New Zealand Esports Federation Incorporated

Regulations as of 23 July 2021

These regulations (Regulations) are posted on the NZESF website and may be amended at any time by uploading a new version of the Regulations to the NZESF website.

New Zealand Esports Federation Incorporated (NZESF) is the governing body for esports and all its disciplines, which is established by, and consists of, its members, and is an incorporated society under the laws of New Zealand.

These Regulations have been enacted and adopted by the NZESF under its rules as an incorporated society (Rules).

The Rules may be viewed on the New Zealand Incorporated Society website (

If there is any conflict between these Regulations and the Rules, the Rules will prevail.

The NZESF is a member of the International Esports Federation based in Seoul, Korea (IESF) and will, subject to the NZESF’s Rules, comply with the rules and regulations of the IESF.

The NZESF is a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition based in Sydney, Australia (ESIC) and will, subject to the NZESF’s Rules, comply with the rules and regulations of the [ESIC].

Each player entrant in a NZESF sanctioned tournament agrees as a condition of such entry to abide by and be subject to these Regulations which hereinafter include the Code of Conduct as amended from time to time by the NZESF Committee.

NZESF reserves the right to refuse approval of or cancel any previously sanctioned tournament or series of tournaments for reasons of health, safety, security or any other potential threat to any persons attending the tournament(s) or to the successful running of the tournament(s), with no liability to the tournament organiser or any participant.

Chapter I. General Provisions

Article 1 – Background
  1. The NZESF is the National Sporting Organisation and industry body for esports in New Zealand
  2. The administration and governance of the NZESF is located in Auckland, New Zealand.
  3. The NZESF is a member of the IESF and is the recognised authority in New Zealand for Esports
  4. The NZESF is a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition [ESIC] who manages the NZESF’s integrity programme
Article 2 – Objectives

According to the Rules, the objects of the NZESF are to:

  • promote participation in esports in New Zealand.
  • advocate for the recognition of esports as an indoor sport in New Zealand and inclusion in the Olympics.
  • promote the social, health and educational benefits of esports and video games for youth and the wider community.
  • promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle for esports participants.
  • act as a regulatory body for eSport events and competitions in New Zealand.
  • carry out any activity or support any person or organisation that may contribute to the above objects.
  • make regulations or bylaws to advance the attainment of any of the above objects
  • do any act or thing incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the above objects.

In addition, and to the extent there is no conflict with the Rules, as a member of the IESF, the NZESF will aim to:

  • encourage and support individuals and other entities in New Zealand affiliated with the NZESF in the development and coordination of both amateur and professional esports competitions;
  • sanction the holding of amateur and professional esports competitions in New Zealand and require that such competitions are operated in accordance with best practice and the Regulations and Rules;
  • constantly improve esports and promote it in the light of its values – humanitarian, educational, cultural, unity of purpose and ability to promote peace;
  • encourage and support the promotion of ethics in esports as well as education of youth through esports and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in esports, the spirit of fair play prevails, and violence is banned;
  • develop and to preserve the independence of esports, and to not tolerate government interference in any of its members;
  • support and harmonize the culture and education with esports;
organize its own competitions and draw up regulations and provisions and ensure their enforcement; and
  • To promote integrity, ethics, and fair play with a view to prevent all methods or practices, such as corruption, doping or match manipulation, which might jeopardize the integrity of matches, competitions, players, officials, and members or the NZESF.
Article 3 – Non-discrimination and Promoting Female Participation
  1. The practice of esports is a fundamental right for all.
  2. All parties related to the NZESF ’s events or any person operating an event sanctioned by the NZESF,
  3. including its Members and partners, shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and to promote and elevate the participation of female players in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of women and men, the same rights, in particular, to participate in recreation, leisure and sports activities and all aspects of cultural life.
  4. Discrimination of any kind against lineage, gender, religion, politics, individual, organisation or any reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion from NZESF and/or the withdrawal of any sanctioning of events.
Article 4 – Promoting friendly relations
  • The NZESF shall promote friendly relations:
    1. between Members, Officials and Players. Every person and organization involved in esports is obliged to observe the Rules and Regulations and the principles of fair play; and
    2. in society for humanitarian objectives.
  • The NZESF shall provide the necessary institutional means to resolve any dispute that may arise between Members, Clubs, Officials and Players.
Article 5 – Doping and Drug Use
  1. The NZESF, including its members and players, are bound by the relevant rules and guidelines prescribed by ESIC and other relevant agencies or bodies set up for monitoring drug use and doping by players affiliated with NZESF Members.
  2. The NZESF will abide by all decisions of the IESF’s Medical Advice Commission in relation to the list of prohibited substances and methods of doping control that are applicable to esports in IESF’s competition, in accordance with IESF’s Anti-Doping Rules based upon WADA model rules.
Article 6 – Indemnity

