Scholastic - Collegiate
Applicable as of: Spring 2021
Last Updated: April 6th, 2021
V.2.1

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Introduction and Purpose

These Official Rules (“Rules”) of PlayVS College apply to all individuals who have registered and met the requirements for the Spring 2021 semester, as well as any coaches, directors, coordinators, advisors, players, player-coaches, captains, contributors, (collectively “Team Members”), and other members. The Overwatch season operated by PlayVS will operate during the Spring 2021 academic semester (“Season”). The Season will consist of up to three phases: (a) Preseason, (b) Regular Season and (c) Playoffs, which will take place after the conclusion of the Regular Season. The top teams will advance from the Regular Season to the Playoffs in accordance with the rules outlined below. These Rules apply only to official events organized or managed by PlayVS and not to other competitions, tournaments, or organized collegiate esports.

Play Versus, Inc. has established these Rules in order to unify and standardize the collegiate esports competitive ruleset. These Rules are designed solely to ensure the integrity of the system established by PlayVS for organized play of esports and to maintain quality and consistency of teams that play at the collegiate level. Official Rules are subject to change at any time at the discretion of PlayVS in order to keep pace with competitive integrity, partner requests, and broader shifts in the collegiate esports landscape.

By participating in any game or match that is part of a PlayVS collegiate league, tournament, or event, a player is confirming that they (or, if a minor, they and their parent or legal guardian) have accepted the Rules pursuant to this document, including, but not limited to, the eligibility restrictions set forth in Section 2.

This rulebook is maintained by PlayVS League Officials, who are solely defined as members of the PlayVS team.


Table of Contents

1. Acceptance of Official Rules

2. Team Member Eligibility

3. Roster Rules

4. Player Equipment

5. League Structure

6. Match Process

7. Game Rules

8. Reschedules

9. Forfeits

10. Timely Communications

11. Team Enrollment

12. Player & Coach Conduct

13. Coach-Specific Conduct

14. Spirit of the Rules

15. Streaming

16. Rewards


1. Acceptance of Official Rules

1.1 Acceptance

Each participant must agree to these Official Rules, Codes of Conduct, and the PlayVS Terms of Service to participate in any PlayVS collegiate esports league. PlayVS is operating a competitive league for Overwatch, and participation is subject to the same standards of conduct as official Activision Blizzard or Overwatch events.

You accept these Official Rules through any of the following methods:

1.1.1 Joining a team in a PlayVS league.

1.1.2 Participating in any official or community-led PlayVS event.

1.1.3 Connecting any game or social accounts to PlayVS.

2. Team Member Eligibility

2.1 Student Enrollment

No player shall be considered eligible to participate in any PlayVS collegiate league events, including scrimmages and official matches, before enrolling in at least six (6) credit hours or two (2) classes and attending the college or university ("Schools") associated with their team. The representative college or university must be presently-accredited and offer a degree-granting program (2- or 4-year) in order for its players to be eligible for competition.

Requests to participate in a PlayVS league while undergoing a gap semester, medical leave exemption, COVID-19 leave, or any similar exemption must be reviewed and approved by a League Official.

Exemptions will not be granted to students and/or institutions that do not meet accreditation or degree-granting requirements.

To submit an exemption request, complete an exemption request form.

2.2 Participation Eligibility

2.2.1 Age. Each player must be 17 years of age or older at the time a match begins in order to play.

2.2.2 Academic Eligibility. Each player must satisfy any and all attendance policies put in place by their school, club, or program leadership. School leaders are responsible for enforcing any academic eligibility policies and may notify a League Official for assistance with extending enforcement to PlayVS league membership.

Players must be enrolled in at least two (2) classes or six (6) credits at an accredited institution and attending the college or university associated with their team.

Requests to participate in a PlayVS league while undergoing a gap semester, medical leave exemption, COVID-19-leave, or any similar exception must be reviewed and approved by a League Official.

Students at institutions that have not been previously accredited and are currently undergoing the accreditation process may apply for consideration to participate in our leagues, but are not guaranteed the right to play.

The eligibility exemption request form can be found here.

2.2.3 Competitive Eligibility. Each player must have a PlayVS account and an active Battle.net / Blizzard Account. Each player must be eligible to play with no current suspensions or bans issued by Activision Blizzard or PlayVS League Officials.

