Nick J. March 18, 2020
After canceling its LAN tournament on Monday evening, Flashpoint made sure that fans knew that they would be back. The league kept its promise, releasing a revised schedule for the competition that now takes place online rather than in the studio.
Friday marks the end of Flashpoint's short hiatus that officially started the evening of March 16. An official announcement from FP revealed that the league had chosen to move to an online format but did not specify an expected date of return. Regardless, if Flashpoint has already scheduled the remaining matches of its spring season, that's good news for its fans and teams.
Flashpoint's release of its restart date is tacit confirmation that all teams made it home or, in the case of the European contestants, to the homes secured for their use during Flashpoint's run.
CSGO back to online leagues, best Flashpoint matchups this weekend
In a way, it's as if previous years came to visit as online Counter-Strike and nightly FPL streams reign supreme. Fans got a treat in a whirlwind first week of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's tournament scene from both ESL and Flashpoint.
After switching to a LAN format for Season 7, ESL Pro League was forced back online by the coronavirus pandemic.
In an embarrassing defeat, Astralis lost to Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0 in their opening match of a region-locked ESL Pro League. Astralis looked weak and out of practice as NiP took full advantage. Just the next day, North defeated IEM Katowice champions Natus Vincere in a dominant win.
Flashpoint also saw something of an upset, but anyone who has followed Counter-Strike over the past several months in this matchup without a second thought. When Chaos Esports Club faced off against MIBR, the South American squad struggled and lost its second map in the series 16-14, as Chaos Esports Club dominated the Brazilians to a tune of 16-7 on Train.
Flashpoint has two must-watch matches coming up this weekend in Dignitas versus Cloud9 and Chaos versus Gen.G. Many had Gen.G written into Flashpoint's grand finals, but the team's shaky win against Team Envy proved that its roster is vulnerable as it continues to work Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand into the roster.
CSGO is surging, hitting its first million-player day in not only Global Offensive's history, but Counter-Strike as a franchise. It isn't just players inside Valve's shooter, either. ESL Pro League and Flashpoint almost pushed CSGO over the 100,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch on Monday.
Esports are the only game in town since the COVID-19 virus forced officials to ban mass gatherings. The NBA and the NHL have suspended their seasons, while Euro 2020 and Copa América won't return to the pitch until 2021.
For now, CSGO is enjoying its time in the spotlight.
Flashpoint's revised schedule for its three inaugural groups is as follows:
Friday, March 20
- 1:00 p.m. Team Envy versus MIBR
- 4:00 p.m Dignitas versus Cloud9
Saturday, March 21
- 1:00 p.m. MAD Lions versus Copenhagen Flames
- 4:00 p.m. Gen.G versus Chaos Esports Club
Sunday, March 22
- 1:00 p.m. Orgless versus Fun Plus Phoenix
- 4:00 p.m. HAVU versus c0ntact Gaming
Monday, March 23
- 12:00 p.m. Group A semifinal
- 3:00 p.m. Group B Semifinal
- 6:00 p.m. Group C semifinal
Flashpoint's group finals will take place on Tuesday, March 24, starting with Group A at 12:00 p.m. EST, followed in sequence by group B at 3:00 p.m. and C scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.