RFRSH CEO Nikolaj Nyholm: "Three to four events in 2018"

After BLAST Pro Series came to an end, we stopped by the RFRSH Entertainment offices to sit down with CEO and founder Nikolaj Nyholm for an interview about his company's first foray into event organizing.

The 42-year-old talked about day one's technical issues, which caused the first two rounds of the round robin to be postponed to day two, at length and explained what steps they took to prevent those issues from happening later on during the tournament.

Nikolaj Nyholm talked day one issues

Nyholm then discussed day two, evaluated the event and the their ideas as a whole, and shared some of RFRSH's plans for 2018 and 2019:

Could you go through the issues on day one and the decisions that you had to make as the day progressed?

To take things from the start, most of the players came in already on Tuesday, flying in from Oakland. All the teams had been there barring North, Astralis obviously had to go home a little bit early from that event, so they had spent some days at home. We had three of the teams here in the RFRSH office, where we're sitting now, in our rooms, practicing. Wednesday evening we put the practice rooms at the hotels and not before Thursday did we actually get access to the arena. Wednesday evening there was a Queen concert, they needed to disassemble everything and the stage is starting to be built on Thursday morning.

Given the fact that we have the format of having two rounds of round robin on Friday, we wanted to do that in a smaller space. We had initially been thinking about doing it out of the arena and we're still considering that for the future, we obviously need to assess how to do it best, do we go full on studio somewhere, do we rent a movie theater with room for a thousand fans, or do we do it as a smaller part of an arena experience. But anyhow, we were set up on the third floor of the arena, so not in, which of course some of the people who saw the initial part of the stream could see we weren't in the main arena. We could actually see the arena from there, but we weren't out there on the seats, they were still building on the floor. We had set up the six player booths there along with the admin facilities for Graham ["messioso" Pitt] and his team of admins.

What happens initially is: after about two rounds we started seeing CPU spikes on the server, which of course results in lag amongst the players. We go through first one server, we go through the backup server, we actually don't put any games live there, but when we had teams log in for sort of a warmup-type practice, we started seeing the same CPU spikes happening again. We use a third server, this time PGL's server, same issues, and finally we decide that we're going to play it without production on FACEIT servers. What happens there, the teams connect, get started, no issues whatsoever, and suddenly, after about 1-4 rounds depending on what match was happening, everything crashes at once. The players' connections to the FACEIT servers simply disappear. At that time, the admin connection to the servers are still up and running, so it has absolutely nothing to do with the FACEIT servers, they were running as they were supposed to and we're of course super, super happy with them being able to take this on. So the only thing that we can conclude at that point is that we have some sort of connectivity issues.

For those who are technically interested, the players are on the same physical switch as the admins but on a different VLAN. For security reasons we had set up a separate VLAN so that we can control the players' access to the rest of the network but also the players' access — given the fact we're suddenly playing on public internet servers — to other sites. And of course the admins need full access, so they were set up on a separate VLAN, and that is what crashed. The VLAN with the admins is still operational. What exactly happened there we're still diagnosing. Whether this is some poor connection somewhere, whether it's a hardware issue, the logs have been submitted to Cisco for review right now, but the problem is we actually can't fully test what happened back then. We had to remove all computers, all equipment, all cabling given the fact this was the area through which fans were going to move half a day later, Saturday morning.

We decide that we're going to push the first matches to Saturday morning instead of having the players hang around, hang around, hang around, waiting for something to happen, giving us sufficient time to fully test the setup in the arena, make certain that we also get additional back-up hardware on the networking side, and really continue to test what is happening and remove all the risks that might happen anywhere on the network. So we send all the players home back to the hotel, which is fortunately just around the corner from the arena, for them to get some sleep.

RFRSH filled the arena in their first stab at event organizing

I'm guessing you didn't get much sleep afterwards.

I absolutely got no sleep whatsoever, I slept a couple of hours tonight and I'm very grateful for that, but no, out of the respect for the players and especially for the fans, I think it is far from an ideal start to any tournament. And even worse when you're new, even worse when you're doing something a new way, obviously the fact that we are suddenly playing three games simultaneously puts additional pressure on servers, network, everything. It solves certain things, like not having players switch computers at all, of course the other tournaments could do that as well. One of the things which there were no issues with whatsoever were computer issues, driver issues, etc., which the players often complain about in other circumstances when they have to use computers that have been used by other players and they swap SSDs, there are still going to be some hardware issues.

