The Oceanink Series Format and Rules

The following outlines the general format and the rules of the Oceanink Series. See the info page about the current season for specific dates. For any assistance please use the helpdesk channel in Oceanink Series Discord server, and ping the Series Admin role.

Times are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST, UTC +10) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT, UTC+11) as applicable per when the relevant Season runs.


Please note that participation in the Oceanink Series grants the organisers permission to use player and team details in Oceanink produced material including advertisement graphics and live streams of matches.

The Oceanink Squids Code of Conduct

Oceanink Squids is a community that strives both to foster a competitive drive and an amicable community. We expect everyone to treat one another with respect in an environment free of harassment and discrimination, and to display good sportsmanship in and out of the game. Organisers may, at their discretion, warn or discipline players or teams acting abusively or in an unsporting manner, and bans may be issued without warning if deemed appropriate.

If you see that something has violated this code of conduct, please raise your concerns with an admin.

In particular, we will not tolerate:

  • Abuse directed towards players or admins
  • Cheating, exploitation or hacking of the game system in order to gain a competitive advantage
  • Disconnecting deliberately from matches for any reason
  • Imitating other players within the community or league


  • Game: one map+mode combination in Splatoon 2 (e.g. a Splat Zones game on Arowana Mall).
  • Match: a best-of-x games contest between two teams 
    • Weekly matches: best of seven
    • Seeding tournaments: best of five (unless stated otherwise)
    • Post-season tournament: depends on the number of teams
  • Deferred match: a match which can not be played in its designated week, and therefore must be scheduled for later in the Season.

Player/Team Eligibility

  • Teams shall consist of no less than 4, and no more than 10 players.
  • At least one member of the team must be fluent in English and be in the Oceanink Series Discord server.
  • Players can only be registered in one team in the Series at a time. Players cannot substitute in for another team in the Series.
  • Players must be from Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, South-East Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Korea to be eligible to participate. 
  • There are no age restrictions to play in the Series, however members in the Discord server must meet Discord’s minimum age requirements.
  • If you’re not sure whether a player is eligible, contact the admin team!
Map of eligible regions (yellow areas).

Map of eligible regions (yellow areas).

Individual Registration Eligibility

To be eligible for individual registration, you must meet the relevant requirements in the Team Eligibility section above so that you can join a team, plus:

  • Be fluent in English, as it is the main communication language for the Series.
  • Must have played all four ranked modes before (Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz) and have unlocked League Battles in-game.
    • i.e. must have reached at least B- rank in at least one ranked mode.

Player Transfers

  • A transfer consists of a player moving from one team to another or a player joining a team from outside of the series.
  • Players leaving a team do not count as a transfer. Teams may remove players from their roster at any time, provided it does not drop them below the minimum number of four players.

Transfer Procedure

To transfer a player to your team, notify admins in the #player_transfers channel on Discord. Include the transferring player’s:

  • Friend code
  • In-game name (IGN)
  • Nickname for the stream overlays if they would like it to be different to their IGN
  • Discord username if they are in the Oceanink Series server
  • Former team and division, if applicable

Pre-season Transfer Rules:

  • “Pre-season” is defined as the period before divisions are announced for the season.
  • Teams may transfer any number of players onto their roster after having signed up for the season, provided it does not take them past the limit of 10 players on a team.
  • Any player may transfer on to any team; note that in the case of a perceived large skill gap, the admin team may require the team to participate in seeding events in order to get a better idea of the team’s capabilities.

