In 2020, RFRSH Entertainment will host from 9 to 12 BLAST Pro Series CS: GO tournaments. This was announced by commentator Matthew Sadokist Trivette on Twitter. Insider Jarek DeKay Lewis noted that the organizers did not confirm this information.
Trivette mentioned this rumor in a conversation with Duncan Thorin Shields, who recently criticized Team Liquid for refusing an invitation to ESL One Cologne 2019 in favor of BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles 2019. The casters agreed that RFRSH’s approach to organizing championships would destroy the competitive system in CS: GO. According to Shields, the tournaments of the BLAST series are no match for the prestige competition in Cologne.
Also, in regards to running less, the rumour currently is 9 or 12 events next year. If this is true and the format foes not change, you might as well change CS from esports to eentertainment. The circuit will be a mess.
— Matthew Trivett 🐺 (@Sadokist) May 7, 2019
The BLAST Pro Series tournaments have been taking place since November 2017. In 2019, BLAST has planned to host seven competitions. The teams that have signed contracts with the organizers will have to attend at least five tournaments. These teams are, Cloud9, NiP, MIBR, FaZe, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid and Astralis. Each competition takes place for a couple of days and features $ 250,000 prize pool. The competition is far less difficult than the other premier tournaments. Since there are no playoffs.
The teams first compete in the Swiss system group stage which is played in the best of one format. The top two teams in group compete in the grand finale in a best of three format. In 2019, RFRSH announced the start of a seasonal league: teams get points for places at the BLAST championships – four of the most successful teams will perform at the Global Final with a prize pool of $ 500,000.
Who is behind BLAST?
At the beginning of 2016, RFRSH Entertainment Agency was founded by the ex-partner of the technology investment group Sunstone Capital, Nikolay Niholm and co-owner of Copenhagen Wolves Jacob Christensen. In January of the same year, RFRSH began cooperating with Astralis, and by September the agency already owned stocks in three Scandinavian teams at once – Astralis (55%), Heroic (80%) and Norse (ceased to exist in April 2017), as well as GODSENT media rights (closed in June 2018).
RFRSH was able to attract companies that had not previously been interested in e-sports: in January 2017, the Astralis sponsor was the Danish division of Audi, and in September, the Jack & Jones men’s clothing brand. Now Astralis cooperates with the manufacturer of protective glasses for smartphones, tablets and Apple Watch – PanzerGlass.
In two years, RFRSH has succeeded in attracting investment. The starting capital of the agency was $ 4 million at the expense of Tommy Alers, the general director of the project management software company Podio. Ahlers is currently the Minister of Science, Technology, Information and Higher Education in Denmark.
The closest championship series – BLAST Pro Series Madrid 2019 – will take place from May 10-11 in Spain. Five invited teams, including Natus Vincere, and the winner of the Movistar Riders match against the Giants Gaming will compete for $ 250,000.