So what we do is we go down to stress test everything with all 30 player computers running in the arena, which are by the way not the same PCs that were used earlier. For this event we had a total of 80 PCs, two times 30 for the players and then an additional 20 for a combination of backup and a few admin PCs. For us the most important thing during that Friday evening to Saturday morning were two elements, diagnose issues and figure out some of the things we were concerned about. First and foremost, initially we believed that — and this is also why we sent out two different messages — these were server issues. We concluded at the end once we had cycled through the three sets of servers and the FACEIT servers that they were indeed not server issues but that they were network issues. None of the networking hardware from upstairs came downstairs, entirely separate networks, never touched each other. We got additional backup hardware, we were going to use the hardware from upstairs as backup hardware for downstairs in the arena. That risk was removed.

We went through all the risk factors on our servers, I think many server admins probably know that GOTV can be somewhat of a hog in different situations, and given the fact that we even had to run multiple GOTV instances to give different delay for the different operators. For example, our betting operator needed access to the data faster than what is being sent by GOTV to some of our Twitch partners. We removed that, meaning that the betting operator — of course we lose that money, but then at least we removed that as an additional risk. They could no longer get access to data faster than other providers. We looked a lot at the demo recording into memory, which we also felt was a risk and we actually decided and determined not to do the demo recordings were we to run our local servers.

Finally, we stress tested the network with CS running on all 30 computers all connected to the server, all connected to external servers, meaning private servers at FACEIT, and in the end we decided for the tournament to run with the FACEIT servers. Of course we're grateful for FACEIT for providing us, that was always meant as the backup, but we actually decided to use that as our primary servers. And the reason also being that we had sub-10 miliseconds pings to the FACEIT servers all along. PGL, who were doing the in-game production, felt confident that that was more than sufficient for them, obviously our own network had sub-milisecond pings, it would be even better, but this was the one which we felt was certainly not going to give us any issues whatsoever on the server side.

That's basically what happened, I have to say that it wasn't until 4:45 Saturday morning that I felt confident when we had diagnosed ourselves out of every issue that we felt could happen. From about 5 AM we sat down and put together the exact plan of primary servers, secondary servers, tertiary servers, and together with Graham I sat down and did the plan for Saturday on backup solutions and how exactly we're going to operate it. On the servers on our own network we actually removed the demo recording, we informed our betting partner about the change in their ability to get data and so forth. The first players, NiP, showed up at about 9 AM on Saturday morning to start setting up while the cleaners and carpenters and so forth were still finishing the last things on the stage.

Do you feel happy with how day two went overall?

Absolutely, there was nothing from day one that happened on day two, so there were no server or networking issues whatsoever. We're fully aware that there were some small glitches in the in-game production which affected the stream, this is all related to HUD and so forth. I have to give PGL credit for the fact that they also spent time on Friday evening diagnosing server and networking issues, which they should probably have been spending on finishing the last things for the actual production on Saturday. So that is the spill-over effect, other spill-over effects were the crew that goes home later, Graham cycled his admins and his officials to sleep during the night so that we didn't have a zombie crew on Saturday.

This is our first event, big or small, ever. The only thing we've ever done before is that we have a company CS team here which plays in a company league in Denmark and once in a while they stream for fun. So literally this was our first event and we knew there were going to be things around the format, we knew there were going to be things about the production, I have to say we did not anticipate the Friday type of issues around the production, we did anticipate the Saturday type of issues around the production. We're going through everything, the team is sitting out here already now, going through everything for the next event as long as it's as fresh as possible in our minds.

So you're taking steps to prevent things like that from happening again.

Absolutely. One of the open mistakes which I will flatly admit that we made was that we did not ask for all 30 players to come to the venue and test things out beforehand. What they can expect in the future is that they have to show up, we have to simulate probably about half a map and we have to simulate about half a map on FACEIT servers also, to make certain everything is in order. You can script a lot of testing, which is always going to be a bit different when we suddenly have a different FACEIT client log in from somewhere else. I have to admit, there was one server-side issue on Saturday, which had to do with the FACEIT Anti-Cheat client. It was during the first match, that was the only thing that we saw server-side on Saturday, but that was addressed within 30 seconds.

Like you said, this was your first event, your first attempt into the Counter-Strike scene, what would you say are your biggest takeaways from the first BLAST, what are the biggest things you'll take with you into the future?

We have a lot of production side things which we want to improve. It's interesting that actually quite a lot of Riot people were in the audience and one of the comments from them, which I think was also correct, was that the brightness was too low in some portions in-game. Smaller things like that through to what cameras do we use at what points. I was personally unhappy that we didn't see the player run-ins on the big screens, they were actually on the small screens, but these are minor things which the TV production needs to work through.

On the higher level, there's stuff like: Should we be casting game B and game C from the arena? I think if you're in the arena and you're watching all three streams at once but you might be primarily looking at B, it's not really an issue that there is sound coming from the audience with regards to A. But if you're on the stream — these are some of the things I've seen on Twitter — you're listening to someone cast the B stream but the audience reaction is from the A stream. That is very out of place, so while it was very cool to have all three casting desks on the scene, I think that's a question mark whether we need to pull them back into a studio for casting.

