The promise of a top-tier league has not lived up to its expectations.
The CSPPA is contemplating a half-million-dollar lawsuit against FLASHPOINT as per a recent report.
Per a report by french publication, vakarm.net, the CSPPA is currently debating legal action against FLASHPOINT over unpaid minimum player-share revenue.
The short-lived FLASHPOINT project is once again under fire. The tournament organizer could be facing legal issues according to the report. According to the report, the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association is discussing a lawsuit over alleged unpaid compensation for players of partner teams for 2020. Players from the partner teams c0ntact, Cloud9, Dignitas, Envy, Gen.G, MAD Lions, MIBR and FPX are due $457,500 in base compensation for 2020 as part of an agreement between CSPPA and FLASHPOINT.
FLASHPOINT: Pioneer of revenue sharing models in CS: GO
The current revenue-sharing models prevalent in CS:GO came about largely thanks to FLASHPOINT’s added pressure in the 2020 off-season negotiations. The CSPPA has agreed to terms with ESL, BLAST and Dreamhack over similar deals in recent years. Part of the sharing covers various revenue streams like broadcasting rights, sponsorship and ticket revenue.
Unique to FLASHPOINT, however, was the guaranteed minimum compensation in addition to an annual percentage payment of net revenues. This model was discussed several times by executives in FLASHPOINT, as a more lucrative and promising structure compared to ESL and BLAST’s deals.
The tournament organizer and CSPPA haven't had the best relations ever since their inception. The tournament organizer has previously withheld a $165,000 payment due to disputes regarding the CSPPA’s deliverables as part of the deal.
With the CSPPA failing to approve a possible monitor sponsorship and delayed release of the CSPPA ranking (a document they haven't updated since 2021, and one that had many unacceptable flaws). The CSPPA now alleges that it is improper for FLASHPOINT to withhold the payment for other allegations as it is not relevant to the usage of IP rights license.
While potential lawsuits over player rights are a positive light for the CSPPA, the particular situation seems difficult. The agreement for Player minimums is being utilised for this potential law suit, but that could be seen as cherry-picking on behalf of the CSPPA as the same agreement states that the CSPPA enters a separate contract with FLASHPOINT for player IP and media rights. Trying to take legal action on one contract while failing to meet their dues could open a whole other can of worms.
The contract further states, the compensation would be paid out by the partner teams. We could be looking at a grey zone, since the teams would be the ones responsible for the payments instead of FLASHPOINT themselves.
In any case, CSPPA’s threat of legal action could be a huge precedence if it is used in the future in more meaningful scenarios. If it is just left on the shelf like the strike action performed once at BLAST Premier Fall Finals 2020, then it will just be another meaningless attack over an almost meaningless issue.
With over 54 players coming through the doors at these orgs over the year of 2020, even if they are compensated for the whole amount, the players will at best receive around $8.5K, minus whatever legal fees and CSPPA fees they will have to pay for the whole ordeal, making the scenario almost meaningless many of these players.
Whether the CSPPA goes through with the action, remains to be seen.