BLAST reshuffles prize pools for upcoming events to ensure “sustainability” without consulting players

BLAST is reducing prize money to increase participation fees, but CSPPA isn't happy.

Screengrab via BLAST

CS:GO league BLAST Premier earlier today it will reduce the season prize pools to increase teams’ participation fees with “full support of partner teams” today. But the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association has responded that the decision was made “unilaterally without consulting the CSPPA and the players.”

BLAST said that “COVID-19 has had a considerable impact on the esports ecosystem,” causing a “direct financial impact on all people working across” it.

Following an agreement with its partner teams, the planned prize pools for 11 events beginning from the Fall Series 2020 to 2021’s Global Final have been reduced. The league promised that the total sum paid by BLAST “will remain identical,” with the cut prizes reimbursed to the member teams as participation fees.

BLAST CEO, Robbie Douek, believed the “realignment will help sustain the broader ecosystem and ensure that we can all emerge stronger together.”

The CSPPA, for its part, said that the move was made without consulting the association and its players. Per CSPPA’s calculation, a total of $2,925,000 in prize money has been reduced and “given to the member teams instead of the players.”

“It is important to ensure the sustainability of the ecosystem,” CSPPA said. “But players need to be included as key stakeholders and be involved in such decisions.”

CSPPA said that its board “is discussing this issue currently,” and will engage with BLAST “as soon as possible.”