Welcome to Season 5 of the AHGL!
The AHGL is a fun, modern take on traditional corporate team-building. Instead of playing softball or basketball, corporate teams duke it out for charity on the virtual playing fields of the world’s most popular strategy games.
Adding CS:GO, Dota 2, and Hearthstone this season, the AHGL will be bigger and better than ever! Will your company be the next AHGL champion?
Table of Contents
- AHGL Season 5 timeline
- Common questions
- Code of conduct
- So you want to be a captain
- Employer permission
- Charity permission
- Finding players
- Creating a team
- Player profiles
- Registration fees
- The role of the team captain
- Weekly schedule of the league
- Communicating with the AHGL
AHGL Season 5 Timeline
|Teams registration||September - November 14, 2014|
|Team profiles, player bios due||December 5, 2014|
|Registration ends, payment due||November 14, 2014|
|Late registration ends||November 21, 2014|
|Preseason matches announced||December 1, 2014|
|Corporate permissions due||December 5, 2014|
|Pre-season||December 7 & 14, 2014|
|Regular season start||January 11, 2015|
|Mid-season roster update||TBD|
Team Registration: Pick a captain and begin the signup process. Over the next few weeks, you’ll obtain corporate permissions, select a charity, take a team photo, and have players complete bios. Payment is due by the end of registration, and everything except corporate permissions must be completed (start this early though!).
Late Registration: This is the last chance to complete signup, and there’s an additional $100 fee per team if you miss the regular registration deadline. If you’re worried about timing, please contact us.
Preseason: Two weeks of practice matches using the same rules and weekly deadlines as the regular season. The pre-season is mandatory so that the AHGL and teams can work out logistic kinks before prizes are on the line! See the Official Ruleset and Code of Conduct.
Corporate permissions due: Team captains must submit proof of corporate AND charity permission by this date in order to qualify for the current Season. This is a firm deadline. Please note that for this Season, we do NOT need logo permission as we will NOT be displaying corporate logos.
Regular season: The Regular Season will run for a few months and the exact structure is announced prior to season start. During the Regular Season select matches will be broadcast and the website will be updated with match results and replays.
Mid-Season roster update: This is a chance for teams to update their rosters. Players can move between company teams, be added or removed. When trading between teams within a company, at most 2 players are allowed to migrate onto or off of any single team.
Playoffs: Top teams will compete in a playoff tournament bracket. If there are enough teams, we’ll offer multiple playoff brackets, separated by skill levels.
Grand finals: CHANGE FROM PRIOR SEASONS: It’s very likely finals for this season will be played and casted online. More details will be released closer to playoffs.
Check out our FAQ
Code of Conduct
The After Hours Gaming League is a community and we want everyone to enjoy themselves and feel included. Try to actively contribute to create a fun environment for everyone inside and outside of the League! The following is a limited list of guidelines:
- - Have fun.
- - Be nice.
- - Help anytime you can.
- - Respect all players and teams both publicly and privately.
- - Keep all interactions safe for work.
- - Contact us directly if you have a criticism or complaint about the league, players, teams, etc.
The following infractions will result in penalties to be decided on a case by case basis by the League administrators. Possible penalties include but are not limited to team/player bans for any amount of time including future seasons and forfeit of matches.
- - Cheat – if you have to ask, it’s probably a bad idea.
- - Mean, hurtful, or insulting behavior.
- - Releasing lineups late.
- - Not showing up for your match.
- - Keeping players who have left the company.
- - Poor sportsmanship in or out of game.
- - Starting or contributing to flame wars.
- - Any NSFW communications, (e.g. nudity, sex, discrimination)
So You Want to Be a Captain
You probably still have a lot of questions, or just want some help and advice. This section digs deeper into details.
Obtaining permission from your employer. Start early.
Securing company permission is often the longest step in registering a team, so start early.
ESports is a new concept and getting your corporation to understand it may take some work! All teams must secure permission to use their employer’s name in conjunction with their AHGL team. This section should help you explain the AHGL to your company.
