The Wrestlemania of CS:GO is about to get underway in Los Angeles.
The first season of FLASHPOINT is about to get underway in Los Angeles, California. In this article, we will break down the format, the schedule, and the teams for the league that promises entertainment inspired by WWE and UFC.
FLASHPOINT is a newly formed league which will be organized by FACEIT and B Site Inc. Unlike many leagues in the past, FLASHPOINT is owned and run by the teams themselves. In total, $2 million will be up for grabs in 2020, with $1 million going towards the first season.
There are eight founding members, which include big names such as MIBR, Cloud9, Dignitas, and EnVy.
The league also features a qualification system and will provide financial support to up-and-coming teams, with $25,000 being handed out monthly to teams without financial backing.
FLASHPOINT has managed to attract some of the best commentators and content creators in the game – spearheaded by Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields as the league’s Creative Director – who has promised entertainment inspired by WWE and UFC. The league will kick off with two double-elimination group stages, with three groups of four teams.
All matches will be best-of-three from start to finish. The interesting part about this is that the groups will be determined by the teams themselves, who will have the chance of choosing their opponents in a broadcast on Thursday, March 12. Fans can expect plenty of banter to be exchanged between the teams during this segment.
The teams in the competition will earn points based on their final standing in each phase, which will determine the eight teams that advance to the playoff bracket.
The point distribution is as follows:
This format is unlike anything we have seen in CS:GO, so I recommend taking a look at FLASHPOINT’s explanation video if you are still unsure about the format.
FLASHPOINT Season 1 kicks off March 13 with Group A.
The schedule looks as follows:
The groups have yet to be determined, as they will be announced during the ‘Group Selection Show’, which starts March 12 on the FLASHPOINT twitch channel.
Gen.G shocked many by winning DreamHack Open Anaheim, their first-ever LAN tournament together. Since picking up the Indonesian player BnTeT from TYLOO they have not lost a single match during a stretch of eight games. They have also only lost a single map, which was against Chaos in their first match together. Gen.G came in at odds of 12.50 to win DreamHack Open Anaheim, but they will likely be among the favorites this time around.
MIBR have had a rough start to the year, dropping out in groups at both BLAST Premier and DreamHack Open Anaheim with losses to NiP, Complexity, and Liquid – plummeting to 25th place in HLTV’s world rankings as a result. MIBR might have more name power and experience than some of the other teams here, but the results just have not been good enough so far. Regardless, the competition in FLASHPOINT is not as fierce as some of the tournaments that MIBR regularly competes in, so they should still be able to challenge for a top placing here.
MAD Lions recently made the shocking announcement that they have chosen to replace their in-game leader HUNDEN. Instead, they have chosen to pick up AcilioN who last played for Copenhagen Flames. The organization released a statement citing that HUNDEN has been removed due to burnout, but it seems more likely that he was removed due to his poor statistics. EG’s coach, chet, mentioned during their group stage match against MAD Lions at IEM Katowice that they purposely targeted HUNDEN’s positions, so it is likely that the team felt that he was a liability. Regardless, they have just replaced one of the world’s most experienced in-game leaders, a decision that could easily come back to bite them.
c0ntact Gaming entered CS:GO with the acquisition of the former CR4ZY roster, which consists of players like EspiranTo, SHiPZ, and ottoNd. This team has actually had a decent amount of success at DreamHack Open events, with a win at DreamHack Open Rotterdam and a runner-up finish at DreamHack Open Sevilla. c0ntact will be attending this tournament with the former Kinguin player rallen as a stand-in due to LETN1’s visa issues. This is actually a bit of an upgrade in firepower, but it remains to be seen how well he slots into their system.
Envy chose to completely revamp their roster after a string of poor results, replacing the likes of s0m, Sonic, and FugLy. Instead, they chose to build the roster around Nifty, adding the European duo of MICHU and Calyx, as well as moose and ryann from North America. Calyx is someone who has always been an exciting prospect, who at times looked deadly playing alongside XANTARES on Space Soldiers. In addition, MICHU has gone from strength to strength in recent times and he was the clear stand-out on a struggling Virtus.pro. The Canadian player moose is also someone to look out for, as he should complement this duo quite well with his defensive playstyle.
Team Dignitas will likely be the team that attracts the most eyeballs in FLASHPOINT. The team is made up of the infamous NiP core that dominated in the early days of CS:GO (f0rest, GeT_RiGhT, friberg & Xizt). They have chosen to pick up the Norwegian AWPer hallzerk as their fifth, and he has looked incredible for them so far. Sadly, he has been ruled out due to visa issues. Instead, Dignitas will be attending this tournament with GuardiaN, who was forced out of NaVi after a stretch of underwhelming performances. GuardiaN should slot in fine as he is also an AWPer, but they will be forced to transition over to English due to the language barrier which isn’t optimal.
Cloud9, formerly known as ATK, surprised many with their performance at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, where they defeated the likes of G2 and North in BO3s. Since then, their results have not been great. They went out in groups at both DreamHack Open Leipzig and IEM Katowice with only a single win against Virtus.pro added to their resumé. Their domestic results in online qualifiers have actually been solid though, with a winning record against both MIBR and Complexity, which is definitely something to keep in mind when they face off in FLASHPOINT this season.
The last founding member is FunPlus Phoenix, most known for their League of Legends team. It has yet to be announced what their roster will be for the upcoming season, but it has been reported that they are going to acquire the Heroic roster. This is a fine pick up, as Heroic have shown signs of promise throughout the last year. They are a team with solid fundamentals that should have a bit of an advantage against many of these lesser experienced teams.
HAVU from Finland, Copenhagen Flames from Denmark, as well as Chaos and Orgless from North America have qualified or received invites due to withdrawals. These aren’t exactly the most exciting names, but they do have some upset potential and some of their players will be interesting picks in fantasy. What stands out the most about these teams is that they have very dominant AWPers. Names such as smooya, WARDELL, ZOREE, and Farlig have the potential to put up some crazy numbers. Another name to look out for is Infinite from Orgless, who has looked very good recently.
The play that stands out to me is c0ntact (1.63) to beat Copenhagen Flames (2.25). Not only do they have more individual skill than the Danes in my opinion, they are also the more experienced team on LAN with several big wins under their belt.