Reports: Blast To Host First Major Of 2023 In France
According to recent reports, BLAST is likely to organize next year’s Spring CS:GO’s Majors. The action will return to Europe after its sojourn into South America for the IEM Masters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Dexerto reports that Paris will be the first choice of venue, though this is still unconfirmed, because it has been “BLAST’s priority since day one and is the likeliest choice”. The tournament will be held in May 8-21, the same timeframe that the PGL Antwerp Majors took place this year.
This is the first time in the six years since its inception that the Danish company, previously known as RFRSH Entertainment, will host a major Valve-sponsored tournament. Taking on an event of this scale will be the biggest endeavour by far in the company’s history.
BLAST Premier Circuit
However they have hosted major events across the globe, most notably the BLAST Premier circuit, and have always received praise from players and fans alike for the high quality of its production and broadcast. A BLAST-sponsored major has been requested by the CS:GO community for a while now, and they will be eagerly anticipating the day it does come to pass.
The first edition of the BLAST Premier kicked off in 2020. Despite the impact of the pandemic on the live esports industry, the tournament’s popularity and success was both massive and unprecedented.
Even though the event did not allow a live audience that year, the final between Natus Vincere and Astralis drew in a record 568,406 live viewers. The peak viewership during the tournament was the lower bracket final featuring Na Vi against Team Vitality, a 2-1 thrilled that brought in a viewership of 687,691.
The BLAST Premier takes place across two seasons, Spring and Fall, featuring 12 partner teams. The event is usually segmented into seven competitions spread out of the course of the year, the Spring Groups, Showdowns, and Finals, and the Fall equivalent.
Huge Rewards up for grabs
There are over 2 million dollars spread out as winnings across all of these events, so there is a huge reward for consistency. The Spring and Fall Finals carry a $425,000 purse respectively, while $177,498 is distributed among the Groups. A total of $135,000 is shared by the teams at the Showdowns.
A season final caps the event, with the top eight sides competing and features a live crowd for the latter stages. These eight teams will share a bumper $1,000,000 loot. Last year’s winners, Na Vi claimed half a million dollars as prize money, while runners up Gambit Esports took home $425,000.
While the BLAST Premiers are at the top when it comes to financial incentive, it does have potential to grow in terms of diversity. Having only 12 teams does make for a more exclusive setup, with a lot of the same teams appearing year after year. However, one can argue that this exclusivity ensures top-quality competition between the cream of the crop.
The majors are widely recognized as the biggest, and most important CS:GO events featuring a prize pool of at least $1,000,000 USD. Ever since the ELEAGUE Majors in Boston back in 2018, Valve announced a new overall tournament format, which introduced the Offline Qualifier as a part of the Major Championship. This change also increased the number of teams at the Major Championships from 16 to 24 as well as re-naming each stage of the tournament.
Over the last couple of years the Majors have been hosted by Hungarian Esports production organization PGL, and the tournament in 2022 was held in Antwerp, Germany. It was conducted between May 9 to May 22, with 16 of the world’s top teams participating for the title. This year’s winners, Faze Clan, took home $500,000, while the runners-up Na Vi bagged $150,000.