During-season Transfer Rules:

  • Teams are allowed up to 2 transfers during a season.
  • Players may not transfer into a division more than one level below their current one.
    • A player may only transfer down one division with the approval of the admin team. If you wish to transfer down a division, contact the admins to request it before making any public announcement.
    • If a player does not have a division due to not participating in the current season prior to the transfer, then the admin team will try to take their play history into account when judging whether the transfer is appropriate.
    • The admin team may choose to disallow any transfer if they expect that it will significantly skew the skill level of the affected division.
  • Transfers must be confirmed by admins before the transferred player can play in a match. 
    • If requesting a transfer on the same day as a match, please ping the Series admins.
  • The admin team will not approve any transfers within one hour of a match.
  • In the case of an unsuccessful/unconfirmed transfer, if the team requesting a transfer does not have enough people to play the match, then their options are:
    • If possible, to defer per the deferment rules (which requires an available deferral).
    • If possible, play a 3v4 or 3v3 per the 3v4/3v3 rules (which, if played at the original match time, does not use a deferral).
    • Forfeit.

If a transfer does not abide by the rules outlined above, it will be declined.

Season Format

An Oceanink Series season has three stages:

  1. Seeding: to gather data so that teams can be placed into the correct divisions.
  2. Weekly matches: the teams in each division play a bracket, one match a week, with a couple of “break/catch-up weeks” for playing any deferred matches.
  3. Post-season: one final tournament to round off the season.

Note: the Series usually uses a Round Robin format for each bracket, however, this is subject to change based on registration numbers and various other factors.


Since the Oceanink Series splits teams into separate divisions based on registration numbers and skill, the admins require data on each team prior to the weekly matches to accurately place teams within divisions. Each team is required to do at least one seeding activity. If your team cannot participate, contact the admins to discuss alternatives.

If a team has played in the previous season, the results from that season’s weekly matches and post-season tournament are automatically considered. Due to the length of time between seasons, more recent results are also required to accurately place teams.

Note: Division sizes are decided based on numbers, not skill cut-offs. Therefore, teams may be placed in different divisions in different seasons due to higher divisions having more or less teams compared to the previous season.

The three options for seeding events are:

  1. Official Series Seeding Tournaments
  2. Community-run tournaments that meet specific rules
  3. Seeding scrims

Series Seeding Tournaments

  • Seeding tournaments will be held in the weeks leading up to the start of the weekly matches. 
  • These tournaments are the main way admins decide divisions, so we heavily recommend teams enter at least one seeding tournament each season. 
  • The more teams who enter the Seeding tournaments, the more results admins have to analyse which means everyone has a better chance to end up in the division which fits them best.

Community-run Tournaments

  • Certain tournaments run by non-Oceanink Series groups can also count for Series seeding. Results from these tournaments will be weighted differently depending on how well they fit our rules for eligible community-run tournaments for seeding and how many Oceanink Series teams have entered.
  • If you’re a tournament organiser and would like to know if your tournament could count towards Series seeding, please contact the Series admins.
  • Eligible community-run tournaments will be advertised by Oceanink.
  • Teams must play community-run tournaments with their Series roster for the results to count. If you use any substitute players in a tournament, it will not count towards your seeding.

Seeding Scrims

As a final option, teams are able to play seeding scrims during a specific time period before the weekly matches begin, and have the results of these scrims count towards their Series seeding. To count, the scrim must fulfil all of the following:

  • Be against a team that has played in a Series seeding tournament, or at least an eligible community-run tournament.
  • Be spectated, and preferably recorded or streamed, by a member of the Series Admins or Series Stream Team.
    • The spectator can not be a member of either team involved in the scrim.
  • Be a best of seven scrim using the provided Seeding Scrims maplist.

Teams can do a maximum of 2 seeding scrims, and they must happen within the seeding scrims period of the current season. See the information document for the relevant season for when the seeding scrims period starts and ends.

Weekly Matches

A Season is run over several weeks, with each week designated as a “Round” or “Catch-up” week. See the info doc for the current Season for specific dates.

Teams are expected to play one match per designated round week unless a match is deferred. A deferred match is generally one that can not be played in the week it is supposed to be played in, and is scheduled in a later week. Catch-up weeks do not have scheduled matches as to give teams free weeks to play deferred matches.

