NSL Open Tournament #14 Rules
Crucial changes from the previous rules revisions:
Reworked advantage in Finals to team which hasn’t lost any match
Map ban procedure completely removed
1. Common rules
(a) Ignorance of the rules does not pardon any violation.
(b) The Code of Conduct applies to this tournament and can be viewed here. Player communication and conduct are to be kept as civil as possible. While playful banter is acceptable, any abusive act or communication is unacceptable.
(c) Players must use their name and Steam Account registered with the NSL.
(d) Any rule or match issues, contesters disputes are subject to an Admin review. Admins are available on the NSL discord if they are not present in the match.
2. Server rules
(a) There are two options:
(i) Teams agree to use one server with the fairest possible ping.
(ii) In case of disagreement, the server will be decided by an Admin. Players from both teams may offer their input to the Admin in this case, who will take their feedback into consideration.
(b) Apply common sense and sportsmanship when deciding servers.
(c) Approved server list:
(d) Community and private servers are acceptable, as long as they adhere to the server guidelines, have all maps listed in map pool (see Section 7) and are approved by an Admin.
3. Sign-up & Format
(a) Players must be registered and assigned to a team at least 1 day in advance of the tournament start time. Players must be registered in no more than one active team in a tournament. A player registered in more than one team may forfeit their right to play.
(b) Teams must have at least 6 players and a maximum of 8 players on their roster to register to the NSL Open Tournament and sign up at least 1 day in advance of the tournament start time.
(c) The format of the tournament is double elimination, which means that a team ceases to advance if they lose two matches. Early Matches and Semi-finals are played on Saturday, with the Finals being played on Sunday.
(d) Matches are played between two teams in a 6 versus 6.
(e) A round ends when the victory screen is displayed.
(f) The winner denoted by the victory screen receives 1 round score. In case of a draw no one receives scores: match continues until one team gets the required number of round wins. Once the match has ended team captains must report match results and scores to an Admin.
4. Coin Flip
(a) A Coin Flip is done on the match server and in the presence of each team’s captain. By default the higher seeded team is heads, and the other team is tails.
(i) To do the Coin Flip simply type “coinflip” in the chat.
(b) The team that wins the coin flip which side they play first (Marines/Aliens).
In the Semifinals and Finals, the team that wins the coin flip may instead choose to pick
the first map, the other team then gets to choose the side.
(c) Map and server decisions must be done before the Aliens/Marines pick.
(d) Team picking order is reversed for any additional maps.
(i) Example: Team A wins coin flip and selects to be a side picker. Team B as a map picker have to pick map first and picks ns2_tram. Team A responds by choosing to start Marine. After playing both sides of the map, Team A chooses the map, Team B chooses side, repeat.
(e) Each team decision at the Coin Flip stage is final and cannot be changed afterwards.
(f) Teams have 1 minute to make each decision alternatively after the Coin Flip or opponent choice. If a decision takes more than 1 minute, the right of choice is given to the opposing team. If neither team makes any decisions in time all choices may be handled by the Admin.
5. Early Matches
(a) Matches consist of up to two maps, teams play and alternate sides until one team has 2 round wins (“Best of three” – Bo3). Teams will play a round on aliens and a round on marines for the first map, and one more round on the second map if required (tiebreaker).
(b) During Early Matches a Coin Flip is done only to decide on who plays Aliens/Marines first. Maps are predetermined by rules Section 7.
(c) Teams are encouraged to play their next matches as soon as their opponents are available. Check the matchpage or ask an Admin for information regarding your next match. See more in Section 9.
6. Semi-finals & Finals
(a) The Semi-finals matches consist of up to three maps, teams play and alternate sides until one team has 3 round wins (Bo5).
(b) The Finals consists of up to four maps, teams play until one team has 4 round wins (Bo7).
(c) Semi-finals are the matches with the last 4 teams before the Finals, this includes losers round 3 or 4.
