Chinese Esports organization FunPlus Pheonix (FPX) has entered the Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) Esports scene by acquiring the majority of players from Danish team Heroic. FPX will also join as the 8th founding member of the Flashpoint league, and has begun competing in its inaugural season.
Flashpoint is an all-new CS:GO league, which will feature a $2 million prize pool for its inaugural season, and an entertainment format modeled after the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The company behind the league, B-Site Inc., is part-owned by the founding members of the league; the owners of MiBR, MAD Lions, Dignitas, Cloud9, Gen.G Esports, c0ntact Gaming, Envy Gaming, and now FPX, who all paid a $2 million entry fee for the competition. The league operator, FACEIT, owns 0.5%.
Flashpoint is one of the two biggest tournament brands for CS:GO, along with ESL Pro Tour. The ESL Pro League is part of the ESL Pro Tour, and features thirteen partner teams who will receive a share of revenues from the league and other Pro Tour events. Since the leagues run simultaneously, no team is part of both the ESL Pro League and Flashpoint, so they must choose between the two.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of people have chosen to stay indoors, and gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment during this period of isolation. According to statistics from Steam Charts, the concurrent players of Valve’s online platform Steam have passed 20 million, with CS:GO alone having broken its 1 million concurrent player count, eight years after the game originally launched.
The Shanghai-based FunPlus Phoenix was founded by Beijing-based game publisher FunPlus in 2017. After only two years, FPX won the 2019 League of Legends World Championship in Paris, the most commercially valuable Esports tournament in the world, at the time of writing. The organization currently competes in League of Legends, CS:GO, Fortnite, and mobile game title Peacekeeper Elite.
FunPlus is the parent company of FPX and a very profitable mobile game publisher in China. In 2019, FunPlus reported earnings of over $1.3 billion in revenue with only two of its own games, King of Avalon ($721 million), and Guns of Glory ($510 million).