Each “week” of the Series starts on a Monday. The weekly deadlines are as follows:

  • Monday 3 AM: Round Start – A match cannot take place before this time in the relevant week for its round unless approved by Oceanink Series admins.
  • Tuesday 7 PM: Contact Deadline – Team captains must be in touch with each other by this date. If an opponent has not responded by this time or is uncooperative, contact the admins.
  • Friday 7 PM: Scheduling Deadline – Matches should be scheduled and match times should be reported in the relevant #div_x_captains_chat by this time. 
    • If teams have not scheduled their matches or at least communicated a possible time to admins by this deadline then the admin team will assume that they are playing at the default match time. Any changes thereafter will come under match rescheduling or deferment rules. 
  • Sunday 7 PM: Default Match Time – If both teams are unable to agree to another time, this is the default match time. If this time can not be played then the following applies in descending order:
    • The team which has not made an effort to schedule must defer or forfeit, if applicable. In this case, contact an Admin. Chat logs may be required as proof. 
    • The team who could not make the default match time must defer or forfeit if considerable effort was made on both sides to schedule the match.
  • Monday 3 AM: Score Deadline – Scores must be submitted to the relevant #div_x_results channel by this time unless the match has been deferred. 

Organising Matches

Captains can find each other in their division’s respective #div_x_captains_chat channel on Discord.

As soon as a match time has been agreed on, captains should post on Discord in their division’s #div_x_captains_chat channel so that admins are aware of the arrangement. The other team must also confirm the match time.

The admins would appreciate it if teams could use the following format to report match times:

Team 1 vs Team 2, Date, Time, Timezone

We recommend that teams exchange Friend Codes and nominate a host for the match in advance of the scheduled match time.

Rescheduling Matches within the Week

If a match time changes to another time within the same week, admins must be notified. The following rules apply to match time changes:

If both teams can not make the original time they can mutually agree to reschedule within the same week with no penalty. If they must reschedule to another week, they must use a team’s deferment.

In the case that one team cannot make the scheduled time: 

  • Within 2 hours of the original match time:
    • The team requesting the change must use a deferral, whether the match is rescheduled within the same week or to another week. If there is not a deferral available, the match cannot be rescheduled and the requesting team must play a 3v3/3v4 or forfeit.
    • If there is a deferral available the options are, in the following order:
      • Reschedule within the same week. If a time can not be found that suits the other team, then the team requesting the change must use one of the other options.
      • Reschedule to another week with the agreement of the other team, which then follows standard deferment rules.
      • If neither is possible, then the requesting team must play a 3v3/3v4 or forfeit.
  • More than 2 hours before the original match time:
    • If the match is rescheduled to within the same week, no deferral is required.
    • If the match is rescheduled to another week, standard deferment rules apply.
    • If neither is possible, then the requesting team must play a 3v3/3v4 or forfeit.

If you have any issues with rescheduling matches, please contact the Admins as soon as possible.

Deferring Matches to a Later Week

A deferred match is generally one that can not be played in the week it is supposed to be played in, and therefore is scheduled to be played at a later time. 

  • Each team is permitted to defer a match once per Season if they are unavailable for the week. 
  • If a team has used their deferral and are unavailable for another match during the Season they must forfeit the match.
  • If a deferred match is not played before the end of Catch Up Week 2 then the match must be forfeited by, in the following order:
    • The team which has not made an effort to reschedule, if applicable. In this case, contact an Admin. Chat logs may be required as proof. 
    • The team who deferred the original match if considerable effort was made on both sides to reschedule.

A deferred match may be played at any time before the conclusion of the Season, but we encourage teams to be proactive in finding an earlier time for deferred matches in order to avoid having a large backlog of deferred matches in the final week.

Catch-up weeks do not have scheduled matches, specifically to give teams free weeks to play deferred matches.

