The CS:GO community is accusing BLAST Pro Series of ruining the tournament circuit after rumors surfaced that Team Liquid would skip ESL One Cologne for a BLAST event.
BLAST is owned by RFRSH Entertainment, the same company that runs Astralis, the best CS:GO team in the world at the moment. Astralis already skipped IEM Sydney in May 2019 and will not play at DreamHack Masters Dallas in June 2019 either. Now, with Team Liquid rumored to skip one of the circuits premier events, fans aren’t happy.
The pushback began after a tweet from Duncan “Thorin” Shields yesterday.
Matthew “Sadokist” Trivett, one of the most well-known casters in CS:GO replied that BLAST is planning to run more events in 2020. “The rumor currently is 9 or 12 events next year,” Sadokist said. “If this is true and the format does not change, you might as well change CS from esports to entertainment. The circuit will be a mess.”
BLAST will host seven CS:GO tournaments in total through 2019 and every team that signed contracts with them, has to play at least five. Astralis, Liquid, Natus Vincere, FaZe, MIBR, NiP, and Cloud9 are the organizations partnered with BLAST. The tournaments feature a $250,000 prizepool, but are less competitive than other premier events on the CS:GO circuit. Every team plays five best-of-one matches instead of, say, the more common swiss system. The top two teams go to the grand finals—there is no playoff or more best-of-three matches
After Thorin and Sadokist’s tweets yesterday, CS:GO fans started a movement against BLAST this morning. The discussion is a top post on the game’s subreddit.
There’s a limit to how many tournaments a team can attend in a year. Astralis, in particular, is careful about its tournament schedule after star player Nicolai “device” Reedtz went through medical issues in 2017 caused by long distances traveled by plane and jetlag. It’s clear that if the BLAST Pro Series continues to expand, it could have major ramifications for the scene.
The next BLAST will be in Madrid this Friday, May 10, and will include Astralis and Na`Vi.