As the open qualifiers for IEM Oakland begin, we announce that the IEM rulebook has been updated in regards to the relation of participating teams and regional affiliation. With this update, a team can apply to participate in a qualifier held outside of their home region and will be granted entry to the qualifier if they match the criteria listed below.
The intention of the original rule was to prevent teams from switching to another region for an easier path for qualification to the main event while taking away qualifying slots to teams that the qualifiers are intended for. The new ruling will still achieve that without punishing teams that are unable to play in their own region for valid reasons.
2.7.5 Country/Region of Qualifiers
Qualifiers for Intel Extreme Masters, including invitations, are usually restricted to a country, a region or a sub-region (we will call it region for the rest of the paragraph). A 1on1 player or team is only allowed to take part in qualifiers for their respective home region.
With the updated rule, exceptions are possible. If the ESL league administration team determines that there is a valid reason why a team would be unable to attend all required parts of the qualifier in their home region and why a team should be allowed play the qualifier in the region suggested by the team.
This has to be requested actively by the team, and separately for each individual case.
Examples for such reasons are
There are no qualifiers in the home region(s) for the team and the team is willing to travel to the region of the qualifier to play it.
The team is taking part in (a) competition(s) in a region other than their home region(s) and has matches to play there before and after and in such close timely proximity to the qualifier(s) in their home region(s) that travelling back for that qualifier(s) would be unreasonable.
The team is staying in another region for good reason (esports-related) for a prolonged time that spans over the time of the qualifier for their home region and it can be clearly shown that this condition has not been created to be able to take part in a qualifier that might be easier to qualify from.
For all rule purposes, if such an exception has been granted, the respective region will be considered that team's home region for the entire event or (if that happens before the end of the event) until the conditions for the exception expire.
The above rule is active for the IEM Oakland qualifiers and will be used for all of our future events.