The largest collegiate esports league in North America
Our team facilitates competition and broadcasts matches for more than 13,000 students from nearly 700 colleges and universities across 12 titles, with an outstanding $165,500 in scholarship prize pooling as of the 2021-2022 academic year.
As we conclude this groundbreaking first year of league operations, we look towards the future of our competitive operations.
Starting this Fall 2022, NACE Starleague will begin operating a multi-tiered collegiate league system that will run throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. For more information please read all available information below including our FAQ.
All future competition will subsequently be broken down into two Tiers, with multiple Divisions allocated to each. Only NACE Member schools will be eligible to compete in the Varsity Division (the highest level of offered competitive play). All schools will be eligible to compete in the Open Division.
Registered teams in each Tier will be divided into multiple Divisions based first and foremost on their skill level. Premier Divisions will feature two or more consecutive tournaments, including conference-level playoffs (Varsity only), last-chance qualifiers, and overall playoffs.
DII+ Divisions will feature a single playoffs tournament for top qualifying teams only. The strongest Division of each respective Tier will be further split based on regional Conferences (i.e East or West) with the limitation that schools may only field one team.
Game titles and schedules are subject to change at the discretion of publishers. Any changes to available game titles and/or schedules will be announced on or before August 1, 2022.
Notable Changes for Fall 2022 – Spring 2023
For the 2022-23 competition year and moving forward, the NACE Affiliate program will no longer be in place. It was always intended to be a one-year transitional program to help bridge the immediate eligibility gap between CSL Esports and NACE’s respective competitions. This means that, in order to participate in the Varsity division next year, all schools must be NACE Members (either full or Associate Members); however, we do not want to limit a school’s ability to participate in meaningful and rewarding organized competition, so we are excited to announce that there will be equal prizing offered at the highest levels of play in both Varsity and Open competitions.
Although the eligibility requirements for Varsity play are changing, we are wholly committed to ensuring that access to scholarship prizes and highly-skilled competition remains open to all schools, regardless of their program’s status. For the 2022-23 competition year we are making scholarship prizing more accessible than ever and will be offering equal prize pools for all applicable titles in both tiers of competition – Varsity and Open.
Last-chance Qualifier (Premier Divisions only)
There will be some minor adjustments made to Playoffs qualification for our highest Divisions of play. Rather than automatically take on the top two teams from each conference, only the 1st place team will receive an automatic bid into the Playoffs. The 2nd and 3rd place teams will be entered into a Last-chance Qualifier, where they’ll fight to earn one of the final Playoffs spots against similarly placed teams from other conferences.
NACE Starleague FAQ
How much does it cost to compete in NACE Starleague?
There is no cost associated with competing in the Open tier. NACE membership, which includes payment of annual dues, is required to compete in the Varsity tier.
My school is not a NACE Member. Can I still compete in Varsity?
Only schools that are NACE Members (either full or Associate Members) may participate in Varsity tier competitions; however, all schools are eligible to compete for scholarship prizing in our Open tier competitions.
Can I still apply to be a NACE Affiliate?
For the 2022-23 competition year, and moving forward, the NACE Affiliate program will no longer be in place; however, all schools are eligible to compete for scholarship prizing in our Open tier competitions
When does registration open?
Registration for all titles is expected to open on August 1, 2022.
Where can I learn more about NACE membership?
To learn more about NACE and NACE membership visit their website here or contact Ashley Jones, Membership Director (email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Discord: AJ#3562).
Why is the regular season structure changing?
For our Premier divisions the regular season will be largely unchanged from last year. For our other divisions, we believe the changes bring about several benefits over the previous swiss format. The transition to a round robin season offers greater flexibility with scheduling and allows for longer marketing/promotion windows for teams and schools, while the move to smaller skill-based divisions will ensure that all of a team’s matches in a given season are as competitive as possible. With swiss, that was really only the case towards the end.
Are competition rulebooks available?
All rulebooks will be available when registration opens on August 1, 2022.
When will scholarship prizing for next year be announced?
The prize pool for each competition will be announced when registration opens on August 1, 2022. As a reminder, teams competing in both Varsity and Open will be playing for scholarship prizes.
Will League of Legends be offered next year?
We are still finalizing our plans with Riot Games and hope to announce plans for this soon.
Will there be any other titles offered next year?
The titles mentioned above are not the only ones that will be featured as part of NACE Starleague during the 2022-23 competition year. Fortnite, Hearthstone, and eNASCAR will be returning and details will be announced soon. When they are, this page will be updated accordingly. We are also in talks with several other publishing partners to bring new games titles to NACE Starleague.
What time are matches played?
Generally, for Premier divisions, for predominantly eastern-based conferences the default match time will be 7:00 PM ET, and for predominantly western-based conferences it will be 7:00 PM PT. For other divisions where the groups will be representative of both east and west teams the default match time will be 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT.