NJCAAE Hearthstone Rules

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Generation Esports Administration
  • Updated

1. Acceptance of Official Rules

1.1. Acceptance

Each Participant must agree to these Official Rules to participate in the Tournament. You may accept these Official Rules by any one of the following methods:

  1. Registering to participate in the Tournament
  2. Participating in any match that is part of the Tournament

1.2. NJCAAE Discretion

The collegiate esports space is ever-growing and changing, and as such, the NJCAAE reserves the right to change, update, add, or remove any rules it deems necessary to keep competitive integrity and consistency across the industry at the forefront of the NJCAAE’s goals. These changes will be added to these rule sets under a “Patch Notes” section, as well as communicated across all different platforms, such as Discord, Twitter, email, etc. 


2. Players

2.1. Eligibility

To be able to compete as a “Player” in any NJCAAE hosted event, you must:

  • Have your main account in good standing with the game publisher (Activision Blizzard). Your main account, for this purpose, is defined as the account that you have the most play time on.
  • Good standing refers to having no chat bans, suspensions, or other infractions against your account during any Tournament and during the 6 months prior to the start of any Tournament.
  • Be a legal resident or legal temporary resident of the United States or Canada.
  • Be currently enrolled during the tournament period as a student in an Eligible Institution.
    • An “Eligible Institution” is an institution of higher education that: (a) grants associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctorate degrees; and (b) either is located in the United States and is accredited by an accreditor that is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S Department of Education, or is located in Canada.
    • Student must be enrolled as a full-time student as per the Institution’s requirements.
    • Not be a director, officer, or employee of Generation Esports or any entity which controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with any game developer in which one of their titles is being played. 
    • Have registered for an account on the Generation Esports website at app.generationesports.com; and
    • Agree to be bound by these Official Rules.

2.2. Verification of Eligibility

Eligible participants must first create an account at app.generationesports.com and complete the registration. Eligible Participants must fill out all required portions of the entry form to be eligible for consideration. Eligible Participants will be required to verify that they meet the eligibility requirements for the Tournament. Every member of a Team who plays in the Tournament may be required to provide proof of enrollment; otherwise the Team is ineligible to win a prize in this Tournament. In the event of a dispute as to the identity of the eligible Participant, entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the Game account submitted at time of entry. The NJCAAE reserves the right to verify an eligible Participant’s information, or any other facet of an eligible Participant’s entry if further investigation is deemed necessary. Limit one (1) entry per Participant.

2.3. Disclaimer

The NJCAAE will not be responsible for (a) any late, lost, misrouted, garbled or distorted, inaccurate, incomplete or damaged transmissions or entries; (b) telephone, electronic, hardware, software, network, Internet, or other computer- or communications related malfunctions or failures; (c) any Tournament disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of the NJCAAE (although the NJCAAE will take reasonable precautions to ensure reasonable safety); or (d) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Tournament. Additionally, in accordance with the Game’s End User License Agreement and without limiting the Game publisher’s rights therein, the Game publisher retains the right to modify or delete content, data, accounts, statistics, user profiles, and any information created, accumulated, stored or uploaded to the Game or any account at any time and for any reason at its sole discretion. The NJCAAE is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by participants in the Tournament or users of the Game, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with the Tournament, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of registrations or entries into the Tournament, or otherwise in connection with the Tournament including, without limitation, any technical limitation or other event that results in the disqualification or loss of ranking status of any participant in the Tournament.

2.4. Player Naming Policies 

2.4.1. Player Naming Policies - Professionalism

Player names within the NJCAAE should have a sense of professionalism. The NJCAAE reserves the right to request a player name change for any reason, not restricted to listed reasons in this rule set. All player names or profiles are prohibited from including the following:

  • Names that attack any group of individuals, including but not limited to race, gender, or age
  • Gang Affiliation
  • Drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)
  • Sexual Material
  • Offensive Material
  • Politically Charged Symbols/Images

2.4.2. Player Naming Policies - Commercialized

Player names within the NJCAAE may not be commercialized, or directly or indirectly support or promote a product. The NJCAAE reserves the right to request a player name change for any reason, not restricted to listed reasons in this rule set.

  • Player names may not include a sponsor name.
  • Player names may not include a product name or description.
  • Player names may not include any words that are purely commercial.

2.4.3. Player Naming Policies - General

  • Player names within the NJCAAE must also fall under the following guidelines. The NJCAAE reserves the right to request a player name change for any reason, not restricted to listed reasons in this rule set.
  • Player names may not impersonate a Tournament Admin or any other staff associated with the NJCAAE or EA Sports.
  • A player may not change their name once the Tournament starts.


