What is esports?
Esports is team-based competition with specific rules set in the arena of a video game. Short for ‘electronic sports’, esports demands all the teamwork, communication, strategic thinking and leadership skills any traditional sport would.
Want more information to share? Our Parents' Guide to High School Esports explains the benefits of playing interscholastic esports.
Who is PlayVS?
PlayVS provides the infrastructure and platform for amateur esports.We partner directly with game publishers and states to build and operate sanctioned leagues for high schools across the country. Through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), PlayVS empowers students to compete in esports on behalf of their high school with the opportunity to win a championship, just like any other youth sport. Winners are recognized as state champions who receive the same prizes as student athletes in traditional sports.
Why should I sign up my team on PlayVS?
There are many reasons to join the PlayVS leagues. Here are our top 5:
1. Verified Coaches - We require each team to have a verified coach. Coaches must be faculty members. This results in more safety and security for players and fewer forfeits.
2. Player Value & Benefits for League of Legends - The participation fee provides access to in-game content. All characters are unlocked for competitive play. Players can link their existing in-game accounts to rack up stats for college recruiters and/or bragging rights.
3. Student Privacy Pledge - At PlayVS, the privacy of our players and coaches is our priority. We've taken strong measures to ensure all data is safe and protected. PlayVS has signed on to the Student Privacy Pledge.
4. League Operations - We take care of the little things in order to allow coaches to simply be coaches. We provide all the logistical support you'll need: scheduling, rulebooks, and standings. Through our partnerships with game publishers, we provide experience directly with the games, so we can connect in-game names and track stats through our platform. This allows coaches to scout out opponents.
5. Partnered with the NFHS and states associations - We work directly with the NFHS and state associations to provide esports as a sanctioned sport. This means winners are recognized as state champions that receive the same prizes as traditional sports in the state.
What games are offered on the PlayVS platform?
League of Legends, Rocket League, and Hearthstone are some of the game titles to be offered on PlayVS. We have partnerships with these game publishers such as Riot Games, Blizzard, and Psyonix, respectively.
For more information on each of our offered titles, check out our Game Overviews.
How will the league be structured?
Each school year is composed of two seasons -- fall and spring. Each season includes a week-long preseason, an eight-week regular season (bye-week included), and playoffs. Match times will vary based on your region.
Where will matches be held?
We will allow our schools to play from home for the season. Check with your district administrator and state association for local regulations on after-school activities. Until further notice, please reference our Play From Home Guidelines.
Do esports teams need a coach? Who can be a coach?
Yes! Each school is required to have an esports coach onsite for all matches. Any faculty member at school can be a coach for the esports program. For teams playing from home, the coach will need to be present in the online Match Lobby Chat.
Who can participate on a team?
Students who are incoming freshmen or currently enrolled in high school are eligible to participate on a high school team and compete for their State Championship. All players must be 13 years old or older to meet COPPA requirements to create online accounts to participate in the games. Smurf accounts will not be tolerated. ”Smurfing” is a form of cheating where high-ranking players create new accounts to compete against lower-ranking opponents.
How do I get my school involved?
The PlayVS coach dashboard allows for easy management of your school's esports program. We automatically notify you when the season starts and if you have outstanding management obligations. Creating an account and building a school profile usually doesn't take more than half an hour.
Does PlayVS cost money to use?
Please refer to the Spring ‘24 Pricing FAQ.
How can I contact PlayVS Support if I need help?
Our Help Center is the best place to get all your questions answered and issues resolved by our knowledgeable League Specialists. We also have specialists standing by to assist with step-by-step support.
The simplest way to get in touch with one of our helpful specialists is to submit a Support Ticket. This will get your email to a League Specialist who can respond to any questions or concerns you may have. To submit a ticket to our Support team, start a conversation using the orange chat icon on our site, or by sending an email to email@example.com. Unsure about what to include in your ticket? This article goes over some common inquiries we encounter, and what information we usually request from users to assist.
PlayVS Support is not offered over the weekend. Our Support business hours are Monday through Friday 7:00am to 8:00pm PST. Any questions or concerns outside of our business hours may not have League Specialists readily available to address issues or concerns. We will promptly address your ticket as soon as we can.
How do I recover my PlayVS Account or Game Account link?
If you are having difficulties logging into your PlayVS account, a member of the PlayVS Support Team will be able to assist with password recovery and other account information updates. Please contact PlayVS Support through chat on our site or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I claim my or my team’s prizing, and where do I go to ask questions regarding it?
Our team will send out prize claim emails to eligible players using the personal email addresses listed on their PlayVS accounts. If you have any questions regarding your prizing, please contact PlayVS Support. A member of our team will verify prizing eligibility and provide additional steps if needed.
How do I become a Verified Coach?
To participate on the PlayVS platform as a coach, you must be a verified faculty or staff member of your school. This can be done through SheerID auto-verification when creating a Coach account on PlayVS, or by contacting PlayVS Support. Both ways will require documentation showing proof of employment.
We accept photos of current faculty ID cards or recent paystubs as valid forms of documentation. If you have any questions about other approved documentation, contact PlayVS Support via chat or email.
Is match streaming permitted?
Yes, we do allow schools to stream their team’s games online for others to view. When streaming, we strongly encourage that a stream delay is included to discourage unfair play.
If you have questions regarding hardware requirements for streaming, please refer to the streaming rules in your team’s game rulebook.
How do I submit match scores?
Winning coaches have one hour to submit match results after each match concludes. After each match, both coaches are required to ensure match results have been submitted within one hour, as mentioned in Coach Expectations and the Reporting Guide.
If the match is completed using the PlayVS Match Assistant tool, results will be recorded at the conclusion of each game. If the PlayVS Match Assistant could not be used, the match results would need to be submitted manually within 1 hour of match completion.
How do I report a violation?
If you encounter a rule violation or behavior concern during a match, our Support team is available to investigate and process a report. For more details on how to tackle different reporting situations you may encounter, as well as what to include in your outreach to our team, please refer to our Reporting Guide.
For immediate support, reach out through the chat feature on our site or send an email to email@example.com.
What does a forfeit mean, and how do I submit one?
A forfeited match indicates that a team or teams are not able to play a scheduled game, resulting in a requested or automatic loss. This occurs for a number of reasons such as school closures, inclement weather, technical difficulties, and more. Forfeits are also sometimes ruled for matches by league officials in the event of a rulebook violation. Section 9 of our High School Competition Rulebook highlights other applications of match forfeits.
We strongly encourage matches to be rescheduled to a future date within their current scheduling blocks in the event that a team cannot make it to the originally-scheduled time. Learn How to Reschedule a Match in Mission Control.
If a match cannot be rescheduled, a forfeit must be submitted by contacting PlayVS Support or with the instructions in our Forfeit Guide.
2021 - 2022 Version 4.3
V4.0 - 10/11/21 // New sub & equipment info
V4.1 - 1/5/22 // Removed SMITE and Fortnite references
V4.2 - 1/5/22 // Removed game itself from prizing
V4.3 - 1/19/22 // Added questions, separated questions into sections.
V4.4 - 1/31/22 // added instructions on how to submit a Support ticket
V4.5 - 2/2/22 // Clarify streaming