Game rules and format

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Rules and Format 


Match Format:

  1. Teams will compete against each other in a two-day online tournament with timed/scheduled rounds detailed in a bracket provided to the players.

    1. Saturday will feature the Round of 32, Round of 16, and Round of 8.

    2. Sunday will feature the Semifinals and Finals.

  2. Default tournament start time is 2:00pm Pacific.

  3. The form of competition is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive played on the current patch.

  4. Round of 32, Round of 16, and Round of 8 are Best-of-One.

  5. Semifinals and Finals Best-of-Threes.


Lobby Settings:

  1. Default competition game mode for CS:GO will be defuse missions.

  2. 5v5 Format

  3. Round Time: 1m 55s

  4. Bomb Timer: 40s

  5. Overtime: 3 rounds per half, $10k starting money

  6. Pausing: 4 tactical timeout (30s) per game using .timeout command, max 5min. Technical issues can be paused using .problem command

  7. Halftime: 20s


Gameplay Rules:

  1. Changing the keybinding/keymapping of an individual action is allowed, however all scripts, macros, and aliases that give an unfair advantage in-game or otherwise affect gameplay are illegal by default. For example, this means that buy scripts are allowed as they do not affect actual gameplay, whereas movement-related binds such as jump throw are illegal. Any illegal usage may result in a match forfeit at admin discretion

  2. Each team is allowed four pauses per set. Each pause is allowed to last up to a maximum 30 seconds; you do not receive "carry over" time for future pauses if your pause lasts less than 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, the game must be resumed

  3. Coaching is allowed, following Valve's official policy; coaches may only speak to players during warmup, half time, and timeouts. Coaches must also be eligible, see section: player eligibility


Stoppage of Play:

  1. A player who experiences technical issues on any team may call for a game restart within the first round of the set (i.e. before the 2nd round begins). The player must be experiencing a hardware malfunction (e.g. monitor, peripheral, etc.), a physical disruption (e.g. fan interference, table or chair breakage), or a configuration issues (e.g. runes, masteries, or summoner spells are not properly applied). The player must declare the issue in public chat or to a tournament administrator and then intentionally disconnect. Once the player disconnects, the game is considered null and void and should be restarted unless a tournament administrator determines that the conduct represents unfair play.

  2. If an unintentional disconnection occurs within the first 2 rounds of the set -OR- a player's client crashes or fails to load after all other players are loading, then the match must be restarted. Otherwise if the unintentional disconnection occurs after those milestones, the game will continue as normal. The crashed player may reconnect into the game as soon as they are able.

  3. If a player intentionally disconnects without specifying a reason, then the game will continue as normal.

  4. If a server crash occurs, then the tournament director or head referee will decide either between (a) restarting the game or (b) awarding the game to one of the teams. As a guideline, a game victory will only be awarded in a situation where one team was on the verge of certain defeat.


Unfair play:

The following actions will be considered unfair play: 

  1. The use of any cheat program and/or map hack program.

  2. An intentional disconnection without a proper and explicitly stated reason

  3. The use of any settings exceeding the standard and permitted settings

  4. Intentionally allowing an opponent to win a game.

  5. Unsportsmanlike or disruptive behavior such as inappropriate and/or unprofessional actions directed towards another player or NACL admin.

  6. The use of a game bug that is determined by NACL admins as being unfair.

7.     The use of an ineligible player.

Upon discovery of any player committing any violations regarded as unfair play, the offending player, at the sole discretion of the tournament director or a group of referees, may receive a warning, a forfeit loss, and/or disqualified from the tournament. During the course of the Event, the tournament director or group of referees may determine other actions to embody unfair play.


Player Eligibility:

  1. Each player must be currently enrolled in their university with a valid university email address, taking full time courses, and in good standing.

    1. Players must be registered as current students at their team's school unless approved under a combined team; see section: team eligibility.