I think we need to do a frank and honest assessment of Friday. I have to say, we did have a discussion of if we should take Friday as linear matches instead of three matches at the same time. We decided to go for the three at the same time as a general rehearsal for Saturday on the technical side. And I'm bloody happy we did, because otherwise we might not have encountered the issues, and if those had happened on Saturday, it would have been even even more detrimental than it was on Friday. We wouldn't have time to fix it, so at least we had the night between Friday and Saturday.

BLAST will return in 2018 with three to four events, Nyholm promises

These are some of the things, we're going to sit down, all the talent feedback is coming back through Anders, who's going to be sitting down with everyone later this week or early next week. I'm reading as much as possible on Twitter, I know there are some people who are very unhappy about Friday and that's built over to Saturday, but I take everything as constructive feedback, including for example the thing I mentioned before, where we cast I think is a super legitimate question. But I have to say that we're quite determined to at least on Saturday keep the three-matches-at-the-same-time type of setup, even if some fans are disappointed that they can't watch all the matches. I saw someone, I think it was lurppis, write a couple of days ago, the great thing is you get to watch the best match at any given time. And that for me as something between a core fan and a casual fan, that is a great experience. I haven't played anything serious since Half-Life, so it's a very long time ago, but on the other hand I'm not somebody who showed up just yesterday.

I'm going to sit down and watch our different partners' production, I read a lot of positive comments about DR, the national broadcaster here in Denmark. I know my parents watched it, I'm going to have dinner with them tonight and ask them about it. I spent a lot of time sitting down in the audience, just walking into empty seats and seeing fan reactions. I can read the Twitter comments later, but I can only see the fan reactions during the action and also ask them questions. Some of them were really wondering "Who's this weird guy?", we Danes are not always good at interacting with each other, "why is this guy coming and asking me questions about this?" But I only told them afterwards that we were simply collecting feedback on the event. I'm super pleased with the overall sentiment, the feedback that we've been getting from players and fans, and we know we can improve, we can always improve. We're not going to be arrogant about this, we know that we're doing things differently and that might not be to everyone's taste. We're at least trying to keep true to the game and then of course you can disagree in how we do our actual production.

Considering the risk you took, how very different BLAST was to anything else, do you feel happy with the event as a whole?

I have to say from a general product perspective, yes. For execution on Friday we get an absolute zero, we may even get a minus for dragging it out so long. Maybe that decision should have been made earlier. It's a decision that ultimately I took and after the decision was made I conferred with the coaches and IGLs of different teams and they concurred also on how to execute things on Saturday. On the product, I think we're trending the right way.

Can you share anything about what is coming up, what your plans are for 2018?

I can say as much as that we have an option on Copenhagen in November, we have an option on the arena. We're going to start a dialogue with them, we're going to start a dialogue with the different parties that were involved in the Copenhagen production, because of course we need the finances to make it work. Both the partners who were in this production, so sponsors, and the ones that decided to come and look and make certain that we could really execute on the first one. We have a meeting with DR lined up about their role in next year, I think they can play an even bigger role on some parts.

And then I can say as much as that the distribution of teams and the executive producer was sitting with two cities already at 11:30 PM, putting down the plan for 2018. We had officials from 14 cities globally visiting this event, all with the intent to work with us in 2018 or 2019, and who were really using the event to evaluate the product. At the end of the day, they knew everything that was going to happen, and then evaluate our execution of our product.

So, yes, three to four events next year.

I think one of the things we are also requesting from the cities is multi-year commitment. I have over 20 emails in my inbox this morning from people asking if we're going to be back in November and when the pre-sales are opening. We wanted to be something annually recurring, I think it's super important for the perception of esports, the continuity, the regularity. That's something that everyone is hungry for, the players, they want to know their schedules well in advance, they don't really know today, the fans do, they want to know what teams are coming. If we just look at our ticket sales, and of course we're looking at the billing address, we can't determine if people have traveled here for the event, or if they were in Copenhagen anyhow, or if they have a foreign card and live here. But we had credit cards from well over 26 nations being used at ticketmaster.

The CEO thanked the players for their understanding (Photo courtesy of RFRSH)

What was the furthest nation, out of interest?

It's Australia, but, actually, what I think I'm proudest about is knowing that people who had Thanksgiving in the U. S. traveled to Copenhagen to watch BLAST Pro. That would be the equivalent of most Europeans traveling on Christmas to watch a tournament in the U. S. or in South Africa...

If you have anything else, a final statement or a message to the fans?

