Trash talk is an art that’s long been associated with competitive games, but it’s something that in recent years has fallen to the wayside in esports. This is something that Flashpoint, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s new organisation-owned league wants to change.
The league, which has a prize pool of $2 million, wants to address core issues in the CS:GO ecosystem, including tournament monopoly, stability, and the economy, but it also wants to be a product made by and for Counter-Strike fans. To do just that, the league’s owners have hired some of the best minds in CS:GO, including Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles, who has extensive esports production knowledge. But Flashpoint isn’t going down the traditional route – it’s going to bring back true trash talk to Counter-Strike and encourage you to get involved.
“Literally the very first thing you’ll see from Flashpoint’s broadcast is the selection phase,” MonteCristo tells The Loadout. “The format might look complicated when you see it explained in 30 seconds but the technical niceties aren’t really important because in reality when we stage it, you’ll see a bunch of players trash talking. Whether you understand how it works is kind of irrelevant because it’ll be entertaining and it’ll happen so slowly that it will be very obvious.”
MonteCristo and the team has put a real focus on storytelling in CS:GO and in the past has likened the league’s content creation to that of the National Football League and WWE. But after hashing out the details, it appears Flashpoint is going for a no holds barred strategy similar to UFC, that, admittedly, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
“I think it’s actually closer to UFC than anything else,” MonteCristo says. “UFC knows what it is. Are they going to lose a bunch of sponsors? Yes. Are we going to lose a bunch of potential sponsors? I hope so. If we don’t then we’ve done something wrong. What we want to do is create the best product that will excite the fans and get sponsors come to us who really want to be a part of it.”
Other esports in the past, such as League of Legends, have successfully brought on non-endemic sponsors and some members of the community believe their involvement is the only way of taking CS:GO to the next level. However, MonteCristo believes that changing Counter-Terrorists and Terrorists to attackers and defenders to satisfy big brands simply isn’t going to work. People love CS:GO for what it is and the best way of taking it to the next level is to embrace that.
“I love the NFL but it is a horrible sport that promotes permanent brain damage to its players,” he adds. “UFC is wonderful but it’s dudes punching the blood out of each other. If you’re telling me that these sports are sponsorable and simulated violence that harms absolutely no one isn’t, then I don’t know what the fuck you’re smoking.”
Given that Flashpoint’s format has been built specifically for the league’s vision, it’ll be interesting to see how the community – and potential sponsors – react when the inaugural season starts in March.