Esports tournament organiser BLAST has announced plans for the 2021 BLAST Premier Championship, a Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) event, including a total prize pool of $2,475,000 (£1,832,936).
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The BLAST Premier Championship 2021, taking place from February to December, will begin with the global ‘BLAST Premier Qualifying Series’ which, according to a release, will offer “opportunities to all regions” to qualify for the advanced stages.
From there, successful teams will compete in the BLAST Premier Spring and Fall Showdowns. If successful, teams will advance to the Spring and Fall Finals. The penultimate BLAST event will be the World Final — similar to the current 2020 event.
BLAST Premier Member Teams will automatically earn a place in the Fall and Spring Groups. Winners of the BLAST Premier Spring and Fall Finals, Flashpoint 3 and 4, ESL Pro League 13 and 14, and Valve Fall Major will qualify for the World Final.
Non-member teams that compete in BLAST Premier events will also receive a participation fee — a new addition to the BLAST Premier season in 2021.
The current 11 BLAST Premier Member Teams include: Astralis; Ninjas in Pyjamas; G2 Esports; OG Esports; Team Vitality; Natus Vincere; FaZe Clan; Complexity Gaming; MiBR; Evil Geniuses; and Team Liquid.
Here is a breakdown of BLAST Premier 2021 season’s key dates and prize pools:
BLAST Premier Spring Groups – $150,000 (4th-14th February)
BLAST Premier Spring Showdown – $162,500 (13th-18th April)
BLAST Premier Spring Final – $425,000 (15th-20th June)
BLAST Premier Fall Groups – $150,000 (26th August – 5th September)
BLAST Premier Fall Showdown – $162,500 (12th-17th October)
BLAST Premier Fall Final – $425,000 (23rd-28th November)
BLAST Premier World Final – $1,000,000 (14th-19th December)
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Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, commented on the upcoming season: “BLAST Premier will be back for 2021 with fans set to enjoy more top-tier CS:GO than ever before. We will unite all leading tournaments and performers from across the calendar year, with all roads leading towards December’s World Final where $1m (~£744,830) in prize money will be up for grabs and a chance to be crowned the world’s best Counter Strike team.
“Next year’s format will be the most inclusive on the Counter Strike scene and offer teams from regions all over the world an opportunity to compete in our highly anticipated events, thanks to our new qualifying series.”
Esports Insider also reported last week that BLAST has extended its partnership with Danish broadcaster TV2 to exclusively broadcast the BLAST Premier 2021 in Denmark. As part of the deal, TV2 Denmark will broadcast all seven BLAST Premier events in 2021 on TV2 ZULU and online platform TV2 Play. 2021 will be the third consecutive year the companies have agreed such a deal.
The current BLAST Premier season is yet to reach the World Final, with the Fall Final concluding just last weekend. This season’s World Final takes place on 18th– 24th January 2021.
Esports Insider says: The mix of periodic semi-major tournaments and the year-round build-up to a penultimate, decider event is a cool approach, and indeed many fans are still looking forward to the 2020 season’s World Final in January. Participation fees for non-member teams is a nice addition to the 2021 season. Hopefully next year’s tournament will offer live events with audiences — goodness knows we all miss them.