CS:GO teams partnered with BLAST are reportedly taking a stance against the deal with NEOM

The teams and BLAST will reportedly have a meeting today.

Screengrab via BLAST

BLAST Premier’s partner organizations are working together to take a “firm stance” against the partnership made between BLAST and Saudi Arabian project NEOM at the end of July, according to a report by HLTV.

The CS:GO teams reportedly plan to pressure BLAST to drop its deal with NEOM. A meeting between the organizations and the tournament organizer will take place today, according to HLTV.

When the BLAST and NEOM deal was announced last month, the tournament organizer described it as a “record deal” and an “ambitious project.” NEOM is a planned mega-city in Saudi Arabia with an estimated cost of $500 billion. BLAST, however, has been heavily criticized by the community and part of its talent crew ever since. Frankie Ward, Vince Hill, Harry Russel, Hugo Byron, and former talent and now Team Liquid’s head coach Moses have publicly expressed their concerns with the deal.

The commentators cited the Saudi government’s poor human rights record, the abuse of indigenous communities around NEOM, and its anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Frankie, Vince, Harry, and Hugo all said they won’t be working with BLAST anymore while the partnership stands.

So far, Astralis is the only organization out of the 12 partners to comment on the deal. Its CEO, Anders Hørsholt, told Danish journal Politiken that Astralis finds the partnership “unacceptable.” The other organizations partnered with BLAST include G2, Vitality, FaZe, Na`Vi, Evil Geniuses, Complexity, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, 100 Thieves, OG, and MIBR.

BLAST isn’t the first company in esports to face backlash for partnering up with NEOM, though. The LEC also formed a partnership with NEOM in July but canceled the deal less than 24 hours after the announcement after several broadcast talent members and other people on Riot’s staff boycotted the project.