The Committee and all other office-bearers of the NZESF  are hereby through, and by means of, the funds and property of the NZESF, indemnified from and against all losses, claims, costs, compensations and other costs and obligations which they may incur or meet with regard to or in relation to the execution of their various obligations as office-bearers of the NZESF, and none of them shall be held responsible for any action of neglect on the side of any one of them or for a shortage or inadequacy of any proprietary right or security, and they are also not held responsible for any loss that may be caused, accident that may occur or damage that may be done or that may arise in the execution or their various official duties or as a consequence thereof: provided, however, that any such loss, accident or damage was not caused by action in bad faith or by deliberate negligence of such office-bearer.

Article 7 – Intellectual Property Rights

The NZESF owns any and all commercial rights related to its operations and competitions of whatsoever nature now and in the future, including but not limited to, intellectual property, sponsorship, broadcasting and re‐broadcasting, photographs, video, social media posts and contributions, logos, trademarks, value in kind and media in any format in use now or developed in the future.

Article 8 – Sanctioning of Members
  1. Where the Committee has asked for information from a member and has given such Member at least 21 days’ notice requiring the supply of that information, that Member shall be automatically suspended until such information has been delivered to the Committee should the date for the submission of such information be exceeded.
  2. Violation or negligence of the Member’s obligations and duties may lead the relevant Member to sanctions, fines, suspension or termination of Membership under decision of the Committee and in accordance with the Rules.
  3. When a Member’s membership has been terminated by the Committee, such Member shall not have its Membership reinstated until one calendar year has elapsed unless the Committee otherwise determines. Membership subscriptions and any levies already paid shall not be refunded to such Member.
  4. The Committee may take disciplinary action, such as suspension or termination of a member’s membership, against a Member who has:
    • Violated the Rules or Regulations and is negligent in abiding by the decisions of the General Meeting and/or the Committee.
    • Unpaid membership subscriptions or levies without good cause over 12 months after the commencement of the financial year.
    • Not complying with the NZESF’s objectives and bringing the NZESF into disrepute.

Chapter II. Sanctioning and Player Status

Article 1 Sanctioning


Criteria for sanctioning:
For official sanctioning of an esports event by the NZESF, the following must be complied with:(a) A written request for sanctioning must be delivered to the NZESF no less than 30 days prior to the date of the event. Included with the request shall be:

  1. Details of the Operator;
  2. Confirmation the organiser is a member
  3. The Title or Titles that Players will compete in;
  4. Confirmation from the Operator that all competitors at the event will be Players (i.e. members of the NZESF in good standing) as at the date of the event;
  5. An undertaking from the Operator to abide by these Regulations and any other applicable rules of the NZESF;
  6. Details of the date and venue of the event; and
  7. A copy of the rules of the event.
    1. If applicable, the prescribed Sanctioning Fee must be paid.

Revoking sanctioning:
NZESF reserves the right to refuse approval of or cancel any previously sanctioned tournament or series of tournaments for reasons of health, safety, security, or any other potential threat to any persons attending the tournament(s) or to the successful running of the tournament(s), with no liability to the tournament organiser or any participant.

Approving new Titles: Any game may be approved as a Title by the Committee.

