Let’s Talk about the Elephant in the Room: How to NOT CHEAT in the National Cyber League Games


Buckle up, friends! We need to have a serious chat.

One of the absolute hardest things I have had to do as your Chief Player Ambassador is hear the stories of the people who are caught during the Cyber Skyline Cheating Audit.

It’s an important part of the competition to keep things fair all around. I 100% support what these guys do. When I see the evidence that they have, I’m rarely inclined to believe the millions of excuses players have for breaking the rules. So here’s what I feel you need to know to prevent cheating.

When are the Games Open?

“Open” Games are what I use to describe times when the competitive parts of the season are happening. Sometimes I also refer to this as the Games being “active.”

Games are open when players are able to see the challenges and input answers for the Preseason, Individual, or Team Games.

Games are not open in between the those competitive portions of the season. Games are not active just because the Gym is open.

Are Games Open if I’m Not Playing in Them?

YES! Just because you are not playing doesn’t mean others are not. The Games are open if any players have the ability to score points.

Can I Talk to Other Players When the Games are Open?

Absolutely! You just can’t talk to them about any past, present, or (if you are psychic) future challenges during that time. You can’t talk about practice. You can’t talk about tools, methodologies, resources, or tips. You can say, “Wow. I can’t wait for the Games to close so we can talk about how to solve Crypto 5! It’s got me stumped.” and that is about it.

Can I Talk to My Coach When the Games are Open?

You cannot receive instruction, tips, guidance, or advice from your coach while the Games are active.

Can I Talk to Other Players or My Coach When the Games are Not Open?

Absolutely! This is 100% encouraged! Please!

Can I Give or Receive Hints?

In between Games, you can give and receive hints. While Games are open, you can not give or receive hints.

Can I Give or Receive Tips on What Tools to Use?

In between Games, you can give and receive tips on what tools to use. While Games are open, you can not give or receive tips on what tools to use.

Can I Give or Receive Links to Good Resources (such as CryptoKait’s Blog)?

I’m going to guess you are seeing the common theme here… You cannot give or receive links (even to my blog) when the Games are open.

Can I Give or Receive Flags?

This is the literal definition of cheating. NO! You can NEVER share flags even if the Games are not open.

Can I Give or Receive Instruction on How to Use Tools?

You cannot give or receive instructions on how to use tools while the Games are open.

Who Can I Talk to During the Team Games?

This one is a little more complicated. Some people consider all the students from your school as part of your “team”. The NCL Games have a very specific way to check who is on your NCL Team. On your Team Game Dashboard in Cyber Skyline, there should be a Team name and list of your Team members on the far right. See the image below. I’ve circled it with a bright red box!

You can talk to anyone on that list, but no one else (including your coach!).

In Summary

Here’s the deal, my friends. It kills me to hear players are cheating in these Games. I absolutely want everyone to learn everything they can during the Games, but if you need to learn from someone else, it has to occur when the games are not open.

As Lead Player Ambassador, John “Mako” McGill, just said to me on the phone, “If the clock is ticking, just don’t talk to anyone!”

Another common phrase shared by the NCL Player Ambassadors and Cyber Skyline, “You can’t get caught for cheating if you just don’t cheat. “

I guess I could wrap this up with a parody of a Fight Club quote.

The first rule of the NCL Games is: You do not talk about the NCL Games (during the Games!). The second rule of the NCL Games is: You do not talk about the NCL Games (during the Games). Third rule of the NCL Games: Someone yells “Can you give me a hint?”, goes to a teammate or friend for help, taps out and gives up, the Game is over. Fourth rule: Only one student per account during Pre-season and the Individual Games. Only 1-7 students per team during the Team Game.

Fight Club… sort of…

If you have any questions about whether or not something would be considered cheating, feel free to reach out to the Player Ambassadors or Cyber Skyline. We have no problem helping you out!

Happy Hacking,
CryptoKait

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