Midwest Dota 2 League – Rulebook

MD2L – Rulebook

All rules are subject to change and are not comprehensive. All changes will be voted on by the admin team and captains will be notified of any and all changes. 


To bring a TI-like experience to the Midwest through a league built on integrity and community.

Table of Contents:

  1. Player Conduct Rules
  2. Player Eligibility
  3. Team Sign Ups
  4. Group stage and Online Scheduling
  5. Stand in Policy
  6. In game/Lobby
  7. Tournament Weekend Rules
  8. Reprimands/Punishments
  9. Information/Other

Player Conduct

All of the following player conduct rules are enforced within any MD2L related discord, team communication (including team discord servers), and during MD2L games and scrims within the team chat and all chat. 

  1. No racism, sexism, personal attacks, or excess profanity

  1. Players are expected to present themselves with good sportsmanship and always reflect the MD2L mission statement with their action. This includes promoting a welcoming culture for any player that joins MD2L.

  1. No excess banter, all chatting, tipping, or use of voice lines to the point of harassing or targeting a player on an opposing team.

  1. No displays of egregious, disrespectful, or toxic behavior will be tolerated in any MD2L official scrimmage or match.

The admin team may review any replay if a situation that may disrupt the integrity of the community within MD2L occurs. If any player feels they have been abused or bullied by another player or teammate they can reach out to an admin and the situation will be fully investigated.

Player Eligibility 

MD2L tournaments are organized so teams are relatively fair for any player to join. This is accomplished through pre-made teams promoting equal distribution of rank among all teams and players. 

  1. All players must play on the account they registered with. Under no circumstance shall a player register under someone else’s account or under any account that has not been verified or has been found to be ineligible. 

  1. A player must be “verified” by a member of the admin team in order to document that he or she is playing at a skill level representative of the player’s calibrated badge on a publicly displayed profile. Only verified players can participate in MD2L

  1. Verified players are not allowed to use their smurf accounts or any alternate account for any official MD2L match unless previously approved by an admin. 

  1. Player MMR adjustments can be made by the admin team if a player is showing signs of playing at a higher skill level than what is represented by their current badge. This can affect stand-in status. 

Example: If a player has a 60% win rate account with 200 games played and claims to not be a smurf account and there is no proof of account sharing or smurfing, an MMR adjustment may be made by the admin team prior to the end of signups. This is also used to determine if a player is ineligible to stand in or sub in group stage games or main stage games.

  1. To preserve the amateur aspect of MD2L, semi-professional or professional MOBA players are not eligible to compete in the league. Exceptions can be made for individual events and these exceptions will be announced at the outset. 

If any player is found to be lying or misleading the community in any way, then that player and any players who contributed to any deceptive actions will be subject to punishment at the discretion of the admin team. 

Team Signups 

  1. MD2L is an amateur league, as such, an MMR cap will be enforced on all teams. All players on the teams must be in the MD2L discord and have the “Verified Player Role”. 

  1. All players must submit time stamped screenshots of their MMR to their captains within 72 hours of signing up. 

  1. All entry fees must be paid in full through the MD2L website (https://www.md2l.gg/shop). Fees are no longer accepted on an individual basis. The captains of each team must collect payments from their players and submit the payment on the website. 

  1. Any player that captains a team must be in “good standing” within the MD2L community. 

  1. Adjustments: Occur for 6k + mmr

>6k (current MMR - 6000)*2 + 6000 or MMR over 6k counts double towards cap

>6.5k 2.5x(current - 6500) + 7000

Rank sitting and sandbagging will be reviewed on an individual basis and small adjustments will be made on the most egregious situations. 

Group stage and Online Scheduling

Default game time is set at Wednesdays @8pmCST/CDT. The purpose of a “default time” is to be used as a last resort if scheduling conflicts exist among the teams playing. All games must be put on the calendar within the MD2L discord after being scheduled. 

If any matchups need to be rescheduled outside of the allotted week, both teams must be in agreement, have admin approval, and reschedule before default day. If the rescheduled matchup is not played at the agreed upon time teams will default at a 0-0 and no points will be awarded. Once the match is scheduled, it cannot be rescheduled further away from the allotted week. 

Default Time:

1. Captains won’t be punished for using default time as a last resort.

2. If captains are found to be abusing “forcing default time as a means of a competitive advantage” forfeits may be used as consequences. 

3. If captains cannot agree on a time to play then default time will be in effect. 

4. Captains shall work actively and in good faith to schedule a match that is optimal for all players on both teams. 

Roster Lock:

1. Prior to roster lock, players may be replaced/traded without penalty, using sign up mmr to fit under the cap. Captains may not be traded, but if their team is fully disbanded they have the opportunity to join another team at admin discretion. 

2. Rosters will lock after a team’s 5th group stage match is played. When roster lock is in effect, players cannot be kicked by the captain and will only exit the team by their own choice.

3. Exceptions to this rule due to excessive toxicity can occur at admin discretion and investigation. 

4. If a player needs to leave the team after roster lock, there will be an MMR penalty for the replacement player based upon the player being permanently replaced. The penalty starts at -100 MMR from either their sign up or current MMR (whichever is higher) the week after roster lock. This is increased by -100MMR each week, to a maximum of -500 MMR

Lobby Rules

1. Both teams must have their full, approved team of 5 within the lobby at match start time.

2. A maximum of 2 subs can be used at one time.

3. If a team is not fully present at start time, the captain of the present team must send a screenshot of the lobby to the admin team, demonstrating that the opposing team was not accounted for. 


Game 1 is a coin flip between teams. Game 2 is the loser of the coin flip having priority. During the playoffs, the team with the higher seed will have priority for game 3..