Sanctioning Fees:An Operator will pay the following sanctioning fees in order for its Event to be sanctioned by the NZESF (amounts are not in aggregate):

  • $0 per event for an amateur event with prize pool of equal to or less than $1,000
  • $100 per event for an amateur event with prize pool of more than $1,000
  • $500 per event for a professional event with prize pool equal to or less than $10,000
  • $1000 per event for a professional event with prize pool less than $15,000
  • $1,500 per event for a professional event with prize pool less than $20,000
  • $2000 per event for a professional event with prize pool less than $25,000
  • $2500 per event for a professional event with prize pool less than $30,000

The sanctioning fee for professional events offering a prize pool of $30,000 or more will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Committee.

Any or all of the above may be waived by the NZESF at its sole and absolute discretion. A waiver with regard to one Event shall not be deemed a waiver of such requirements for any subsequent contest.

Supervision at Event:

The President or Vice President may attend an Event and may assign an Event Commissioner to attend each Event. If they attend, the Operator will provide the President and/or the Event Commissioner with premium seats at the Event.

Article 2 Player Status


Players are in good standing with the NZESF if:

  1. They pay all outstanding debts and obligations to the NZESF; and
  2. They are otherwise confirmed to be in good standing by the President.

Amateur Player status:

A Player will be eligible to compete as an amateur player if he/she:

    1. has not earned an amount exceeding $100,000 in any 12-month period; or
    2. has not entered into a contract with any person to be paid to train as an eSports participant, whether as a salary, wage or on a contract basis including via
      1. any incorporated entity of which the Player is a director or shareholder, or
      2. any trust of which the Player is the beneficiary; or
  • has not otherwise been determined by the Committee (acting in its complete discretion) as being a professional Player, the Committee’s determination being final.

Professional Player status: If a Player does not meet any of the criteria to be considered an amateur Player, the Player will be deemed a professional Player.

Event status: An Event will be considered an amateur Event if it:

  1. offers a cash prize pool of no more than $5,000; and
  2. is only open to entry by amateur Players.

Otherwise, an Event will be considered a professional Event. An amateur player may enter a professional Event.

Article 3 Rankings

Ranking Committee: The Committee has established a Ranking Committee to establish initial rankings of Players or Teams for each Title. Once the Ranking Committee has published its initial rankings, Player’s rankings will be assessed on the basis

Maintaining ranking: To keep his/her position on the official NZESF ranking a Player must compete at least twice annually in an event sanctioned by the NZESF and he/she will comply with the published criteria of the Ranking Committee. If a player fails to comply with this Rule, he/she may lose his/her classification. It is the responsibility of each Payer to know the NZESF criteria for rankings, to meet the criteria for rankings, and to keep the Ranking Committee informed of all facts relevant to his/her rating.

Article 4 Competition rules

Abide by rules: All Players must abide by any rules relating to an Event or the playing of a Title. Players must at all times follow the directions of umpires, referees and other Event officials.

Failure to follow rules: If a player fails to follow the rules relating to an Event or the playing of a Title, the Player may be sanctioned by the NZESF. Sanctions may include fines, revocation of Member status or removal from rankings.

Chapter III. E Blacks

Article 1 Player Selection
  1. Selection eligibility: In order to be considered for selection to the E Blacks, a Player must:
    • be a Member in good standing of the NZESF;
    • be either:
      • a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand; or
      • be residing in New Zealand at all times while competing for the E Blacks;
      • if required by the requirements of the Title or Event, be an amateur Player;
      • hold a valid passport and be able to obtain any visas required to enter countries at which events the E Blacks are competing in are held; and
      • comply with any other criteria required by the Committee.

E Blacks mana: The E Blacks represent the highest level of competition for any New Zealand eSports athlete. Players who are selected to represent New Zealand as an E Black will be expected to conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with the highest ethical and professional standards. The E Blacks are role models for young eSports participants and will be expected to behave as such.

Media: When a Player is asked to comment to the media as an E Black, the Player will at all times behave in a professional manner. The Player will not make any comments disparaging of the NZESF, the E Blacks, any event at which the E Blacks are competing, or any sponsor or publisher involved with the E Blacks.

