championship competition.

The top 16 players / teams in each Open competition will qualify for the respective Championship competition

No one failing to earn a spot in the Championship competition as part of an Open team will be allowed to participate in the corresponding Championship competition.

Playoffs Event

Separated into Wild Card (Open Entry), Playoffs (Invitation Only), Superstar (Invitation Only)

18 spots in the Open competitions will be reserved for Pro / Semi-Pro, players / teams

No more than 1024 players can register for the Halo 2 Open FFA

552 spots in the Open FFA will be reserved for 4v4 participants

No more than 128 teams can register for the Halo 2 Open 4v4

The top 7 eligible players / teams after the final Regular Season competition will automatically qualify for the respective Superstar competition as well as the National Championship

The eligible players / teams ranked 8th-14th after the final Regular Season competition will automatically qualify for the respective Playoffs competition

The player / team that wins each Wild Card competition will earn a spot in the respective Playoff competition

The player / team that wins each Playoffs event will earn a spot in the respective Superstar event as well as the National Championship.

National Championship

Qualified Participants Only. This will be comprised of the eight Halo 4v4 teams, 8 Halo FFA, 8 SSBM singles players, and 8 SSBM Doubles teams that qualify from the playoffs.

Player Movement / League Registration / Coaching for Halo 2

Professional

Pro Player – One who is a member of a team that has pro status or a player ranked in the top 16 by points.

Pro Team – The top 16 eligible teams based on cumulative 4v4 rank points. Once a team breaks into the top 16, they must turn pro. Pro teams dropping out of the top 16 will lose their pro status.

Pro Registration – Halo 2 teams must name a captain and register as pro immediately after they become eligible. SSBM teams don’t need to name a captain, but must also register as pro immediately after they become eligible. Players will be ineligible to participate in the next competition if they don’t register with the league after earning Pro or Semi-pro status.

Pro Benefits – Pro players and teams have automatic bids into their respective pro competition. They are also eligible to receive pro player stipends, applicable for those attaining top 16 in Halo2 4v4 and SSBM Singles.

Halo 2 4v4 Ranking – Teams will be ranked immediately following an competition. Even if their roster changes before the next competition, their ranking and status won’t change, as long as they maintain their eligibility, until after the next competition. If there is a tie, it will be broken by team performance at the most recent competition.

Substitute Ranking – Teams may declare a roster for post-competition ranking and status that is different from the roster they compete with at the upcoming competition. Members of the post-competition roster who are not on the upcoming competition roster must have been a member of the team’s roster for the previous competition. Members of the post-competition roster who are not on the upcoming competition roster can’t attend the upcoming competition with a different team. Members of the upcoming competition roster who are not on the post-competition roster will be considered as having filed for free agency during the post-competition Free Player Movement period. These players can’t be added back to the team during any of the post-competition player movement periods. Post-competition rosters must be submitted to Anakin@mlgpro.com before the start of the upcoming competition. If members of the post-competition roster who are not on the upcoming competition roster file for free agency or are traded or released during any of the post-competition player movement periods, the team will lose their status for the next competition.

Dream Team Clause – If an Amateur team is created that has enough points to be ranked in the top 4 of the Championship Bracket, they will be given the seed that their points indicate. However, all Pro and Semi-Pro teams will be considered as having a higher seed for host and color choice purposes.

Free Player Movement Period – Pro players can file for free agency and join another pro team without penalty. Pro captains can release 1 player without penalty. Free agents may join any team without penalty. Pro captains can make trades without penalty.

Restricted Player Movement Period – Pro players can file for free agency, but may not join a pro team for 1 competition. Pro captains can release 1 player, but may only replace that player with one who was a free agent prior to the restricted player movement period. Pro captains can make trades without penalty.

Highly Restricted Player Movement Period – Teams can only be changed if a member(s) is unable to attend. These players may only be replaced by someone who was unaffiliated with an attending team at the registration deadline.

Player Movement Deadline – No player movement is allowed beyond this date.

Filing for Free Agency – Players must submit their request via the website to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Gaming.

Player Release – Pro Captains must submit their request via the website to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Gaming.