2.2.4 Professional Players. Players competing in any professional Overwatch events (e.g. OWL) or belonging to a professional organization (e.g. Florida Mayhem, San Francisco Shock, OpTic Gaming, etc.) are eligible to compete in PlayVS College Overwatch leagues provided they meet all other requirements.

2.2.5 Earnings. Earnings from current or previous Overwatch tournaments or competitions will not make a player ineligible. There is no earnings minimum or maximum.


3. Roster Rules

3.1 Roster Requirements

Each team is required to maintain, at all times during the season at least six players in the starting lineup (“Starters”). Teams are eligible to maintain three players as Substitutes or Alternates ("Substitutes").

For the avoidance of doubt, Starters and Substitutes are subject to the same roster eligibility requirements. Players that are not listed as Starters or Substitutes will be in the ‘Verified Players’ list.

Starters are considered collectively as the “Starting Roster.” Substitutes are considered collectively as the “Substitute Pool.”

Players in the Substitute Pool may be used for any team within an assigned esport. During Playoffs, substitutes must be assigned to one team. All players associated with a school are considered collectively as the "Roster." The "Playoff Roster", consisting of the Starting Roster plus up to two Substitutes, must be locked in prior to the beginning of Playoff matches. No roster changes will be permitted once playoff matches have begun unless approved by a League Official.

A player is only allowed to compete for the school in which they are enrolled. A player will not be allowed to compete for more than one school simultaneously.

3.2 Coach

Coaches are permitted, but not required. Coaches can be starting players, substitute players, or active players provided they are an enrolled student (faculty members are not allowed to compete). Like players, coaches may only represent one school in PlayVS at a time.

If a coach is relieved of their position during the season, an interim coach can be designated until another coach is found. The interim coach can be any other member of faculty or program leadership.

3.3 Roster Submission

All starting players must be registered to a team before scheduled matches are to begin. Players may only compete for one team per scheduled week, including substitutions. Substitutes will be located in the ‘Verified Players’ list.

Coaches must verify enrollment and all other player requirements by this time. In the event that a coach elects to modify the starting roster, the coach must make those changes on app.playvs.com.

3.4 Substitutions

All verified players listed on a Roster are eligible as substitutes for any Overwatch team throughout the Regular Season. Substitutes must be submitted before the Roster Submission cutoff.

3.5 Battle.net / Blizzard Account Names

Battle.net / Blizzard Account names may include upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers 0-9, underscores, or single spaces between words only. Account names may not contain vulgarities, obscenities, or offensive language. Account names must be unique. Alternate accounts are not permitted for use in PlayVS matches. Players may only play on the account connected in their

PlayVS settings.

Battle.net / Blizzard Account names changes are not allowed unless requested or approved by a League Official. Players found to be in violation of rule 3.5 will be required to be changed at the expense of the account owner.

3.6 Team Names

Team names may only contain letters, numbers, and single spaces between words. Team names must not break any limits set forth by the PlayVS platform. Team Names may not contain vulgarities, obscenities, or offensive language. Team Names may not be changed during any phase of the league unless approved by a League Official. Team names found to be in violation of any rules may lead to a punishment for the team's player(s).

3.7 Roster Locks

Eligible players are locked as of March 12, 2021. Be sure to enroll your players and substitutes by this date. After March 12, 2021, new players will not be permitted to enroll or play; however, you will still be able to swap enrolled starters and subs throughout the season.

Exceptions may be considered by League Officials for one of the following reasons: medical exemptions, military exemptions, and new program launches. No other exception reasons will be considered.

The eligibility exemption request form can be found here.

4. Player Equipment & Platform Eligibility

4.1 Equipment

Players must have access to sufficient equipment to play Overwatch. Our recommended list of baseline equipment includes:

4.1.1 PC or Laptop
4.1.2 Monitor or TV
4.1.3 Headsets and/or Earbuds and/or Microphone
4.1.4 Table or Desk and Chair
4.1.5 Keyboard or Controller
4.1.6 Mouse
4.1.7 Mousepad

4.2 Supported Platforms

Players must compete in Overwatch using a Windows machine on a laptop or PC.

5. League Structure

5.1 Definition of Terms

5.1.1 Session (often referred to as "Game"). An instance of competition that is played until a winner is determined by one of the following methods, whichever occurs first: (a) completion of the final objective, (b) Team Surrender, or (c) Team Forfeit.

