Outside of regular competition, a number of professional CS:GO players take part in the FACEIT Pro League (FPL) to engage in some slightly more relaxed, but still competitive, matches. But what exactly is the FPL? Read on to find out.
What is the FACEIT Pro League
The FACEIT Pro League is an online pick-up game (PUG) matchmaking service operated by FACEIT. The principle is simple, ten players are placed into a group. Two of these players are selected as captains and then pick from the remaining eight players until there are two teams of five.
To qualify for FPL, you need to compete in the regional FPL Circuit, currently operating over 50 divisions.
In its structure, FPL has two main divisions. The top division, featuring a number of professional stars and upcoming talents, is known as FPL. The second division is called FPL Challenger (FPL-C), and features lesser known players all vying for a shot at competing in the top division amongst the pros.
Currently, FACEIT runs FPL in two regions, Europe and North America, with both regions structuring their seasons differently. In Europe, each season is played out within a month, with $20,000 prize money given out in FPL and $3,000 in FPL-C. In North America, prizes are given out on a weekly basis with $10,000 in FPL and $2,500 in FPL-C.
Becoming a pro player through FPL
In recent years, more and more up and coming talents have been picked up from PUG services like FPL and ESEA’s Rank S. In the past, the best players were picked up from smaller teams as they rose the ranks or a group of players played together and stuck it out right to the top to compete with the best.
Professional players like Tomas "oskar" Stastny and Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson openly credit FPL for kick-starting their professional CS:GO career. Young players like Robin "ropz" Kool and David "frozen" Cernansky can also credit their appearances in top teams to their participation in FPL. More recently, it drew eyeballs to French talent Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut while he was still young. ZywOo debuted as a professional in 2019, finishing the year as the best in the world according to HLTV.org.
FPL has two main divisions. Top division FPL and second division FPL Challenger.
FPL is also known for keeping benched talent engaged while not actively competing at the top level. While Nikola "NiKo" Kovac was on mousesports’ bench as they hosted an all-German lineup, he regularly played and streamed FPL to an audience. This kept his stock high, and after a small stand-in role with the Danish SK team he was shortly promoted to the main mousesports roster.
FPL has become known as the place to practice and play if you’re from a smaller, lesser known esports country. While the likes of France, Germany, Nordics, North America and CIS regions have established league and team set-ups, smaller nations in Eastern Europe lack larger teams.
How to qualify for FPL
To simplify the process, FACEIT introduced the FPL Circuit in 2018. This opened up qualification routes to a number of countries and regions and currently operates over 50 divisions. The local divisions are owned and operated by independent operators on FACEIT’s platform, and each month their top players enter a qualifier to secure one of five spots in FPL-C.
Once you qualify for FPL-C, you then need to be one of the top two performers of the month to take a place in FPL. In Europe, one promotion place is given to the top performer of the month, with the second place given away in a 100 player qualifier tournament. In North America the top two highest performers in the month, based off points won in each week, get promoted.
- Read: Beginners guide to CS:GO
From there, you’re in FPL. Once you make the top league, players are instructed to remain active, play at the best of their abilities and be responsible teammates. The more you top the scoreboard, the more you win and the chances of being spotted increase.
Test your skills at the Pinnacle Community Night
Fancy yourself as a CS:GO pro? Our Pinnacle community nights are the first place to test your skills out. They’re free to enter, and if you reach the top and prove to the rest that you are the best then you can secure a €50 deposit into your Pinnacle account. You can find them listed on the FACEIT ladders page.
Learn more about FACEIT
In a recent Pinnacle Podcast miniseries, we spoke to FACEIT co-founder and CBO Michele Attisani about the growth of FACEIT and what the future has in store for tournaments it organises and the product itself.