Lobby Settings

  1. Game Mode: Captains Mode
  2. Server: US East (if both captains agree, the server can be changed) 
  3. Lobby Visibility: Public
  4. Cheats: Disabled

Gameplay Rules

  1. Spectators: Enabled
  2. DotaTV Delay: 2 Minutes
  3. Pausing: Unlimited
  4. Series type: Best of 3
  5. Previous match ID: Leave blank



  1. Matches should be ticketed with the current MD2L league ticket. 
  2. If ANY captain is part of an unticketed lobby and/or not using the registered team, for two games in a row (an entire series), then they will be punished with a 70 second draft penalty on their next series.


A total tally of six unticketed games will result in a ban from captaining next season. (these reset each MD2L season) 

Tardy Policy

  1. 20 minutes: forfeit of the first game
  2. 30 minutes: forfeit of both games
  3. 3 forfeit series in a row during groups will result in a disqualification. The default process for DQ’d teams (for any reason) is to 0-0 their schedule out and treat that week as a bye


Standin Policy: 


  1. Stand-ins must be verified players. A team using a non-verified sub should be brought to admin attention immediately. The team will automatically forfeit the matches for using a non-verified player. 
  2. Stand-in info must be passed along to the opposing captain when its known who the stand-in will be. 

Active tournament players may stand in but require admin approval. All stand ins must have been verified by an admin before playing. If an admin is unavailable to player must fit the following guidelines:

  1. The stand-in is at or below the player's current signup mmr.
  2. The player has a public profile and the dotabuff or opendota is sent to the opposing team's captain. 
  3. The player has a reasonable amount of games and win rate, and their badge is an accurate representation of their skill. Examples below:

<500 games <50% Win Rate

1000 games <55% Win Rate

2000 games <60% Win Rate

If a captain is found to be abusing this, the games with an inappropriate stand-in will be reviewed by the admin team and can result in punishment including but not limited to: losing this privilege, only being allowed to use admin-approved stand-ins, forfeit of future or current games. 


In game Policies:


Light banter, including chat wheel use and tipping is allowed unless the opposing team states otherwise. If they feel all-chatting is being abused the captain of the opposing team can call “No All Chat”. If the banter continues the game should be paused to allow time for the team to mute the all chatting team. 

* A “no all chat” call does not include the use of voice lines or tips. If you would like to report enemy communication that you are unsure of, then please reach out to the admin team. 

Ending a game: 

All matches should be played under the registered team names. Calling “GG” will officially end a match. GG will officially end any match and can only be done by the team’s captain if the team is in a disagreement for finishing the game. Should a captain cancel a “GG” called by one of their teammates, the captain needs to immediately pause the game and explain the situation to the opposing team. If a pause is not immediate the opposing team will win the game and the original “GG” call will be in effect.

In between games:

Teams are allowed a max of 10 minutes in between games as a break. If a team isn’t fully present after the 10 minute max allowed break tardy policies will go into effect. 



Teams are allowed 10 minutes of total pause time per game in the event of a disconnect or other problems that may arise Once the 10 minutes of pause time is up, the game must resume.  If a team has paused for 10 or more minutes and refuses to continue playing, the team refusing to continue playing is required to forfeit. 

BM Pausing:

Punishable in growing increments. Each punishment takes effect in the next game. Game 1 of a BO2 punishment will occur in game 2.Game 2 of a BO2 punishment will be in next series

1st offense: 30 second draft penalty

2nd offense: 70 second draft penalty

3rd offense and subsequent offenses: 110 sec draft penalty and the BM pausing player is suspended for next scheduled series. Offenses reset seasonally.


Tournament Weekend


If there is a tie along the dividing line, tiebreaker matches will be played:

Upper Bracket and Wild Cards

Wild Cards and Elimination

Tiebreaker matches:

Two-teams tie: Bo3

Three-teams or more tie: One round-robin, Bo1. The order of matches is selected by random. If one round-robin bo1 cannot determine a winner, the next tiebreaker is time rating:

  1. (Time of longest loss) - (Time of fastest win)
  2. The team(s) with the highest result go to the next round.

For other ties that is not on a dividing line but needs to resolve proper seeding:

Compare the matchup history of the tied teams.

If this immediately reduces the amount of teams tied, or separates them in 2 groups of ties, reapply this rule to the new groups until it doesn't produce any more results before moving forward.

Compare their wins vs the seed right below them. Repeat until resolved.

 If this reduces the amount of teams tied or separates them in 2 groups of ties, start again at 1. If it doesn't, repeat this rule with the next team below them.

Compare their results to the team immediately above them. 

If this reduces the amount of teams tied or separates them in 2 groups of ties, start again at 1. If it doesn't, repeat this rule with the next team above them.

Coin toss


In the unfortunate event that a community member must be reprimanded for any actions that break the rules or threaten the integrity of the MD2L community. Actions will be at the admins discretion on an individual basis. 

  1. Suspensions: (any form or length) may result from minor offenses including but not limited to general toxicity, abandoning events, etc. 
  2. Bans: (any form or length) may be issued without warning for major offenses including but not limited to: bullying, racism, sexism, repeated suspensions, smurfing
  3. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Bad conduct within games include excessive all chatting, throwing matches, manipulation of rules, or exploitation of bugs

The admin team has the right to hand out necessary punishments based on the best interest of the community, even if the actions are not directly, or explicitly stated within the rulebook of MD2L. 



Website: www.md2l.gg

Contact: matt@md2l.org

Discord Link: https://discord.gg/uhbPg6T

Player Verification Form Link: https://forms.gle/srtNkV17k65CMmg7A

Rulebook Link (PDF)
This is another set of rules