DeKay Scope: The Difficult, Yet Necessary Changes FLASHPOINT Must Make
Prior to the first season of FLASHPOINT getting moved online, it was clear that the league had a tremendous amount of potential to exist among the industry leaders. Broadcasts were thoroughly entertaining and an enjoyable watch, despite not getting the chance to fully flesh out all of their ideas. For it being the first season, it was undoubtedly a success from top to bottom with hardly anything to complain about from a viewer's perspective.
Although, there was one area FLASHPOINT lacked and will need to improve on moving forward.
Going into the first season, no one was expecting a high level of Counter-Strike once the final team-list was public. For the most part that ended up being true, but even teams like MAD LIONS and HAVU rose to the occasion and performed better than they ever had. Considering that FLASHPOINT didn’t even have a top ten team attending, the level of play could have been much worse. Moving forward though, the league needs to improve the level of teams participating if it wants to end up as anything more than an afterthought in CS:GO.
This is where things get tough because it isn’t possible to directly recruit better teams to the league. First of all, just about every team that is better than those on the list from Season 1 recently signed a lengthy multi-year deal with ESL to participate in ESL Pro League. Even though there is nothing that says a team can’t participate in both leagues, the schedule just doesn’t allow for it. This means that current or future FLASHPOINT organizations must buy individual players or entire teams from ESL organizations. That or they grab the very few good players that are free agents or inactive like Alex "ALEX" McMeekin.
The unfortunate part though is that if teams or organizations are reluctant to act aggressively, it could mean a tough road lies ahead for the league. To improve the quality of Counter-Strike they’ll have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in buyouts on top of the millions they paid to become a member team of the league. I’m not convinced that most organizations are willing to spend that kind of money while most companies are so cautious about the global economy right now. They might have been willing to at the start of the year, but the landscape is much different now.
I can understand if the current caution means the second season of FLASHPOINT is roughly similar to the first. They can use that time to further improve their broadcast and play with content ideas, in the hopes that better teams are secured for 2021. The turning point, for better or worse, will come when negotiations are underway for a third and fourth season. Will current member organizations double down while convincing new teams to join? Or will FLASHPOINT slowly fizzle out as a great idea that never really went anywhere? Time will tell.