New Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league Flashpoint is delaying its live event portion and moving competition to an online venue. The start date for online play has yet to be announced.
Flashpoint announced the news in a tweet from its official Twitter account, following ESL Pro League’s decision to split season 11 of EPL into two separate regional competitions. ESL Pro League made the decision late last week to make major changes to its format.
Flashpoint was choosing to go ahead with its opening weekend despite warnings from health officials that chances of infection increase the more people an individual is exposed to. Also unlike ESL Pro League, Flashpoint’s announcement makes it clear that it might be weeks before fans are able to see FP’s boisterous couch and teams go at one another again.
“We are working diligently to ensure each team’s home site is suitable to maintain our standards for competitive integrity, and expect to communicate to the public as soon as we have clarity on the timeline of the teams being set up and ready to compete remotely,” said the announcement.
In other words, Flashpoint will announce its restart sometime in the future, but the league isn’t sure how long it will take for teams to get back home. The real losers here are the players, especially those who might have to travel back to Europe during the height of the outbreak.
Despite Flashpoint’s “commit[ment] to the health and safety of its players,” its talent made several jokes at the expense of ESL for canceling the online portion of Pro League for the health reason Flashpoint stated in its decision. Flashpoint analyst Duncan “Thorin” Shields sent out a tweet saying “How it feels to be the only LAN event in esports,” on top of a gif of a person dancing.
French CSGO insider neL responded, saying that it wasn’t just a coincidence that numerous LAN events had been canceled.
It was a bad look even if Flashpoint hadn’t canceled its LAN matches yesterday evening. Thorin’s tweet has since been deleted.
In an announcement last week, EPL said that it, its member teams, and the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association had agreed that the risk was too high to host a LAN tournament during the outbreak of COVID-19. EPL announced the split of the league soon after and will crown both a North American and European season champion for the first time in its history.
Parties involved made the decision to terminate the LAN portion of the both ESL Pro League and Flashpoint presumably in order to protect participants from a virus that has infected over 184,000 people worldwide.
North American teams will compete in group C from its home region Europe’s groups A, B, and D will compete for their own championship from their homes in the EU.