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Natural Selection League
League Rules 2016
1. Mission Statement
The vision of the Natural Selection League (NSL) is to gather Natural Selection 2 players for international organized play. At its very core, we would simply like games to be played, in the hopes that this fosters tangible and meaningful relationships among its participants. We realize that its participants span the range of commitment, skill, and time zones and will do everything possible to cater to everyone’s needs and create the most enjoyable experience.
(a) Before teams play their first matches, ALL players must read and completely understand the rules.
(b) The guidelines outlined in this document are to be used as the league standard, overriding all previous rulesets. Contests outside of normal seasonal play may have their own ruleset.
(c) Although this document strives to be comprehensive, not every situation may be specifically addressed. The referee on hand during matches or an admin may be called upon to interpret the rules as they see fit.
(d) If at any point during the season, a situation arises where a rule or format of play revision is needed, the NSL staff, represented by the League Admin, reserves the right to do so. There will be a strong attempt to keep this to a minimum as to not interfere with the current season’s play.
(e) If a rule amendment that greatly affects gameplay is deemed necessary, it will be posted on the front page of the NSL website as a news post. Minor revisions will be posted in the NSL forums.
(f) If a team attempts to manipulate or exploit an NSL rule in any way other than for its intended use, NSL staff reserves the right to make a final decision and interpretation on the rule in question for the given match and/or dispute.
(g) An admin’s interpretation of the rules and decision is final.
3. Code of Conduct
(a) All participants of the NSL are required to uphold and observe a universal level of fairness and sportsmanship. Any unsportsmanlike action which can include, but is not limited to racism, profanity, rude or vulgar acts, abusive remarks, and disrespect of an official are not tolerated.
(b) Teams and/or players who engage in unsportsmanlike conduct are subject to suspension, match forfeits, or any other punishment that the NSL deems necessary. Multiple and persistent infractions will be faced with stiffer consequences.
(c) Any accusations of unsportsmanlike conduct or cheating should be submitted to the League or Head Admin and will be investigated by the NSL staff.
(a) The NSL is for teams that span a wide range of commitment to playing, but first and foremost the NSL is for active teams.
(b) Signing up for a season or contest means declaring your intention of playing a weekly match during the course of the season and every match during a contest.
(c) When registering for a season or contest, ALL teams must have a minimum of six (6) registered users.
(d) After the season begins, Division 1 teams must maintain a roster of at least five (5) registered users. Division 2 and lower must maintain a roster of at least four (4) registered users.
(e) There is no maximum to the numbers of players rostered onto one team.
(f) Teams may add and remove as many players to and from their roster throughout the course of a season until rosters are locked.
(g) Rosters will be locked and changes are no longer permitted, one (1) week before the conclusion of the regular season for each respective division.
(f) Teams who are deemed not active during a season or contest may be removed by an admin and all future and previous matches, for that season or contest, will be given a forfeit score with the appropriate amount of points awarded to their opponents.
(g) If a team disbands, it must notify the League or Head Admin.
(h) Team names containing, but not limited to, any of the following will not be tolerated: emotes, profanity, racism, sexism, or general vulgarity. Teams found with offensive names may be contacted by an admin and asked to change their name to something more appropriate.
(a) Each player must be a registered user with a valid SteamID on the NSL website at www.ensl.org.
(b) A player may only use one (1) account and may not register multiple accounts on the NSL website.
(c) Players who are having trouble accessing their NSL account should contact an admin for assistance before creating a new account.
(d) A player may only be actively rostered on one (1) team per season or contest, regardless of division.
(e) After the season begins, a player who joins or switches teams will be ineligible to play for that team as a member for seven (7) days. The player is eligible to play as a substitute.
(f) Players names containing any of the following will not be tolerated: profanity, racism, sexism, or general vulgarity.
(g) Players from teams that have disbanded in higher divisions may be ineligible to play in lower division teams if it is believed that the player may be too disruptive to play (i.e. They’re too good for that division). A final determination will be made from a admin.
(h) Players who have participated on teams which did not disband and concluded a season are not eligible to join teams still participating in a season.
The intention of substitute players is to allow teams, that cannot field 6 players, the ability to play their matches. It is NOT to be used to bolster the skill of a team’s roster.
(a) Substitute players must follow the player guidelines in Section 5.
(b) Teams in Division 1 may substitute up to one (1) player, not from their roster for use during a match. Teams in Division 2, 3, and 4 may substitute up to two (2) players.
(c) The player(s) must be of equivalent or lower skill than the rest of the replacement's team. A quick parameter to determine a substitute’s eligibility may be the division of the team that player belongs, but may not be sufficient. A referee or admin can determine a player’s suitability.
(d) Opposing teams may voice their opinion to a referee or admin on a substitute’s eligibility.
(e) Substitutes can not be denied in an attempt to force a forfeit.
(f) Substitutes may only be denied on the basis of perceived higher skill compared to the rest of the team.
(g) Teams may substitute any number of players from their roster or substitute between rounds during a match, so long as they adhere to the previous substitution guidelines.