Match Procedure

  • Teams are expected to be ready at the scheduled match time. The lobby host should be decided before the start time and should have the lobby open at this time.
    • Teams are expected to make a good-faith effort to nominate a player with a reliable internet connection to act as host.
    • Likewise, teams should do their best to avoid nominating a player who is likely to be substituted out as a lobby host.
  • Players are expected to play with clearly recognisable and readable in-game names that correspond to the names they are registered under.
    • In the event that players join with incorrect in-game names, they must leave the lobby and fix their in-game name (which involves the player restarting Splatoon 2). If it causes delays, the late penalty rules may apply.
    • Per the Code of Conduct, names that are obscene, abusive, discriminatory, or targeted at other players will not be tolerated, and the admin team may impose penalties (including game or match forfeits for the offending team and bans for the player). 
  • Teams will play through the provided map list for their round in the specified order. Each week’s maplist will feature 7 maps, played as a best-of-7 counterpick set. 
    • The starting map and mode will be fixed and chosen by the Series admin team.
    • The counterpick map pool will consist of 2 maps from each of the ranked modes (Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker, Clam Blitz) and one Turf War map.
    • From the second game on, the map will be chosen by the team that lost the previous game.
    • The first team to win 4 games will be the winner of the match.
    • If the choice of counterpick map takes longer than 5 minutes, alert an admin. Teams that frequently take excessive time to pick their maps may be subject to penalties at the admins’ discretion.
  • Teams may make as many substitutions between games as they wish. As a courtesy, teams should inform each other if substitutions are likely to take place over the course of a match, and the lobby host should allow at least three minutes between games for players to swap in and out.
    • If a substitution takes longer than 5 minutes, alert an admin. Teams that frequently take excessive time to perform substitutions will lose their right to substitute players between matches.
    • The host should ask the visiting team if they want to substitute players for any of the games at the beginning of the match; if so, they must communicate between each game. In the event that the host advances the lobby before the “visiting” team has the opportunity to substitute, the visitors must inform their hosts of the mistake before the lobby timer expires and the game starts; the host should then disband the lobby (rather than allowing it to start the game). This will also use up a Free Replay for the hosting team.
  • Only four players per team are permitted in a lobby at one time. If a team has more than 4 players refusing to leave the lobby, alert an admin.

Penalties for Lateness

For the following section, the “start time” of a match is defined as the later of:

  • The scheduled match start time
  • When one of the two teams is completely ready (i.e. 4 players of one team are in the private battle lobby, ready to play)

If a team is not ready at the start time then a grace period of 10 minutes is given. If these 10 minutes pass and they are still not ready to start, then:

  • The team that is late forfeits the first game of the match
  • They continue to forfeit a game for every 5 minutes after the grace period that they are still not ready. For example:
    • 11 minutes late: forfeit game 1 (and play starts from the second map)
    • 15 minutes late: forfeit game 1
    • 16 minutes late: forfeit games 1 and 2 (play starts from the third map)
  • Therefore, if the match has not started by 36 minutes after the start time, the match will be recorded as a 5-0 forfeit in favour of the team who was ready. The fully present team is expected to remain available until the 36 minute mark, or until the opposing team forfeits.

3v4/3v3 Options

In general:

  • A 3v4 can be requested by a team if they can not field 4 players but must be agreed to by the fully available team. If either team rejects the 3v4, the team lacking players must forfeit.
  • A 3v3 can only be offered by the fully available team, or mutually agreed on if both teams only have 3 players available.

During Match Scheduling:

Preplanned 3v4’s and 3v3’s are are allowed if either:

  • There are no deferrals available to use on the unavailable team’s side. 
  • It is Catch Up Week 2.

At Match Start:

If the match is planned to be a conventional 4v4, and a team only has 3 members available at match start: 

  • If the fully present team does not agree to a 3v3 or 3v4, the match will follow the Late Penalties rules. 
  • If both teams only have 3 members at match start, then the match may proceed as a 3v3 unless enough players for a 4v4 become available.

