HSEL Counter-Strike 2 Rules

  • Updated

The rules contained on this page only cover this specific game, please review the HSEL General Competition Rules for information covering all official tournaments. 

1. Anti-Cheat

No additional anti-cheat is required for official matches.


2. Match Procedure

HSEL Supported platforms

  • PC

2.1 Series Lengths

Matches are played as a best of 1 series during the regular season and a best of 3 series in the playoffs and finals

2.2. Server Settings

A server owned by the High School Esports League must be used for official matches. Server region and maps played must be determined in advance of the match. The match server will be determined by:

  • Location: To be determined by team captains before the match begins in accordance with rule 2.3
  • Map: To be determined by map veto in accordance with the tournament stage series length in 2.1. and the corresponding map veto procedure in the sub-rules of 2.4. 

No servers other than official HSEL Servers are to be used, without prior notification from HSEL Administration.

* If your server has not spun up after 10-15 minutes after it was launched, please report the issue to HSEL Support. Afterwards, you may play your match on a faceit or popflash server.

2.3. Server Region Veto

The following server regions are available for use in official matches:

  • Toronto
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Chicago
  • Seattle
  • Dallas

If teams are unable to come to an agreement on a server region to play on, the following server veto will be used:

  • The home team bans one server region
  • The away team bans one remaining server region
  • The home team picks one remaining server region on which the match will be played

2.4. Map Veto

2.4.1. Best of One

Teams will take turns banning (following the "Premier" format) until there is a single map left, starting with the Home Team: 

  • Home Team bans 2 maps 
  • Away Team bans 3 maps
  • Home Team bans 1 map
  • The remaining map will be played 
  • Away Team selects starting side 
    • The Home Team will confirm by selecting the opposing side on the match page

2.4.2. Best of Three

Teams will pick/ban in the following format:

  • Home Team bans a map
  • Away Team bans a map
  • Home picks the first map
  • Away picks their starting side for the first map
  • Away picks the second map
  • Home picks their starting side for the second map
  • Home bans a map
  • Away bans a map
  • The remaining map will be map three. 
  • Away will choose starting side for map three. 

2.4.3. Best of Five

Teams will pick/ban in the following format:

  • Team 1 bans a map
  • Team 2 bans a map
  • Team 1 picks the first map
  • Team 2 picks their starting side for the first map
  • Team 2 picks the second map
  • Team 1 picks their starting side for the second map
  • Team 1 picks the third map
  • Team 2 picks their starting side for the third map
  • Team 2 picks the fourth map
  • Team 1 picks their starting side for the fourth map
  • The remaining map will be map five, with a knife round used to determine starting sides once on map five

2.5. Map Pool

The following maps are available for play in official matches:

  • Anubis
  • Inferno (de_inferno)
  • Mirage (de_mirage)
  • Nuke (de_nuke)
  • Overpass (de_overpass)
  • Ancient (de_ancient)
  • Vertigo (de_vertigo)

2.6. Overtime

2.6.1. Best of One

All matches played in the Best of One format will be played with overtime in the following format
  • MR 3 (Three-round halves, win 4 points in overtime)
  • $12500 starting money each round
  • Ties in OT will lead into another OT series

2.6.2. Best of Three and Best of Five

All matches played in the Best of Three or Best of Five format will be played with overtime in the following format:

  • MR 3 (Three round halves, win 4 points in overtime)
  • $12500 starting money each round
  • Ties in OT will lead into another OT series


3. Tournament Rules 

3.1. Game Connections

This rule has been migrated to the HSEL General Competition rules (see 2.7.2 "Game Connections").

3.1.1. Account Ownership

Game accounts used in official tournaments must belong to the student participating using that game connection. At no point in time may players share accounts with each other or use an account of another person, regardless of if they are in the tournament or not.

3.1.2. School-Purchased Accounts

Schools may create accounts or purchase game licenses for their students participating in a tournament if they do not already have an active one. These accounts will be considered the students’ personal account and may only be used by one student each. These accounts and licenses may not be transferred to another student upon the previous student’s graduation or leaving the team, as this would be against any publisher’s Terms of Service or End User License Agreement.

3.2. Match Streaming

3.2.1. Spectators

Currently, there is currently no spectator function. We are actively working to add this feature as we scale up server capability

3.2.2. Player Streaming

Players may stream to their personal twitch or youtube channel if they are participating in the match. The match may only be streamed from the player’s in-game point of view and should have at least a 3 minute delay set to prevent possible incidents of stream sniping.

Players may not at any time stream another player or roster’s match on their personal channel.

