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; all subsequent rounds should be played out continuously.

  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.


Map Pool:

North American Collegiate League will be using the current professional competitive map pool, found here: Inferno, Train, Overpass, Mirage, Nuke, Dust 2, and Vertigo. The competitive map pool is subject to change as the professional competitive map pool changes.

Pick & Ban Process:

All map and server vetoes will be done through the FACEIT match page.

Map Vetoes

  • Team A bans one map

  • Team B bans one map

  • Team A bans one map

  • Team B bans one map

  • Team A bans one map

  • Team B bans one map

  • Remaining map gets played


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. Jump-throw binds are permitted. 

  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.


Please follow the instructions listed below to get your team into the FACEIT Tournament:


If everyone on your collegiate team currently doesn’t have a verified North American Collegiate Counter-Strike (NACCS) account, then please create on and verify it at https://www.collegiatecounterstrike.com/. This verification process is simple and only takes 1 minute to do!


In order to get a verified NACCS account, each player will need to do the following:

1) Create an account at https://www.collegiatecounterstrike.com/

2) Under your profile, verify your college credentials.

3) Under your profile, link your Discord account.

4) Under your profile, link your Faceit account. If you do not have a Faceit account, please create one here - https://www.faceit.com/en?referral=61c81863-b337-478b-914a-edad5acff03f


Upon completing all the steps listed above, head over to  #-verify-me channel in NACCS’s Discord, found here  - https://discord.gg/tru2vuf, to get the verified Discord Member tag giving you access to all the verified collegiate member channels.


Registration Assistance:

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or need assistance registering your team for North American Collegiate League, NACL staff and admin members will be more than happy to assist you in real time in #Tournament-assistance text channel located in NACL.


Match Check-In:

  1. The map and server veto process starts immediately at the designated match time. Each team will have 60 seconds to ban and/or pick when it is their turn to do so. Once the map and server are decided, a play button and IP notification will appear on the designated match page. Each team will then have 10 minutes to join the match server.

  2. During warm-up, both captains will have to type “!ready” to start the match. Each team will have a total of 10 minutes to use this command or else the match will result in a forfeit loss for the team who failed to ready up. A team may start the match with only 4 players in the match server.

  3. Once both teams ready up, the match will immediately go into the knife round to choose sides. Upon completion of the knife round, the winning team’s captain will need to pick a side by using the following commands: “!stay” or “!switch.” If the winning team’s captain fails to select a side within 1 minute of winning the knife round, then the sides will be randomly decided by the server.


Forfeit Guidelines:

Each team will have a 15 minute grace period after the designated match time to have at least 4 players in the designated match server. If a team fails to furnish at least 4 players in the designated match server by the end of the 15 minute grace period, then the team that failed to furnish at least 4 players in the designated match server will automatically forfeit their match. Forfeit(s) will count as a 1-0 (16-0) victory for the opposing team.

To receive a forfeit win, simply wait in the designated match server with 5 players from your team until the 15 minute grace period has passed. Once the 15 minute grace period has past, FACEIT’s automated server system will notify in the server’s general chat once the forfeit win has successfully gone through. Please do not leave the server until you receive this message in the server’s general chat.


Team are allowed to forfeit a match at any given time throughout the season. If a team forfeits a match, the opposing team will receive a 1-0 (16-0) victory for the match. The team receiving the forfeit win can do one of the following to receive the forfeit win: message a NACL admin or staff member with some form of documentation (chat logs, screenshots, etc.) showing written confirmation of the forfeit from the forfeiting team; or join the designated match server and wait 15 minutes after the allotted match time to automatically receive the forfeit win. If a NACL staff member does not give confirmation of the forfeit win, then report to the match at the designated match time to receive the forfeit win.

How to Join Match Server:

Once both teams have finished the map and server veto process, a play button and IP notification will appear on the designated match page. For a player to join the designated match server, simply click on the “PLAY” button or copy the “connect serverip” (provided on the match page) command and paste it into your CS:GO console. This will connect you to the designated match server.


Team Pause Guidelines:

Each team is allowed four tactical pauses for 30 seconds each. Simply call for a tactical pause by pressing the “esc” key then clicking “call tactical timeout.” Upon doing so, your team will need to vote “yes” to initiate the tactical pause.


Each team is allowed unlimited technical pauses up to 5 minutes each. Simply type “!pause” in chat followed by the reason for the technical pause in general chat to notify the other team of the technical pause. However, if a team is unable to resolve their technical issue after 5 minutes, then the other team is allowed to unpause the match after notifying the pausing team that their time is up. Simply type “!unpause” in general chat to resume the match. NACL requires that all teams to be understanding and reasonable of one another during technical pauses. Any team(s) found abusing the technical pause system will be subject to suspension and/or forfeiture of the match.

