CSL Gears 5 Spring 2020 League Rulebook
CSL is an intercollegiate gaming league open to all accredited colleges and universities in North America.
Summary of Key Points
- Cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows is permitted.
- Regular season is round robin group play, with regional conferences; all matches best of three ("Bo3")
- Playoffs will be a single elimination bracket featuring the top teams from all conferences; all matches best of three ("Bo3")
- Teams need (1) a coordinator and (2) a minimum of five (5) unique players; a coordinator may also be a player if eligible.
Schedule - Regular Season
- Match 1 & 2: March 21
- Match 3 & 4: March 28
- Match 5 & 6: April 4
Schedule - Playoffs
- Ro32: April 25
- Ro16: May 2
- Quarterfinals: May 9
- Semifinals: May 16
- Finals: May 23
- Total: $40,000
- 1st: $10,000
- 2nd: $5,000
- 3rd/4th: $2,500
- 5-8th: $1,500
- 9-16th: $750
- 17-32nd: $500
Tips for New Coordinators and Teams
Running a CSL team can be daunting, fun, or both! Here are some tips that we've gathered over the years to make the best of your experience:
1. Read the rules
Carefully. Rules are very important for creating a smooth experience!
2. Pick a responsible coordinator
This is the person who will submit lineups/reports on time, file disputes for forfeits or cheating accusations, and communicate with other coordinators and CSL admins on your behalf on a weekly basis; coordinators will also be responsible for making sure all team members are eligible under the rules. Coordinators must have a Discord name attached to their CSL profile and must be members of the CSL Discord server, since Discord is where most communcation between teams will take place. You don't want to incur penalties because your coordinator is forgetful!
The following are the official rules of the CSL Gears 5 tournaments. Rules cover eligibility, format, match procedures, reporting, penalties, and more. Any issues that arise which are not covered within the current rules will be settled at the discretion of CSL admins on a case-by-case basis, and when applicable, penalties set when deemed appropriate. Rules may be added or modified if deemed necessary.
- Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that all members of the team follow the guidelines outlined in the section: player eligibility
- Each team must belong to an accredited college or university with a physical address (online universities are ineligible). The university must offer at least a 2-year degree program
- All teams must have a minimum of five (5) players who are all students at the same university. There is no maximum number of players per team
- 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 CSL 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
- 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
- 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 affilation for one specific academic program will only allow those applicable students to combine
- 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-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
- 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 [email protected] with relevant information when requesting an exception
- 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
- 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!
- Each player must be currently enrolled in their university with a valid university email address, taking full time courses, and in good standing
- Players must be registered as current students at their team's school unless approved under a combined team; see section: team eligibility
- 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!)
- 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 [email protected] 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
- Players graduating during the Spring season do not have to meet the full time credit requirement if they need less than the required amount to graduate. As long as they have been full-time and in good standing for their entire academic history they only need to be part time status; contact [email protected] if clarification is needed.
- 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 CSL. Players found in violation of this rule are subject to penalties. See section: penalties
- Players must be registered with a valid Xbox Live Gamertag.
- 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
- Players can only play for one school; players on dual enrollment may not play for multiple schools and must be approved by tournament admins
- 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 approved
- 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
- Players cannot be suspended by CSL for previous infractions outside of the CSL.
- CSL staff may request and check transcripts/academic files of all players any time during the season. Failure to provide proof of education will result in penalties. See section: penalties
Regular Season Format
- There will be a single unified division for all teams - Star League
- There is no team limit for each school. Participants may only play for one Gears 5 team for the duration of the season; once they participate in a match, that player will be locked onto that roster for the duration of the season
- CSL will organize teams into (roughly) geographical round robin conferences, with the top teams advancing to the playoffs
Playoffs and Tiebreakers
- The top teams per conference will qualify for the Playoffs (final number to be determined based on league enrollments). Additional top-performing teams may qualify, based on the criteria below.
- Seeding for playoffs is based on performance during the regular season with all groups mixed together for the playoff bracket. There will be no arbitrary seeding between Groups (i.e. 1st Group A will be given equal weight to 1st Group B, etc.).
- To determine the top performing regular season teams we rank the following criteria:
- Match record (defined by total matches won - total matches lost)
- Set differential, if applicable (defined by taking the total number of sets won - total number of sets lost). A set is defined as a single game or map within a match or series
- Head-to-head matchup, if applicable
- Number of forfeits and infractions
- Coin toss
- Game Mode: Escalation; 5v5; all Matches Best of 3
- Default start time for Match 1/3/5 (the first match each week) is Saturday at 12:00 PM PT and Match 2/4/6 (the second match each week) is 2:00 PM PT.
- The form of competition is Gears 5, played on the current patch.
- All Matches will be played and governed by the guidelines presented in the "Competitive Platform" section of the GEARS 5 ESPORTS HANDBOOK; however, we are allowing cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows.
- Coordinators must complete the Map & Host Selection process using Discord in advance of each Match. If a Coordinator does not reach out to their opponent to complete the Map & Host Selection process on behalf of their team within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time they will forfeit the Match, at the disrection of CSL league officials.