(d) In the Finals the team from the upper bracket has the option of first right of choice instead of a Coin Flip.
(e) The team which hasn’t lost any match prior to the Grand Finals (higher seeded team) will begin with a default advantage score calculated as follows:
(i)If a higher seeded team won their head-to-head match versus the current opponent during the Early Matches with 2-0 score, it receives 2 scores.
(ii)If a higher seeded team won their head-to-head match versus current opponent during the Early Matches with 2-1 score, it receives 1 score.
(iii)If opponents had not met during Early Matches stage, the higher seeded team receives 1 score.
7. Map pool
(a) Maps for Early Matches are (some matches may not be necessary):
(i)Upper 1 – Tram, Tanith
(ii)Losers 1 – Descent, Biodome
(iii)Upper 2 – Jambi, Mineral
(iv)Losers 2 – Ayumi,Summit
(v)Upper 3 – Veil, Nexus
(vi)Losers 3 – Unearthed,Tram
(b) Semi-finals and Finals – maps picked from the following map pool according to Coin Flip Section:
(c) Aliens can choose any available alien spawn locations on the map.
8. Spectators / Livestreams
(a) The only allowed spectators during a match are Casters, Admins and Referees.
(b) Anyone streaming the match must do so with at least a three (3) minute delay. Failure to do so may result in disqualification from the tournament for the offending team. In the event of this infraction being due to a Caster, the affected rounds should be replayed.
9. Starting a match, round restart
(a) Team captains or delegates must be available at least 30 minutes before the first match of the day for pre-game duties like Coin Flip and server selection. If one team’s captain is not present, the captain that is present on time is able to choose pre-game options by default (if Admin approves it) including server choice and to be a side picker or map picker.
(b) If present, Casters must be confirmed as ready prior to round start.
(c) A team forfeits with 2-0 score if they fail to have 6 players (including approved mercs) ready to play in the match server 15 minutes after the opponent team has readied up.
(d) After a team finishes a match they have a right to a maximum of 10 minutes of break before starting the next match. Teams are responsible for ensuring timeliness.
(e) A team may, within the first 15 seconds of a round, use the “ready” command in chat or in the console to reset a round start. A team must have reasonable grounds for a reset. Teams are only allowed to reset a round start maximum of 2 times per match. Any violation of this paragraph may lead to round forfeit.
10. Pause function
(a) The NSL Mod’s pause function freezes the entire state of a game, including all movement and timers. A pause can be initiated by typing “pause” in chat.
(b) Each team is allowed 2 pauses to use during a match. If the 2 pause limit has been reached, additional pauses remain possible but only if Admin or other NSL staff are present.
(c) Pauses must have a legitimate reason such as a player disconnect or severe lag, and communicated to all present on a server. “Tactical pauses” are not allowed.
(d) An individual pause lasts a maximum of 5 minutes.
11. Mercenary rules
(a) A mercenary (merc) is a player that is not registered with the team requesting the substitution. Teams are responsible for ensuring that they have substitute players available. A team can use a merc for a player on their roster in exceptional circumstances, so long as a set of requirements satisfied:
(i)Teams can use up to 2 mercs at any given time.
(ii)A merc is a player that is not registered on an un-eliminated team with unplayed matches.
(iii)The merc must be approximately the same skill level as the least skilled player on the team, so as to ensure that a team does not gain an unfair advantage. An exception is possible if both teams are in agreement.
(b) Mercs should be approved by opposing captains, but may be contested within reason. Reasons to contest:
(i)Perceived excessive competitive advantage gained by a merc.
(ii)Use of merc is inappropriate (e.g. team has available players).
(c) Disagreements will ultimately be settled by an Admin. If a team fails to field 6 players and cannot find a merc in time, the match forfeits with 2-0 score. All players must respect the Admin’s decision to forfeit the match or let the merc play.
(d) The intention of the mercenary rule is to allow teams that can’t field 6 players the ability to play a match. It is not meant to be used to bolster the skills of a team’s roster.