I want to give an outright apology for Friday. I'm also sorry that I didn't get up on the stream or something to explain the situation more in depth, I have to say that when I got up on that chair to announce to the players that we're going to postpone until Saturday, I had about a million different options going through my head of what had actually been happening. Right there, it was first of all a decision to move it to Saturday and then we spent all of the night, so I should have probably been talking with you on Saturday morning and given you the story at that point.

But at the same time, no stone fell from my heart until the first games were live in the morning without an audience, and then finally that the games were live at 2 PM in the afternoon. Then I want to thank all the people who have been sending us constructive comments, I want to thank the players who have certainly been there for support. Getting a hug from kennyS after telling him that he wasn't going to play on Friday evening and telling me "look, it's okay, we understand, we've been through this before." And then I think I want to thank Semmler and his crew on the desk for paddling, paddling, paddling, and paddling more. If I could make a paddle with gold leaf, which is what the trophy was made out of, that would be what Semmler received last night. I think it's an absolutely amazing group of people around this, my colleagues have been sweating their asses off to make this happen and I'm grateful to them as well.

f0rest | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina Fackyyy 
2017-11-27 12:38
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
why? blast hype bro!!
2017-11-27 12:38
Belgium KevinGatesYo 
BLAST Pro Series 2018 Rio de Janeiro WalleN asked for it and they will get it done!
2017-11-27 12:43
Europe _EpiC_ 
We forgive you for all fuck ups, but please change that fucking format. 1 game at the time not 3 Bo2 at least (Bo1 sucks so much) Soundproof booths for the players! I strongly believe they can hear commentators in the arena.
2017-11-27 13:05
They vetoed the maps for the bo1 some days before the tournament, so that they had time to prepare for those maps they knew they would play and preparing for that opponent on that map. Soundproof booths is not that easy to get cause they gotta get permission from some fire guys. :)
2017-11-27 13:35
Europe _EpiC_ 
bo1 veto doesn't matter bo2 is better. You pick your map we pick ours. As for fire thing - that's interesting :)
2017-11-27 14:20
Europe _EpiC_ 
Fire in the booth , you ready? 2+2 is 4
2017-11-27 14:38
-1 thats 3!
2017-11-27 17:46
Quick mafffss
2017-11-27 17:54
How about 3 games in different areas like in tennis
2017-11-28 01:53
enjoy rape and stolen people from brasil favelas
2017-11-27 13:11
rape is only in EU bro, we kill rapists with our own fists here in Brazil(not something i'm proud of, but true), now getting stolen and killed after that( we even have a name for that because happens so often LOL) is more possible.
2017-11-27 14:45
Germany Tunio 
Behaving like animals
2017-11-28 07:58
Fallen aka Mr. get it done
2017-11-27 18:06
Blast hype!!
2017-11-27 14:02
Algeria mohamed27 
realy nigga
2017-11-27 12:39
2017-11-27 12:53
Algeria mohamed27 
pls noooooo
2017-11-27 12:58
Ok, I let you run free this time. Fly little bird fly!
2017-11-27 12:58
Algeria mohamed27 
thanks u are a gantleman
2017-11-27 12:59
But i did report u lul
2017-11-27 13:49
so did I ahahahahhaah
2017-11-29 08:38
2017-11-30 09:39
Xizt | 
Czech Republic davskal 
You're right, the format was bad, the streams were bad, the delays were bad, the only exciting thing the 1v1 faceoff was very anti-hype, the only duel that was fun was cz. Fix it or don't bother doing more tournaments please RFRSH.
2017-11-27 12:41
Denmark MeToxi 
What the fuck are u talking 'bout? This format is Gr8 for live viewing experience, the delays were minor compared to other events (talking 'bout Saturdays program). I watched it live an can't comment on the streams. And in my opinion the cz 1v1 was the least exciting. The only thing i'll question is why hltv were talking about headsets for people in the arena when they announced Blast Pro Series.
2017-11-27 13:10
Xizt | 
Czech Republic davskal 
There was one round difference between making the finals and exiting in the groups. That is not a good format. Make it longer, give it a proper playoff stage, maybe double-elim and the event could be good. Like this it can be considered on the same level as cs_summit, just a meme tournament.
2017-11-27 13:15
Denmark MeToxi 
I did say LIVE viewing experience, didn't i? Im really glad that i didn't have to worry about hotel and just had to get a train ticket to go home after the event. I dont have any other tournaments to compared with yet but i'll be at ESL Pro League but in my mind, this was a gr8 one to attend.
2017-11-27 13:25
+1 the format was bad, most people watched online wfc about ur live viewing experience lol
2017-11-27 13:34