We recommend you begin by contacting your internal HR representatives to set up an in-person meeting regarding a corporate AHGL team. Take your team members with you for this meeting so your company can get a sense of your collective enthusiasm. Here’s a sample email to set up the meeting. If we receive a request from your company to stop using your company name, we will delete the team(s) from the league, and they will forfeit all ranking and prize potential with no refund.
Explain the game and the entire eSports movement. Bring with you the Forbes article and Wall Street Journal article about eSports, and a team page from a previous Season. Also bring the the introductory letter from the AHGL, which includes the permission form and specifics of how the company name will be used.
Emphasize that the AHGL is a corporate team-building experience, and an excellent recruitment tool. All of AHGL’s games are widely played at universities by top students, and having an AHGL team suggests that the participating corporation is a fun, dynamic and modern workplace. Past teams report that college recruiters were among their biggest allies:
“Through the college recruiting people, we got our company to pay for the flight to the Grand finals, our team shirts and even rent a theater for the finals party.”
Show that AHGL is a professional League which emphasizes fun competition, and that AHGL de-emphazises traditional corporate rivalries. This will be important to your PR people, who may be concerned that inter-corporate battles will be replayed in game battles.
If your HR representative doesn’t understand, or is unresponsive, try networking within your corporation to find someone with the right connections. Brand managers, PR departments, and senior employees are also great to contact.
Obtaining charity permission.
The AHGL is a corporate eSports league AND a fundraiser for charity. Each corporate team is asked to select a charity for which it will play. Many companies have approved or preferred charities, so check there first!
If your team places high enough, the AHGL will make a donation to your chosen charity on your behalf. Charities are generally thrilled to be included in the After Hours Gaming League, as your support not only gives them a chance at the grand prize, but also invaluable exposure and an opportunity to generate direct donations from the AHGL audience.
To assist you, we have also included an introductory letter to your charity, which briefly explains the AHGL’s purpose and goals and explains how the charity’s name will be used on the team homepage.
It is absolutely critical that you obtain permission from your corporation and your charity. Without it, you will be unable to participate in Season 5 of the AHGL. Make it your first priority!
Get the word out! Even if you personally know enough employees to form a team, you will probably be amazed at how many players will emerge after you make your announcement and make more teams.
- -Post in internal corporate newsletters, blogs, forums and email lists.
- -Put up flyers and signs in-house. Note - download and open in Reader for auto-fill.
- All Games Flyer
- CS:GO Flyer
- Dota 2 Flyer
- Hearthstone Flyer
- League of Legends Flyer
- StarCraft II Flyer
- -Network among other employees and ask them to spread the word.
- -Search and post in AHGL threads on community sites like teamliquid.net, reddit.com, etc.
- -Reach out to new employees, they’re often among your best players and may not be well connected in the company to hear about it.
Creating a team
- -Each company must fill a roster with between 7 and 12 players. The team captain is not required to play.
- -Only full-time employees (35+ hours) are eligible to appear on a company’s roster.
- -Contractors, temporary employees and pros are excluded from playing (along with interns and co-ops in some cases, see FAQ), but may coach or captain.
- -Each player must edit their profile to answer the “Player Profile” questions and submit a photo [tutorial link].
- -If you have more than 12 interested players, create multiple teams!
- -There will be an opportunity mid-season to add/remove players.
- -Take a team photo with as many members as you can get, and post it to your team profile. Coordinating company shirts and colors can make for Epic photos
Advice from Season 1 teams:
“Don’t worry too much whether players have a lot of skill or are ace at (the game). Emphasize that the tournament is fun and for bonding, remember that meeting other teams is really cool and regardless of the competitive outcome, it will be a great experience.”