(h) If the league-staff sees an abuse of the substitutions rules, they might deny a substitute based on that. Such reasons can be - but are not limited to -the following:
(i) Players effectively playing in two teams
(ii) Teams boosting their line-up by regular use of substitutes
(a) The maps in the current season’s regular rotation will be:
8. Match Procedures
(a) What is a Match?
(i) A match during the regular season will consist of two (2) maps.
(ii) Teams will play one (1) round of marine and alien side on each map. Matches will be listed as “Team A vs Team B”. Team A will start as marines on both maps during normal seasonal play.
(iii) One (1) point will be awarded for each round won. A maximum of four (4) may be awarded during each regular season match.
(iv) A match during the playoff portion of the season will follow a best of five (5) or seven (7) format. To decide on sides, maps and servers, the following steps ((v)-(vii)) are performed in sequence:
(v) At the beginning of the match the higher seeded team is determined by:
* the overall collection of points during regular season
* if tied: the collection of points against the other team during the regular season
* if tied: the number of won matches during the regular season
* if tied: by coin flip.
(vi) The higher seeded team chooses one of the following, the non-chosen goes to the lower seeded team:
* To play Aliens or Marines in the first round (called "side-picker")
* To choose the map for the first round (called "map-picker")
The side-picker decides on sides for the first round.
(vii) The lower seeded team reduces the map-pool by one map. Then, the higher seeded team reduces the map-pool by one map, again. In a best of five (5) format this step is performed twice.
(viii) The map-picker chooses the first map to be played and if necessary the third map. The side-picker chooses the second map to be played and if necessary the fourth map. All maps must be chosen from the above reduced map-pool. A map can not be choosen twice.
(ix) Teams switch sides (Marines/Aliens) after each round.
(x) The first team to win three (3) rounds in a best of five (5) format or four (4) rounds in a best of seven (7) format, wins the match.
(b) Scheduling a Match
(i) There are no default times for matches.
(ii) Because of the nature of international play, teams need to be sensitive to their opponents time zones and reach a compromise for the best play time. Match time suggestions:
Saturdays or Sundays
EU vs NA (6 to 9 hours difference) - 11AM PDT / 2PM EDT / 2000 CET
EU vs AUS/Pacific Region (~10 hours difference) - 1400 CET / 9PM AEST
NA vs AUS/Pacific Region (13 to 16 hours difference) - 5PM PST / 8PM EST / 12PM AEST
(iii) Teams may use any means possible to contact one another to schedule a match. This includes Steam Friends, private messages via the website, VoIP applications, and comments on the match page.
(iv) Once a time is agreed upon, both teams need to confirm that time by leaving a comment on the match page and ONLY the match page. Admins will refer to the match page if a scheduling conflict arises.
(iv) Matches are to be played weekly. A match must occur within a ten (10) day (2 weekend) grace period from the date posted on the NSL website.
(v) Teams may play matches before the date posted on the NSL website to accommodate their schedules.
(c) Rescheduling a Match
(i) If a team is unable to field players for a confirmed match time, they must notify their opponent with at least twenty four (24) hours notice. Less than twenty four (24) hours notice may receive a forfeit loss if a reschedule cannot be agreed upon.
(ii) A rescheduled match must still occur within the permitted ten (10) day grace period of the match date posted on the NSL website.
(i) If a match is not played within the ten (10) day grace period allotted, the match comments on the NSL website will be used to determine a team’s attempt at scheduling the match.
(ii) A 4-0 forfeit will be awarded when there is a clear attempt by one team to schedule a match without a clear response from their opponent.
(iii) If such a determination is not easily made, no points will be awarded for the match and result in a score of 0-0.
(iv) Matches may not be rescheduled to a date after the ten (10) day grace period without admin approval.
(i) The NSL reserves the right to observe any NSL match without notification or approval.
(ii) The only spectators that will be allowed to spectate a match are those authorized by the NSL.
(iii) Extra members of the teams involved in a match are not allowed to spectate or idle in the ready room.
(iv) Teams reserve the right to deny a referee or caster if the team believes the official may be bias. If a team wishes to do so, they must contact an NSL admin to make a final determination.
(v) If a game is being cast, teams are not to ready up until the administrators and casters also indicate that they are ready.
(vi) Anyone streaming the match must do so with a three minute delay.
(i) Although the NSL provides servers on multiple continents, it is up to the teams to procure a suitable server. Community and private servers are acceptable, as long as they adhere to the server guidelines.
(ii) Servers must run the live build of Natural Selection 2 on Steam at the time of a match.
(iii) Servers must have the following mods installed:
(i) NSL Mod (ModID: a2ddae8) by Dragon
(ii) NS2+ (Mod ID: 812f004) by Mendasp
(iii) Competitive Mod (Mod ID: 2adc73ed) by Steelcap
(iv)) Shine Admin with NS2Stats enabled is optional, but will be installed on all NSL maintained servers.
(iv) Server consistency is hard coded into the NSL Mod.