Denmark MeToxi 
My live experience matters since i believe that their focus was the live experience. They ofc wants to make the online experience good aswell which is why they amongst other things are considering to only have 1 casting team on stage with the other ones in a studio elsewhere.
2017-11-27 13:42
Denmark resolut 
2017-11-27 15:03
and how is the live experience any different? 3 matches at once still sucks, you basically watch none, instead of watching one and focusing on it and enjoying it properly
2017-11-27 16:43
Denmark MeToxi 
I think it worked great. I chose one team (astralis) to follow and then i just watch all of their matches
2017-11-27 16:53
Denmark fm100 
Obv these idiots did not enjoy the cool design and overlay. They did not enjoy the amazing crowd or the super cool 1v1 tournament on Blast Pro colored map. AND they did not like the insane grand final Except from Friday this tournament was the best ever
2017-11-27 18:40
Germany h1treX 
2017-11-27 23:20
Denmark MeToxi 
Couldn't have said it better myself.
2017-11-27 23:47
i wonder how much BLAST CEO paid for this article on hltv
2017-11-27 15:32
Aleksib | 
Denmark megz 
It's not about paying anyone, it's about giving the media the access they need. Honestly, this is just one more showing of what they did right.
2017-11-28 07:35
cajunb | 
CIS spk13 
2017-11-27 12:38
Japan kitzune 
2017-11-27 12:38
United States fanofheroin 
2017-11-27 12:38
Russia cardinaL_ 
2017-11-27 12:38
2017-11-27 12:38
Syria Asiimov 
2017-11-27 12:39
such a good event, but really shit servers
2017-11-27 12:39
Sf | 
Turkmenistan Autista 
Can’t wait for the fifa cards and night vision streams -nobody
2017-11-27 12:39
Not bad
2017-11-27 12:39
Xizt | 
Czech Republic davskal 
Don't pay casters and players to say nice stuff about your event atleast, it was very awkward.
2017-11-27 12:39
Aleksib | 
Denmark megz 
2017-11-28 07:36
United States AjAjCaptain 
Good luck at the future!
2017-11-27 12:40
0 events please, BLAST FUCKING SUCKS
2017-11-27 12:40
liTTle | 
CIS Dowa) 
no thanks
2017-11-27 12:42
oh no
2017-11-27 12:42
With the delay they had on last event, most of them will be postponed till 2019...
2017-11-27 12:43
2017-11-27 12:50
2017-11-29 20:37
SpawN | 
Bulgaria Sickzz_ 
That's good hope they fix the servers and they can compete for majorm
2017-11-27 12:44
Please not
2017-11-27 12:44
FalleN | 
Brazil tails36 
lol problems with VLAN, he should have two switches ready then, I never trust VLANS whatsoever
2017-11-27 12:46
Sweden Kasidro 
May i ask why?
2017-11-27 14:06
a vlan is a virtual lan, it creates a broadcast domain, like it's two separate networks. We use VLANs to "simulate" two networks in the same switch, were usually you would need a switch for each network because different networks cant communicate with each other (without routing). But for some reasons VLANs are glitchy so if you gonna use them it's better to have a switch for each VLAN you make. Then you just treat each network like a different network. Also, VLANs need things like access lists to work properly so it was a nice ideia to use them but you need and very good Network manager to use them. And after all they raise the complexity on the packets so for a application like counter strike it's better have one network for the players and one for the admins. I study computer networks at cisco network academy btw
2017-11-27 15:11
Sweden Kasidro 
Ok, we use it at work so just wondered what you saw as the big problem. Very nice response btw :)
2017-11-27 15:58
Never trust a VLAN? - VLANs are probably the most used thing in the network world, you should probably find a new "Cisco Network Academy" if you think so. :-) I have never heard or seen a 'Glitchy' VLAN - and i work as a Network Specalist..
2017-11-27 19:28
VLANs are good for people who know how to use them properly. This event clearly wasn't the case. I said "VLANs are glitchy" but I really meant "VLANs aren't easy to implement" because I often see my colleagues mess up simple packet tracer networks because of things like forgetting to set access and trunk interfaces (in both ends) or giving the same subnet IP addresses for PCs in different VLANs. So yeah, I mean, the event was using two VLANs so they could easily remake it as two different networks. Looks like they weren't ready for that.
2017-11-27 19:36
I surely hope that RFRSH have a Network technician that knows how to create and administer VLANs.. :-)
2017-11-27 20:11
First off, if you study Cisco and plan to work with networking, start trusting VLAN's. It is used in 99% of the corporate networks out there. The amount of technical information in this story is very limited but no way the VLAN separation is the cause of this. If you separated it in two physical networks you would have the exact same issues and "challenges" limiting the traffic between the subnets. To me it sound more like bad configuration on either an etherchannel, the servers or something else that created a broadcast storm on the gamer VLAN. Again the information is very limited so it is impossible to be sure...