5.1.2 Match. A set of games that is played until one team wins a majority of the total games (e.g., winning three games out of a “best of five”) or the maximum number of games are completed (e.g., five games in a “best of five”). The winning team will either receive a win tally in a league format or advance to the next round in a tournament format. In the event of a tie, the teams will each receive 1 game win, 1 game loss, and 1 match tie.


5.1.3 Phase. A section of scheduled league play that comprises a season. There are four distinct phases: Preseason, Regular Season, Playoffs, and the Championship.


5.1.4 Season. Scheduled league play that will occur over an approximately three-month period of time. Refer to the league schedule for exact dates.

Each season will consist of three phases: (a) Preseason, (b) Regular Season, (c) the Playoffs, and (d) the Championship.


5.1.5 Block (or "Schedule Block"). The duration between the originally scheduled time for a match and the time when the next match will be scheduled. For swiss hybrid leagues, performance in a schedule block will be used to determine a team’s opponents for the subsequent block.

5.1.6 Map Pool. The PlayVS College Overwatch season will be played on the following maps:

Game Mode

Map Pool

Game 1: Control

Lijiang Tower

Game 2: Assault

Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries

Game 3: Escort

Dorado, Havana, Watchpoint: Gibraltar

Game 4: Hybrid

Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani

Game 5: Control

Busan, Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, Oasis

Game 6 (Tiebreaker ONLY): Control

Ilios

The first game of every match will be played on Lijiang Tower.

5.2 Phase Details

5.2.1 Preseason. This phase consists of each team enrolled in the league competing in one official practice week. Results of these matches will not be recorded for consideration towards regular season or playoffs results; however, these matches are recommended in order to properly test equipment and game connections, and to get an early measure of competition that will be faced throughout the season.

5.2.2 Regular Season. This phase consists of each team competing in best-of-five (Bo5) matches against opponents. Ranking in the league will be determined by each team's accumulated points.

5.2.3. Playoffs. This phase consists of the top teams from the regular season (exact number dependent on the final number of enrolled teams) competing in a single- or double-elimination bracket (exact format dependent on the final number of enrolled teams).

5.2.4. Championship. The Championship will consist of a single best-of-five (Bo5) match between the top two teams from the Playoffs. The team to achieve three game wins will be awarded the match win and will be declared the PlayVS College Overwatch Spring 2021 Champion. In the event that a single team reaches three game wins before the start of a fourth or fifth game, the remaining games will not be played.

5.3 Tiebreakers

If two or more Teams in the Regular Season achieve the same number of match wins, resulting in a tie, the tie(s) will be resolved by applying the tiebreaking mechanisms listed below (i-v), in order of application. All calculations involve only Games from the Regular Season, as applicable.

The same Tiebreaker priority applies to Playoffs and/or Championships.

i. Overall Match Wins: The total number of Matches won by a Team.

ii. Overall Match Differential: The total number of Matches won by a Team minus the toal number of Matches lost by such Team ("Match Differential").

iii. Overall Game Differential: The total number of Games won by a Team minus the total number of Games lost by such Team (“Game Differential”).

iv. Overall Game Wins: The total number of Games won by a Team.

v. Coin Toss: A League Official will flip a coin to determine the final tiebreaker result. Rules and communication around the Coin Toss are left entirely to the discretion of the League Official at the time the tiebreaker is executed. Coin Toss standard: Heads = Remain/Add (Winning Result), Tails = Modify/Subtract (Non-Winning Result).

6. Match Process

6.1 Pre-Match Setup

6.1.1 Equipment Setup. Restart all devices at least one hour before scheduled matches and test the game client by loading into a custom session.

6.1.2 Technical Failure of Equipment. If a player encounters any equipment problems during any phase of the setup process, that player or a coach for the program must notify a League Official immediately.

6.1.3 Technical Support. Players and/or coaches must be available to assist with the setup process and troubleshoot any problems encountered during the pre-match setup period. PlayVS cannot guarantee a resolution to any issues beyond our control.

6.1.4 Timeliness of Game & Match Start. It is expected that players will resolve any issues with the setup process within the allotted time and that the match will begin at the scheduled time. Delays due to setup problems may be permitted, at the sole discretion of League Officials. All players competing must be in the session lobby to be considered “present”.