Join Request – Free Agents and Pro Captains must submit their request via the website to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Gaming.

Trading – Trades may only be made between two pro teams. Trades must be submitted jointly by both pro captains via the website to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Gaming. Trades may only be made by moving 1 player for 1 player or 2 players for 2 players.

Captain Change – Pro teams who maintain their status may change their captain after a competition. The captain may relinquish the role and remain on or leave the team. Captain change requests must be submitted via the website to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Gaming.

Incomplete Teams – If a pro team is incomplete (less than 4 players) at the end of the restricted player movement period, it will lose its pro standing.

Team Disbanding – If a pro captain releases more than 1 player between 2 competitions, the team has been disbanded and will lose its pro standing as well as its eligibility for an automatic bid into the pro bracket at the next competition. If 3 players are changed due to any combination of player releases, trades, and free agency requests, the team has been disbanded and will lose its pro standing as well as its eligibility for an automatic bid into the pro bracket at the next competition.

Semi-Professional

Semi-pro Player – One who is a member of a team that has Semi-pro status or a player ranked 17th-32nd in a specific competition’s 2006 rank point standings.

Semi-Pro Eligibility – Teams must be ranked between 17th and 32nd by cumulative 4v4 rank points. Teams may not change more than 1 team member between competitions or they will lose their status.

Halo 2 4v4 Ranking – Teams will be ranked immediately following an competition. Even if their roster changes before the next competition, their ranking and status won’t change, as long as they maintain their eligibility.

Substitute Ranking – Teams may declare a roster for post-competition ranking and status that is different from the roster they compete with at the upcoming competition. Members of the post-competition roster who are not on the upcoming competition roster must have been a member of the team’s roster for the previous competition. Members of the post-competition roster who are not on the upcoming competition roster can’t attend the upcoming competition with a different team. Members of the upcoming competition roster who are not on the post-competition roster will be considered as having filed for free agency during the post-competition Free Player Movement period. These players can’t be added back to the team during any of the post-competition player movement periods. Post-competition rosters must be submitted to Anakin@mlgpro.com before the start of the upcoming competition. If members of the post-competition roster who are not on the upcoming competition roster file for free agency or are traded or released during any of the post-competition player movement periods, the team will lose their status for the next competition.

Highly Restricted Player Movement Period – Teams can only be changed if a member(s) is unable to attend. These players may only be replaced by someone who was unaffiliated with an attending team at the registration deadline.

Semi-Pro Advantages – Semi-Pro teams are automatically ranked above all Amateur teams in the 4v4 regardless of their individual FFA performance or total 4v4 points.

Semi-Pro Automatic Bid – Should a pro team not attend a Regular Season competition or lose their pro status, the highest ranked semi-pro team would receive an automatic bid into the pro competition, but still be considered a semi-pro team.

Amateur

Halo 2 4v4 Ranking – Teams will be ranked for the Championship Bracket based on their total 4v4 rank points.

Highly Restricted Player Movement Period – Teams can only be changed if a member(s) is unable to attend. These players may only be replaced by someone who was unaffiliated with an attending team at the registration deadline.

Ranking Tiebreakers – 1. 2006 points in the game’s other competition (i.e. Halo 2 FFA to break a Halo 2 4v4 tie). 2. 2005 points in the equivalent discipline. 3. 2005 points in the game’s other competition. 4. Most recent competition’s performance. 5. Coin Flip

Coaching

Registration – Halo 2 teams may have 1 coach. Coaches must register with the team online.

Participation – Individuals may not be registered as both a coach and a player. Individuals may not be the coach of more than one team at an competition. Player’s may not have a coach for the FFA.

Conduct – Coaches may not taunt the opposing team. Coaches may not look at an opposing player’s TV.

Pro Players’ Association

Guidelines
1. Halo 2 and SSBM will each have its own committee
2. The Halo 2 committee will consist of the captain of each Professional Halo 2 team.
3. The SSBM committee will consist of the Professional Singles players.
4. The members of each committee will elect a Chairman.
5. The members of each committee will elect a speaker from its group.
6. Should the Chairman lose his eligibility for committee membership, another Chairman must be elected.

