Gears Esports Handbook 2017 - 2018












The Official Handbook (“Handbook” or “Rules”) of the Gears Esports Pro Circuit (“Gears Pro Circuit” or “Competition”) applies to all Teams, Team Owners, Team Managers, Players, and Substitutes (“Participants”) who are actively participating in any event related to the Gears Pro Circuit.

The Gears of War 4 Pro Circuit Administration (“Administration”) consists of the following parties: The Coalition, Microsoft, and Major League Gaming ("MLG").

The Gears Pro Circuit consists of all online and offline activities that are governed by this Handbook.

Administration reserves the right to change or update the Handbook and Rules of the Gears Pro Circuit at any time.



All Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the Administration, Press, Sponsors, Attendees, and other Participants being represented.

By participating in the Gears Pro Circuit, Participants agree to abide by the following Gears Pro Circuit Code of Conduct. The official Gears Esports Code of Conduct can be found here.



No forms of cheating will be tolerated. This includes software modification, hardware modification, match fixing, hacking, exploiting game glitches, impersonation (including playing under another player’s account), collusion, or any other behavior as determined by the Administration or the tournament organizer.

Participants may not intentionally delay or slow gameplay, including but not limited to stalling, disconnecting network cables, interruption of network connectivity, or any other known or unknown manner of tampering with gameplay.



The use of drugs or alcohol may lead to disruptive behavior. Players believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during tournament hours may be removed from the tournament at the discretion of the Administration or tournament organizer. No references to illegal substances will be tolerated.



Players must not use obscene gestures, language, or offensive comments during tournament activity.

This includes:

  • Hate speech or discriminatory behavior

  • Violent or physical aggression or behavior

  • Threats

  • Sexual harassment of any kind

  • Racist or sexist words, phrases, or gestures

  • Extreme profanity

  • Any “sound-alike” or “look-alike” words or phrases that reference these topics

  • Any other type of conduct deemed inappropriate at the discretion of the Administration or tournament organizer

All players are expected to be respectful of the staff of the Administration, tournament organizers, sponsors, and/or partners.



Participants are expected to compete at the best of their ability at all times during the Gears Pro Circuit.



Participants may not conduct or promote betting or gambling on any Gears Pro Circuit match. Participants may not benefit directly or indirectly from betting or gambling on any Gears Pro Circuit match.



A “Player” is any person who is registered on the roster for a team during the Gears Pro Circuit. Players must meet the following requirements in their entirety in order to be eligible to compete. Players who do not meet these requirements will be deemed ineligible and will be removed from the Gears Pro Circuit until these requirements are met.

Administration reserves the right to investigate Player information when eligibility is in question. Players should be prepared to provide a copy of personal identification or other applicable documents to verify that these requirements are met.


3.1 AGE 

The Gears Pro Circuit is an 18+ program. For live events, competitors must be 18 years of age or older. Exceptions may be made for players 16 & 17 years of age with a parental consent form. Spectators must be 13 years of age or older with parental consent form, and spectators under 16 years of age will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Online competitions may be entered by players 13 + with the supervised purchase from a parent or guardian for any players under the age of 18.



Players must reside in the Region that they compete in for all online play.

Players are entitled to switch Regions if their citizenship or legal residence changes, subject to advance Administration approval, which shall be approved at the Administration’s sole discretion. In order to switch from one Region to another, a Player must forfeit all Gears Pro Points earned in their current Region. Players looking to switch from one Region to another must email



Players may not be employees of Administration or Affiliates at any point during the competition. Former employees of The Coalition, Microsoft, or any vendors that participated in the development of Gears of War 4 are not eligible to participate in the Gears Pro Circuit within 6 months of their final employment date.




Player Names and Team Names may not contain:

  • Obscene or suggestive language

  • Corporation, company, sponsor, product, or services names

  • The Coalition, Microsoft, Major League Gaming, or any shorthand of the aforementioned

  • Gears of War and Gears Esports derivatives that may cause confusion during gameplay

Administration reserves the right to restrict or change Team and Player names for any reason.



Players may only compete in their own Region’s Online Ladders and Online Pro Points Tournaments. Teams must only have Players who reside within their Region to compete in their own Region’s Online Ladders and Online Pro Points Tournament.