Teams will have up to 15 minutes from the start of the first game to join the match lobby. Subsequent games in a match must be joined within 5 minutes. Teams are permitted to agree upon delays beyond 5 minutes in-between games. Any team that does not show up for a game or match within the confines of these rules will be subject to forfeit.

6.1.5 Session Lobby Creation. One player from the home team must create the lobby (preferably a Team Captain, though any player from the home team may step up to create the lobby). The lobby leader must follow the Overwatch Game Day Protocol.

6.1.6 Spectator. Each lobby must allow for a max of 12 spectators.

6.2 Game Setup

6.2.1 Game Type Selection.

6.2.1.1 Regular Season, Playoffs, & Championship. After the home team has set up the match and everyone loads into the lobby, teams will play a best-of-five series. The game order is as follows:

Game Mode

Map Pool

Game 1: Control

Lijiang Tower

Game 2: Assault

Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries

Game 3: Escort

Dorado, Havana, Watchpoint: Gibraltar

Game 4: Hybrid

Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani

Game 5: Control

Busan, Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, Oasis

Game 6 (Tiebreaker ONLY): Control

Ilios

Following each match, the host is responsible for taking a screenshot of the results and uploading them to the PlayVS match lobby. However, both teams are encouraged to do so.

6.2.1.2 Map and Side Selection. The losing team of the first game will have map selection. The losing team will determine the map, while the winning team will have side selection. (Note: In the lobby, Team 1 will always defend first and Team 2 will always attack first).

Map Selection

Side Selection

Loser of Map 1 ➤ Picks Map 2

Winner of Map 1 ➤ Selects Side

Loser of Map 2 ➤ Picks Map 3

Winner of Map 2 ➤ Selects Side

Loser of Map 3 ➤ Picks Map 4

Winner of Map 3 ➤ Selects Side

Loser of Map 4 ➤ Picks Map 5

Winner of Map 4 ➤ Selects Side

6.2.1.3 Lobby Management. The player who created the lobby must move teams and change team names after each team has sorted to their correct side.

6.2.2 Substitutions. Substitute players must be enrolled on the PlayVS team roster as substitutes and eligible to play. Substitute players are allowed to swap in and out between games in a match; however, these changes must be updated in PlayVS (where possible) and the opposing team must be notified of the substitution.

6.2.3 Tiebreaker. In the case that the match is tied after Game 5, please play the tiebreaker on Control Map - Ilios. If a Game 6 has been played, please report the Game 6 result in place of the hybrid map.

7. Game Rules

7.1 Definition of Terms

7.1.1 Unintentional Disconnection. A player losing connection to the game due to problems or issues with the game client, platform, network, or PC.

7.1.2 Intentional Disconnection. A player losing connection to the game due to player’s actions (i.e. quitting the game). Any actions of a player which lead to a disconnection shall be deemed intentional, regardless of the actual intent of the player.

7.1.3 Server Crash. All players losing connection to a game due to an issue with a game server, PlayVS platform, or venue internet instability.

7.2 Game of Record

A game of record (“GOR”) refers to a session where all players have loaded and which has progressed to a point of meaningful interaction between opposing teams or the environment. Once a session attains GOR status, the period ends in which incidental restarts may be permitted and a session will be considered as “official” from that point onward. Examples of conditions which establish GOR:

7.2.1 Any attack or ability is landed on an enemy Hero.

7.2.2 Line-of-sight is established between players on opposing teams.

7.2.3 Game timer reaches two minutes (00:02:00).

7.3 Stoppage of Play

If a player intentionally disconnects without notifying a coach or League Official or pausing, a League Official is not required to enforce a stoppage.

7.3.1 Directed Pause. League Officials may order the pause of a match or execute a pause command on any player station at the sole discretion of the League Officials, at any time.

7.3.2 Player Pause. Players may only pause a match immediately following any of the events described below:

7.3.2.1 An Unintentional Disconnection

7.3.2.2 A hardware or software malfunction (e.g. monitor power or peripheral disability or game glitch)

7.3.2.3 An emergency event (e.g. power failure, environmental obstruction, player injury, etc.).

7.3.2.4 A rule breaking circumstance where a team believes a League Official needs to step in and resolve a dispute. A League Official should be contacted immediately and no game decision should be made until the League Official approves so. If a League Official is not available to immediately resolve the situation, the Match Dispute form mentioned in Section 7.6.2 of the rulebook should be filled out and submitted within 24 hours of the match being completed.

