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- Five esports team owners have announced a co-funded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) league: FLASHPOINT.
- The competition will feature a $2M USD prize pool, a revenue share guarantee, and representation for teams on its board of governors.
- The league is specifically marketed to adults, with its producers comparing its concept to the WWE and UFC.
FLASHPOINT, a CS:GO league owned and run by team organizations, was officially unveiled today with FACEIT as a league operator. The competition, which was previously alluded to under the codename “B Site” will begin in March, and run two offline seasons per year. It will feature a total $2M prize pool in 2020 and 12 teams—10 partners, and two open qualifiers.
According to the announcement, FLASHPOINT will offer “the largest revenue guarantee in CS:GO.”
Five predominantly North American-based companies are the initially confirmed funders of B Site Inc., the company behind FLASHPOINT. The buy-in fee to the league is $2M, with the ownership group having projected to break even by the end of the second season. FACEIT also has a 0.5% stake in the company, which will be increased to 5.5% if it remains tournament operator for the next three years. A managing director or CEO of the company has yet to be decided.
The ownership group includes Immortals Gaming Club, invested in part by Lionsgate and AEG, which will compete under its MiBR brand; OverActive Media, which has franchised slots in three other esports leagues, as MAD Lions; and the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment-owned New Meta Entertainment will compete as Dignitas. Other competing shareholders include Cloud9, Gen.G Esports, and c0ntact Gaming.
“Today, many esports leagues are fundamentally broken, pitting the leagues against teams and players to bicker over divergent interests and scraps of economics,” said Kent Wakeford, Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Gen.G Esports, in a statement. “FLASHPOINT radically changes the model by bringing all groups together to share the rewards of their collective success.”
Intended as an esports league for adults, FLASHPOINT bills itself as an antidote to the financial instability and hectic player schedules in CS:GO. Though it directly competes with other competition brands in the market, FLASHPOINT will allow competing teams to participate outside of its events, in accordance with rules set by game publisher Valve.
FLASHPOINT’s production team includes creative director Duncan “Thorin” Shields, a veteran esports journalist, host, and analyst. Alongside former Overwatch League caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, the line-up includes regular on-screen talent from CS:GO events, such as Dan “DDK” Kapadia, James Bardolph, and Freya Spiers.
Despite being billed as a league, FLASHPOINT’s yearly season revolves around two tournaments, in which teams are assigned into four groups, with top-seeded teams decided by a ranking system—approved by the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association (CSPPA). It was previously confirmed that partner teams that drop out of the world’s top 20 ranking would be fined $100K per month.
The announcement directly matched FLASHPOINT with entertainment-driven sports properties such as WWE and UFC. The group selection, for example, in which the top-seeded team chooses its opponents, will be its own broadcasted event.
“We consulted with teams and players who recognized that the current relationship and calendar with tournament organizers aren’t sustainable,” said Michele Attisani, CBO & Co-founder, FACEIT, in a statement.
“We set out to create FLASHPOINT to solve these issues. The project is fully aligned with FACEIT core values of supporting and developing the CS:GO community, the league remains open allowing grassroots participation and talent to thrive, as seen in the open qualifier where up and coming team receive direct financial support from the founding teams to be able to compete.”
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