The final matches for Season 1 of Flashpoint are upcoming this weekend. Of the initial twelve teams that challenged for the title and its share of the 1,000,000 USD prize pool, only three remain: MIBR, MAD Lions and HAVU Gaming.
The ambitious Flashpoint league, organized by B Site Inc. and FACEIT, made its debut earlier this year as a new organization-owned league in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene. Featuring an innovative approach that incorporates elements of the closed franchises of American leagues, the promotion-relegation systems of European sports and the typical open regional qualifiers employed throughout esports history, Flashpoint consists of twelve teams from across the globe competing in top-tier tournament play that balances economic interests with inclusive open opportunities.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Flashpoint announced that it would not be able to continue to play in an offline in-person environment, and as such the inaugural season was played mostly online, up to and including the playoffs.
While it was not able to fully realize its vision in that regard, Flashpoint has been successful in realizing the goal of an open space where upcomers could meet and match established veterans and stars, as seen by the presence of HAVU Gaming in the upcoming Lower Bracket Final.
HAVU Gaming had an interesting path to just reach the league alone, never mind its most important final matches. Invited to the LAN Qualifier after SKADE failed to acquire visas, HAVU Gaming was a last-minute addition to the Flashpoint hopefuls with a relatively unknown squad. The Finish organization was not expected to leave much of a mark against the more well-known and established clubs such as Gen.G Esports and Dignitas.
HAVU instead surprised and then impressed with strong performances in the first phases that earned them third seed entering the playoffs. Along its playoffs road, HAVU defeated founding members in Gen.G Esports and Cloud9 and must now face off against MAD Lions to secure a spot in the grand final and a rematch against MIBR.
The unlikely story of HAVU Gaming showcases the potential of Flashpoint’s hybridized league model. The unforeseeable complications caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in addition to the usual hiccups that accompany a sports league’s premiere have prevented the ideal realization of the league’s objectives, but nevertheless shows the first season to be a workable proof-of-concept at the very least.
HAVU Gaming will play against MAD Lions in the Lower Bracket Final on Saturday, April 18 at 12pm PST. The winner will then play against MIBR on Sunday, April 19 at the same time in the Grand Final for the championship and the $500,000 victor’s purse.
In addition, Flashpoint, as part of the BLAST Premier Circuit, awards its top eight points towards the BLAST Premier event. Third place receives 525 points, second place receives 700 points, and first place receives 1400 points.
This article was written by NGame Esports writer Michael Jeong
Image credit: Flashpoint twitter profile