Flashpoint accused CSPPA and refused to pay $165,000
Flashpoint League found themselves in a public conflict with the Counter-Strike Professional Player Association (CSPPA) and refused to pay the previously agreed amount of $165,000, accusing the organization of bad faith and conflict of interest. Flashpoint representatives sent an official letter of complaint claiming that the Association's conduct had caused the league financial and reputational damage. Journalist of DBLTAP portal Jarek "DeKay" Lewis cited extracts from this letter in his article.
Before the start of the first season, CSPPA agreed to transfer the intellectual property rights of players for $165,000. This agreement implies free use of media image of participants in product promotion and advertising integration. Flashpoint claims that in February, the Association ceased responding to their requests for signed contracts that would allow players to test monitors from the intended sponsor. As a result, the transaction failed and the league lost the revenue, part of which would have gone to the players, as the franchise model involves sharing the profit between all teams.
Another claim is the unwillingness of CSPPA to participate in the discussions of the tournament regulations and, in particular, the penalty procedures. Flashpoint did not have a mechanism that could force participants to follow the rules and prevent players from being systematically late. This caused delays in broadcast and damaged the reputation of the league.
The third complaint mentioned was the inability of the Association to create a new competitive ranking system that would not depend on the number of matches played and would prevent emotional burnout of players. It is claimed that CSPPA representatives volunteered to solve this issue on their own, but they never took any action.
The most significant seems to be the accusation of agency activities and promotion of players' interests, which caused a conflict of interest, as the Association is obliged to represent all e-Athletes equally. According to the league, CSPPA intervened in the already agreed deal on the transfer of Heroic to FunPlus Phoenix. Based on the recommendations received, the players demanded higher salaries, which led to the breakdown of all agreements. Flashpoint claimed a gross violation, as a third party cannot interfere in the negotiations.
CSPPA's official response followed a few hours after the publication of all these allegations. It claimed that Heroic was not involved in the negotiations at FunPlus Phoenix. The association also reminded Flashpoint of the need to pay the money due under its previous contract. They argue that the contract for the transfer of intellectual property rights does not imply liability for the other parties to the cooperation.
Heroic CEO Eric Askered reacted to these clarifications by confirming CSPPA's involvement in the FunPlus Phoenix deal. "Have they forgotten that they were negotiating with a specific person? Or did they think I wouldn't notice their message?" he tweeted. Later, the Association promised to release a more detailed response to all charges.
Recall that the first season of Flashpoint took place from March 13 to April 19, 2020. Initially it was planned to play in Stockholm, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was completely transferred to studio format, and after the first week the players continued to perform from their homes or boot camps. Twelve teams took part in Flashpoint 1, winning $1,000,000 in prize money. The champion are MAD Lions.