2017-11-28 08:50
Turkey nonstopg0_0 
Delay pro series
2017-11-27 12:48
United Kingdom swellis 
Please no bad event
2017-11-27 12:51
more blast pro! it was amazing!
2017-11-27 12:52
Denmark MeToxi 
2017-11-27 13:28
Was the online experience very bad? I was at the event, at its was an overall fantastic experience.
2017-11-27 12:56
Georgia Fatal Fighter 
It was quite the opposite what you had experienced there, like for real.
2017-11-27 12:57
Use your words mate. What was the problems?
2017-11-27 12:57
I won't get into day1 but day2 there was also delays plus 1 English stream but 3 matches going at once so basically forced to watch the English match unless you wanted to watch the others in brasil or German. This was before the official stream was fixed.
2017-11-27 13:04
Georgia Fatal Fighter 
Well, for example I came home a bit early specially to watch some sick games. After 1 hour delay it was ok, I still was hyped for some matches to watch. After 3 hours I almost lost my patience, but still was willing to watch it. But after 4 hours when they announced that games would be played offstream... On the second day Stream C appeared Long story short online experience was pretty awful for me at least.
2017-11-27 13:07
that's just unfortunate? if the network isnt working aint much too do? shit happens, what about day 2 not gonna comment on that?
2017-11-27 15:04
Already commented with "Stream C". But let me guess, that's just unfortunate as well, right? Offline experience was awesome indeed, but do not even try to make excuses about online part.
2017-11-27 15:08
Stream C wow what a comment lol, sounds like pure hate too me, unfortunate like i said... the error was not man made...
2017-11-27 19:32
what the actual fak :D Pure hate :D But hey , you are right! Online part was excellent, with minor issues! That's how it was, huh ? Sure im hating even tho I mentioned that offline part was awesome. Purest hate indeed towards org and country.
2017-11-27 19:54
there where some issues with the streams where one stream showed only a broken video and on other streams the HUD sometimes glitched and covered major parts of the video besides this, it was a great event as a online viewer imao, I enjoyed it a lot edit: so besides the technical problems it was great for me
2017-11-27 12:59
United Kingdom hArdLad 
It was the HUD glitch which was annoying to watch, green lines across the screen which made it unwatchable and some matches were played in very high contrast and low brightness. I couldn't see a thing. I was hovering around hltv link streams if they had fixed it but they didn't (from the time I was online) so I didn't bother watching it.
2017-11-27 13:02
Aleksib | 
Denmark megz 
It looked awesome on DR3 aswell :)
2017-11-27 13:31
I liked the 3 matches at the same time format and the aim duels were fun to watch, but not what I would call the most competitive way to settle it In an era saturated with events I'm a bit apprehensive about their decision to host like 4 a year, but they are just two days and 6 teams so maybe it won't be a big deal. I still don't know that a lot of top teams will take well to a packed event schedule. I think if they sort out some of the logistical things like the casting locations and 3 stream problems, the production for this event could be really good. I wasn't a fan of the player cards, but it would be wrong if they did this new format event and didn't try something new
2017-11-27 16:08
It was more than disappointing. No words needed for friday, where many many of us took a day off so we can follow the matches. Hell i even had to cancel a date (blame me for being a hardocre fan prioratizing cs over a cute girl...). After 3hours waiting were said that its postponed without a single explanation except "tech issues". Even tho highly frustrated, start of the next day didn't help either with stream problems, poor quality, audio being unsynced, high echo from arena casting sound which was louder than a crowd, horrible brightness and contrast. Other huge blow was a HUD, with color combinations made by some amateurs (being a graphic designer and a artist myself). You had no idea about who has a low hpbor who is dead. C stream was totaly dead visualy and ive missed 1st faze game. Everything was fixed at the closing matches of group stage at least... In my opinion inexperience is not an excuse for incompetence. Check list must be done prior to the event, period. No excuses on their side, but i blame PGL for this fiasco as well, since they are degrading massively in terms of a production quality lately. Overall a massive disappointment, and cheery on the cake was obviously forced copy-paste player tweets where they praised orgs(while the same persons would light the Twitter up if they had even a minor issue usually). This itself needs some serious digging.
2017-11-27 16:50
Aleksib | 