    2. Each player must be enrolled as a student with a full-time course load for each academic term the season takes place (generally a minimum of 12 credit hours or 3-4 classes for undergrads, depending on the university's requirements). Graduate students are eligible to participate as long as they meet the full-time status requirements of their university and program (likely less credits/classes required, or possibly even none on a research track!)

i.One-time exceptions to this rule for part time students are possible for high performing students with an academic history of full time course loads for at least one full school year, and having no prior part time status or other issues (recurring issues are not eligible); please email play@playnacl.comwith relevant information about your situation to get approved to participate; exception requests should be made BEFORE the player in question plays in a match.

  1. Players graduating during the school year season do not have to meet the full time credit requirement if they need less than required amount to graduate, they only need to be part time status, as long as they have been full time for their entire academic history (and in good standing), and they will also continue to be eligible to participate for the rest of the current season if they graduate in the middle of the school year; contact play@playnacl.com if clarification is needed.

  2. Players must be in "good standing" as defined by their university/program (generally 2.0 term GPA) for the duration of the season to be eligible to participate; standing at the beginning of the season is based on the previous academic term. Students on academic probation, leave of absence, or any circumstances other than the norm of taking enough classes and passing, are unable to play in NACL. Players found in violation of this rule are subject to penalties. See section: penalties.

  3. Players must be registered with valid User IDs. 

    1. Barcode IDs and any other offensive names are not allowed. If a player’s primary ID happens to be a barcode, that player must choose an appropriate name in order to play in the Event. 

  4. Players can only play for one school; players on dual enrollment may not play for multiple schools and must be approved by tournament admins.

    1. In the case of a school transfer, if a player has already played in the current season, they must be reviewed and be approved by the tournament admins at their discretion. Players who have not played a match in the current season will be automatically approve.

    2. If a player continues to play under their original school without explicit approval, they will be counted as an illegal player and may be subject to penalties. See section: penalties.

  5. NACL staff may request and check transcripts/academic files of all players at any time during the season. Failure to provide proof of education will result in being unable to participate in Events.


Team Eligibility:

  1. Coordinators/Leaders/Captains are responsible for ensuring that all members of the team follow the guidelines outlined in the section: player eligibility.

  2. Each team must belong to an accredited college or university. The university must offer at least a 2-year degree or certification program.

  3. All teams must have a minimum of 5 players who are all students at the same university. 

  4. If a school has a TOTAL population of less than approximately 5,000, a player may request to join a nearby, affiliated university's team, as a combined team. All such requests will be evaluated by NACL administrators on a case-by-case basis and any exceptions must be renewed on an annual basis. All requests must include evidence of the total student population and a direct affiliation between the two institutions.

    1. Examples of direct affiliation include but are not limited to: a community college's direct 1:1 feeder/transfer program, an applicable shared academic degree program, or a shared varsity athletics program.

i.The type of affiliation will determine the scope of the approved combined team, meaning that full affiliation across the entire school will allow all students to combine, whereas affiliation for one specific academic program will only allow those applicable students to combine.

  1. Regional or satellite campuses of a university are counted as different schools by default, since most act as their own degree-granting institution/legal entity, but may apply for a combined team if the requirements are met.

  2. 2-year schools such as community and technical colleges are more likely to be counted as one entity, since many act as one combined degree-granting institution/legal entity, and as such, combined teams between different campus locations within that 2-year school will have a total combined population limit of approximately 20,000 between the campuses.

  3. Other factors of determination include but are not limited to: the student's level of skill, the possibility of forming a team at his or her university, the average skill of the neighboring university, and the potential of rule-abuse. Please send an email to play@playnacl.com with all required relevant information when requesting an exception.

    1. Procedural note: when sending us an email regarding player exceptions, please make sure to include links to your school’s enrollment numbers, any affiliation with the school you’re looking to join, your own in-game profiles, and any additional information you may think is necessary. We will ignore emails that do not present at least the minimum information required here.

    2. Procedural note 2: Having a school-affiliation and a population of less than 5,000 does not mean we will accept your exception request! These benchmarks are simply for us to consider the exception. Please understand that - everything needs to be approved via email by us first!



  1. It is the responsibility of both teams to verify the eligibility of all players playing in the match prior to starting or continuing any match play. A team playing with an ineligible player will forfeit the map the ineligible player participated in.

