It’s not surprising that being heard is a priority for Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, one of the most experienced shoutcasters in esports. Now, as as Commissioner of Flashpoint and Vice President of Brand for its parent company B Site, the entrepreneur, content creator, former coach, and team owner says he is on a mission to elevate voices in the industry.
“I think it’s important for me to help up and coming casters, really highlight their creativity and help them to enact their vision because, honestly, one of the disappointing parts of the esports space is that oftentimes people’s ideas are shut down instead of enabled,” said MonteCristo. “My goal is to help facilitate the ideas from endemic people from within the space who really know the audience and what’s fun for fans.”
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Flashpoint is the first CS:GO league owned by teams. It was founded, according to MonteCristo, to keep the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene viable and sustainable for the foreseeable future. The eight founding teams include FunPlus Phoenix, Team Envy, Immortals Gaming Club (owner of MIBR), OverActive Media (owner of MAD Lions), Cloud9, Gen.G, Dignitas, and c0ntact Gaming.
In addition to serving the needs of the Counter-Strike teams themselves, Flashpoint was conceived to be the “first esports broadcast for adults,” complete with cursing and loose, friendly banter.
“We were trying to make something that we, as adults in our late 20s and 30s would enjoy,” said MonteCristo. “We don’t have the same ambitions when it comes to targeting an audience of teenagers like other titles do.
“We want to create a platform for older esports fans 25+ which is an under-served market right now,” he added. “We believe that in the next 5-10 years [this group] will be the majority of esports fans overall as they continue to get older. We would like to hit a market for adults that is durable for decades to come.”
In his new position, MonteCristo will be personally responsible for developing new tournaments for B Site as it aims to expand into titles in addition to CS:GO. Flashpoint is a Counter-Strike-only brand, he explained, so additional shows may have different tones according to that game’s key audience.
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“For me, I will build out a slate of shows like [League of Legends podcast] ‘Summoner’s Insight,’” MonteCristo said, adding that he wants to broadcast weekly shows ranging from talk shows to creative content, even for games that Flashpoint doesn’t operate tournaments in.
“For Flashpoint, my goal is to continue to work with our CS:GO casters and creative director [Duncan “Thorin” Shields] who ultimately makes the final call because he has decades of experience with Counter-Strike,” he said. “I will continue to host the show, potentially contribute creatively, all while helping him and the rest of our casters realise the vision they have for their community and their audience.”
After casting for the Overwatch League since its inception, MonteCristo announced his departure in December citing “creative and philosophical differences” between he and executive management. MonteCristo says he was “internally stymied” when OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer left for Epic Games in May of 2019, which is why it’s so important for him to make sure that doesn’t happen to other voices in esports.
“I will help identify key talent and make sure their ideas are heard,” he said. “My goal is to be the facilitator for the casters, players, and teams. We will do everything we can to highlight you, your ideas, and make sure you have a meaningful, contributive voice in this process because that is, unfortunately, rare in esports these days.”