Denmark megz 
Your first 3 points are valid as far as user experience, even tho i think you are being very judgemental about it. But okay, the critic is okay when its due, and it certainly was in this case, even if explained by Nikolaj. But seriously dude go subscribe to some conspiracy site if you honestly think players are just telling the audiences what they are being told/paid to.
2017-11-28 07:50
"We removed that, meaning that the betting operator — of course we lose that money, but then at least we removed that as an additional risk. " That the betting operator what? What does the "---" stand for?
2017-11-27 12:56
United Kingdom hArdLad 
Edit: The betting company
2017-11-27 13:04
"—" virtualizes just a pause in this case
2017-11-27 13:36
ok thanks, I thought there was a missing part
2017-11-27 13:37
2017-12-01 10:52
2017-12-01 10:52
Please no mas.
2017-11-27 12:59
Moldova OptimusBlyad 
Hoping for good events in future,gl.
2017-11-27 13:00
Belarus sre7hem 
plz no
2017-11-27 13:01
pls no
2017-11-27 13:05
Ok, You can come to Rio, São Paulo ir even Curitiba. Jeunesse Arena with this structure could be really great :)
2017-11-27 13:09
Noo fuck blast
2017-11-27 13:10
2017-11-27 13:14
-terrible production -terrible HUD (normal > everything) -some terrible "talent" -terrible format (if you do round robin then at least like IOS Pantamera 2015) -cringy social media (talent cards) Please not again.
2017-11-27 13:16
Denmark AtomAlf 
You must be a blast(get it?) at a party......
2017-11-27 15:52
blast was terrible, really hard to watch... not only because of technical issues but everything was just anty-viewers, it was terrible lets be honest, i still got those noices in my head and echo, it actually wash brains completely
2017-11-27 13:18
event is OK just change the Format pls.
2017-11-27 13:19
It is true. One of our clients got a contract for that. 2 events are lowkey like $100k, 1 is an experimental one(not decided, but maybe like 1v1 with individual players) and 1 is main $250K with new format.
2017-11-27 13:22
wippie | 
United Kingdom suge 
Poor event, but clear potential there and some good matches. Sure they'll come to be a very good event organiser
2017-11-27 13:28
Why was it a poor event?
2017-11-27 13:38
wippie | 
United Kingdom suge 
Delays, personally also hated the HUD and the constant attempts by casters to validate it (UGH ASTRALIS are ON FIRE, they've won FIVE in a row). 6 teams not enough for an event, poor format, 1v1 games were aids
2017-11-27 13:39
did you not watch
2017-12-01 21:25
plz no trash
2017-11-27 13:28
Just what we needed, even MORE fucking events..geez, fking cunts every1 wants to make a buck off of dumb gamers..They dont even realize they are killing the game with all these fking events every fking day theres a lan..Kills the game, and must be killing the teams aswell.
2017-11-27 13:29
Denmark MeToxi 
So u dont think that us danes deserve our own event organizer even though Denmark has one of the biggest cs scenes?
2017-11-27 13:34
Where did i say so? U totally missed the point of my post.
2017-11-27 13:35
Denmark MeToxi 
U think that there is to many big events and that there is no time for the teams to rest? I was just relating your comment to the actual article.
2017-11-27 13:38
Yes, i think theres WAY too many events thesedays! Tbh its less about the time to rest, more about the abundance of events! I haven't touched the game itself in a long time, and haven't watched a lan in even longer period..Theres just too many lans, and it kills the game. Dont try n twist this to some weird hate towartds your countrys scene or what ever, thats not the point.
2017-11-27 13:44
Denmark resolut 
well the thing is nowadays the scene is getting bigger. what did you mean when you said too many lans kill the games? could you elaborate
2017-11-27 15:09
If u cant figure out why, your rly not smart enough for me to waste my time on
2017-11-27 15:54
Denmark resolut 
you cant even support your argument with a simple elaboration? lol
2017-11-27 16:00
yeah i cant, what a dumbass am i :)
2017-11-27 16:29
s1mple | 
Turkey solfex 
+1 I wish there was less , better and bigger events without delays and so many tech issues
2017-11-27 14:43
Brazil Charizaldo 
2017-11-27 13:36
2017-11-27 13:44
no. i hope this was the last event for blast
2017-11-27 13:51
Laz | 
Denmark Verix 
Good read, I personally think day two was great.
2017-11-27 13:56
Moar events please. Always good to have something to look forward to
2017-11-27 14:05
Europe Mrfloppy 
Bullshit Event please dont come again ! Thx
2017-11-27 14:24
Estonia mr_abdul 
fuck them haters, u seem like a good guy and u have my support, dab on them haters
2017-11-27 14:29
Australia JingleBells 
Oh GOD. More delays LUL
2017-11-27 14:42
Brazil hunte[R] 
very nice event and format, please repeat
2017-11-27 14:53
Norway RainTop1HLTV 
2017-11-27 15:02
professional wall of text from a business man on hltv Kreygasm also TL:DR.
2017-11-27 15:14
