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VALORANT Rulebook

The VALORANT Rulebook for High School leagues.

Updated over a week ago

Important: The 2024-2025 Rulebook and Match Instructions updates are underway. Check back here in the future for more information! Once finalized, all changes will be communicated to our community through a separate Summary of Changes article. Thanks for your patience!

*VALORANT leagues are unaffiliated with the NFHS Network and certain state associations.*


The Overall High School Competition Rulebook can be viewed here.

Introduction and Purpose

These Official Rules (“Rules”) of the PlayVS High School Esports League apply to each of the teams who have registered and met the requirements for the 2023-2024 school year, as well as their Adult Sponsors, Starters, Substitutes (collectively “Team Members”), and other members.

1. Game Rules

1.1 Definition of Terms

1.1.1 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 countdown timer or objective achieved, (b) Team Surrender, or (c) Team Forfeit.

1.1.2 Match. A group of Games or “Maps.” The winning team will either receive a win tally in a league format or advance to the next round in a tournament format.

1.1.3 Phase. A section of scheduled league play that comprises a season. There are four distinct phases: preseason, regular season, playoffs, and finals. Each phase can have its own league format.

1.1.4 Season. Scheduled league play that will occur over a set period of time.

1.2 Roster Requirements

1.2.1 Roster Submission

Team members must be eligible to compete on behalf of their school as listed in Section 2 of the High School Competition Rulebook.

In VALORANT, each team may have a maximum of ten (10) players, broken down into five (5) players on the Roster and five (5) players on the Bench. No individual may simultaneously hold two or more roles as listed above. All players and sponsors must be physically or virtually present for all official PlayVS matches. Both the Roster and Bench must be finalized before the Roster Lock Date, as listed in Section 3.3 Roster Submission.


1.2.2 Substitutions

Players on the bench may be used for any match their team is competing in within their assigned league. Only the players shown on a team’s Bench before the start of the match can be used as substitutes in an official PlayVS Match.

Once a Game of Record is established, substitutions are not allowed. Once the game is complete with results recorded, player substitutions may be made before the start of the following game.

If a player on the starting roster cannot compete in the match and there are no available Substitutes, competition may continue without that player as long as it does not put the opposing team at a disadvantage.

1.3 Game of Record

A Game of Record (“GOR”) in VALORANT is established under the following conditions:

1.3.1 When the barrier drops in the first round

Once GOR is established, game restarts will only be allowed under limited conditions, as listed in Section 7.4 of the High School Competition Rulebook.

1.4 Stoppage of Play

1.4.1 Directed Pause

At any time, League Officials may order the pause of a match at the sole discretion of League Officials. Teams may complete the current game and finalize the results.

1.4.2 Tactical Timeouts

Within a game, each team is allotted two (2) sixty (60) second tactical timeouts, limited to one timeout per “Side.” Only one team can call a timeout for the round.

A team member must type /timeout or /to to start a team vote. Once the majority of players on the team have voted in favor of taking a tactical timeout, a 60-second in-game pause will occur automatically at the start of the next round.

1.4.3 Player Disconnection

If a player disconnects from the online match during a game, the player should attempt to reconnect to the match as soon as possible. In the event of a disconnect, the game will continue with the current players found in the lobby. Please provide a screenshot for all disconnects as proof of when the disconnection happens.

You may NOT fill the spot of a disconnected player with a different player in the middle of a game. You must wait until after the game to substitute the disconnected player for another player. Rosters are locked for each game once the game begins and a “Game of Record” has been established according to section 1.3.

1.4.4 Team Disconnection

If an entire team disconnects from the online match during a game, the disconnected team must share a message in the match lobby chat to notify the opposing team. If the team cannot reconnect in a timely manner, notify PlayVS Support immediately for further assistance.

1.5 Match Format

Format: Best-of-Three (“Bo3”) Games (or “Maps”)

Mode: Standard

Team Size: 5 Players

Settings:

  • Allow Cheats: OFF

  • Tournament Mode: ON

  • Overtime: Win by Two: ON

  • Play Out All Rounds: OFF

  • Hide Match History: OFF

Each team will compete in a match consisting of Bo3 maps, with the winner of each map determined by the number of total rounds won, and the winner of the match determined by the team to win two maps first. If a single team reaches two map wins before the start of the third map, then the third Map will not be played.

Each team will compete as either an “Attacker” or “Defender” for the first 12 rounds of a map, after which the teams will swap “Sides” for the remainder of the game. Once a team earns 13 round wins, they are declared the winner for the map.

A round winner is determined by one of the following methods (whichever one occurs first):

  • Spike Detonated

  • Spike Defused

  • Team Eliminated before the Spike is planted or defused

  • Round Timer Expired

  • Team Forfeit

If the round wins are tied at 12-12, Overtime will occur to determine a winner for the map. In Overtime, teams will compete in a series of two-round sets, swapping sides after the first round. The team that wins both of the two rounds (one as Attacker and the other as Defender) will be the overall winner of the map.

This format applies to all four phases within a PlayVS season: Preseason, Regular Season, Playoffs, and Finals.

1.5.1 Preseason

This phase consists of each team enrolled in the league competing in official practice matches. The results of these matches do not impact a team’s standings. However, this match is strongly recommended to properly test equipment and player game connections.

1.5.2 Regular Season

This phase consists of each team competing in a season format against opponents within their region. Ranking in the league will be determined by each team's win-loss ratio.

1.5.3 Playoffs

This phase consists of eligible teams competing in a single-elimination tournament until only two teams remain. Winning teams will advance to the next round of the Bracket while losing teams will be removed from the competition.

Playoff Eligibility, Bracket, and Tiebreaker information can be found in section 5.2.3 Playoffs of the High School Competition Rulebook. More information about Tiebreakers can also be found here.