(v) Servers will be chosen so that teams have the fairest possible ping. Please apply common sense and sportsmanship when deciding servers. Suggested locations:
EU vs NA - London & Central/East US Servers
EU vs AUS/Pacific Region - Las Vegas/West US Servers
NA vs AUS/Pacific Region - West US & EU Servers
(vi) If teams wish to use two (2) servers in a match, one (1) map will be played on the first server before moving to another server to play the second map.
(vii) In playoffs the team, which picks a map also decides on which of the possibly two servers in (vi) will be played.
(i) Teams are expected to be on the server and ready to play with six (6) players at the agreed upon time. Any team that fails to be present with six (6) players and ready to play on a server 15 minutes after the match start time may result in the forfeit of the match.
(h) Starting a Match - Live/Not Live
(i) A round will commence when when both teams ready up.
(ii) If, within the first thirty (30) second of a round, a team experiences a player disconnection, they may call “Not Live” and the round will restart.
(iii) If a “Not Live” is called, the round will restart with the same spawns previous to the “Not Live”.
(i) Pause Function
(i) The NSL mod has a pause function that will pause the state of the entire game, which includes stopping all timers and movement. A pause can be initiated by typing “Pause” in chat.
(ii) Each team is allotted two (2) pauses to use during a match.
(iii) Pauses are only to be used to enable a player who has an unexpected connection issue to reconnect to the server.
(iv) If there is a referee present, teams will request a pause. The referee will determine a time in the match as quickly as possible to pause, as to not interfere with possible engagements.
(v) If a referee is not present, the team using the pause must use it at a time as to not interfere with combat.
(vi) Pauses will last a maximum of five (5) minutes.
(vii) It is the responsibility of the player to ensure that their hardware and internet connection is in a state ready to play. If a player disconnects and is unable to return, their team may substitute that player with a member from their roster or another substitute, as long as it does not violate the substitution rule. The incoming player will receive zero (0) personal resources.
(viii) A forfeited round may result if it is determined that a team has abused the pause function.
(j) Ending a Round & GG Calls
(i) A “gg” or “GG” call does not signify the end of a round.
(ii) If a team calls “gg” or “GG”, players from that team must immediately exit to the ready room.
(iii) If a “gg” or “GG” is called and a team does not exit, they will receive a warning. If this persists as unsportsmanlike conduct, a round may be forfeited.
(iv) The round is official complete when the winning or losing banner appears on your screen.
(k) Reporting Match Results
(i) At the conclusion of a match, if a referee is not present, both teams should leave a comment on the match page detailing the results.
(ii) If neither team reports a result on the match page, the score from a referee will be entered as the result.
(a) Cheating in any form is considered a violation of the rules and will result in an immediate punishment to be determined by the NSL.
(b) Cheating is considered any manipulation of server configurations, client configurations, models, skins, weapons, graphics settings, or sounds to gain an unfair advantage in game. This can also include, but is not limited to, the use of any third party program not deemed legal by the NSL.
(c) It is illegal to intentionally utilize any game exploits including any exploits that are not explicitly covered in the rules. The NSL staff have discretion to determine the intention and extent of any exploit used in game. Players found intentionally utilizing game exploits to gain an unfair advantage over their opponents may face suspension or forfeits of rounds.
(d) It is illegal to use a map exploit in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage that was not in the original intent of the game or mapmaker. Players found in violation of these rules will be penalized at the discretion of the NSL staff.
(e) In the event that a player or team is found in violation of any rule, unless otherwise noted by the specific rule or term violated, the member or team in question may be warned, suspended, or immediately disqualified from any or all NSL events.
(f) Any team found with a cheating player during season will have any matches the player in question participated in forfeited. Any team found with a cheating player during any playoff or tournament will be immediately disqualified and removed from the event.
(a) Players may not:
(i) Intentionally place structures in places where it is reasonably clear that the structure is out of the bounds of normal play on a map (For example, on top of wall geometry).
(ii) Place structures on infestation originating from a cyst, gorge tunnels, or contamination on another side of a wall.
(iii) Use any macros, scripts, or other tools outside NS2 that confer unfair advantage.
11. Game Modifications
(a) No player may at any time use an ‘mod’ of any kind, to modify Natural Selection 2 lua script or otherwise, except:
(i) Custom cross hairs
(ii) Transparent maps
(iii) Custom map colors
(iv) Other mods that do not change game shaders, textures, models, game play logic, aim-assistance or otherwise grant unfair advantage
(v) Custom alien visions that are not included in NS2+ is expressly prohibited.
(b) Female marine model and official DLC skinned marines/aliens are permissible.
(c) Any option in approved mods used by the NSL is also permissible.
(a) Teams may dispute a match result after the conclusion of the match by contacting an admin before reporting match results. The dispute should as fully as possible explain the facts of the situation and the reasoning behind the dispute.
(b) You may dispute regarding the conduct of other players, teams, casters, or admins as well as any suspicious play.
(c) All disputes should include supporting evidence that may include screenshots, videos, chat logs, server logs, demos, emails, or any other information relevant to the dispute.
(d) No team or player may refuse a request for evidence from an admin if it is within their power to provide that evidence.
(e) If there is suspected cheating involved, do not take matters into your own hands. Notify an admin.