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Luci Kelemen
Luci Kelemen

Writes about way too many things. Has way too many opinions. Wants to tell all the interesting stories in the world.

November 10th, 2020

Flashpoint’s second season is right around the corner with a very different set of squads looking to compete than what we’ve seen the first time around. In case your favorite team isn’t around to fight for a portion of the million dollars they offer, we’ve put together a handy list of reasons to support the various participants.

Cloud9

Not only is this an exciting team brimming with talent, there are also fascinating storylines which could emerge if the boys in blue end up doing well at Flashpoint. The big question is whether ALEX can do it without ZywOo or if their story is the esports equivalent of Guardiola and Messi in the Champions League but the redemption arc of woxic after his odd departure from mousesports comes in as a close second. Besides, the NA scene could use a bit of a boost, even if the org is running a majority-European roster to glory. The colossus-versus-juggernaut memes would be immense!

MIBR

The Brazilian side made more strides in the art of self-immolation than CS for most of the year and their temporary replacement squad surprised everyone with their spirited showing at the BLAST Premier Fall Series. Having made it to the grand final of the first season as part of FalleN’s last dance that never quite was, it’ll be tough to do one better in Flashpoint’s second outing – but if you’d like the org to stick with this bunch of players as much as possible, a playoff tilt would do a world of good for this upstart side.

OG

Just as it seemed like OG finally cracked the code and managed to conquer their close encounters of the 14-16 kind, their showings at IEM Beijing seem to suggest there’s more adjustments to make. NBK-‘s showings continue to remain a concern and an underwhelming result at Flashpoint may be what prompts a roster change. Fans of the current side should hope for a deep run to ensure the band gets to stick together going forward as we hopefully emerge from the online era.

Fnatic

The Swedes have already reinvented themselves over the course of 2019, becoming championship contenders again with the return of Golden, but they were also one of the big losers of the pandemic era and the online-only play it brought along. Any concerns about motivation should be out of the window here: as one of the favorites playing for Flashpoint’s outsized prize pool, questions must be asked if JW and co. fail to rise to the occasion – but if they do well, no doubt he himself will bring all the Twitter sass we need for November.

Virtus.pro

Being a VP fan must have felt like water torture for the past couple of years as seemingly everything the org touched turned rotten – but the ex-AVANGAR core has suddenly revitalized itself, and possibly just at the right time, with a chance to follow up a win at IEM New York with a portion of the Flashpoint megabucks. A strong performance from a team coming from the qualifiers always makes for a good story and could very well motivate big-name non-founders to pay more attention to the competition going forward.

c0ntact Gaming

Let’s be real: c0ntact’s CS:GO story so far is one of the saddest out there. Having paid big for the remnants of the CR4ZY roster which set the world alight in Berlin, they haven’t had any meaningful success since after G2 swooped in to blow the roster apart. Joint-last finishes in recent online cups and a 9th-place slot in the inaugural Flashpoint season are not the sort of returns you’d like to see on a $1.5 million investment.

Though c0ntact itself is no stranger to the big leagues, holding an OWL and a CDL slot alike, their Counter-Strike prospects could use a kick in the backside. The revamped roster with Spinx and rigoN began to show some signs of life, too, as they made it to the DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 main event coming through the entire open qualifier, beating out Heretics and byali’s Poland side in the process at the later stages. Whether that’s a sign of meaningful improvement remains to be seen: calling it a comeback story doesn’t quite sound right but a “getting started” story is also one worth cheering for.

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Dignitas

Though the reunion of the old Ninjas didn’t work out the way they wanted – and we’ll never know what would have happened had they had a chance to keep on keeping on in a LAN environment – the new-look Dignitas lineup deserves a chance and Flashpoint serves as their only real pathway into the scene right now with the ESL and BLAST avenues apparently closed out and no RMR events in sight. Nostalgia still remains a powerful tonic and if you’d like to see f0rest get out of jail, rooting for Dignitas is just the thing to do.

Team Envy

You don’t get to see much of Envy nowadays due to the near-collapse of tier 2 NA CS at this time, with no recorded results since the summer’s RMR events. Their surprise playoff run at the Road to Rio tournament was followed by a joint-last place finish at cs_summit 6, a result that could very well have been the catalyst of further changes in the side. With kuben recruited as the coach and manager plus the removal of moose and ryann in the favor of LEGIJA (previously their coach) and Endpoint’s Thomas, this is a new-look Envy side and yet another interesting international mix, an exotic prospect in North American Counter-Strike whose strong showing would be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise fairly stale scene.

Gen.G Esports

Gen.G were hit hard by the VALORANT talent raid, losing daps and s0m in a project that was beginning to show some promise with wins at DreamHack Open Anaheim 2020 and ESL One Road to Rio’s American bracket. Though it seemed like a foregone conclusion that they would sign oBo after his high-profile departure from Complexity, we’re instead left with two stand-ins in the form of Xizt and kreaz (previously of Syman Gaming, now known as K23). The temporary nature of this squad leaves us with the personalities: fans of the ex-NiP squad could root for them alongside Dignitas for what would be Mr. Landström’s approximately fourth last hurrah – remember FaZe and Fnatic? – and those who have fond memories of Cloud9 rosters past can root for some long overdue success for autimatic and even koosta in the black-and-gold colors.

MAD Lions

The Season 1 winners are not quite what they used to be, with a very different lineup aiming to return to the summit this time around. The loss of Bubzkji, AcilioN and HUNDEN has definitely had an effect on the team’s results, which makes it somewhat unlikely that they’ll make it all the way through again, especially with the high-tier invited opposition. Still, if you like the idea of Flashpoint royalty and a team that consistently triumphs against the odds, you could do worse than to root for what is yet another strong Danish team gracing Counter-Strike.

BIG

Ze Germans were one of the big winners (pun intended) of the online era, winning events left and right early on before fading away after a poor showing at “Cologne”. With XANTARES finally coming online as every event transitioned online, it seemed like the squad has finally found the right tactical formula to accommodate his talents as tabseN moved to the in-game leader role. Flashpoint serves as their best chance yet to prove the doubters wrong and show that their big wins on Mirage were not just a mirage.

forZe

Sorry, no, can’t do it. They deserve to go down in flames and I can’t wait to hate-watch their games.