Emergencies must be communicated to opposing teams. In the event of a player injury or illness, the team must alert a League Official, who may in their sole discretion grant a pause in order to evaluate the identified player to determine whether player is ready, willing, and able to continue playing within a reasonable period of time.

If the League Official determines that the identified player is not able to continue playing within such a reasonable period of time, the player's team will be permitted a substitute only if the opposing team agrees to the change. Otherwise, the identified player’s team shall forfeit the game unless a League Official, in their discretion, determines that the game is subject to an Awarded Game Victory.

7.3.2.4 Disconnects. In the case of a player disconnect, the game will be paused after a fight has finished. Pauses will not be allowed during a fight.

7.3.2.5 Pause Times. Teams will be allotted 3 total pauses per match. The max pause length for each pause usage is 5 minutes. Pauses can be consecutive and reach up to 15 minutes of pause time.

7.3.3 Resuming the Game. When the pausing team is ready to unpause the game, a player from each team must confirm the resumption by typing “ready” or “r” in the chat.

7.4 Game Restart

The decision of which condition(s) shall justify a game restart is solely at the discretion of League Officials.

7.4.1 Restarts After GOR. The following are examples of situations in which a session may be restarted after GOR has been established. In any event, there is no guarantee a restart will be approved.

7.4.1.1 If a session experiences a critical bug at any point during the match which significantly alters session stats or gameplay mechanics.

7.4.1.2 If a league official determines that there are environmental conditions which are unfair to a statistically significant number of players (e.g. hostile weather or unacceptable safety risks).

7.4.2 Controlled Environment. Certain conditions may be preserved in the event of a restart of a session that has not reached GOR. If, however, a match has reached GOR, then League Officials shall not retain any settings.

7.4.3 Player Confirmation of Settings. Each team captain shall verify that every player on his/her team has finalized their intended game settings before GOR is established. Any error in verification is not grounds for a game restart after GOR is established.

7.5 Post-Game Process

7.5.1 Results. Results must be manually reported after a match has ended. In the event of an error, players and/or coaches must contact a League Official.

7.5.2 Sequential Sessions. Teams may elect to continue playing in sessions throughout the match window until match limits are reached.

7.6 Post-Match Process

7.6.1 Results. The winning team is required to submit match results through the Match Lobby within their PlayVS account. Opposing teams are eligible to submit results as well.

7.6.2 Disputes. In the event of a Match Dispute, teams should immediately fill out our Match Dispute form found here within 24 hours of the match being played. This gives League Officials enough time to look at the situation and evidence presented, contact both teams as follow up, and make a decision on what should be done in a timely manner. Match disputes submitted over 24 hours after the match has been played will not be looked into or have changes made.

7.6.3 Next Match. Teams will receive their next match opponent each Sunday at 00:00 PT throughout the Preseason and Regular Season. Playoff and Championship matchups are subject to competition brackets.

7.6.4 Results of Forfeiture. Matches won by forfeit will be reported by the

minimum score it would take for one team to win the match (e.g. 3-0 for best-of-five). No other statistics will be recorded for forfeited matches.

8. Reschedules

8.1 Timeliness of Reschedules

All rescheduled matches must be completed prior to the next match being scheduled. If a match is not completed by the end of the match week window, any teams without a completed match will receive a forfeit.

8.2 Optional Reschedules

Teams with issues at the time of a match may request a reschedule, choose to play at a disadvantage, or forfeit. Teams with an opponent requesting a reschedule may choose to accept or decline the reschedule at their sole discretion. Exceptions will be made by League Officials in unforeseen, unavoidable circumstances. Some examples include but are not limited to: natural disasters, emergencies, or game outage.

8.3 Rescheduled Match Responsibility

Once a match has been rescheduled, it is the responsibility of both teams to be present and ready to compete. Any team that is unable to compete in the rescheduled match will receive a forfeit, regardless of the initial reschedule request.

8.4 Preseason

Preseason matches may not be rescheduled to another day unless otherwise permitted by League Officials.

9. Forfeits

All forfeits are final. Matches that are forfeited at a coach’s request or matches that receive an automatic forfeit cannot be re-played or overturned.

