After months of negotiations, B Site Inc. officially launched its new CS:GO league, FLASHPOINT, today.
MIBR, Cloud9, Dignitas, Gen.G, c0ntact Gaming, and OverActive Media, which operates the MAD Lions organization, are the teams behind FLASHPOINT’s creation and the teams confirmed to compete in the league so far. B Site Inc. is still seeking four other partners.
For the other slots, FLASHPOINT will organize open regional qualifiers across three regions: Europe, North America, and South America. The top four teams per Europe qualifier (16 in total) and the top two per North America and South America qualifier (eight in total per region) will move on to a regional closed qualifier.
From there, the two top teams will join the 10 FLASHPOINT founding teams for the regular season, where they’ll be split into three GSL groups of four teams each, drafted by the teams themselves. During the GSL group stage, the teams will earn points and the top eight earners will qualify for the FLASHPOINT finals, which will feature a double-elimination format.
FLASHPOINT will have two seasons annually and will offer one of the largest prize pool in CS:GO, totaling over $2 million in 2020. FLASHPOINT will be operated by FACEIT, a matchmaking platform that’s organized eight seasons of the Esports Championship Series over the last four years. FACEIT has ceased operations of ECS due to its participation in FLASHPOINT.
For Immortals Gaming Club’s CEO Ari Segal, there are many reasons to be excited about FLASHPOINT, but two stand out.
“First, there is deep alignment among the participating organizations, league operators, broadcast talent, and players about how and why FLASHPOINT can and should be different, and additive to the overall CS:GO ecosystem,” Segal said. “Second, this truly is a new and different product for fans. Our analysis is that fans have long clamored for a product like this, and we’ve worked hard to be able to bring that desire to life.”
In FLASHPOINT, players will receive “the highest revenue share in esports,” which will reportedly be more than $1 million for the players only. The players will also have equal representation on the league’s board of governors. That might explain why these teams opted to create FLASHPOINT instead of playing in the ESL Pro League, the most traditional league in CS:GO.
Alongside the teams, three well-known talent members have had a direct role in creating FLASHPOINT. Duncan “Thorin” Shields will act as the creative director and on-air talent. Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, who will make his debut in CS:GO, and Auguste “Semmler” Massonate, will be product advisors.
They’ll be joined by Dan “DDK” Kapadia, James Bardolph, Jason “moses” O’Toole, Anders Blume, Sean “seang@res” Gares, and Freya Spiers. For Thorin, the development of the format and broadcast CS:GO leagues and tournaments has been “painfully slow.”
“This league is finally Counter-Strike the way I’ve always wanted to see it presented,” Thorin said. “Not aping any traditional sport but leading the way with a new and authentic direction.”
The teams that participate in FLASHPOINT will be free to attend any other CS:GO tournament, including Majors or circuits hosted by other organizers. The teams won’t compete in the ESL Pro League, however, because the dates of each league will overlap.