Published on: 13/05/2021
Flashpoint 3 Matchup Previews – May 14th
Flashpoint 3 is the third installment of the prestigious new CSGO league by B Site Inc., described as the world’s first CSGO tournament owned by team organizations. Flashpoint 3 is the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event of 2021 in Europe, meaning it distributes points used to qualify teams for the upcoming 2021 Fall Major.
The event moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will see 11 teams invited based on the 2020 RMR rankings, featuring some of the world’s best teams, including Astralis, G2, FaZe and Heroic. The invited teams will face up against five teams who reached the event through a closed qualifier.
Matchup breakdown: NiP vs. Anonymo
Swedish-dominated outfit, Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), will take on Poland’s Anonymo on Friday in the opening round of Flashpoint’s double-elimination bracket.
NiP come into the event fresh off the back of a high-profile player change. In one of the most significant roster moves of recent times, star Astralis AWPer and four-time Major winner Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz permanently transferred to the Swedish NiP team from Astralis, his long-time Danish home.
Ninjas in Pyjamas will look to improve on their ESL Pro League Season 13 Finals run, where they lost in the semifinals to finish 3rd/4th. With dev1ce on the roster, the team has far more firepower coming into Flashpoint.
Anonymo, who reached the event through a closed qualifier, are the underdogs of the matchup. Their roster consists of four Polish names relatively unproven on the international stage. Still, veteran Janusz ‘Snax’ Pogorzelski, one of the most storied Counter-Strike players in the franchise’s history, rounds it off. Snax will bring his experience to the table to help guide the Poles to a surprise upset.
NiP come into the event ranked #13 worldwide, a clear step above Anonymo’s rank #43. If NiP’s new roster hasn’t had time to gel, Anonymo might be able to catch them off guard – and Snax’s reputation as an excellent pistol player may snag them a few free freebies off the back of the pistol rounds. If dev1ce’s debut goes well and he settles into the roster quickly, Anonymo could well have to contend with the start of a honeymoon period for the new Ninjas.
Matchup breakdown: FunPlus Phoenix vs. HYENAS
The final matchup of the opening round of Flashpoint 3 will see FunPlus Phoenix face up against HYENAS.
FunPlus Phoenix is a European mix, with representation from Serbia, Montenegro, Denmark and Finland. Coached by the veteran ex-Fnatic player and coach Jonatan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg, the Flashpoint partner team will be playing their first major event with new in-game leader Luka ‘emi’ Vuković. Ranked #17 in the world and off the back of a successful qualification for IEM Summer 2021, FunPlus Phoenix is the more established of the two sides.
HYENAS is a lesser-known variable. HYENAS is the new moniker for the ex-North squad, which ceased operations in February. The Danish roster brought in René ‘cajunb’ Borg earlier this month to satisfy Flashpoint’s requirement that the team has at least 3/5ths of their lineup from the last RMR tournament of 2020. But they are expected to immediately ‘bench’ cajunb and instead play the whole tournament with their substitute, Frederik ‘Fessor’ Sørensen.
The North squad was a formidable force during their tenure, with their various lineups regularly maintaining spots in the Top 20 worldwide. But their current lineup has no HLTV ranking and no recent results with which to predict their performance – meaning they could be a dark horse in the event and surprise, or they could disappoint.
As a solid, consistent, Top 20 side, FunPlus Phoenix will be the favorite of many going up against the unknown variable of the re-assembled HYENAS roster. But coming in as a potential dark horse, and with plenty of mechanical talent in their lineup, HYENAS may be able to surprise.
Written by Jake Nordland