9.1 Schedule Blocks

All matches within a schedule block must be resolved before the next schedule is generated. In order to release the schedule on time, any open matches will receive a double forfeit. It is the responsibility of coaches to contact League Officials in the event that a match is not played or recorded.

9.2 Application of Forfeits

Forfeits will be applied in the following cases:

9.2.1 No-shows. Teams will have up to 15 minutes from the start of the first game to join the match lobby. Subsequent games in a match must be joined within 5 minutes. Teams are permitted to agree upon delays beyond 5 minutes in-between games. Any team that does not show up for a game or match within the confines of these rules will be subject to forfeit.

9.2.2 Inability to compete. Teams that are unable to compete due to lack of players or equipment malfunctions must reschedule (if possible and agreed upon) or receive a forfeit.

9.2.3 Competitive ruling. Teams that engage in any violations of behavior based on our conduct rules and guidelines will be subject to forfeits, suspensions, and/or bans.

9.2.4 Incorrect or ineligible players. Players found to be in violation of enrollment and eligibility rules will result in forfeits for any matches in which they participate.

9.2.5 Lack of communication. Teams that do not communicate in a timely manner with League Officials will be subject to forfeiture of any and all of their teams with open matches.

10. Timely communications

10.1 Maintain open and frequent communication

Players and/or coaches are expected to communicate issues with PlayVS League Officials including player’s change of information, tech issues, or player ineligibility. Players and coaches must be available to respond to PlayVS League Officials as needed.

10.2 Match Day Point of Contact

Teams must provide a point of contact with current contact information listed in the PlayVS platform, of which all lines of communication must remain open during matches and 30 minutes after match completion.

11. Team Enrollment

11.1 Team Activation

All teams enrolled prior to the registration deadline will be enrolled in the season. Enrolled teams will receive a match schedule.

11.1.1 PlayVS Team Activation. Teams enrolled via the PlayVS platform may elect to compete at match time.

11.2 Team Deactivation

Team deactivation is defined as the removal of a team from the current season. Teams are not required to deactivate. Teams no longer competing will not join the match lobby. Points awarded to a team may not be reallocated to another team.

12. Player & Coach Conduct

For additional details on player and coach expectations, review our Player & Coach Code of Conduct and Terms of Service.

12.1 Competition Conduct

12.1.1 Unfair Play. The following actions will be considered unfair play and will be subject to penalties at the discretion of League Officials.

  • Collusion. Collusion is defined as any agreement among two (2) or more players/teams and/or accomplices to disadvantage opposing players. Collusion includes, but is not limited to, acts such as: Soft play, which is defined as any agreement among two (2) or more players to not damage, impede, or otherwise play to a reasonable standard of competition in a game. Sending or receiving signals, electronic or otherwise, between a player and another player on another team or an accomplice. Deliberately losing a game for compensation, or for any other reason, or attempting to induce another player to do so.
  • Competitive Integrity. Teams are expected to play at their best at all times within any league game, and to avoid any behavior inconsistent with the principles of good sportsmanship, honesty, or fair play. For the purpose of clarification and where applicable, the team composition of champions, heroes, or representative in-game characters (e.g. off-meta picks and builds) is not considered when determining whether this rule has been violated.
  • Hacking. Hacking is defined as any modification of a game client by any player, team, or person acting on behalf of a player or a team.
  • Exploiting. Exploiting is defined as intentionally using any in-game bug to seek an advantage. Exploiting is contextual by game and includes, but is not limited to, acts such as: glitches in buying items, glitches in mechanics that offer an unfair advantage, glitches in neutral object or character interactions (e.g. minions, bots, agents, etc.), glitches in champion, hero, or in-game character ability performance, or any other game function that, in the sole determination of League Officials, is not functioning as intended.
  • Spectator Monitors. Looking at or attempting to look at spectator monitors, when applicable.
  • Ringing. Playing under another player’s account or soliciting, inducing, encouraging, or directing someone else to play under another player’s account.
  • Cheating Methods. The use of any kind of cheating device and/or cheat program, or any similar cheating method such as signaling devices, hand signals, etc.
  • Intentional Disconnection. An intentional disconnection without a proper and explicitly-stated reason.
  • Live Coaching. Players are not permitted to communicate with a third party about ongoing competitions while actively competing in a match. This includes team coaches, players at your school not on your current team, competitors in the league, or any other outside assistance.
  • League Discretion. Any other further act, failure to act, or behavior which, in the sole judgment of League Officials, violates these Rules and/or the standards of integrity established by the league for competitive gameplay.

