AHGL Handbook

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?

Sound fun? Get involved! Start the signup process here. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We can be reached at support@afterhoursgaming.tv.

(Edited 11/24/2014)

Table of Contents

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
Playoffs Begin TBD
Grand finals 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.

Common Questions

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:

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.

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!

Finding players

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.

Creating a team

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!

Player profiles

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.


Registration fees

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:

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:

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:

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.