1.5.4 Finals

This phase consists of a final match between the top two teams from the league as decided by the Playoffs. The Finals will be a single Bo3 match. The first team to achieve two game wins will be awarded the match win and will be declared the League Winner. If a single team reaches two wins before the start of a third game, then the third game will not be played.

1.6 Rotating Map Pool

To mimic the competitive format of VALORANT, maps will rotate on a seasonal basis. The maps available to pick and/or ban for the season are:

  • Icebox

  • Lotus

  • Sunset

  • Breeze

  • Ascent

  • Bind

  • Split

2. Player Equipment

2.1 Equipment

Each player on the Starting Roster must have access to school-provided equipment or must be permitted by the school to provide their own equipment in the following categories:

2.1.1 PC that meets minimum specifications as listed in 2.1.6

2.1.2 Monitor

2.1.3 Headsets or Earbuds

2.1.4 Microphone

2.1.5 Mouse & Keyboard

2.2 Riot Vanguard

Riot Vanguard is Riot Games’ custom in-house game security software designed to upload competitive integrity when playing VALORANT. This software is required to access VALORANT, and schools must ensure their PCs are set up properly before their first match takes place. If a school computer is blocked by Riot Vanguard, an IT Administrator will be needed to access and edit the computer’s BIOS settings to enable TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, IOMMU, HVCI/VBS, and switch to UEFI mode.

A full support article for this highly technical and time-consuming process can be found on Riot Games’ Support for Vanguard Restrictions.

3. Match Process

Before the competition, all players are encouraged to ensure that the Show Mature Content setting is toggled OFF before joining the lobby. Streaming or broadcasting a PlayVS match without this setting toggled OFF would be considered a violation of the PlayVS Code of Conduct and is subject to consequences at the discretion of League Officials.

3.1 Pre-Match Setup

Teams must adhere to Section 6.2 Pre-Match Setup as they prepare to join their match.

3.2 Match Setup

3.2.1 Create Lobby

  • Click Play

  • Click Custom Game

  • Mode: Standard

  • Lobby: Closed

  • Click Options

    • Allow Cheats: OFF

    • Tournament Mode: ON

    • Overtime: Win By Two: ON

    • Play Out All Rounds: OFF

    • Hide Match History: OFF

3.2.2 Server Selection

Teams are expected to work together to determine which NA VALORANT Server provides the lowest possible ping difference between both teams.

If teams cannot agree, the Home Team will have priority Server Selection for Map 1. In playoffs, the higher-seeded team will have priority Server Selection for Map 1.

For Maps 2 and beyond, the losing team from the previous Map will have priority Server Selection for the following Map.

At any time, League Officials can determine which of the available servers best fits the individual match.

3.2.3 Join Lobby

The Home team will invite the Away Team Captain to the lobby using the invite button. Once the Away Team Captain has joined the lobby, both team captains will invite the remainder of their roster and their coaches if applicable.

3.2.4 Map & Side Selection for Match

Before the first game, teams will ban and select maps from the Rotating Map Pool and choose sides for each of the three (3) games. The pick, ban, and side selection process will proceed as follows:

3.2.4.1 Map & Side Selection Process

  1. The Home team bans one map from the pool.

  2. The Away team bans one map from the pool.

  3. The Home team picks the Game 1 map from the remaining pool.

  4. The Away team selects their starting side for Game 1.

  5. The Away team picks the Game 2 map from the remaining pool.

  6. The Home team selects their starting side for Game 2.

  7. The Home team bans one map from the pool.

  8. The Away team bans one map from the remaining pool.

  9. The remaining map is chosen for Game 3.

  10. The Home team selects their starting side for Game 3.

3.2.5 Agent Selection

Once the Lobby Host selects Start, players will have 80 seconds to select their agent for that individual Map. Both teams select their Agents simultaneously and will not see the other team's picks until after the Agent Selection ends. Teams can select the same Agent as their opponent, but an individual team cannot simultaneously have two (2) of the same Agent on their team. Players will be taken into the Map when all players have selected their Agent or at the end of the 80-second timer.

3.3 Match F.A.Q.

3.3.1 Spectating

Sponsors are eligible to spectate a match by joining their respective team’s Coach position, as this will only provide the account access to the perspectives of their team’s players. Neither sponsors nor players should be in the Observer position unless both Sponsors have approved for streaming or broadcasting in Match Lobby Chat.

3.2.2 In-Game Content Updates

VALORANT is a live-service multiplayer game that may release new content patches with updated in-game content during the season.

New agents added to VALORANT during the regular season may be available for use in a PlayVS match once the Agent Recruitment Event ends, and the Agent is eligible to be recruited for Kingdom Credits. Any agents, items, or maps currently disabled in-game by Riot Games will not be available to use in PlayVS official matches. PlayVS will attempt to provide further information on these updates before they are available.

Any agent added to VALORANT after the regular season has ended will not be available for Playoffs. Any new competitive Maps added to VALORANT will be assessed for the following season.

4. Post-Match Process

4.1 Results

If the match is completed using the PlayVS Match Assistant tool, then players or adult sponsors can record results at the conclusion of each game using the tool.

If the PlayVS Match Assistant could not be used, then the match results would need to be submitted manually after match completion. Players should take screenshots of the match results and share those with their adult sponsors.

Matches without results submitted are subject to forfeit at the sole discretion of League Officials. In the event of an error, adult sponsors must contact PlayVS directly.

Changelog

V 1.0 // 1/9/2024 - Created

V 1.1 // 1/19/24 - Reformatted to match PlayVS Resources Style Guidelines
V 1.2 // 3/27/2024 - Updated language around New Agent Availability in 3.3.2 In-Game Content Updates

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