If a team is having tournament server issues for whatever reason, please send a message in NACL Discord’s support channel named #Tournament-Support. A NACL or Faceit Admin will assist you with your issue.


Submitting Match Results:

All match results are collected by FACEIT upon their completion. Only contact us if you find a discrepancy in results.

Match Demos:

FACEIT’s servers will be recording all the matches. The match demo(s) are available on the designated match pages and uploaded to each collegiate team and player profile pages.

Conduct Guidelines:

All collegiate team(s) and player(s) must adhere to the following North American Collegiate Counter-Strike League Conduct Guideline(s):

  • Failing to treat fellow collegiate players with the utmost respect.

  • Excessive trolling or toxicity (I.E. Spamming chat).

  • Personal attacks or threats (I.E. DDoS).

  • Telling fellow collegiate players to kill and/or harm themselves in any manner.

  • Performance enhancing drugs are prohibited.

  • Any form of cheating is prohibited

Any conduct issue(s) that arise during a match, from the beginning to the end, pertaining to North American Collegiate Counter-Strike League Guideline(s) MUST be immediately reported after the match. Failure to do so will constitute acceptance of the issue by both teams. Please collect as much virtually tangible data as possible to support your claim.


Any collegiate team or player found violating North American Collegiate Counter-Strike League Conduct Guideline(s) will face a 3-month minimum suspension. Collegiate team(s) are held responsible for their players conduct and may also receive a 3-month minimum suspension from North American Collegiate Counter-Strike and North American Collegiate League.


Match Restart Guidelines:

  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.

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 northamericancollegiateleague@gmail.com with 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 northamericancollegiateleague@gmail.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; players must add and verify their Usernames on their NACL profile.

    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 to use for the competition. Failure to have updated information will result in penalties. See section: penalties.

  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 northamericancollegiateleague@gmail.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 on each ladder at any given time. Users are only permitted one gamertag per tournament.

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

  5. 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.


Collegiate Team Names:

Participating collegiate team(s) must use one of the following team name format(s) to be eligible to compete in North American Collegiate League:

  • University of California, San Diego

  • UC San Diego

  • UCSD

  • UCSD [insert color]

  • UCSD [insert mascot]


Scholarship Prize Pool

1st Place: 

2nd Place:

3rd Place:


Prize Payout:

  1. All prizes distributed to collegiate players are in the form of scholarship prizing.

  2. Collegiate players must fill out any required tax forms/information in order to receive payment.  

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

Rule Changes:
Admins 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 collegiate teams participating in this tournament to have read and understand the rules before scheduling any matches.

  2. All NACL accounts, teams and roster spots are property of NACL 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. Players must utilize their own unique username when competing on NACL. This unique username must have been registered on NACL personally by the user. The registered username must contain the correct and complete Name, Address, and Email of the user. If a false Name, Address, or Email was entered, the user voids the privilege to participate in the Ladder/Tournament and receive any prizes.

  4. Players 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 Ladder/Tournament you are participating in as well as be removed from NACL. As such, you are personally responsible for accepting an invitation to a team. Someone else cannot accept a team invitation for you. If you do not personally accept a team invitation, you may be disqualified from competing. You will also forfeit the ability to receive prizes.

  5. If a player 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 the site. We advise you to report the evading user immediately by utilizing our ticket system.

  6. NACL prohibits players from creating or managing more than one team in a tournament from the same household as well as competing against each other. Multiple people from the same household may compete in NACL; however, only one username can be in a management 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. The Coordinators/Leaders/Captains of a team can change the team name, blast message, logos, avatars and website links. The images/information submitted must be appropriate. Attempting to bypass the automatic censor by misspelling, inserting spaces or symbols, transposing letters, using look-alike symbols, or any other method is not allowed. Teams that attempt to bypass the censor will be subject to penalties.

  8. Collegiate teams competing in a tournament must contain the minimum number of eligible players to remain active in a tournament. Teams without the minimum number of eligible players - especially teams that are 'abandoned' - are subject to removal at the Staff's discretion.

  9. 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 for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Streaming & Broadcasting:
NACL encourages collegiate player(s) to stream their matches from their point of view. With that being said, all stream(s) are required to have at least a 1-minute delay. Even though stream cheating is prohibited, stream at your own risk. It is near impossible to definitively prove whether a team is stream cheating or not.

NACL reserves the right to broadcast any of North American Collegiate League matches. NACL openly extends these broadcasting rights to all colleges, universities, college or university esports programs, college or university clubs, and collegiate players.

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