Regions are defined as listed below:

North America

  • Canada

  • United States

Latin America

  • Argentina

  • Bolivia

  • Brazil

  • Chile

  • Colombia

  • Costa Rica

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • El Salvador

  • Guatemala

  • Haiti

  • Honduras

  • Nicaragua

  • Mexico

  • Panama

  • Paraguay

  • Peru

  • Puerto Rico

  • Uruguay

  • Venezuela


  • Åland

  • Albania

  • Andorra

  • Armenia

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Bosnia Herzegovina

  • Bulgaria

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Faroe Islands

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Greenland

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Isle of Man

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Macedonia

  • Malta

  • Moldova

  • Monaco

  • Montenegro

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Republic of Ireland

  • Romania

  • Russia

  • San Marino

  • Serbia

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Turkey

  • Ukraine

  • United Kingdom

  • Vatican City


  • Australia

  • Bangladesh

  • Bhutan

  • Brunei

  • Cambodia

  • China

  • Fiji

  • French Polynesia

  • Guam

  • Hong Kong

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Japan

  • Laos

  • Macau

  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Mongolia

  • Myanmar

  • Nepal

  • New Caledonia

  • New Zealand

  • Northern Mariana Islands

  • Pakistan

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Philippines

  • Samoa

  • Singapore

  • Solomon Islands

  • South Korea

  • Sri Lanka

  • Taiwan

  • Thailand

  • Timor-Leste

  • Vanuatu

  • Vietnam



Players and Teams may acquire sponsorship. Administration reserves the right to restrict sponsor involvement.

Involvement from sponsors that fall into the follow categories is strictly prohibited:

  • No alcohol, tobacco or firearms

  • No drug related businesses

  • No gambling websites that promote free or pay services

  • No dating or personals sites

  • No adult products or services (Trojan, Viagra, etc.)

  • No debt services

  • No competitive gaming devices or services (Nintendo, Nintendo DS, PSP, PS3, PS4, etc.)

  • Non-Microsoft gaming consoles/platforms or set-top boxes with streaming TV, video, or gaming services

  • No online pharmacies

  • No religion or religious content

  • No political campaigns from candidates or issues

  • No adult content such as: excessive or distasteful language, nudity, overt/excessive sexuality images, or racy creative

  • No violence such as: content that depicts decapitation, excessive blood splatter, killing, gore, cruelty, rape, molestation, child abuse, repeated blows or shots inflicted upon people/creatures, violent blows to the head, guns/weapons pointed at head, guns/weapons pointed toward reader/audience, depictions of fatal injuries, people/creatures on fire, etc.

  • No defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or unlawful content

  • No hate speech or discrimination

  • No profanity

  • No illegal activity

Administration may allow sponsorship exceptions in some cases with prior approval.



All Matches will be played on Xbox One.



All Matches will be played 5v5.



All Matches will be played on Gears of War 4’s Escalation game mode.


5.3 MAPS 

All Games will be played on one of the following 7 Maps:

  • Dam

  • Forge Blitz

  • Foundation

  • Harbour

  • Impact

  • Lift

  • OldTown

  • Diner

  • Slab

Administration reserves the right to change Maps at any time.



5.4.1 Best of 1

The Higher Seeded Team will choose to act as Team A or Team B during the Map Ban process.

The Map Ban process is as follows:

  1. Team A bans 1 Map
  2. Team B bans 1 Map
  3. Team A bans 1 Map
  4. Team B bans 1 Map
  5. Team A bans 1 Map
  6. Team B bans 1 Map
  7. Team B bans 1 Map
  8. Team A picks Map 1 from remaining 2 Maps
  9. Team B picks Faction and Dedicated Server Location for Map 1

*For Online: Team that picks faction will Host match.

*For Offline: Match must be hosted on Neutral Host.


5.4.2 Best of 3 

The Higher Seeded Team will choose to act as Team A or Team B during the Map Ban process.

The Map Ban process is as follows:

  1. Team A bans 1 Map

  2. Team B bans 1 Map

  3. Team B picks Map 1

  4. Team A picks Faction for Map 1

  5. Team A picks Map 2

  6. Team B picks Faction for Map 2

  7. Team B bans 1 Map

  8. Team A bans 1 Map

  9. Team B bans 1 Map

  10. Team A bans 1 Map

  11. Remaining Map becomes Map 3

  12. Team B picks Faction for Map 3

*For Online: Team that picks faction will Host match.

*For Offline: Match must be hosted on Neutral Host.