  2. All gamertags on a team's roster must be valid. The gamertag must be legitimately owned by the user on the roster.

  3. Users are permitted to be listed on only one team per tournament. Users are only permitted one gamertag per ladder.

  4. All roster spots must be comprised of only one valid gamertag. Spelling and spaces must be exact but does not need to be case sensitive.

  5. Gamertags may not contain foul language, disparaging remarks, hateful or racist names.

  6. If a team uses an ineligible player in a match, they will forfeit the map the ineligible player participated in. Proof must be shown to support any claims of an ineligible player playing in a match.


No Shows:

  1. A team has 5 minutes to show for the match with the correct number of eligible players in the match. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit of the match.

  2. Contact a Discord administrator if this happens. Also report the match, with valid proof of the enemy team not showing up, through Discord.  




  1. All proof submitted in your message needs to be from the match in question. If you submit proof from the wrong match/game or links to inappropriate material, you risk being penalized.

  2. When submitting proof, you must attach the URL to the email and/or Discord message and YouTube/Twitch videos cannot be set to private.

  3. For proof to be considered valid it must have the full scoreboard with gamertags. It must be large enough for staff to read it.

  4. NACL also has a zero tolerance for submitting fake or old proof. Anyone caught may lifetime ban from competing in NACL Events. 



  1. Teams must report the match immediately after completion to a Discord admin. If a team reports within 10 minutes and the other doesn't the outcome will be determined by the reporting team.

  2. If you encounter any issues during the match, teams must message an NACL Discord Admin valid proof for their claim. For proof to be considered valid it must be clear, show the other teams gamertags along with the scoreboard, and must have proof of the accusation.


Prize Payout:

  1. All prizes distributed to collegiate players are considered outside scholarships, and with that the money is to only be used for educational-related expenses, such as: tuition, books, other class materials, etc. 

  2. Players must fill out any required tax forms/information in order to receive payment. The NACL is not responsible for this.  

  3. Players please allow 2-4 weeks for payouts to be distributed individually to each player AFTER all required documentation is received.


Rule Changes:
The Administrators reserve the right to modify the rules as needed. This includes changes due to software updates or releases, Event organizer decisions and all other changes deemed necessary to run a successful tournament. Players are responsible to check the rules on a regular basis and prior to the Event to ensure they are in complete compliance. Players must understand that rules listed are guidelines to ensure fair and competitive play and are subject to interpretation by the administrators based on the spirit of the game. 

  1. Rules are subject to change at any time. It is the responsibility of all the users participating in this event to know and understand the rules before signing up.

  2. All NACL accounts, teams, and roster spots are property of North American Collegiate League Inc. Any advertising of, or attempts to buy, sell, trade, or exchange any aforementioned item is strictly prohibited. Violators will be removed from all NACL online properties and all related accounts terminated. Furthermore, NACL reserves the right to deactivate, reset or temporarily suspend any account or team, without notice, that violates our Terms of Use.

  3. Users must utilize their own unique username when competing on NACL. When registering, the registration form must contain the correct and complete Name, Address, and Email of the player. If a false Name, Address, or Email was entered, the user voids the privilege to participate in the Event and receive any prizes.

  4. Users are prohibited from sharing NACL account information. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: usernames, passwords, gamertags, email accounts, etc. If another person accesses your account, you may be disqualified from the Event you are participating in as well as be prohibited in competing in future Events. 

  5. If a user is found to be evading an active penalty, the original account that was banned will be disabled, regardless of the original offense. In addition, users found to be participating on a team with a user that is evading a ban will be subject to penalties including removal from NACL Events. We advise you to report the evading user immediately via email. 

  6. NACL prohibits users from creating or managing more than one team in an event from the same household as well as competing against each other. Multiple people from the same household may compete in the NACL; however, only one username can be in a management/coordinator position on a team. All other usernames from the same household cannot be anything higher than member on any team on the same ladder.

  7. As to ensure fair competition, NACL reserves the right to amend all match-related rules listed herein on a case by case basis. Teams who manipulate these rules maliciously and/or at the expense of other members will be penalized.


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