Meetings
1. All player concerns / requests are open for presentation by the committee’s Chairman
2. After each meeting, the Chairman will prepare a document outlining the committee’s concerns / requests and email it to the Halo 2 Tournament Director and Commissioner of the League.
3. The attendance of committee members is expected but not required.
4. The Chairman is responsible for scheduling a meeting with the other committee members before each competition.
5. Meetings will take place on AOL Instant Messenger.
6. Only the speaker is allowed to present concerns / requests during meetings
7. The Commissioner of the League will respond to all committee members during the next event’s Free Player Movement Period.

MLG New York: Kickoff Classic Halo 2 Game Types

1. Team Slayer – Midship
2. Team Slayer – Lockout
3. Team Slayer – Warlock
4. Team Slayer – Ivory Tower
5. Team Slayer – Sanctuary
6. CTF Classic – Midship
7. CTF Classic – Warlock
8. CTF Classic – Sanctuary
9. CTF Classic – Beaver Creek
10. Team Ball – Midship
11. Team Ball – Lockout

MLG New York: Kickoff Classic Halo 2 Settings: 4v4

All Games
1. Resolve Ties = Off
2. Suicide Penalty = None
3. Motion Sensor = Off
4. Team Changing = Off
5. Respawn Time Modifier = None
6. Betrayal Penalty = None
7. Starting Weapon = Battle Rifle
8. Weapon Respawn = Double Time

Team Slayer (except Sanctuary)
1. Round Time Limit = 15 Minutes
2. Weapons on Map = No Duals

Team Slayer Sanctuary
1. Round Time Limit = 15 Minutes
2. Primary Turret = None
3. Weapons on Map = No Sniping

Team Ball
1. Score to Win Round = 5 Minutes
2. Round Time Limit = 15 Minutes
3. Weapons on Map = No Duals

CTF Classic Beaver Creek
1. Round Time Limit = 30 Minutes
2. Flag Reset Time = 15 Seconds
3. Flag Indicator = Always On
4. Weapons on Map = No Duals

CTF Classic Sanctuary
1. Round Time Limit = 30 Minutes
2. Flag at Home to Score = Off
3. Flag Touch Return = Off
4. Flag Reset Time = 10 Seconds
5. Flag Indicator = Off

CTF Classic Midship & Warlock
1. Score to Win Round = 5
2. Round Time Limit = 30 Minutes
3. Flag Reset Time = 15 Seconds
4. Flag Indicator = Off
5. Weapons on Map = No Duals

Effects of Changes

I. All game types have the same starting weapon and there is more uniformity with regard to available weapons up and down the map list. “Wild Card” game types like Snipers or Covenant that stick out in a Best of 5 series have been removed.

II. We removed four of our game types in an effort to use only the best of the best in our events. This also allows for a team with the possibility to enter into a Best of 11 the privilege of knowing they will always encounter the same 11 game types. Beaver Creek was removed as the weakest Team Slayer that couldn’t be resolved with the change of the weapon set. Team King and Neural Bomb Midship, as well as Team Ball Warlock were removed so that the tournaments focus more on the superior game types on those maps.

III. The plasma pistol is an overpowering weapon. Its extreme efficiency at both mid and close ranges had severely downplayed the importance of the shotgun because its efficiency is limited to close range. By removing the plasma pistol, players must rely more on their accuracy and skill at medium range. It can be used to control large portions of a map due to its ease of use and effectiveness. Players stand no chance in a 1 on 1 confrontation with a plasma pistol wielding opponent because they are often killed before they can fire a third shot. Removing the plasma pistols increases the number of battle rifle battles, with the better player more often coming out the winner. By removing the plasma pistols, it is more difficult for a player to go on extended killing sprees unless he or she consistently wins a 1 on 1 battle, or is assisted by a teammate. Lastly, the plasma pistol’s removal places an increased emphasis on teamwork.