The Host & Players will abide by the following settings:


5.5.1 Escalation Options

  • Fill With Bots: Off

  • Bot Difficulty: Casual

  • Round Score Limit: 210

  • Respawn Escalation: Normal

  • DBNO Time: 15

  • Friendly Fire: On

  • Weapon Respawns: After Pickup

  • Weapon Tuning: Competitive
    *Subject to change


5.5.2 Weapon Substitutions

  • None


5.5.3 Starting Loadout

  1. Lancer

  2. Gnasher

  3. Snub Pistol


  • Each team is only allowed one iteration of any character on the team at one time irrespective of character skin. For example, “Vintage Kait” is the same as “Armored Kait”. Please review event-specific rules pages for full listings of character appropriate iterations and duplicates.
  • A single COG team is only allowed 2 female characters.
  • Color Blast characters are banned in all competitive play.
  • A single team may only use one Day of the Dead Character and/or one Spectre Character.
  • A single COG team is only allowed one Zombie character. If a Zombie character is used, a non-Zombie iteration of that character may not be used as well. Ex: Zombie Dom and Commando Dom cannot be used at the same time.

The following characters may not be used in broadcasted matches:

  • Swarm Imago
  • Luchador/Wrestler Character Skins
  • Festive Character Skins
  • Day of the Dead Character Skins




Gears Pro Points will be earned by Players throughout the Gears Pro Circuit. Gears Pro Points will be used to seed Teams during the Gears Pro Circuit. In the event of a Gears Pro Points tie, all seeding ties will be broken randomly.


6.1.1 Seeding Between Regions 

In order to seed Teams against each other at a Gears Pro Circuit Event with Players from separate Regions, an Exchange Rate will be used to convert all Player’s Gears Pro Points.  The Exchange Rate for each Region will be based upon the maximum number of Gears Pro Points available in their respective Region at the time of seeding.


6.1.2 Point Decay

The Gears Pro Circuit may feature Point Decay(s). Point Decay is defined as an across-the-board devaluation of Gears Pro Points at a specific rate. On this date(s), all Gears Pro Points earned by all Players within the Gears Pro system earned prior to that date will be decayed. If the Point Decay date falls on a date of a Gears Pro Circuit event, Gears Pro Points earned for that event will not be included in the decay.


6.1.3 Pro Point Distribution

Each event will award a number of Gear Pro Points. Below are the points structures that may be used throughout the Season. Point structures may change. GameBattles Ladders

Per Win - 5 Points

First Win of the Day Bonus - 10 Points Microsoft Store Tournaments 250 Series

 1st - 250 Points per Player

 2nd - 150 Points per Player

 3-4th - 100 Points per Player 2000 Series

 1st - 2000 Points per Player

2nd - 1200 Points per Player

3rd-4th - 800 Points per Player

5th-8th - 600 Points per Player

9th-16th - 400 Points per Player

17th-32nd - 200 Points per Player

33rd-64th - 100 Points per Player 25000 Series

 1st - 25000 Points per Player

2nd - 15000 Points per Player

3rd - 11000 Points per Player

4th - 9000 Points per Player

5th-6th - 8000 Points per Player

7th-8th - 7000 Points per Player

9th-12th - 5500 Points per Player

13th-16th - 4500 Points per Player

17th-20th - 3000 Points per Player

21st-24th - 2750 Points per Player

25th-28th - 2250 Points per Player

29th-36th - 1750 Points per Player

37th-44th - 1500 Points per Player

45th-60th - 1000 Points per Player




In order to seed a Gears Pro Circuit Event, Teams are required to meet Roster requirements and submission deadlines. Rosters must submit a Team Name and all five Players before the start of the tournament. Rosters will nominate one Players to act as Team Captain. Teams may register one coach prior to the start of the tournament. Participants are not able to register as both a coach and a Player. Requirements and submission deadlines will be announced on an event-to-event basis. If a Gears Pro Circuit Event has preferential treatment, such as Teams starting in Pool Play or receiving travel stipends, Teams may be required to submit their roster by a different submission deadline to receive that benefit. Not meeting Roster requirements, submission deadlines or roster changes made after submission deadlines may result in forfeiture of seed, forfeiture from the event, and/or event specific travel coverage.


6.2.1 Roster Submission Changes

Players will be allowed to join and leave Rosters without restriction prior to the Roster Lock.

