NECC Releases Statement on Competition as 2021-22 Academic Year Gets Underway

MANSFIELD, Mass. - With the fall semester of National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC) competition getting underway, the conference released a statement earliet today regarding its competition and what the league is doing to ensure that all players competing are eligible to do so. During the spring semester, an ineligible player was used by one of the team's in the league. That player has been permanently removed from the conference and the offending team was immediately removed from the postseason tournament.

Since the violation of the conference's rules took place, the NECC has worked diligently with it's Board of Directors to make sure this does not happen again in the future. To read the conference's official statement, please see the image below. 

"While we are competing virtually and are unable to see everyone in person, that does not mean we can't take serious measures to ensure that those that are competing in the NECC are eligible to do so," said NECC Commissioner Jacob VanRyn. "Since the violation took place last spring, we have engaged with our NECC Board of Directors to take serious steps to hopefully preventing that type of abuse of the rules from ever happening again. Competition is one of our three NECC core pillars and we are doing everything in our power to provide a positive, safe, and welcoming experience for all players within the rules that have been established."

The conference has announced the following punishments public to its community to any player that is found guilty of intentionally misrepresenting themselves during competition ('smurfing'). 

  • Any player that is found to be operating and / or using another player account will immediately be removed from the league and will not be eligible to compete ever again in the NECC. 
  • Any team that is found to have used an ineligible player will immediately be - at a minimum - removed from that semester of play and the conference's Board of Directors will rule on next steps and further punishments for that team / program. Those punishments may include: future postseason bans or suspensions, or the ability to compete in the NECC.
  • Finally, as is clearly defined in the conference's Code of Conduct, it is a privilege to compete in the NECC and any behavior that is not conducive to fostering a positive and healthy NECC community will not be tolerated and is grounds for punishment as decided upon by the conference's Board of Directors

Following the event this past spring, not only has the offending player been banished from competing in the league permanently, the team's manager is no longer allowed to oversee or serve in any sort of leadership capacity within the NECC. 

"While we obviously were not happy with what took place last spring, the subsequent investigation and conversations with our leadership and a number of our directors, coaches, and other members of the esports community has made our organization much stronger, continued VanRyn.

"With the introduction of scholarship prizing this year, we wanted to make sure that we are doing literally everything in our power to prevent something like that from ever happening again, and I'm confident we are doing that."

The conference has also created a formal protest form which it will be sharing with its directors and team leadership which will trigger an investigation if there is suspected foul play at any time. Additionally, the conference has rules in place regarding minimum academic standards that all NECC players must meet to be eligible to compete. 

The NECC's fall semester regular season began on Monday, and once again, the conference is sponsoring five core titles this semester: League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, and Valorant. The conference will also be featuring tournament play in Hearthstone, Madden, and Super Smash Bros. throughout the year. 


The NECC began sponsoring esports in the fall of 2020. The NECC is currently sponsoring both regular season competition and championships across a wide variety of titles. The conference aims to serve the gaming community with respect and is a safe and inclusive environment. With more than 150 colleges and universities currently competing in the conference, the NECC is proud to be a positive home for the collegiate gaming community. 

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