The group that ran the “Flashpoint” Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events has run their last tournament, according to a report from Jacob Wolf. The tournament series, which began under the name B-Site and featured some of CS:GO’s bigger franchises, has laid off all staff at this point and has no plans for future events.
Flashpoint began as a project designed to solve certain economic issues that were considered to be holding CS:GO back, and each of the partner teams paid a $2 million buy-in to guarantee their spot in the future of the series. The organizers also hired the likes of Duncan "Thorin" Shields as Creative Director and Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles as League Commissioner to be the faces of the series. Flashpoint Season 1, however, was damaged by COVID restrictions, forcing the esports world to transition either fully online or incorporate a bubble system, and the young company never seemed to recover from that blow.
There were also issues with the inception of the event, as the organizers had hoped to secure the then-world number one team Astralis for the tournament, but were unsuccessful in doing so. This may have been down to Flashpoint’s insistence on having exclusive access to the partner teams in the event of a schedule clash, alongside the fact they ran their events at the same time as industry leaders ESL.
$16M down the drain
Of the teams they could secure, the likes of Cloud9 and MIBR turned out to be bad investments, with the North American team running their CS:GO unit so badly they ended up dropping out of the esport entirely at one point. Teams like Dignitas and MAD Lions were secured, but have since dropped out of CS altogether, seemingly having written off the $2M investments they made into the Flashpoint project.
There were other, bizarre aspects that may have held the event back, like their insistence that member teams who dropped out of the top 20 in the world could be fined until they raised their level. This, when combined with suggestions Flashpoint could create their own rankings, led to much amusement in the community, and more so when the organizers failed to attract most of the world’s best to their events.
This isn’t the first report on the failure of the series, with even Thorin having publicly gone after his former employer, but it does appear to be the final nail in the Flashpoint coffin. Of the $16M invested by the eight partner teams, it’s not yet clear what remains, but with two orgs left on the board and the offices empty, it seems like Flashpoint have failed in their mission to revolutionize the economics of CSGO.