BLAST Lowers CS:GO Prize Pools, Raises Participation Payouts To Maintain “Sustainability”
In an effort to counter the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, BLAST Premier has decided to enact some changes. Now, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional esports league will use a more sustainable model that increases the participation fees paid to teams and reduces season prize money, though the total payout remains the same.
The pandemic has limited the industry’s ability to organize physical tournaments, hindered training for players and teams, and temporarily altered fan engagement. According to Robbie Douek, BLAST CEO, the “realignment will help sustain the broader ecosystem and ensure that we can all emerge stronger together.”
In addition, JMR Luna, CEO of OG Esport, affirmed his confidence in the change. He said that by investing in the ecosystem, new and existing esports organizations will be able to develop infrastructure around the teams, ensuring long term sustainability.
BLAST believes the changes to the league will protect the industry, allow esports organizations to grow, and establish the foundation for future success. The new structure will also benefit non-partner teams since they will receive a participation fee for each tournament as well as compete for prize money.
In response to BLAST’s announcement, the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA) issued a statement criticizing the change, saying that the decision to reduce prize money had been made unilaterally without consulting the association or players.
According to CSPPA, “The reduction in prize money in 2020 alone is 1,150,000 USD. In 2021, it will be 1,775,000 USD. In total, 2,925,000 USD is given to the member teams instead of the players.” The association added that although it is important to ensure sustainability, players should be consulted since they are “key stakeholders.” The CSPPA board is currently reviewing the issue and will attempt to discuss its position with BLAST soon.
The BLAST Premier Fall regular season for Europe and North America is scheduled for October 22 to November 4. The BLAST Premier Fall Finals will take place from December 8 to 13 with eight teams competing for a $425,000 prize pool.
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