Flashpoint is set to commence its second season in November, where 12 teams will fight amongst its unique format in their attempts to achieve the $500,000 top prize.
Flashpoint Season 2 format
On first glance, Flashpoint appears to have a similar format to many other tournaments. The 12 teams are split into three groups of four, where they run through a standard GSL-style bracket format. However, there is slightly more to it than that.
While every team is seeded, the groups themselves are selected by the teams. The process works in that the top seeded teams are randomly assigned to each group, and then these teams choose one team to add to each of their groups. From there, these recently selected teams will have the chance to choose another team from the rest of the pool, until all three groups are filled. The final three selected teams get the chance to then propose a team swap in each group.
- Read more: The impact of fatigue on performance
Due to the short timeframe of the tournament, on top of it being held online, this season of Flashpoint will only feature one phase of group stage play, unlike the previously proposed three phases, before going into the double elimination playoff bracket to determine the champion.
Flashpoint’s founding teams
This season of Flashpoint will see seven founding members appear in the line-up: Cloud9; c0ntact; Dignitas; Envy; Gen.G; MIBR; and reigning champions MAD Lions. Of these, none have the same roster from the inaugural season, with only Envy, Gen.G and MAD Lions retaining three players from their previous rosters.
All three of the non-founder invited teams are widely touted by many as being the favourites to lift this season’s title.
Cloud9 come into the event with the most drastic change of all, retaining just the one player, as they underwent the “colossus” rebuild under new General Manager, Henry “HenryG” Greer. As of writing this preview, the team have yet to play in a tournament and are slated to make their debut in the playoff stage of the fifth Nine to Five cup.
However, they come in as one of the favoured squads, with the organisation having built a strong roster centred on In-Game Leader (IGL), Alex "ALEX" McMeekin (previously of Vitality, where he led the team to four S-tier finals in 2019, winning two of them). The team was recently rounded out by Patrick "es3tag" Hansen, who was most recently part of Astralis where he became noted as a rising star as they lifted the ESL Pro League Europe title.
MIBR will return to action in Flashpoint after the team underwent a mild mutiny, which saw the organisation retain just two players as the historic core - led by Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo - found themselves on the bench. This has left Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe as de facto team captain, sticking with the organisation alongside Alencar “trk” Rossato.
MIBR scrambled to draft three new players in for Flashpoint, acquiring Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles out of Imperial and picking up Leonardo "leo_drk" Oliveira and Vinicius "v$m" Moreira on loan from Sharks and DETONA respectively. The likelihood of them presenting any real challenge in this tournament is slim.
As of writing, Gen.G are yet to confirm the final two places on their roster (this is despite them being one of the more solid squads since the last event), as Damian “daps” Steele and Sam “s0m” Oh both went off to start VALORANT careers with NRG. Despite a brief increase in form after the last Flashpoint event, taking a win and a second place at two RMR events, the team hadn’t manage to continue that form before their changes.
Dignitas and c0ntact have also seen a number of changes, and their recent online performances have left a lot to be desired - both have little of note since the last Flashpoint season. This isn’t to mention Envy, who despite making minimal changes haven’t played an official online fixture since June.
MAD Lions have been on a downward trajectory since taking the Flashpoint title, with their best result in a tournament of note being a fourth place finish at BLAST’s Spring showdown. They have replaced their IGL, however, with Asger “AcilioN” Larsen leaving and being replaced by Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen in an attempt to arrest the decline.
The challengers: Invites and qualifiers
With seven founding teams making up the bulk of the tournament entries, five more teams were required to fill the tournament up. The first set of these were the three invited teams: BIG; Fnatic; and OG. All three of these teams are widely touted by many as being the favourites to lift this season’s title.
Cloud9 come into the event with the most drastic change of all, retaining just the one player from last season.
BIG have been one of the winners of CS:GO’s online era during the pandemic, with the German team reaching the top of HLTV.org’s rankings in both June and July after wins at DreamHack Masters Spring, the cs_summit 6 online RMR event and DreamHack Open Summer. While they aren’t at that peak any longer, they’ve attained three top-five finishes on the bounce at the ESL Pro League, IEM New York and DreamHack Open Fall.
Fnatic haven’t had as much of an exciting time this year, with their peak being the title at the ESL Pro League in March after finishing in the top four at IEM Katowice in February. Since then, however, they’ve only finished outside of the top 10 of an event twice, with a peak being a top four finish at the IEM New York event.
OG still remain a wildcard quality in CS:GO, despite taking part in a number of events this year. They’ve had a number of top finishes in events this year, including top four placings at BLAST Spring Regular season, cs_summit 6, DreamHack Open Summer and IEM New York, the latter being the most recent of these, and also a second place finish. However, littered throughout that are a number of placements outside of those spots, albeit most within the top 10.
The final two teams taking part came from the qualifiers: Virtus.pro and forZe. Both of these teams hail from the CIS region - Flashpoint’s only representatives from there - and we have been seeing good performances from both in those and smaller weekly events. This is best seen in Virtus.pro, who are coming into Flashpoint as the winners of the IEM New York Online CIS.
Flashpoint season two will start on November 10, with the first group stage phase, and runs until December 6, 2020. You can find all of the action live on their Twitch or Youtube channels. You can find all odds for the event on our dedicated esports page.