Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Student

What is High School League?

The High School League (HSL) is a free, trans-Tasman esports competition that provides Australian and New Zealand high school students with a fun, competitive, and rewarding esports experience. HSL operates extremely similarly to traditional high school sports.

HSL esports matches are sometimes broadcast weekly live on Twitch.tv and on Sky Sport in New Zealand. These matches are casted live from the LPL Studios in Auckland, New Zealand. Teachers, students and parents can tune in to watch their school team and support players.

What are the requirements to compete in HSL? / How old do I have to be to compete in HSL?

Students must be enrolled in Year 9 - 13 in any Australian or New Zealand-based high school or secondary school.

For Dota 2, school teams need a minimum of 5 players each team. For Clash Royale, school teams need a minimum of 3 players each team. Each school also needs at least one supervising teacher on-board (see Teacher FAQ for more details).

How do I register to compete in HSL?

Click the ‘Events’ tab at the top of the HSL website. Scroll down and navigate to ‘Current & Upcoming Events’ and click on the event page of your chosen game. There you can find more information about the season and register!

I’ve registered, when is my game and when do I play?

Join the HSL Discord and stay updated with the schedule and when your team will play! For play-dates, please refer to the event page in ‘Events’ at the top of the page.

How long does HSL run for?

HSL runs for two splits (think of them as semesters) each year, with an HSL Holiday Cup (two-day tournament) ran at the end of the year in early December.

Each split runs for approximately 10 weeks.

What is the format of HSL?

Each split format varies depending on the game played and the number of schools participating: however each season typically runs for 10 weeks (including term breaks) with teams competing once or twice a week after school hours.

How many students can play on an HSL team?

This depends on the game offered. Currently teams need a minimum of 5 players on a team for Dota 2, and 3 players on a team for Clash Royale. Subs are allowed, but these players must be registered and added to a team before a match starts.

Can a school have more than one HSL team per season?

Yes! Schools are more than welcome to enter more than one team for HSL in all games offered. Students may only play for one team per split. (Eg. LPL High Team 1, LPL High Team 2, LPL High Team 3)

Can I play for both Dota and Clash Royale teams for my school?

Yes! You can absolutely represent your school in both Clash Royale and Dota 2. Students may only play for one team in each game per season. (Eg. LPL High Dota Team 1, LPL High Clash Royale Team 4)

Can my friend from another school play on my team?

Unfortunately students may only compete for the school they are currently enrolled at.

I have just graduated Year 12/13 in November - December, but I would like to play in the HSL Holiday Cup in December of that year. Can I still compete?

Firstly: Congratulations! Secondly: Yes you can! Please let our HSL Admin team know via the Discord if this is the case for you or a team member.

My parent/teacher is unsure about esports and would like more information. What can we do to encourage support for HSL?

The HSL aims to change negative perceptions around video games by offering a structured, disciplined esports league for high school students promoting academic success, sportsmanship, leadership skills and critical thinking.

Our key pillars state that students must be achieving within the classroom to participate in HSL. Bad sportsmanship and online behaviour is not tolerated and will absolutely be disciplined by the HSL admins monitoring the league.

HSL provides students with the ability to compete in male, female, non-binary and mixed teams. Participation is not limited by geography or physical attributes, and gives students an opportunity to represent and be proud of their school where they otherwise might not with the likes of traditional sports.

Parents and teachers are more than welcome to reach out to our friendly team via email: [email protected] for more information throughout the year.

What are the prizes for HSL?

Depending on sponsors, prizing varies from split to split. These will almost always be in the form of gift vouchers or physical tech prizes.

Teacher

What is High School League?

The High School League (HSL) is an inter-school esports tournament that provides Australian and New Zealand high school students with a fun, competitive, and rewarding esports experience. It operates extremely similarly to traditional high school sports. We promote esports as a positive activity that opens up team building, leadership and self-improvement opportunities to a wider range of students outside the traditional field and court sports.

HSL esports matches are sometimes broadcast weekly live on Twitch.tv, an online live-streaming gaming platform similar to YouTube, and on Sky Sport in New Zealand. These matches are casted live from the LPL Studios in Auckland, New Zealand similar to traditional sports games broadcasted on television. Teachers, students and parents can tune in to watch their school team and support players in real time.

We encourage schools to ensure that the motivating factor to be eligible to play is that a student applies themselves to their school work. Remaining eligible to play, and having fun with teammates, is paramount!

What is Discord?

Discord is a free online communications server used by esports organisations. The platform allows us to create private chat logs to communicate with players, teachers and coaches quickly and directly. HSL uses Discord servers to communicate directly with our players on a mass and team-by-team basis.

Discord is the easiest way to chat with tournament organisers, teammates and competition in real-time. Here you can find match times, schedules, broadcast information, tournament standings and private channels for your individual teams to chat and talk strategy. Discord also allows you to create private voice channels for in-game communication. These message rooms are monitored by HSL admins throughout the league.

Discord can be accessed via a web browser, through the desktop app, or on the mobile app. We encourage all students & supervising teachers to join our private HSL Discord channels (links will be on event pages).

Click here to download Discord.

Is there a cost to enter HSL?