- All live streamed matches must have at least a 3 minute delay, with both teams consenting. PLEASE NOTE: any time a game is streamed there is the potential for cheating
- CSL admins or streamers are the only observers allowed in each game by default. Players, however, have a right to request no observers in a game with the exception of official CSL administrators or casters
- Teams who wish to have additional observers in-game may do so only with the approval of the opposing coordinator. Teams who wish to stream their own games must likewise first get the approval of the opposing coordinator. Teams who allow observers or their own streamers, however, understand the possibility of cheating and will subsequently waive their right to complain about observer cheating or stream cheating
- A match officially broadcast by CSL may not have any other observers, superseding the above mentioned observer rules
- Interactions should be limited to glhf or related (for STARTING the game), gg, good game or related (for ENDING the game), and general game set up, technical problems, or other game-relevant issues. Excessive or bad mannered interactions may result in penalties for the offending player and team. See section: penalties
- All interactions, including but not limited to, chat, PM, emotes, emails, or any other interactions, whether in-game or outside the game, will fall under this rule; to put it simply, if a team tells you to stop interacting with them, your team must cease all interactions, other than for necessary technical-related issues
- Procedural note: To claim a set win, please request politely: "please stop interacting with us or I am reporting you for an interaction violation," and then do not respond to further provocations by other players. If the other player continues to interact with your team, it would be perfectly acceptable to, at that point, leave the game and send us the replay, VOD, or other evidence to claim a win
- Note that violation forfeit requests will be denied if your team does not follow the proper procedures, your team also uses bad manners yourselves, or if your team is goading the opponents into it
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember, results will stand if you play through the game. If there are problems or issues (lag, chat violations, etc) that call for a regame or forfeit, please pause the game and speak to a CSL admin. If you play through the game, you CANNOT retroactively request regames or forfeits (unless both teams agree on a regame)
- Each team will have a coordinator that is responsible for organizing his or her team, submitting lineups and results, taking accurate screenshots as evidence for forfeits and other issues, and serving as a point of contact with CSL staff and other coordinators. Coordinators must have a Discord name (i.e. PlayerA#1234) attached to their CSL profile, since Discord is where most communcation between teams will take place. Beginning January 18, 2020, if a coordinator has not added a Discord name to their CSL profile and has not joined the CSL server, and an opposing team's coordinator is not able to reach them, they will risk forfeiting their team's games at the discretion of tournament officials. The coordinator is also responsible for making sure all team members are eligible under the rules.
- A team that does not show up for a match 15 minutes after the default start time will forfeit the match. Players are given a 3 minute grace period in between games; any team who is not ready for the next game of a match within 3 minutes of the previous game ending auto-forfeits.
- Procedural note: in order to claim a forfeit win, please click the “request forfeit” button on the match page ON THE CSL WEBSITE, submit your screenshot (if you have multiple, please combine them into one image) and write a brief description to explain the situation. An administrator will then review your request and accept or deny it. If your request is denied, you likely did not show the proper evidence or timestamp in your screenshot; check with the tournament admins if clarification is needed
- Match results must be uploaded to the website as soon as possible; even if your match is broadcasted, all teams must still report their matches. All unreported or unfinished/pending matches will result in a loss for BOTH teams
- In order to report your game, the WINNING PLAYER/COORDINATOR MUST: (1) select the players and map used, and (2) submit a screenshot of the victory screen for each set. Failure to accurately report games will result in the penalties. See section; penalties
- We encourage teams to save screenshots and replays in case disputes need to be resolved. Disputes without replays/VODs, screenshots, or other evidence will likely be ignored
- If assistance is needed, please email [email protected]. For live assistance, there will be an admin available on CSL's official DISCORD CHANNEL during each tournament. Click HERE! to download the app and join the CSL channel!
Penalties and Bannable Offenses
- Player verification: a player who fails academic verification by CSL (e.g. on probation, fails to send in files, etc...) will have all of his or her CSL matches overturned. That player will also be banned for the remainder of the CSL season and the following season. If it is found that the coordinator knowingly used an ineligible player upon investigation, the coordinator may be removed from his or her position, or harsher penalties may be levied on the team, on a case by case basis. The team will also forfeit a minimum of 20% of all prizes, but may be higher, depending on the severity of the case as determined by CSL admins
- Addendum: a student who starts the season eligible to play, but ends up on academic probation mid-way through the year will not be allowed to play in any future matches, but his or her previous games will stand as valid. Any such case should be pointed out immediately to CSL administrators. Failure to do so will result in the penalty listed above for any game a player plays after going on probation. Failure to notify CSL administration of such cases will again, result in penalties
- Falsifying records: a player or coordinator found falsifying records, including but not limited to a student’s enrollment or transcript information, will be immediately removed from the league and banned for 1 year. Furthermore, any and all matches played by the player in question will be overturned and all prize money earned by the entire team will be forfeit
- Incorrect Battletag information: No warnings will be given; a player with incorrect information due to typo or name changing will receive a set forfeit loss after the lineup draw is revealed and the issue brought to us by the opposing team.
- False or incorrect result reporting: Teams who upload false or incorrect results will receive one warning. A 2nd warning will result in the reversal of the game(s) in question. A 3rd warning will result in the entire match score being reversed. Any further infractions will result in removal from the league
- Bad manner: Players who use excessive bad manner, insults, or other such related behavior towards another player or admin as determined by CSL staff will be given a single warning. Another instance of excessive bad manner will result in the offending player being banned from the current season. In more extreme cases, a player may be banned without warning, permanently, at CSL tournament admin discretion
- Hacking, Ghosting, Stream Cheating: Any type of use of an illegal 3rd party program or map hack, stream cheating, or other activity that leads to one player gaining an unfair advantage will be immediately banned from the current season and 1 year thereafter. Furthermore, any and all prize money earned by that player will be forfeit, and all his or her matches reversed. For documentation purposes, prize money earned by an individual will be calculated by taking the team’s winnings divided by the amount of players total (e.g. $10,000 / 6 players)
For any Gears 5 related questions - please feel free to email us at [email protected] or speak to CSL league officials live in the Gears 5 Help chat on DISCORD.