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Danish esports organization Astralis has announced that they will be a part of the 2020 season of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive BLAST Premier tournament format. With this, the organization will receive a participation fee, along with a share of the media and commercial rights.
— Astralis Counter-Strike (@AstralisCS) December 14, 2019
Astralis in BLAST Premier
“2020 will mark a new era of competitive Counter-Strike moving the industry in a healthier direction,” said Nikolaj Nyholm, co-CEO of Astralis Group, in a release. “More structured tournament formats and global leagues has been a long time ambition for us, and through the participation in BLAST Premier, we take the first vital step in this direction.”
The structured format of the BLAST Premier tournament will allow teams and organizations to “plan more efficiently”, with the same teams throughout. During the Spring and Fall seasons, 12 teams will compete in three groups, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the finals. The bottom two teams will go to the BLAST Showdown, where ten teams will try to secure a seed to advance toward the finals. The BLAST Premier features a $600,000 prize pool, BLAST Showdown a $650,000 prize pool, and BLAST Premier Final event a $1.5 million prize pool.
Guaranteed income from BLAST
“Business wise, as a participating organization, we’re guaranteed an income which will enable us and other team owners to plan and budget more efficiently. Also, it gives broadcasters and commercial partners much better conditions, which again will support the Counter-Strike ecosystem as a whole,” comments Nyholm.
With the BLAST Pro Series, the company already has a large fan base from high-tier teams that participate in its events. Astralis is currently the #1 team in the world, and it joins #3 Evil Geniuses and #4 Team Liquid in the BLAST Premier. Other teams include 100 Thieves, Complexity Gaming, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, MIBR, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG, and Team Vitality.
The season starts in January of 2020 with a studio series in London. Full details on groups, dates, and other fixtures will be revealed on Dec 19. Astralis most recently won the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals to take home $350,000 after defeating Team Liquid, despite only ranking third in circuit points during the overall season.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.