3.3. Playoff Qualification

Teams must compete in and complete 75% of their Regular Season matches in order to be considered for playoff qualification. Teams who do not meet this requirement will be removed from qualification consideration regardless of their final record. 

3.3.1. Unplayed Matches

Any match or queue that a team misses or does not complete will result in the match being counted as a loss against the team's record at the end of the regular season.

3.4. Playoff Qualification Tiebreakers

The tie breaker system will be run as a tiered protocol that will be used if multiple teams finish the regular season with the same overall record. 

  1. Wins. (Forfeit wins and bye wins are scored as a 0-0 win)
  2. Head-to-head record. (If the two tied teams have played each other, their match record against each other is compared)
  3. Overall game win percentage. (e.g. winning a match 3-0 is better than 3-2)
  4. This applies to Valorant, Rainbow 6, and CS:GO only: round differential. (A team with 15 rounds won and 10 rounds lost will have a round differential of +5. A higher positive value is better)
  5. Higher opponents’ game win percentage. (e.g. it is better to beat an opponent who  consistently won 3-0 than 3-2)
  6. Fewer forfeit losses.
  7. Fewer bye wins.
  8. The team which had a higher number of wins before their first loss.
  9. If the first loss is received after the same number of wins, then the team which lost to the stronger opponent (as defined by game win percentage) will be ranked higher.


4. Restrictions

4.1. Configuration/Start Parameters

The following commands are not permitted:

  • mat_hdr_enabled

The following start parameters are not permitted:

  • +mat_hdr_enabled 0/1
  • +mat_hdr_leven 0/1/2

All other configuration changes are allowed as long as they do not give the player or their team an unfair advantage in the match. If three or more players of the same team are found with forbidden settings their team will forfeit the match. High School Esports League administration may decide under special circumstances to give a forfeit to a team even if they have less than 3 players with forbidden configurations.

4.2. Scripts

The majority of scripts are not permitted except for buy, toggle, and demo recording scripts. The following scripts are prohibited for use including but not limited to:

  • Anti-flash
  • Bhop, or bunnyhop
  • Burst Fire
  • Center View
  • FPS
  • No Recoil
  • RateChanger
  • Stop shoot
  • Stop sound
  • Tooltips

If you are unsure on whether or not a script is allowed or not, contact a member of the High School Esports League administration before playing an official match. A player can be penalized for scripts in any config file regardless if it is used or not.

4.3. Character skins

The use of character skins is prohibited. All players must use the default CT/T skins during play. If skins are being used, the offending team must be notified of this as it is discovered. The map where the discovery was made, is to be reset with the same settings and players with the skins removed. Multiple violations of this rule may result in the forfeiture of the map, please contact an HSEL Admin if a violation persists.


5. Stoppage of Play

5.1. Technical Pause

If a player has a problem that prevents them from playing they may use the pause function to pause the game at the next available freeze time. When pausing teams must announce that it is a technical pause, why the pause was called, and approximately how long the pause will take either immediately before, or after using the pause command. If no reason is given it can be assumed that the pause is instead a tactical pause. Both teams are prohibited from having any tactical conversations during a technical pause.

5.2. Tactical Pause

Each team is allowed 4 tactical pauses of 30 seconds each per game. When pausing teams must announce that it is a tactical pause immediately before, or after using the pause command. If no reason is given, or the 30 seconds has expired the opponent may unpause the game and continue playing. If a team exceeds their 30 second limit by more than 5 seconds it will count as using another tactical pause.

5.3. Admin Pause

A High School Esports League administrator can pause the game from their station at any time as seen necessary.

5.4. Pause Communication

During a pause, headsets must stay on unless instructed otherwise by a High School Esports League administrator. Any form of communication among a team is only permitted during a tactical pause.

5.5. Match Disruption

If a player drops before the first kill of the round the round will be restarted if possible. If a player drops after the first kill of the round the game will be paused in the next freeze time.

If a match is disrupted (e.g. a server crash) within the first 4 rounds of a match, then the match should be restarted. If the match is disrupted after the initial 4 rounds the match should continue where it left off, with the following changes made to the configuration:

  • 5500 starting money
  • The remaining rounds unplayed should be played

If backup files are available they should be used to resume the match.


6. Team Rosters

Counter-Strike 2 team rosters require a minimum of 5 players and are limited to a maximum of 10 players (5 starting players and 5 substitute players). Rosters that do not meet the minimum or exceed the maximum number of players will not be allowed to participate in official matches until their roster size meets the set requirements. Player Substitutions may be made between maps.