Score Reporting

Scores should be reported in the appropriate #div_x_results channel by a captain of one of the teams, and confirmed by a captain of the other team. Scores should be reported in the following format:

Team1Name Team1Score – Team2Score Team2Name

Example: “Splattershark Pros 5 – 3 Tentacle Difficulties”


If a match is forfeited for any reason, the score will be recorded as if the non-forfeiting team had won a flawless victory; so a 4 – 0 in the case of a best-of-7 match, a 5 – 0 in the case of a best-of-9, a 3 – 0 in the case of a play-all-three, etc.

Post-Season Tournament

The post-season tournament is a once-off tournament, similar to the Seeding Tournaments. The goal of the post-season tournament is to give teams a chance to play against teams from other divisions and celebrate the end of the season! Participation in the post-season tournament is not required, but the results may be used for seeding divisions in the next Season. 

Details about dates and times, registration, the check-in process and the format will be released in the weeks leading up to the end of the season.

Generally, registered teams will be organised into a couple of groups according to their division’s results and sensible group sizes. Group boundaries will not be limited to division boundaries. For example, a season with 7 divisions and 2 groups for the post-season tournament, one group might contain divisions 1-3 plus the top teams of division 4, and the other group might contain the other teams of division 4 plus divisions 5-7.

Disconnections (DCs)

If a player disconnects from the lobby during a game, please refer to the following to see if a replay is possible. Whether a replay is allowed depends on the timing of the disconnect, the current score, and how many replays have taken place in the current match. For the purpose of these rules, disconnections are classified into three different kinds: free disconnections, normal disconnections, and host disconnections.

Note: replays are time-consuming and frustrating; if specific players are frequently disconnecting, then teams should consider substituting another player from their roster If both teams are experiencing frequent DCs, then the teams should contact the Series admins to discuss rescheduling the match, if both teams would like to; in this case, a free deferral might be given.

Free Disconnections

A disconnection qualifies as a free DC if it meets any of the following criteria:

  • Multiple players from both teams disconnect simultaneously (i.e. in the case of the host disconnecting) in which case the DC is counted against the hosting team;
  • A single player disconnects during the lobby or during the flyover (i.e. before gear or weapons can be seen) in which case the DC is counted against that player’s team;
  • If the lobby must be disbanded because the host knew the other team might substitute a player and moved on before giving the other team opportunity to substitute.

Free Replay Quota

Each team is allowed three replays per match when affected by a free DC. If a team has already used its replays and suffers another free DC, they must continue playing without the disconnected player.

Normal Disconnections

A disconnection qualifies as a normal DC if it meets all of the following criteria: 

  • the disconnect occurred during the first half of the game (1:30 for Turf War, 2:30 for ranked modes);
  • the opponent team’s objective is more than 30 points from knockout;
  • the remaining teammates of the disconnected player immediately stop playing (i.e. stop pushing the objective, don’t obstruct the other team from getting the knockout).

Admins suggest players take a clip of the game when they notice a disconnection, so that the time and score can be checked if necessary.

Normal Replay Quota

Each team is allowed one replay per match when affected by a normal DC. If a team has already used its replay and suffers another normal DC, they must continue playing without the disconnected player.

Replay Rules

When a replay is requested, it is courteous to allow the team without a disconnect to achieve a speedy knockout so that everyone can quickly return to the lobby.

Substitutions are allowed for the disconnecting player if needed.

  • If the disconnected player is replaced by a substitute, all players are free to change gear and weapons, regardless of when the disconnect happened.
  • Substitute players must only come from the team’s roster, they can not be external players.

If the disconnecting player isn’t substituted, players may be allowed to change their gear and weapons depending on:

  • If the disconnect happened before any characters could be seen (either in the lobby or during the opening flyover animation of the match), gear and weapons may be freely changed.
  • If the disconnect happened after any characters are shown, and therefore their weapons are seen, gear and weapons may not be changed.
  • If the replay is because of the host choosing the wrong map.