IV. By removing the plasma pistol on Lockout and Beaver Creek, players are no longer able to fortify a large portion of the map. By removing the plasma pistol, teams are able to charge the opposing team without sacrificing a player. Charges are aided by the increased number of shotguns on the map. Finally, the lack of a plasma pistol increases the value of over-shields, which will now be a valuable pick up worthy of timing instead of something used to bait opponents.

V. In addition to the removal of the plasma pistols, the No Duals weapon set has removed the rarely used weapons throughout the map. These weapons are now replaced by ammo for the weapons used more frequently. This should reduce the number of stalemates where each team has run out of ammo. Battle Rifle ammo can now be picked up where human pistols and SMGs used to spawn. Carbine ammo can now be found where needlers and plasma rifles used to spawn.

V. The plasma pistol remains on in game types played on Sanctuary. The plasma pistol is much less effective due to the tendency for battles to take place over long distances. In addition, numerous map structures interfere with the plasma pistol’s effectiveness in medium range situations.

VI. Teams can now score when their flag is not at their base on Sanctuary. This will put an end to the stalemates we saw last season. On Beaver Creek, the flag indicator is always visible for both teams. With this option enabled teams can see where the opponent is running with their flag. The amount of obstructions on the map allow for a player without flag indicator to enter the opposing team’s as well as leave with the flag undetected. Now, control of the map will be required to capture flags. We have adjusted the rules so that players may now toss the flag through the side windows to make scoring slightly easier in the game type that has increased in difficulty.

VII. In an attempt to reduce the length of tournament matches, we have shortened all Team Slayer and Team Ball games to 15 minutes.

MLG New York: Kickoff Classic Halo 2 Schedule

Friday – 2-player Split Screen
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sign-in/Warm-up
7:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Welcome
7:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Open FFA Round 1
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Open FFA Round 2
9:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Open FFA Round 3
9:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Open FFA Round 4*
10:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Open FFA Round 5*
10:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Open FFA Round 6*
11:00 PM – 11:30 PM
Open FFA Round 7* / Losers Bracket Semifinals*
11:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Losers Bracket Finals Bracket
*Players have the option of using a full screen

Saturday – 1-2 TVs Open 4v4, Full Screen Championship FFA, 1-4 TVs Championship 4v4
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Sign-in/Warm-up
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Open Winners Bracket Round 1
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Open Losers Bracket Round 1
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Open Winners Bracket Round 2
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Open Losers Bracket Round 2
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Open Losers Bracket Round 3
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Open Winners Bracket Round 3
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Open Losers Bracket Round 4*
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Open Winners Bracket Round 4/Losers Bracket Round 5*
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Open Losers Bracket Round 6*
3:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Championship FFA 8-player Round Robin
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Championship 4v4 Winners Bracket Round 1
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Championship 4v4 Winners Bracket Round 2/Losers Bracket Round 1
8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Championship 4v4 Winners Bracket Round 3/Losers Bracket Round 2
9:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Championship 4v4 Losers Bracket Round 3
10:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Championship 4v4 Losers Bracket Round 4
*Teams have the option of using 1-4 TVs

Sunday – Full Screen Championship FFA, 1-4 TVs Championship 4v4
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Warm-up (All Stations Open for Free Play)
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Championship 1v1 Winners Bracket Round 1
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Championship 1v1 Winners Bracket Round 2/Losers Bracket Round 1
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Championship 1v1 Winners Bracket Round 3/Losers Bracket Round 2
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Championship 1v1 Losers Bracket Round 3
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Championship 1v1 Losers Bracket Finals
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Championship 1v1 Championship Match
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Championship 4v4 Winners Bracket Round 4/Losers Bracket Round 5
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Championship 4v4 Winners Bracket Finals/Losers Bracket Round 6
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Championship 4v4 Losers Bracket Round 7
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Championship 4v4 Losers Bracket Finals
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Championship 4v4 Championship Match

MLG New York: Kickoff Classic SSBM Schedule

Saturday
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Sign-In / Warm-Up
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Open Doubles Pool Play
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Open Doubles Bracket
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Open Singles Pool Play
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Open Singles Bracket

Sunday
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Sign-In / Warm-Up
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Championship Doubles Bracket
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Championship Singles Bracket