Chapter IV. Dispute resolution

Article 1 Dispute Resolution

External disputes: If any Player has a dispute with a manager, promoter, team or other person involved in eSports, the parties involved in the dispute (Disputing Parties) may agree to refer the dispute to the President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) for determination. On receipt of a written request to determine the dispute (Dispute Notice), the following rules will apply:

  1. The President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) will within five working days of receipt of the Dispute Notice confirm whether the Committee will determine the dispute.
  2. The President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) may appoint any person to a panel to assist the President in making his or her determination (together the Expert Panel).
  3. A non-refundable dispute resolution fee as reasonably determined by the Expert Panel (but not to exceed $2,000) must be paid within 5 working days of notification of the fee to the Disputing Parties and be paid equally by the Disputing Parties unless otherwise agree by the Disputing Parties.
  4. The Disputing Parties may not be represented by legal counsel and must appear themselves at any enquiry hearing.
  5. The Expert Panel will give notice to each Disputing Party of the place and time when the Expert Panel will conduct the enquiry.
  6. The Expert Panel will accept oral or written submissions from the Disputing Parties as to the dispute within ten working days of confirmation by the President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) that the dispute will be determined.
  7. The Expert Panel will consider such matters and such arguments as may be placed before them by the Disputing Parties but shall not be bound by any rules of law and may accept and act on such evidence as the Expert Panel in their absolute discretion thinks fit.
  8. In deciding any question, the Expert Panel will take into account, and so far, as reasonably possible give effect to, the provisions and intent of these Regulations.
  9. The decision of the Expert Panel will be final and binding on the Disputing Parties and the Disputing Parties will take all steps necessary to give effect to the decision of the Expert Panel.
  10. The costs of the Expert Panel will be borne by the Disputing Parties equally unless the Expert Panel direct otherwise.
  11. The President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) and any person appointed to the Expert Panel will be deemed not to be acting as arbitrators but as experts and the law relating to arbitration, including the Arbitration Act 1996, will not apply to the Expert Panel or the Expert Panel’s decision.

Dispute involving NZESF: If a Player has a dispute regarding any decision of the NZESF and/or the Committee the following dispute resolution process will apply:

  1. The Player and the President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) will meet at least once to negotiate and agree on a solution to the dispute.
  2. If within 10 working days of the first meeting to solve the dispute, the parties have been unable to agree on a solution, the any mediation must be conducted in terms of the Resolution Institutes’ Mediation Rules. The mediation must be conducted by a mediator and at a fee agreed by the parties. Failing agreement by the parties as to the appointment of a mediator within seven days of reference to mediation as set out above, the mediator will be selected, and his/her fee determined by the Chair for the time being of the Resolution Institute (or any suitable replacement organisation);
  3. If the dispute remains unresolved after mediation, the dispute may be referred by the Player or the President (or in his or her absence, the Vice President) to the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand (Tribunal). If the Tribunal agrees to hear the dispute, the parties will submit to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, abide by the rules of the Tribunal and agree to be bound by any decision of the Tribunal.
  4. If the Tribunal declines to hear the dispute, the parties will be free to pursue any other remedies available to them at law to resolve the dispute.


General Meeting: General Meeting of the NZESF as contemplated in Article 16 of the Rules.

Committee: Committee of the NZESF was formed in accordance with Articles 10 & 11 of the Rules.

Event: Esports event sanctioned by the NZESF and operated in accordance with these Regulations.

Event Commissioner: person appointed to attend each Event and ensure the Event is conducted in accordance with these Regulations.

Member: person admitted as a member of the NZESF in accordance with Article 5 of the Rules.

Operator: person or persons operating an eSports event.

Player: Esports player registered and in good standing with the NZESF

President: President of the NZESF as elected from time to time.

Team: Team of Players formed to compete in a team Title.

Title: any computer game approved by the NZESF as appropriate for Esports competitions. The current list of approved games is attached as Annex 1.

Vice President: Vice President of the NZESF as elected from time to time. The Vice President represents the NZESF in the absence of the President.

Annex 1 Approved Titles

As at the date of these regulations, the titles listed below are approved by the NZESF as Titles:

  • Call of Duty
  • Counterstrike
  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Fortnite
  • FIFA 21
  • GT Sport
  • Hearthstone
  • Overwatch
  • Street Fighter

Previous Regulations
2016-2021 Regulations

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