Season Guide to CSL Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

Counterstrike: Global Offensive

General Information

CSL is an intercollegiate gaming league open to all accredited colleges and universities in North America. We will be running a year-long season with weekly matches. There will be two divisions: Division 1 for "competitive schools" and Division 2 for "casual schools". During the regular season, teams will play Best of Ones with preset maps in two round robin conferences; the first being geographical, and the second being mixed based on seeding. The top teams of the second round robin will then advance to a Best of Three single-elimination playoff bracket using CEVO's map veto system.

We have partnered with CEVO for server/match support, so all participants will need to install the CEVO client and anti-cheat in order to participate. General CEVO rules will be used by default unless otherwise stated and can be viewed HERE.

Since CEVO is providing the server/client logistics, they will be handling all CEVO website, client, server, and potential cheating issues, so please use the follow list to help send your issues to the correct place:

  • For all CSL tournament, league, website related issues or general questions about the season, please contact our tournament admins at [email protected], live assistance is available during the default match time and weekly help desk office hour in our DISCORD CHANNEL (Weds 5pm to 6pm PST/8pm to 9pm EST)
  • For all CEVO server/client/match related issues, especially during your match time, please send a support ticket from THIS PAGE for expedited service
  • For CEVO website issues or general inquiries that are not time-sensitive, please contact their general support email at [email protected]

Summary of Key Points

  • Regular season format is round robin group play, with a format of best of one
  • Teams will be seeded by ranking from the first round robin and mixed with teams from other conferences
  • In Division 1, the top 4 teams in each group will advance to a Ro48 single elimination playoff bracket, with top teams receiving a first round BYE
  • In Division 2, the top 4 teams in each group will advance to a Ro48 single elimination playoff bracket, with top teams receiving a first round BYE
  • To accommodate cross-region play, CEVO match servers will be automatically selected based on the lowest average ping difference between the two teams, however teams may change the server location if both teams explicitly agree; teams must document evidence of any agreements for potential disputes
  • Teams need (1) a coordinator and (2) a minimum of five unique players; a coordinator may also be a player if eligible
  • There are different contact places for different issues between CSL and CEVO

Schedule - First Half

  • October 14: Match 1
  • October 21: Match 2
  • October 28: Match 3
  • November 4: Match 4
  • November 11: Match 5
  • November 18: Match 6
  • November 25: Match 7
  • December 2: Match 8/Reschedule Week
  • **BREAK**

Schedule - Second Half

  • January 13: Match 1
  • January 20: Match 2
  • January 27: Match 3
  • February 3: Match 4
  • February 10: Match 5
  • February 17: Match 6
  • February 24: Match 7
  • March 3: Match 8/Reschedule Week
  • **BREAK**

Schedule - Playoffs

  • March 17: Round Pending
  • March 24: Round Pending
  • March 31: Round Pending
  • April 7: Round Pending
  • April 14: Round Pending

Prize Pool (Division 1)

  • Total: $30,000
  • 1st: $10,000
  • 2nd: $6,000
  • 3rd-4th: $3,000
  • 5th-8th: $1,000
  • 9th-16th: $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 CSL admins on your behalf. You don't want to incur penalties because your coordinator is disorganized or forgetful!

3. Know that not all players are flexible

The default time for CSL matches is set for Saturday 12:00pm Pacific. Most of the time our teams are friendly and can reschedule, but you may run up against a team that also has other obligations and cannot. Sign your team up for this league knowing that you will have to set aside time on Saturday afternoons.

Official Rules

The following are the official rules of the CSL CS:GO league; by default we will be using CEVO rules and cfg unless otherwise denoted, available HERE. 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.

Team 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 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. 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, such as through a community college's direct 1:1 feeder/transfer program or an applicable shared academic or athletic program
  • 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 all required 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!
  • Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that all members of the team follow the guidelines outlined in the section: player eligibility
  • CSL reserves the right to verify transcripts or any proof of education via checking with university authority figures such as Deans, Professors, or any other such person that can verify the authenticity of student records
  • Failure to provide verification to CSL administration will result in disqualification and forfeiture of any and all prize money

Player Eligibility

  • Each player must be currently enrolled in a university with a valid university email address
  • Players must be registered as current students at their team's school unless approved under a combined team; see section: team eligibility
  • Players cannot be suspended by CSL for previous infractions outside of the CSL
  • Players must be registered with valid names, school emails, and Steam ID’s (this is your unique ID #, STEAM_0:1:30159550 for example). If you are unsure of how to find your steam ID, visit this website! Just type in your steam username and it will pull your ID for you. This number is what is needed for your profile.
  • Barcode IDs and any other offensive names are not allowed - players must use their primary ID for participation in CSL. If a player’s primary ID happens to be a barcode, that player must choose a name to use for the competition. Failure to have updated information will result in penalties. See section: penalties
  • Player registration is open through the regular season. At the end of the last weekend of regular season play, rosters will officially LOCK and no new players may be added
  • Players can only play for one school. Players cannot switch schools during the season, even in the case of a transfer of schools. This means that if players transfer schools mid-season, they should still play for the team they registered for at the start of the season
  • Each player must be enrolled as a full time student (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!). Some exceptions to this rule are possible; 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 school year season do not have to meet the credit requirement if they need less than required amount to graduate, 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 [email protected] if clarification is needed
  • Players must be in "good standing" as defined by their university/program to be eligible to participate; students on academic probation/leave of absence/etc are unable to play in CSL. Players found in violation of this rule are subject to penalties. See section: penalties
  • CSL staff may request and check official transcripts of all players who qualify for the playoffs and may ask for these documents at any time during the season. Failure to provide proof of education will result in penalties. See section: penalties