12.1.2 Profanity and Hate Speech. Players and coaches may not use language in or out of the game that is obscene, targeted, harmful, threatening, abusive, libelous, slanderous, defamatory or otherwise offensive or objectionable; or promote or incite hatred or discriminatory conduct at any time. Players and coaches may not use any facilities, services, or equipment provided or made available by PlayVS or its contractors to post, transmit, disseminate, or otherwise make available any such prohibited communications.
12.1.3 Disruptive Behavior / Insults. Players and coaches may not take any action or perform any gesture which is insulting, mocking, disruptive, or antagonistic in or out of a PlayVS event directed at an opposing player or coach, fan, or official, or incite any other individual(s) to do the same.
12.1.4 Abusive Behavior. Abuse of League Officials, opposing team members, or audience members (whether in-person or online) will not be tolerated.
12.1.5 Apparel. Players and coaches may wear apparel with multiple logos, patches, or promotional language if permitted to do so. PlayVS reserves the right to impose limitations on this when warranted (e.g. licensing restrictions on an official broadcast).

PlayVS reserves the right at all times to impose limitations on objectionable or offensive apparel or materials, including but not limited to:

  • Advertising any non-"over the counter" drug, tobacco product, firearm, handgun or ammunition.
  • Containing any material that is defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, repulsive or offensive, or that describes or depicts any internal bodily functions or symptomatic results of internal conditions.
  • Advertising any pornographic website or pornographic products.
  • Disparaging or libeling any opposing team or player or any other person, entity, or product.

PlayVS also reserves the right to refuse continued participation to any player or coach who does not comply with the aforementioned apparel rules.

12.2 Unsportsmanlike Behavior

12.2.1 Responsibility Under Code. Unless expressly stated otherwise, offenses and infringements of these Rules are punishable, whether or not they were committed intentionally. Attempts to commit such offenses or infringements are also punishable.
12.2.2 Harassment. Harassment is forbidden. Harassment is defined as systematic, hostile, and repeated acts taking place over a considerable period of time, or a singular egregious instance, which is/are intended to isolate or ostracize a person and/or affect the dignity of the person.
12.2.3 Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances and is explicitly forbidden. The assessment is based on whether a reasonable person would regard the conduct as undesirable or offensive. There is zero tolerance for any sexual threats/coercion or the promise of advantages in exchange for sexual favors. Any instance of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct aimed at one’s teammate, opponent, team staff, or PlayVS League Official will result in an immediate ban. Teammates who have witnessed behavior of this nature by another player are expected to immediately report the conduct to their coach or a PlayVS League Official.
12.2.4 Discrimination and Denigration. Players and coaches may not offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigrating words or actions on account of race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, financial status, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason.
12.2.5 Tribunal Punishment. If a player or coach is found guilty and punished by any publisher-sanctioned conduct review board (e.g. Riot Tribunal, Epic Competitive, etc.), League Officials may assign an additional competition penalty at their sole discretion.
12.2.6 Player Behavior Investigation. If PlayVS or any partner of PlayVS determines that a player, coach, or team has violated the respective player code of conduct and/or EULA for their respective title, including the game terms of use or other rules, League Officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion. If a League Official contacts a player or coach to discuss the investigation, that person is obligated to tell the truth. If a player or coach withholds information or misleads a League Official creating an obstruction of the investigation, then the team and/or individual members of that team are subject to further punishment.
12.2.7 Criminal Activity. A player or coach may not engage in any activity which is prohibited by common law, statute, or treaty in their respective countries or as measured by international law, and which leads to or may be reasonably deemed likely to lead to conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction.
12.2.8 Confidentiality. A player or coach may not disclose any confidential information provided by the league or any affiliate of PlayVS, by any method of communication, including all social media channels.
12.2.9 Bribery. No player or coach may offer any gift or reward to another player, coach, manager, League Official, PlayVS employee, or person connected with or employed by another PlayVS team for services promised, rendered, or to be rendered in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing team.

