All games are to be played with the PTCGO in-game timer enabled.
It is both players’ responsibility to start the game with the timer. When receiving a friend challenge, PTCGO clearly indicates whether the timer is on, so if it is deactivated, please decline and make your opponent aware of it.
If a game is started without the timer, it is assumed both players are fine with that. You may do so, but be aware that finishing the game in time is completely your own responsibility then.
Slowplay / Stalling
Even though it helps, the in-game timer obviously doesn't do a perfect job at preventing intentional slowplay. It is not allowed to purposely waste time by repeatedly running down the timer or doing actions that don't impact the game state. If you feel like your opponent is trying to make the game not finish, please make screenshots that show the amount of time used by both players. If a judge decides that there's a significant enough discrepancy between the players' timers, they will award you the win in that game.
Intentionally slowplaying is considered an unsporting conduct and repeated infractions will be handled with a disqualification from the tournament.
Example of intentional slowplay: Player A is using a Zacian / Lucario & Melmetal deck and playing against a Decidueye deck. They don't have any way to damage a Decidueye and will eventually lose to deckout. However, in hopes of a tie, every turn they use the opponent's Turffield Stadium even though they don't have any targets for it and the content of their deck is irrelevant in the situation. After that, they wait 15 seconds for the timer to count down every time before passing the turn without action.
This is an extreme example and penalties might be escalated in cases like this. Generally, it is up to the judge to decide on how to act and up to the player to provide evidence of the opponent's behaviour.
All our tournaments use the match check-in feature. That means that at the beginning of every round, on your match page, there will be a check-in button for you to click. Checking in tells your opponent that you are there and ready to play. If a player doesn't check in to their match during the allocated time, they will be given an automatic loss.
Sometimes, a player may forget to check in even though they are active and joined the match on PTCGO. In such a case, request a judge and they will reset the score.
If a player does not arrive to the game in time and gets an automatic loss before having started the match, the result is considered final. Their opponent may decide to wait and request a reset anyway, but they are free to leave until the next round.
Check-in helps dealing with no-shows and guarantees players a minimum amount of in-game time by giving their opponents a deadline by which they have to show up for their match. Giving losses to players that forgot to check-in but started their game on time anyway is not the purpose of the check-in timer, if such a situation occurs judges will still accept the game result.
In case of a disconnect, the in-game timer of the affected player continues to run down. If they manage to reconnect to the game before getting penalized by the timer, nothing else happens. However, after some time of inactivity, their opponent will eventually be given the win by PTCGO. That result will be considered final.
Restarting games in case of disconnects is not a good option for many obvious reasons. Since the game even allows reconnects and automatically handles inactivity, there is no reason to get judges involved.
If a player has a card in their deck that is not on their decklist, they will be given a game loss for the round. If you spot such an instance, please make your opponent aware of it in the in-game chat and the match chat, take a screenshot, and call a judge.
Selecting the wrong deck for a game is considered the same as having a wrong card in the deck and is resolved with a game loss.
A wrong card will usually be a simple mistake, as there’s very little incentive to intentionally change the deck in an open decklist environment. However, if it happens multiple times to the same player, or if they don’t admit to it and the judge has to look at the evidence and determine the opponent’s accusation is correct, the penalty might be escalated and the player might be disqualified from the tournament.
The alternative solution to a wrong deck would be to issue a restart of the game, but that can lead to situations where the player that did nothing wrong ends up with a worse opening hand and feels disadvantaged. There is also the danger of someone falsely claiming to be playing a wrong deck in hopes of a restart. In some cases, like someone starting a game with a theme deck, it would be very easy to see there’s no ill intent, but there could also be more difficult situations. Most tournaments don’t have enough judges to spend time on cases like this, so having clear guidelines helps with keeping the tournament run smoothly. Please just pay attention when selecting your deck!
Multi game matches
In best-of-three matches, for games 2 and 3, the loser of the prior game gets to decide who goes first. This needs to be clearly communicated between games, either within PTCGO or in the match chat. In case the winner of the previous game wins the coin flip and selects the wrong option by accident, the opponent may demand a restart of the affected game.
Clear cases of unsporting conduct like intentionally reporting wrong results or insulting opponents will be handled with a disqualification from the tournament and possibly a ban from all tournaments on the platform.
The head judge or organizer always has the final say on how to handle a situation and may give out penalties at their own discretion.