The second season of Flashpoint 2 kicked off last week, and the tournament has already served up plenty of dramatic match-ups and moments of breathtaking action right across the board. The quality of Counter-Strike has already proven to be much higher than the previous season, with the new top guns of OG and Fnatic already struggling against the Flashpoint veterans of Gen.G and MAD Lions.
With these upsets and tough matches continuing to come thick and fast over the coming weeks, here are all the major storylines we’ve learned so far.
Cloud9 Bow Out On Their Big Debut
Cloud9 was arguably the most hyped upside coming into Flashpoint 2, with their recent changes in management in HenryG, taking over the reins as general manager, and subsequent acquisitions of high profile players such as ALEX, Es3tag, and Woxic.
One of the founding members of Flashpoint, Cloud9 were drawn into Group C along with Gen.G, OG, and Virtus.Pro in the Tower of Babel group of death. They were actually named as favorites for their first-ever match against Virtus.Pro in most Esports betting odds, however, it was their CIS opponents that produced the better performance on the day and swept C9 2-0 on Inferno and Overpass.
Cloud9 were dropped into the losers bracket against OG, one of the pre-tournament favorites who initially had themselves slumped to a surprising loss against a makeshift Gen.G side. ALEX, Woxic, and co. made a decent fist of things on Nuke, pushing OG to a surprising overtime loss. However, that seemed to dent their confidence and stunt their momentum going into the second map on Mirage.
Overall there were definitely moments of promise for Cloud9 fans to look to going forward, with Woxic, Mezii, and Es3tag all standing out with some big clutches at points, Floppy improving throughout the tournament, and ALEX making some of the big calls he became famous for during his time with Vitaly. They have work to do for sure, but no need to panic just yet.
Fnatic Stuttering Yet Again
Fnatic were named the world’s best side at the conclusion of ESL Pro League Season 11 back in April, beating the likes of Astralis, Natus Vincere, and Faze Clan en route to the top of the world rankings.
Seeing them falling to back-to-back losses to MAD Lions, in what was their fifth series loss out of six match ups, is therefore staggering. Now ranked 13th in the world, to even see Fnatic competing in a tournament like Flashpoint is an odd one, but it’s nevertheless a competition the Swedes haven’t exactly lit up so far.
They edged out Contact Gaming 2-1 in their opening match, which was hardly a convincing performance, though it did look like Fnatic might have turned the corner when they arrived into their latest match against MAD Lions and took their map pick of Vertigo off of them.
But from that point of promise, it was the same old story for Fnatic. From winning a map that they have hardly ever played in Vertigo, the Swedes ended up losing two of their most comfortable picks in Inferno and Overpass that saw them dumped into the losers bracket and into a do-or-die territory.
Motivation and innovation are the two buzz words that best describe the state of Fnatic in this post-pandemic online era. On the stage against the best teams in the world with the world’s best going up against them the org seem to thrive, but it doesn’t seem to matter how many bootcamps or tournaments they enter, things are not getting better for Fnatic.