12.2.10 Extortion. No player or coach shall obtain or attempt to obtain benefit through coercion -- defined as compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force -- from another player, coach, manager, League Official, PlayVS employee, or person connected with or employed by another PlayVS team.
12.2.11 Non-Compliance. No player or coach may refuse or fail to apply the reasonable instructions or decisions of League Officials.
12.2.12 Match-Fixing. No player or coach may offer, agree, conspire, or attempt to influence the outcome of a game or match by any means that are prohibited by law, individual game rules set out by their respective developers and/or publishers, or these Rules.
12.2.13 Document or Miscellaneous Requests. Documentation or other reasonable items may be required at various times throughout the league as requested by League Officials. If the documentation is not provided or completed to the standards set by PlayVS and/or received and completed at the required time, then a player, coach, and/or team may be subject to penalties.

12.3 Association with Gambling

No player, coach, or League Official may take part, either directly or indirectly, in real-money betting or gambling on the results of any game, match, tournament, or other events that are affiliated with PlayVS in any capacity.

12.4 Subjection to Penalty

Any person found to have engaged in or attempted to engage in any act that PlayVS believes, in its sole and absolute discretion, constitutes unfair play, will be subject to penalty. The nature and extent of the penalties imposed due to such acts shall be in the sole and absolute discretion of League Officials.

13. Coach-Specific Conduct

For additional details on player and coach expectations, review our Player & Coach Code of Conduct and Terms of Service.

13.1 Competition Conduct

All coaches are expected to:

13.1.1 Be respectful. Be respectful to all players, other coaches, and PlayVS League Officials before, during, and after matches. Coaches must display and model control, respect, dignity, and professionalism to all involved in our events and league activities.
13.1.2 Be responsible. Be responsible for all affiliated teams and players. It is the coach’s responsibility to manage player behavior and content. This includes all behavior outlined in Section 11.
13.1.3 Maintain equipment. Ensure all equipment affiliated with the team and players is maintained, including game updates prior to matches.
13.1.4 Communicate. Coaches must practice open and frequent communication. Use appropriate language in any chat or communication channels.
13.1.5 Be present. Be present for all matches at their scheduled time, or coordinate with other coaches so that a substitute coach may be present.
13.1.6 Follow and enforce league rules. Follow and enforce all PlayVS rules including League Official-issued penalties.

14. Spirit of the Rules

14.1 Finality of Decisions

All decisions regarding the interpretation of these rules, player eligibility, scheduling and staging of the league, and penalties for misconduct, lie solely with PlayVS, the decisions of which are final. PlayVS decisions made with respect to these Rules cannot be appealed and shall not give rise to any claim for monetary damages or any other legal or equitable remedy.

14.2 Rule Changes

These Rules may be amended, modified, or supplemented by PlayVS, from time to time, in order to ensure fair play and to uphold the integrity of our leagues. Major changes to this document will be communicated, however these rules may be updated at any time without formal notification. All current and most up-to-date rulebooks will be distributed on the PlayVS website and will have version numbers displayed at the bottom of each page. Reviewing updated rulebooks comes at the responsibility of all coaches and players in the league.

14.3 Best Interests of the League

League Officials at all times may act with the necessary authority to preserve the best interests of the league. This power is not constrained by the lack of any specific language in this document. League Officials may use any form of punitive actions at their disposal against any entity whose conduct is not within the confines of the best interests of PlayVS and its community.

15. Streaming

Players, coaches, and their respective programs are permitted to broadcast all PlayVS matches, provided they adhere to: the guidelines and rules of their respective streaming platform, the developer and publisher streaming rules for the game, and all other conditions outlined in this rulebook.

15.1 Delay. No delay is required to stream PlayVS College Overwatch matches. We strongly recommend a minimum 30-second delay if you are concerned about stream sniping.


15.2 Continuation of Rules. Your stream is your own. However, you still need to be mindful of all applicable rules, including those outlined here. All other PlayVS rules and the Player & Coach Code of Conduct may apply to streams of PlayVS matches.

16. Rewards

Prizing recipients, if applicable, may need to be 18 years of age dependent on state, institution, and publisher requirements. Specific terms and conditions will be made available to winners of rewards as they become available throughout the season.


Patch Notes

  • V.1.0 - Created: December 12, 2020
  • V.2.0 - Updated: February 22, 2020 // Overhaul of all league rules and rulebook formatting.
  • V.2.1 - Updated: April 6th, 2020 // Added Tiebreaker provision.
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