Mentioned in this article
FLASHPOINT, the new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league owned by participating teams and produced and operated by FACEIT, is looking towards World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for inspiration.
As one of the “big-four” esports, CS:GO has been consistent in its ability to remain relevant and entertaining to gaming and esports fans. Once played in hotel ballrooms and similar smaller venues, the game has grown, sustaining its popularity as an esport while being in the top four of prize money paid out each of the last six years, according to Esports Earnings.
However, as esports popularity has risen, much scrutiny has been placed on the game that names its teams Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists and sees players calling each other out, sometimes with language NSFW. Because of this, some tournament organizers have asked talent and players to tone down some of the antics in the hopes of someday finding that big streaming rights deal and not losing sponsors.
All the better, according to the ownership group behind FLASHPOINT which includes the CEO of Immortals Gaming Club, Ari Segal.
“Something that I find exciting about the industry that we’re in is that there’s no one size fits all solution and there is no need for homogenization,” Segal told The Esports Observer.
“It’s completely okay that the Overwatch League has a certain brand and that League of Legends and its leagues have a different brand collectively than the Overwatch League,” Segal continued.l “The world is big enough. The market is big enough.”
Dignitas CEO Michael Prindiville agreed and explained the concept from a traditional sports viewpoint.
“The audience and entertainment style surrounding golf is vastly different than what it is for the NFL versus the NBA,” Prindiville explained. “I think the NBA has one of the most entertainment-focused properties. As soon as there’s a timeout, you see people jumping off trampolines and people with t-shirt cannons shooting into the audience, break dancers and all that.”
And Prindiville believes FLASHPOINT can capture the same entertaining exuberance as those high entertainment value sports because of the game they are playing–CS:GO.
“All of that is really an entertainment product wrapped up in sports,” Prindiville said. “I think in many ways we look at that and we look at WWE and UFC and I think that when you think about esports, it’s really Counter-Strike more than any other esport that fits that mode of entertainment.”
With that in mind, the ownership group, along with broadcast and creative talent Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Duncan “Thorin” Shields, wanted to go back to old school esports where players created the story lines with their dynamic personalities and call outs of other teams, not unlike those found inside the WWE or UFC.
“It starts with the personalities of the players and talent and the need to not force that into a box. Whether that was a PG box or what a ‘league should look like box,’” Prindiville explained. “We want to extract the things that are successful and different. Rather than try and put a square peg in a round hole, why not just try to create something new and different?”
In terms of different, the league revealed during its opening press conference that instead of trying to conform to certain television-ready behaviors, trash-talk, banter, and showmanship will be encouraged, but never scripted or forced. The league wants it all to develop organically.
“Everything you see will be real and not forced, pushed, or prodded in terms of how players react, talk about each other or any of that, CEO and founder of FACEIT Michele Attisani said. “If they don’t like each other they can say what they like, or they can keep quiet. This is a league for the players.”
FLASHPOINT is hoping to buck the trend of catering a league towards trying to garner a cable or television broadcasting rights deal by believing that the competitive aspect of esports will sell. Additionally, the league has been straight forward with partners and sponsors on what they can expect to see during the season.
“Let’s bring the personalities to life. Let’s not box them in. Let’s break the box. Let’s let Monte and Thorin be who they are and let their personalities shine and then bring the personalities forward of all the different players,” Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman Kent Wakeford of Gen.G says. “So I think what we have to, what we can do here is revolutionize what the experiences for fans watching and going to any sports event are.”
Credit: Source link