Despite its lack of top-quality teams, the league promises a never-before-seen level of production value and exciting games.

12:14, 13 Mar 2020

FLASHPOINT kicks off on March 13th with its inaugural attempt at creating a franchise-style league, kicking off in an LA studio due to COVID-19 fears. Despite its lack of top-quality teams, the league promises a never-before-seen level of production value and exciting games.

Two phases of GSL groups culminate in a double elimination best of three playoffs bracket, making the format one of the most gruelling in CSGO, and many of the biggest names in terms of talent have joined Thorin at FLASHPOINT, too, most notably Anders and Semmler, while MonteCristo is joining from the OWL.

One of the biggest names in the league is Cloud9, and their former players will be joining them at FLASHPOINT under the organisation Gen.G. Cloud9’s most recent international performances have been underwhelming - despite beating VP at Leipzig, two losses to Renegades really overshadowed that result. They didn’t take a map at Katowice, but it was against NiP and Astralis - so we can let them off.

Cloud9 have fellow Orgless, Dignitas and FunPlus Phoenix - ex-Heroic - in their group.

Gen.G in international competition has been much more exciting. They finished DreamHack Open Anaheim with a trophy and didn’t even drop a single map along the way. Cloud9 might be rueing their decision to sell and buy a new roster should they continue this form, but they’re given a direct chance to upset the apple cart.

The other NA representatives are Chaos, Orgless and Envy, sort of. Chaos also boast the only UKCS representative with smooya, whose initial few games with Chaos have seen him look like a serious gamer once again. They struggled in the NA Minor Qualifiers without IGL steel, but without restrictions on his ability to play, they should be far more ready to go.

Envy join Chaos and Gen.G in Group B, with MiBR, while Orgless as previously mentioned are in C9’s group. Orgless were a surprise qualifier, as their roster isn’t the typical superstar-laden line-up we’re used to. Ex-C9 boys FNS and Subroza team up with yay and Infinite, with WARDELL as the main fragger - it’s nothing too exciting, but their synergy and tactics have got them here, so why not further?

MiBR are the second big name, and though the team doesn’t bring the same unbeatable aura they used to, they’re still FalleN, fer, TACO and… oh, kNg and meyern. It never quite hits the same. MiBR haven’t been good recently, but Envy and Chaos should be weaker than them - surely?  Envy are a strange team with a mish-mash of three NA players with MICHU and Calyx. Trying to predict how they will do is pretty much impossible - but surely nobody is putting Gen.G anywhere but top.

FPX and Dignitas are in C9’s group, and both Scandinavians present different teams at different stages of their career. FPX, as Heroic, have broken into the upper echelons and looked like a genuine top team for the first time in a long time, and though their form has dipped of recent times, they’ll be looking at this group as a winnable one. Since the addition of cadiaN after his departure from North, FPX have looked like they might just be the second best Danish team - but second best Danish team at FLASHPOINT, would be unacceptable in their own minds.

Dignitas are bringing the oldest roster, with NiP legends GeT_RiGhT and f0rest joining old friends, and usually with the fresh blood of hallzerk - but this time, it’s GuardiaN, another old head. While DIG might not be out-reacting anyone, they’ll be hoping their experience might be enough to get them through a dangerous group.

That leaves Group A, with MAD Lions, Copenhagen Flames, c0ntact and HAVU. MAD Lions are the highest ranked team at the event, and more importantly, the highest ranked Danish team. However, their decision to swap HUNDEN for AcilioN has drawn ire from much of the community, and it remains to be seen if he is a genuine upgrade. Bubzkji and acoR are still good enough to do some work, and this is a very winnable group. 

Copenhagen Flames beat Heroic last time out, and their emergence as a top 40 team is scary for other Danish teams looking to be top dog… or second top dog. TeSeS’ spell on OpTic seems to have set him up to be an actual star, and he’s been carrying CPH through tier two tournaments and qualifiers. They’ll be hoping to outrank c0ntact, a new organisation who bought the old CR4ZY roster and added SHiPZ and now, for this tournament, rallen. 

Nobody knows what to expect from them - CR4ZY were a scary team for most people, but after nexa and huNter went to G2, they’ve been a lot less frightening. Most expect them to do better than HAVU, though. HAVU are a team those who frequent betting sites might be familiar with, but for most outside of Finland, they’re an unknown, which usually means the weakest team.

The truth is that they’re a solid, solid team. They beat CPH Flames recently, in fact, in a BO3 series, and are here on merit. In fact, they’re ranked one place above them, and the Finnish team are a dark horse for a high finish in a league filled with inconsistent teams, or teams with unknowns. 

 

Image via FLASHPOINT.

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