No. HSL is completely free for schools to register and compete in - regardless of participation or number of teams.

How long does HSL run for?

HSL runs for two splits (think of them as semesters) each year, with an HSL Holiday Cup (two-day tournament) ran at the end of the year in early December.

Each split runs for approximately 10 weeks.

What is the format of HSL? How often do students play?

Each split format varies depending on the game played and the number of schools participating: however each season typically runs for 10 weeks with teams competing once or twice a week after school hours. Games typically run for 1 - 2 hours.

What are the requirements for my school to participate in HSL?

Schools must be located in Australia or New Zealand and must offer secondary school-level education (Years 9 and above). Participating schools must have a member of faculty elected as a supervisor for the duration of the HSL season.

What does the role of the teacher in charge in HSL entail?

The Teacher In Charge role is that of a coach or supervising teacher of any school sports team. We encourage the teacher in charge to advertise the upcoming season of HSL to students, organise meetings or practices, supervise student practices where available, and make sure students are aware of their match times. HSL admins communicate with the Teacher in Charge if there are any reports of unsportsmanlike behaviour from one of their students. If your team wins a season of HSL, prizes are shipped to your school under the T-I-C name.

What do my students need to compete in HSL?

Students will each need a school email address where possible when registering for HSL. They will also each need access to a computer and/or mobile device (phone/tablet) powerful enough to run their chosen game and a strong internet connection. Tablets/phones/laptops will also need power supplies. Students may use their own devices at the discretion of teachers in charge.

Students will need to have installed their respective games onto their devices, and make sure they have the most up-to-date version of their game, at least 30 minutes before their matches begin. For help with installation and getting around implemented firewalls or web page blockers, please chat with your school’s IT team or internet provider.

If possible, a space at school to practice or play matches after school is preferred - although HSL understand that this is not always available. Each school also needs at least one supervising member of faculty on-board as the elected Teacher In Charge.

What games do students play in HSL? How do they operate?

The current titles on offer for students to compete in in HSL are Dota 2 and Clash Royale. These are both free-to-play, free-to-download games.

About Dota 2
Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients) is a 5v5 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Each team selects their heroes from a roster of over 100 characters and attempts to take down the enemy core structure, the Ancient. The game has a large focus on teamwork to achieve victory by working towards goals together in the match. In the esports world Dota 2 has consistently held the largest prize pools in the world, upwards of $25m USD.

About Clash Royale
Clash Royale is a mobile app video game developed and published by Supercell. The game combines elements from collectible card games, tower defence, and a multiplayer online battle arena. It combines skills such as strategic planning, improvisation, reactive decision-making and planning ahead to execute strategies. Competitors can work together to defeat enemy teams or play on their own against other single players.

My students are not yet old enough to compete / I have younger students interested in esports. What can they do?

HSL encourages enthusiasm for esports in younger students enrolled in Years 7 and 8. We suggest that schools allow Year 7 and 8 students to join or create a school Esports Club, where they can organise supervised practice sessions for the younger students to hone their skills ready for Year 9 participation. This could also be a great leadership opportunity for the older students competing in HSL to offer coaching and advice to younger players.

Do my students need parental permission to compete in HSL?

No - although we do encourage teacher(s) to talk to parents about competitive inter-school esports and its benefits.

Parents / Faculty are unsure about esports. What can we do to encourage support for HSL?

There’s a persistent myth that video games are bad for schoolwork and detract from homework, studying and overall academic success in school. The HSL aims to change these perceptions by offering a structured, disciplined league for high school students promoting academic success, sportsmanship, leadership skills and critical thinking.

Our key pillars state that students must be achieving within the classroom to participate in HSL. Bad sportsmanship and online behaviour is not tolerated and will absolutely be disciplined by the HSL admins monitoring the league.

Here are some testimonials from our previous HSL participants explaining how controlled competitive esports can benefit a student's well-being, learning, and motivation while also boosting school pride:

“For some students, HSL is the first time the student is actively pushing themselves to achieve a challenging goal. This self-motivation allows the development of important skills such as communication and teamwork” says Danny Chang, Teacher and HSL supervisor at Mt Roskill Grammar in Auckland.

“The success we have had has revolved around teamwork and communication,” added Vincent Lo, Captain of the Mt Albert Grammar HSL team. “We ensure that each and every one of us talk as much as we can during the match as communication in a team is the key to success."

HSL provides students with the ability to compete in male, female and mixed teams. Participation is not limited by geography or physical attributes, and gives students an opportunity to represent and be proud of their school where they otherwise might not with the likes of traditional sports.

If you would like more information about HSL, esports, and the benefits of inter-school competition, please feel free to email our friendly team year-round: [email protected]

How can we encourage a healthy balance of school work and gaming?

If schoolwork suffers within seasons, HSL strongly encourages teachers to enforce that players may be suspended from the team until their grades improve to a satisfactory level. We also encourage students to practice and play matches on campus after school hours in a supervised environment whenever possible. Breaks in-between games and having water and healthy snacks on-hand are encouraged for practices and match nights.

My question isn’t here / I would like more information

Please feel free to email our friendly team any time of year at [email protected]