Regular Season Format

  • Teams can participate in either Division 1 or Division 2. A college or university can field both a Division 1 and Division 2 team, but are limited to only one Division 1 team; there is no team limit for Division 2. Participants may only play for one CS:GO 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 rankings deciding how teams will be distributed for the mixed second round robin conferences
  • The first team to win 16 normal rounds in a regular season match earns a MATCH win (or wins 4 out of the 6 rounds in overtime)

Playoffs and Tie Breakers

  • In Division 1, the top 4 teams in each group will advance to a Ro48 single elimination playoff bracket, with top teams receiving a first round BYE
  • In Division 2, the top 4 teams in each group will advance to a Ro48 single elimination playoff bracket, with top teams receiving a first round BYE
  • In the playoffs, the same rules and procedures as during the regular season will apply except the expanded match format
  • To accommodate cross-region play, CEVO match servers will be automatically selected based on the lowest average ping difference between the two teams, however teams may change the server location if both teams explicitly agree; teams must document evidence of any agreements for potential disputes
  • To determine the top performing regular season teams we rank the following criteria:
    • Match record (defined by total matches won - total matches lost)
    • Individual set differential (defined by taking the total number of sets won - total number of sets lost). A set is defined as a game within a series/match
    • Head-to-head matchup, if applicable
    • Number of forfeits and infractions
  • In the case of teams being tied in both match score and set differential and no head-to-head result is available, the teams will play in a tiebreaker round which will be a series of matches between the tied teams, played with the regular season CSL format to determine placing
  • Tiebreaker games are ONLY played if the result will impact priority seeding positions (defined as a seed which grants a first round BYE vs not receiving a BYE, or a seed granting a playoff spot versus not granting a playoff spot)
  • Ties that DO NOT affect priority seeding positions (e.g. if two teams are tied for the 12th and 13th seed) will be decided by coin toss rather than a tiebreaker match

Match Format

  • Teams will compete against each other in weekly matches throughout the season.
  • Default times for matches are Saturdays 12:00pm Pacific
  • The form of competition is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, played on the current patch
  • Group stage matches are Best of One with preset maps and playoff matches are Best of Three using CEVO's map veto system
  • The default competition game mode for CS:GO will be defuse missions. Server settings is the CEVO CFG default. Full CEVO rules available HERE
    • Team Size: 5
    • Minimum Players: 4v4 or 4v5
    • Round Time: 1m 55s
    • Bomb Timber: 4os
    • Overtime: 3 Rounds per half, $10 start money
    • Pausing: 4 tactical timeout (30s) per game using .timeout command, max 5min. Technical issues can be paused using .problem command
    • Halftime: 20s

Map Order

  • January 13 - Nuke
  • January 20 - Cache
  • January 27 - Overpass
  • February 3 - Train
  • February 10 - Mirage
  • February 17 - Inferno
  • February 24 - Cbble

Gameplay Rules

  • All players within a match must record first person demos for all CSL matches; see section: administrative rules
  • 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, streamers, or team coordinators are the only observers allowed in each game. 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.
  • Buy binds are allowed, however movement-related binds ( e.g. jump, flash) are prohibited; usage may result in a match forfeit at admin discretion
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Chat/PM should be limited to glhf or related(for STARTING the game) and gg, good game or related (for ENDING the game). Excessive or bad mannered chat/PM may result in penalties for the offending player. See section: penalties
    • *Procedural note: To claim a set win, please request politely: "please stop chatting or I am reporting you for a chatting violation," and then do not respond to further provocations by other players. If the other player continues to chat and BM (Bad Manner), it would be perfectly acceptable to, at that point, leave the game and send us the unfinished game replay to claim a win
  • Players must use their CSL website username and team tag for ALL official CSL matches (e.g. [UCSD] Xeris). This is to make life easier for casters, administrators, and opposing coordinators wanting to report games easily!
  • 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)

Administrative Rules

  • 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
  • The pre-set time for all matches is Saturday at 12:00pm Pacific. Matches must be played at the default time unless both teams agree to play at a different time. Normal non-broadcasted regular season matches may be rescheduled to any date before or after the default date, through the last week of that group stage; there is also a Reschedule Week specifically set aside to accommodate reschedules if no other date can be agreed upon. No playoff matches may be postponed past the default weekend except for CSL broadcast purposes(exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis upon detailed review by CSL administrative staff).
  • A team who 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 sets; a player who is not ready for his specific set within 3 minutes of the previous game ending auto-forfeits.
  • 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 after the reporting deadline on the last weekend of each group stage. Unreported playoff matches will result in BOTH teams being removed
  • In order to report your game, the WINNING PLAYER/COORDINATOR MUST: (1) add the lineups for all five members of BOTH teams, and (2) submit screenshots of the victory screens. Failure to accurately report games will result in the penalties. See section; penalties
  • All players are required to save first person demos during all CSL matches and will be used as evidence during any disputes in case of extraordinary cases or if there is an issue with the server demo. Failure to produce demos upon CSL request will be counted against you and may lead to a forfeit. Demos should be kept for the entire season
  • To record a demo, use the console command “record NAME”, without quotes. The name should be the match date and your player name for easy identification. When the match is concluded, use the console command “stop” or simply disconnect, and the demo recording will stop
  • If assistance is needed, please email [email protected] for our league/website issues, otherwise use CEVO's support ticket system for server/client related issues at [email protected]. For live assistance, there will be an admin available on CSL's official DISCORD CHANNEL. Click HERE! to download the app and join the CSL channel!
  • During the week, CSL will have open "office hours" on our official DISCORD CHANNEL. Every Weds at 5pm to 6pm PST/8pm to 9pm EST you'll be able to hop on our DISCORD and receive assistance from our admins
    • *Procedural note: When agreeing to reschedule a match, both teams must email [email protected] with the agreed upon date and time to confirm or provide applicable evidence of the reschedule. Once this date and time is agreed on it will be considered the new official match time, and forfeit rules will apply to it

Broadcast Rules

  • 1. If your team has been selected for a broadcast your coordinator will be notified via email
  • 2. The match will be moved from the default time to a broadcasted time slot. Please check your individual team pages to confirm these changes
  • 3. Yes, this is mandatory
  • 4. Once you're scheduled for a broadcast you may not move or reschedule the match without the approval of the production director. Doing so or playing ahead of your broadcasted time will result in a forfeit for both teams
  • 5. This year we will allow teams to notify us no later than 7 days prior to their broadcast date if they have an issue with the time presented. Any team that cancels later than that 7 day period will be automatically forfeited.(Certain times there will be exceptions, e.x. first couple weeks of the fall, as it's very sudden for those team to prepare/adjust schedules for match times.)
  • 6. This year we will be a lot more stricter on the 4pmPT and 7pmPT start times. Same goes with rules in regards to showing up late. Please keep this in mind as you register for spring classes
  • 7. If your team is planning on dropping out or going inactive please let the production director or one of the admins know asap. Going dark and not saying anything leaves us vulnerable and creates a bad impression of your team/school
  • 8. You can view the publicly available broadcast schedule HERE

Penalties and Bannable Offenses

  • Academic probation: a player found to be on academic probation 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 a player on academic probation 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
    • 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 player names: We will send one warning to the COORDINATOR of the school if his or her players’ are found with incorrect user names in their CSL matches. Remember: for CSL matches, ALL players should have their CSL website ID and team tag! The errors must be corrected before the team’s next match. If the error is not fixed by the time of the next match, the team will receive one game loss, continuing each successive week the players’ information is not correctly update
  • Incorrect Steam IDs: We will send one warning to the COORDINATOR of the school if his or her players are found with incorrect Steam IDs in their profile. The errors must be corrected before the team’s next match. If the error is not fixed by the time of the team’s next match, said team will receive one game loss, and will continue receiving one loss each week the player's information is not correctly updated
  • 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
  • Illegal Players: Players can only be an active player on ONE CS:GO team. Illegal using a player from another CS:GO team, whether in the same division or not, will result in a match forfeit penalty, and potentially having the player suspended from ALL activities in CSL and the team removed from the season, depending on the circumstances; CSL admins will determine the adequate punishment for repeat offenders at their discretion. If your opponent is using an illegal player, notify an admin immediately
  • Bad manner: Players who use excessive bad manner, insults, or such related behavior as determined by CSL staff will be given two warnings. A third instance of excessive bad manner will result in the offending player being banned from the current season. While determining bad manner is subjective - we generally only consider bad manner if it is aimed directly at a player, administrator, or done in-game
  • If a cheating accusation is brought against your team, and you do not have the requested demo(s), it will be used as evidence against you
  • 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)
  • If a team that is selected to play a LIVE BROADCAST game fails to show up for its match on schedule, and did not notify us of any scheduling conflicts during the registration period will be subject to ONE warning. A second instance of a team not showing up to a Tuesday or Thursday live broadcast slot will result in a forfeit of $150 in any prize money the team wins. This amount will double for each subsequent violation>
  • If a team qualifies for the live Grand Final and can not attend -- the team will forfeit 2/5 of its total prize money for every member who cannot attend

For any CS:GO related questions - please feel free to email us at [email protected] or speak to an admin live during office hours on DISCORD in the CS:GO Tournament chat every Weds 5pm to 6pm PST/8pm to 9pm EST