“Once you have an interested group of potential employees, you have to send out emails to update them regularly, because the idea of an AHGL team takes a long time to penetrate their consciousness. A lot of people only caught on at the end of the season. This is especially true in a big company. We had a very robust way to communicate internally but a lot of people just didn’t catch on until the very end when the finals were taking place - and these were people who were top players!“
“A lot of people who are interested can’t commit to 8+ weeks, so if you have a lot of interest, team captains must narrow it down quickly or teams will lose members in the middle of the season.”
It is important to spread the word at your company that you are organizing a team for the AHGL so as many employees as possible have a chance to participate. Even if you personally know enough employees to form a team, you will probably be amazed at how many closet StarCraft 2 and League of Legends players will emerge after you make your announcement!
Each player gets to tell the world about themselves and their jobs. Once you add a player to your team, they’ll get a their tournament-linked profile to edit [guide]. The AHGL has provided a player questionnaire, which each team player must complete. A sense of humor is welcome, remind players that they also represent your company! All site content must be safe for work.
- -Sign up for local or online amateur tournaments, go as a team.
- -Add everyone to your friends list and practice together. Make it a weekly event at a set time.
- -Set up a mailing list.
- -Meet up and watch replays or professional tournaments.
- -Scrimmage against other teams at your company, or against other AHGL teams.
Registration fees should be paid via http://afterhoursgaming.tv/payment/, and only after your team has been approved. Please pay a single payment for the entire team and contact us if you need to pay by check instead. If a team fails to register in full or obtain brand permission by the cutoff date, fees will be refunded in full less an administrative fee of $50. Teams disqualified for cheating and bad sportsmanship will forfeit their registration fees in full and may be excluded from future seasons. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about Registration Fees.
Role of the team captain - a checklist!
A good team captain can make or break a team in the AHGL. Prior captains report that being a team captain taking several hours per week: make sure you’re up for the commitment! The team captain is responsible for:
- -Acting as point-person for communications between the AHGL and his team.
- -Publicizing the AHGL and his team within his company and recruiting players and spectators.
- -Populating the team homepage on the AHGL website with player profiles, headshots, team profiles and team photos.
- -Ensuring adherence to corporate use policies.
- -Organizing and scheduling practice times and pro tournament viewing parties so teammates learn to be better gamers.
- -Organizing and scheduling matchups between designated teams each week.
- -Ensuring all the players show up on time for their matches.
- -Ensuring matches are properly recorded if required in game rules.
- -Handling disputes between players by being aware of game rules, or bringing disputes to the attention of the AHGL moderators.
- -Organizing and submitting the player lineups each week.
- -Promptly uploading matches to the AHGL website if your team wins
- -Organizing and scheduling viewing parties of matchups for fellow employees both in-house and at local venues, as appropriate.
- -Aiding the team in making travel arrangements should the need arise (such as for Grand Finals).
As there is quite a bit to do, a good team captain also knows how to delegate. It is useful to have assistants specializing in some of the following areas:
- -Securing company permission
- -In-house publicity and recruiting
- -Organizing practices
- -Match uploads
- -Organizing spectator parties.
Find people who share your passion and sense of fun! It will make the whole experience a lot more rewarding and a lot less work.
Weekly Structure of the League
Each company plays one match per week on Sunday between noon and 4pm pacific with results always due by end of day Sunday.
Note: Match times are set and we have a one reschedule to non-Sunday policy. Be available on Sundays!
For exact schedule breakdown, please refer to the AHGL Rulebook.
Communicating with the AHGL
The best way to contact us is by emailing us at the following addresses:
- General Questions: support at afterhoursgaming.tv
- CSGO: counterstrike at afterhoursgaming.tv
- Dota 2: dota at afterhoursgaming.tv
- Hearthstone: hearthstone at afterhoursgaming.tv
- League of Legends: lol at afterhoursgaming.tv
- StarCraft 2: starcraft at afterhoursgaming.tv
During the weekly match time, we'll have members on staff responding very quickly and generally also available in the game client. In addition to emails, there's a closed Facebook group open only to AHGL participants. Once your team is properly registered, you'll receive an invite to join. This is a great way to talk to other teams and AHGL staff.