3. Coaches

3.1. Coach Definition 

A coach shall be defined as a staff member at the Eligible Institution, and will be the primary contact between teams, as well as be the primary contact between the NJCAAE and the team for all roster changes and rule disputes.

3.2. Communication With Team

Coaches are only permitted to have communication with their team when all players participating are not yet loaded into an active game.. Any communication between the coach and players once a game has started is subject to a major violation sanction. 

Coaches may not communicate with their teams when switching sides, as this does not display the lobby screen.

  • Pre-Game Lobby - coach is permitted to communicate with team
  • Loading Screen - coach is permitted to communicate with team
  • Mid-Match - coach is NOT permitted to communicate with team
  • Between Games in a Series - coach is permitted to communicate with team
  • Post Game Lobby - coach is permitted to communicate with team


4. Teams

4.1. Tournament Teams

A “team” shall consist of one (1) Player. Multiple teams from each Eligible Institution will be allowed to participate in the Tournament.

4.2. Team Management

Each team must have a single individual designated as the “Coach” or “Team Captain”

  • Coach - A Coach shall be defined as a staff member at the Eligible Institution, and will be the primary contact between teams, as well as be the primary contact between the NJCAAE and the team for all roster changes and rule disputes.
    • All Coaches must have a minimum of two points of contact listed on their team page. Acceptable forms of contact are Discord, Phone Number, or Email.
  • Team Captains -  A Team Captain shall be defined as a player on the active roster that handles the administrative duties of the team, as well as being eligible for competition as per section 2.1. The Team Captain shall have the same responsibilities as a Coach. 
    • All Team Captains must have a minimum of two points of contact listed on their team page. Acceptable forms of contact are Discord, Phone Number, or Email.

4.3. Roster Requirements

4.3.1. Players

Each Team will consist of one (1) individual player.

4.4. Required Information

The following is a list of required information for all Players. This will need to be provided for a player to be listed as eligible for competition

  • Full Name
  • Player Game Account Name - Example:  CMP#1337 (this is case sensitive). A player is not permitted to change their name once the Tournament has started.
  • Player School
  • Player Email
  • Player Discord
  • Other - the NJCAAE reserves the right to request other information for broadcasting, press, or live events, including but not limited to Player photos, game statistics, and more.


5. Tournament Structure

5.1. Matches

A match shall be defined as a set of maps played in a sequential order. This will be synonymous with Series. All matches will be a Best-of-5 format. Playoffs will also be a Best-of-5 format.

5.2. Games

A game shall be defined as a single round within a Match or Series. Best-of-5: First to 3 game wins will win the match

5.3. NJCAAE Playoff Seeding

5.3.1 Round Robin Seeding

For round robin tournament play, the top teams out of each group shall qualify for postseason play. The criteria to determine seeding shall be:

  • Within Groups
    • Overall match record
    • Head to Head record
    • Overall game win % 
  • Outside of groups
    • Overall game win %
    • Opponent match win %
    • Number of games each team FF’d
    • Number of byes

5.4. Reschedules

Reschedules are allowed between teams.

  • Round Robin reschedules must be completed before the end of the regular season. Failure to report a score by the deadline will result in a double-forfeit.
  • Any games that are not started by fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled match time will result in a forfeit by the team that is not ready to compete
  • Teams must request reschedules prior to 24 hours before the match is scheduled to begin. Failure to do so can result in a minor violation on the escalation scale found in the NJCAAE Code of Conduct.
    • Teams are not required to accept a reschedule. If a match cannot be played at the originally scheduled time or rescheduled, the requesting team will lose by forfeit.
  • Single elimination reschedules are allowed so long as consecutive rounds are not being played back-to-back on the same night. These must be completed by 11:59 PM PT on Saturday the same week as the original competition date.
  • Reschedules may be implemented by the NJCAAE in the instance of an uncontrollable event, such as a server or power outage, inclement weather, or other unforeseen circumstance. This will be at the sole discretion of the NJCAAE.
    • In the event of a reschedule mandated by the NJCAAE, the reschedule must occur within 48 hours of the original match time.

5.5. Forfeits

A team shall be permitted to forfeit no more than three (3) games during the Tournament, regardless of the reason. 

  • Any forfeits issued by the NJCAAE shall count against a team’s total.
  • Teams must send notice of a forfeit at least 2 hours prior to the match. Failure to do so can result in a minor violation on the escalation scale found in the NJCAAE Code of Conduct.
  • Any team that forfeits three (3) games during the Tournament is subject to removal.


