FACEIT, the primary platform to scout new talent and prospects in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, will be expanding to North America.
Invitations to the North American branch will be determined with an open circuit. Amateur players will have the chance to participate in localized servers, which allows them to compete for entry in FACEIT Challenger League and a monthly $3,000 prize pool. Two players from the Challenger League will be promoted to FACEIT Pro League, where they'll have the opportunity to compete with professional players.
After joining the league, the best amateur players have the chance to make an impact and open an opportunity to join a pro team. Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson and Robin "ropz" Kool -- two players who recently raised trophies at international tournaments with Fnatic and mousesports respectively -- were two such beneficiaries of the system.
"FPL is what got me spotted as an upcoming player and helped me get noticed by other pro players," Lekr0 told ESPN. "So it was a huge factor for me to get discovered."
FACEIT believes that giving talented amateur North American players the chance to play with professionals will give them a stage to prove their merits. In fact, the FPL has contributed significantly to the development of talent in Europe -- and FACEIT hopes that bringing this structured platform to North America will give amateur talent the spotlight of both teams and professional players.
Fabio Floris, Chief Product Officer at FACEIT, spoke to ESPN about the talent development dimension of the FPL.
"The FPL circuit is a project which focuses on the promotion of talent from the grassroots to the highest level," he said. "Similar to what we have in Europe, the FPL league will be a place where professional players and upcoming talent meet, offering a nice environment where all players and admins can collaborate to guarantee a good experience."
While the FPL has been the primary platform in Europe, NA pros are currently using a similar product, Rank S, offered by ESEA. When asked what would make North Americans make the switch, Floris cited the collaboration between FACEIT and its members.
"I believe that by collaborating directly with the players in the FPL in EU, we have the insights and opportunity to make improvements to the experience in terms of direct support and vision," said Floris. "In Europe, we have been supported by the professional players and we do believe that in North America we will find more players ready to back us on this project."
Despite its contribution to the esports ecosystem, FACEIT is reluctant to take too much credit.
"I think it's important to highlight the fact that the main reason many FPL players managed to turn pro is because they have been working hard and fully deserve everything they are obtaining today," Floris said. "When I think about players like Oskar, Lekro, Ropz, Woxic, Issa -- just to mention a few -- I always see a common pattern. They are humble, they listen to what the pro players have to say, and they have always been hungry to play and improve."