The CS:GO community is talking a lot about the BLAST Pro events these days. Why? CS:GO fans are afraid of the possibility that BLAST Pro is going to ruin the CS:GO competitive scene. But, is that going to happen? Let’s try to figure out what’s is truly happening.
The beginning of BLAST Pro Series
BLAST Pro Series kicked off in 2017 in Copenhagen. The organizer of this event, RFRESH, decided to provide fans with something new in CS:GO.
“Esports is always changing and with it the needs of pro-players and fans alike,” PGL CEO Silviu Stroie noted. “Tournaments need to highlight the beauty of competitive gaming in a professional setting and at the same time deliver premium entertainment.
“We believe the BLAST Pro Series will combine all these elements into a new kind of event and we are excited to show the results of our work with RFRSH this November.” (source: HLTV)
When the Black Pro event was announced, fans were eagerly waiting for it to begin. They even agreeably welcomed a new format to the scene. Some fans were not sure about it, and others just loved it. However, they all agreed that it was nice to see something fresh in CS:GO. Fans assumed it was going to be fun and no one predicted that BLAST Pro was going to ruin CS:GO competitive scene.
Nonetheless, the opinion of CS:GO community changed over time. The loudest of them is esports historian, Thorin. However, we’ll save that discussion for later.
BLAST Pro Series had huge success from the beginning
Although fans nowadays think BLAST Pro is going to ruin CS:GO competitive scene, numbers and statistics are saying the opposite. The first event (BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen) already achieved a big success when it comes to viewership. Given that BLAST Pro gives their best to provide viewers with the best experience, the results of their work were excellent.
Over 100,000 people watched the first BLAST Pro Series event. As well, it had about 3,600,000 views in total, which is more than most of the other prestigious events (excluding Majors) have. So, BLAST Pro Series was a real revelation in the CS:GO esports scene. Additionally, the number of viewers and views just kept going up. Hence, the last BLAST Pro event, Miami, had over 150,000 unique viewers and over 4,000,000 views in total.
Therefore, regardless of the CS:GO community hating the way that BLAST Pro is ruining the competitive scene, it still records incredible results in terms of viewership. No wonder, considering how fun these events are. The big impact of that is the unique format of these tournaments.
Advantages and disadvantages of BLAST Pro format
One of the reasons why so many people watch BLAST Pro tournaments is that it is easy to watch thanks to its format. It features six elite teams and those are usually the best CS:GO teams in the world. They face each other in one Round-Robin Group in Best of 1 matches. Therefore, fans get a lot of action in a short time frame. Additionally, the event lasts for only two days, so everything ends so quickly and fans just get overwhelmed by the best of what CS:GO can offer. However, it has downsides as well.
Blast is literally the least meaningful tournament to ever have that level of competition at it, largely by virtue of its format. Win every Blast event you like, but it won’t keep you number one.
— Thorin (@Thooorin) May 8, 2019
The problem with the format of the BLAST Pro Series is that it’s not competitive enough. It reminds us more of some kind of exhibition rather than real competition. That’s why fans think that BLAST Pro is going to ruin CS:GO competitive scene. Also, best of 1 matches are not considered to be competitive enough as we see many upsets under such circumstances. That’s why we cannot take results from BLAST Pro Series very seriously.
It prevents top teams from playing other tournaments
No one was complaining about BLAST Pro when there were only three events a year. It was even good to have such tournaments to break the monotony of regular CS:GO pro circuit. However, RFRESH announced not three but eight BLAST Pro Series this year, including Global Finals. Consequently, a new problem occurred. The thing is that BLAST Pro is not fun only for viewers, but it’s also attractive for the best teams in the world.
Given that it has a $250,000 prize pool and it lasts only for two days, it’s an easy way for teams to make some fast money. Plus, tournament organizers treat contesters very well. Thus, some teams put BLAST Pro Series before other events on their list of priorities. For example, two of the best teams in the world, Astralis and NaVi, missed many prestigious events last year because they planned to attend the Blast Pro two-day tournaments.
Esports historian, Thorin, particularly criticized BLAST Pro events and thinks it is going to ruin the CS:GO competitive scene. Given that Astralis is the best team in the world, it becomes problematic when they don’t attend such significant events, but they rather choose the BLAST Pro Series. Many people think that it’s not a way to defend your crown as you avoid to face your competition at real tournaments.
Obviously, there is a certain problem with these interesting and easy-to-play events. However, it’s not their fault because they exist, so we can’t really blame those events for ruining the competitive scene. On the contrary, if someone is to be blamed, then it’s the teams that do the choosing.
Lastly, this just demonstrates the necessity of some global CS:GO organization that would take care of the pro circuit. So, we could distinguish the more important events from less valuable ones. Hence, there would be no discussion like these anymore.