After the Roster Lock, Players and Coaches must submit requests via email, or request a change at Event Check-in (proof of emergency required to make at door changes) to make Roster changes. Both the Team Captain and the Player or Coach that is joining or leaving the Roster must approve the Roster Change.


6.2.2 Regional Restrictions

  • In order to be eligible for Pool Play, all Players on a Team must be of the same Region.

  • Open Bracket teams may include a maximum of one Player from a different Region. Teams with Players from multiple Regions will be seeded by Pro Points of the majority region players.



The top 8 placing Rosters from a Gears Pro Circuit event may auto-qualify into Pool Play for the following Gears Pro Circuit event, as long as these teams keep at least 4 out of 5 players on their Roster. If the Roster does not keep 4 of their 5 players, the Pool Play spot will be forfeited and the final Pool Play teams will be qualified via Pro Points in a Region at the Administration's discretion. All Rosters must be submitted by the Pool Play Roster Lock deadline posted for each event.



In order for Administration to sanction an event, an application must be submitted on at least eight weeks before the proposed event. Proposed events from sanctioned partners will be evaluated and awarded Gears Pro Points based on the following criteria which must be submitted at the time of application:

  • Tournament Format

  • Number of Teams

  • Qualification Process

  • Production Quality

  • Prize Money

  • Event Dates

All Sanctioned Events must abide by Handbook rules.


Administration reserves the right to broadcast any Match of the Gears Pro Circuit including online and offline play. Participants cannot refuse broadcasts authorized by Administration.

Administration reserves the right to reschedule any Match of the Gears Pro Circuit to accommodate a specific broadcast time. Participants cannot refuse this reschedule.

Refusing to allow Administration to broadcast or reschedule any Match may result in a penalty.


7.1.1 Broadcast Match Rules

These rules only apply to broadcast matches and override any other conflicting rules.

Match Scheduling: Players are required to be online and ready to play 30 minutes before their scheduled match. A scheduled match may be moved back if previous broadcast matches are running behind schedule but players should still be ready to play 30 minutes before their original scheduled start time. 

Player Communication: All players involved with broadcast matches will be directed to join a Discord channel. All match communication between staff members and players should happen in the assigned Discord channel. 

The following characters may not be used in broadcast matches:

  • Swarm imago

  • Luchador/Wrestler Character Skins

  • Festive Character Skins

  • Day of the Dead Character Skins



For Gears Pro Circuit Events, Teams will be required to be available for scheduled media content and photoshoots. Teams may be required to be in Administration approved uniform. Best efforts will be made to provide media and photoshoot details prior to arrival. Teams may need to be flexible depending on shooting schedules. Teams and Players may not refuse participation and any such behavior or tardiness may result in disciplinary action, including a penalty. Teams will be required to arrive and depart on specified days in order fulfill Media Day requirements.

For Match Interviews, each Team must nominate at least one Player to be available for interviews before, during, or after any Match of the Gears Pro Circuit. Nominated Players may not refuse to conduct an interview.



Teams may qualify for travel coverage to Gears Pro Circuit events based on Gears Pro Point rankings and roster submission. Travel coverage (travel and accomodations) is included for 5 Players.

North American Events - MLG
8 NA, 4 EU, 4 LATAM

North American Events - Non-MLG
8 NA, 3 EU, 3 LATAM

Latin American Events
8 NA, 3 EU, 8 LATAM

Travel Coverage may be provided in the form of either stipends or travel booked by the tournament organizer. Posted rules for each event will determine the specifics, including required arrival and departure days.



By participating in any Gears Pro Circuit event (including both online and offline play), or an Administration sanctioned or sponsored online or live event, players agree to be bound by the final decisions of the Tournament Organizer, Administration, and anyone acting on the Administration’s behalf.

Administration and/or Tournament Organizer can, at its sole discretion, take the following disciplinary actions depending on the severity of the infraction:

  • Partial or full removal of Gears Pro Points

  • Instant removal from an online or live tournament or event

  • Partial or full removal of travel coverage

  • Suspension or ban from some or all Gears Pro Circuit events

  • Withholding of partial or full prize money

  • Temporary or permanent suspension from: Xbox Live, Gears of War game platforms and services, and/or participation in a Gears Esports, Gears of War, and/or Microsoft online or live tournament or event

  • Pursue prosecution with the law or authoritative bodies for any illegal activities