6. Matches Details

6.1. Style

The match will be played using the Shielded Conquest (Paragon) match style. The home team will issue the challenge

6.1.1. Shielded Conquest Style

  • Players choose 4 classes, 1 deck per class which they will be using in the match
  • Classes must be declared at the start of the match
  • Each player will choose one of their decks to “Shield”. The Shielded deck cannot be banned.
  • Each player will ban one class from their opponents’ pool of classes, leaving them with 3 classes for use in the match.
  • Once you win with a class, you may not use it for the remainder of the match
  • Decks may not be altered during the game. Entering the ‘My Collection’ tab could result in penalties.

6.2. Deck Content

6.2.1. Format

All player’s decks must be in the ‘Standard’ format

6.2.2. Decks

Players may not have multiple decks created for the classes which they are using during the series. Players may not have invalid cards in their decklists at the start of the game. Players should name their decks with the following nomenclature as to not give away the deck archetype should proof be requested: “(Conference Name) vs. (Opponent’s Battletag)”. (Example: NJCAAE vs. CMP#1337)

6.2.3. Decklist Submission

Players must submit their decklists prior to pick/ban phase. This can be done by sending the link via match chat on the website.

6.2.4. Right to Proof

Players or NJCAAE administration may request a screenshot of all pages of the deck select screen at any time. Generation Esports administration may also request a full decklist of each of the decks which the player has in their deck select screens. Players are forbidden from leaving the deck select screen should proof be requested. Failure to provide proof will be considered an admission of guilt.

6.2.5. Multiple Decks for a Class

Should a player’s deck select screens show that they have multiple Standard decks for a class which they are using in an official match, their opponent may request that they go into the collection tab and delete the extra decks. Failure to comply with this request will result in a forfeiture of the match.

6.2.6 Mismatch of Decklist and Used Deck

If a player’s decklist at the start of an official match (which must be provided at the request of Generation Esports administration) has a mismatch with cards played in an official game (excluding cards with text indicating that they were created as the result of another card’s effects), the player may be considered as cheating during an official match. 

6.2.7. Player Responsibility

Players are responsible for having a decklist created for the decks they are using in an official match. Generation Esports or opposing players are not responsible should a decklist be lost if the deck needs to be deleted.

6.3. Lobby Responsibilities

The home team shall be responsible for lobby creation and ensuring all rules are set and established. A lobby invite shall be sent to the away team

The away team shall be responsible for ensuring all rules and settings are correct

6.4. Pick/Ban Phase

  • Home team will get to shield one deck
  • Away team will get to shield one deck
  • Home team will get to ban one deck
  • Away Team will get to ban one deck

6.5. Restrictions

6.5.1. External Applications

Any 3rd party services such as mulligan guides, or decklists are not permitted for use in official matches. The use of such services are considered cheating.

6.5.2. Leaving

Leaving the ‘Friendly Challenge’ screen may result in penalties and a potential forfeit loss. The only exception to this rule is if the player’s client crashes during the match. Players missing turns due to a client crash will not be grounds for the match to be reset.

6.5.3. Deck Tracking Software

The Hearthstone Deck Tracker is permitted to be used in play. Other deck tracking software is prohibited from use. 

6.5.4. Cards

The following cards are not permitted for play in official matches

  • Whizbang the Wonderful
  • Zayle, Shadow Cloak


7. Match Rules

7.1. Game of Record (GOR)

A game of record (GOR) shall be a session where all players have loaded in and has progressed to a point of meaningful interaction between the teams. Once a session reaches GOR status, it will be considered as “official” from that point forward. Below will be examples of games of record

  • Any sort of stat that is on a player card or interface which is different than the initial value at game start.

7.2. Game Restarts

The decision of what circumstances merit a game restart are solely at the discretion of Tournament Administration. Restart protocol will be decided by Tournament Administration and communicated to the team before being executed.

7.3. Ties

When the game ends with both heroes exploding, the current game is considered a tie. This can happen as normal game play process, when for example a player plays a spell that creates lethal damage for both players, or when the internal game-turns timer hits the limit for the number of turns in a game. In the event of a tie, both players game record increases by 1 game win and may result in a match win for one of the players. In a case where the game score is tied in a best-of-5 match, and game 5 ends in this way, there are two possible outcomes:

  • If during the tied game, the game ends with both players at positive health, then the player with the higher combined total of health and armor is the winner of the game.
  • If during the tied game, the game ends with both players at negative health, then the game must be replayed.

7.4. Results

Competitors will be responsible for accurately reporting all game and match results on the match page within 24 hours of match completion.

7.5. Technical Issues

Players are responsible for any of their own technical issues, including hardware, software, or internet issues. All competitors must have a hard-wired connection.

7.6. Streaming and Spectating

The NJCAAE will hold exclusive rights to broadcast any game of it’s choosing, including the finals match for each Championship. If a game is selected to be streamed by the NJCAAE, a participating team in that match may not stream. Broadcasted games may not be rescheduled and must be played at the scheduled time. NJCAAE holds the right to change a game time or delay the start of a match in order to accommodate other broadcasts already in progress.

7.6.1. Institution Streaming

Institutions may stream their matches to their Twitch page following the guidelines listed below.

  • Streams must be on a delay of a minimum of 3 minutes
  • Streams must be saved to the institution’s Twitch page for a minimum of 14 days in the event of a match dispute
  • Spectators are allowed to use the 3rd person chase cam to provide the best possible experience for viewers
  • Spectators are not allowed to have any contact with their team during the broadcast. 
    • Teams are encouraged to set up their own discords for each match with both program’s spectators to ensure all streaming rules are being followed.

7.6.2. Player Streaming

Players are not permitted to stream to their personal Twitch accounts. This is to protect the branding of the institutions and the NJCAAE. Players are permitted to stream their perspective to the institution’s Twitch, but will do so at their own risk to computer/gameplay performance and ghosting.

7.7. No-Show

Each Player from each Team must be present in the match lobby within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled match time. If a Team is not ready to play by the final match start time, the Team will be required to forfeit.

7.8. Gentleman's Agreements

The use of a Gentleman's Agreement to overlook any rules set by NJCAAE is prohibited in official matches.


8. Rules and Conduct Violations

Players and Teams agree to fully cooperate in any investigation regarding violations of any Rules associated with the NJCAAE. Any player found to not be truthful, or withheld, destroyed, or tampered with any evidence related to the investigation will be subject to disciplinary action.

8.1. Submitting a Dispute

In the event of a rule dispute, teams are directed to open a match dispute found on the match page or by clicking here

  • Incorrect lobby settings
  • Use of illegal/banned skins
  • Using an ineligible player
  • Playing on an incorrect account
    • Smurfs
    • Unregistered/unlinked account
    • Incorrectly named account
  • Collusion (e.g., any agreement between two or more Teams or Players on different Teams to predetermine the outcome of a Game or Match), match fixing, bribing a referee or match official, or any other action or agreement to intentionally influence (or attempt to influence) the outcome of any match or Tournament.
  • Hacking or otherwise modifying the intended behavior of the Game client.
  • Playing or allowing another Player to play on an account registered in another person’s name (or soliciting, encouraging, or directing someone else to do so).
  • Using any kind of cheating device, program, or similar cheating method to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Intentionally exploiting any game function (e.g., an in-game bug or glitch) in a manner not intended by the game developer in order to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Using distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks or similar methods to interfere with another Player’s connection to the Game client.
  • Using macro keys or similar methods to automate in-game actions.
  • Intentionally disconnecting from a Match without a legitimate reason for doing so.
  • Accepting any gift, reward, bribe, or compensation for services promised, rendered, or to be rendered in connection with unfair play of the Game (e.g., services designed to throw or fix a match or session).
  • Interfering with the operation of the Tournament, the Rules Website or any website owned or operated by the NJCAAE.
  • Engaging in any activity that is illegal in the jurisdiction where the affected Player is located.
  • Betting or gambling on your own performance, the performance of your Team or the results of the Tournament or any phase of the Tournament.
  • Making any modification to the Game that has not been disclosed to and authorized by the Tournament Organizers.
  • Using any Tournament facilities, services or equipment provided or made available by the Tournament Entities to post, transmit, disseminate or otherwise make available any communications prohibited by this Code of Conduct.
  • Changing In-Game Player or User Name to a name other than Player’s registered User Name

8.2. Disciplinary Action

Any punishments or disciplinary action taken by the NJCAAE pursuant to the Rules or any violations listed above will be in the sole and absolute discretion of the NJCAAE. 

In the event of repeated breaches of violations by a Player or Team, the NJCAAE may hand out increasing disciplinary action, up to and including permanent expulsion from all future play in NJCAAE related events.

8.3. Finality of Decisions

Any decisions made by the NJCAAE regarding any disciplinary action shall be final and binding on all Players or Teams. A public announcement shall be made in the name of transparency.


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