I forgive you What was produced properly was great I'd think about the standoff being played not as an aim map, but it was still fun to watch so I don't really care
2017-11-27 15:21
Vietnam Oida 
wow. maybe hltv should do some actually journalism and not this golden shower interview after an absolutely catastrophic event
2017-11-27 15:28
Japan jia 
just fix the fucking hud and invite blackddk
2017-11-27 15:32
i wonder how much BLAST CEO paid for this article on hltv
2017-11-27 15:32
Zajda | 
Europe Zajda 
2017-11-27 15:39
he is an asshole who controls everything and wants to have tournament monopoly
2017-11-27 17:07
Zajda | 
Europe Zajda 
ah, tyty
2017-11-27 19:27
FUCK RFRSH if you dont agree watch lewis richard fuck this corrupt ceo fuck
2017-11-27 16:42
After a huge fiasco, I can forgive you all, but one thing i cant pass unnoticed. What is your statement about player tweets the first night when everything crashed? Every single one of them was a COPY-PASYE "feel sorry for, we're treated like gods-perfect tournament" statement when 10/10 timea the same players would brag about the slightest of issue in other tournaments. There is no bloody chance that it's a coincidence. They we're obviously bribed or obligated by a contract. If there is a single person with a integrity from a community left, who is not prone to bribing, please investigate this, because it's a huge blow to esports, and should not be tolerated. Btw, Epicenters first try was a bloody event of the decade in Counter Strike scene, setting up highest standards for future tournaments, so that excuse is not valid.
2017-11-27 16:58
Never realised the players actually enjoying themselves and got treated well at the event? A lot of behind the scenes wasn't shown so how would you know. There were a lot of potential and when the players realise they obviously thinks it's a shame for the organisers.
2017-11-27 20:05
who's dick exactly are you sucking?
2017-12-01 23:20
You're the mature one I see
2017-12-02 03:55
Sounds like a threat.
2017-11-27 17:04
Norway Noreg 
pls no
2017-11-27 17:04
no, worst event i've watched
2017-11-27 17:07
Europe keNLey94 
Nice Blast finally good to see you are back in denmark best danish event ever!!!
2017-11-27 17:46
Brazil lNowayl 
Good CEo, ESl dont give a shit for fans, nice work, everything is fine in saurday
2017-11-27 17:48
fox | 
Portugal kikoolie 
ez delay
2017-11-27 17:55
1 day delya again? no ty
2017-11-27 18:16
Don`t bother!
2017-11-27 18:39
2017-11-27 21:58
hah people dont have other things to do and just eating shit about others on this site. good production and event blast; keep it up
2017-11-27 22:47
Brazil hugoooo 
You kids are disgusting. They had a huge structure, an incredible arena, but for sure lots of problems on the first day. The teams loved the event. The CEO come and say their plan is to have 3-4 events next year and what you kids do? Flame him and say his event was shit, like if everything need to be perfect, no one has the right to make mistakes. You kids suck. Our community need more and more big events like BLAST, they had difficulties on the first day, yes, the format of bo1's was a bad decision, yes, multiple matches at the same time was a bad decision, yes, but it was just their first try, show them some love, they know what they did wrong, they don't need a horde of 15 years old retards to flame them to know that. I really hate what the CS community has turned into.
2017-11-27 23:49
what a clueless shit you are
2017-11-28 08:56
trace | 
Denmark esAq 
2017-11-28 11:05
Denmark Xipingu 
They have a LOT of issues they need fixed, and a new format to embrace - but yeah it was for sure better than some of the tournament we see run by so called "industry professionals" (I'm looking at you, fucking ESL).
2017-11-28 20:46
N O NO N O no No......... BUT NT :)
2017-11-28 02:53
Well gl then inthe future. Lets hope for those 3-4 events to actually happen in 2018
2017-11-28 06:03
Australia Tekker07 
Y u no Australia
2017-11-28 07:21
trace | 
Denmark esAq 
Nice read. It was a extremely nice day in Royal Arena, and It will be even better next time I'm sure.
2017-11-28 11:06
Europe funkydora 
Proper Format No stupid hud actually test things before the event starts 1 game at a time not 3 bo3 as much as possible =good event
2017-11-28 17:00
Denmark Xipingu 
You better use a better fucking format then, because that sucked. Not because I didn't enjoy the 1v1 cross-battle between North and FaZe, but the Bo1 to a grand final is bullshit. Too random. And I say that as an Astralis fan.
2017-11-28 20:44
United States K0STYAMBA 
Hope they will set up servers and streaming machines
2017-11-29 04:56
its all about money
2017-11-29 12:04
please no
2017-11-29 15:10
skripted questions and ,damn, look at those answers. too lazy to read 1k words of excuse.
2017-11-29 18:08
TL:DR. He basically says he wants to make up for his mistake. Only problem is there is no recovering from that mistake. People still haven't given up talking about Gamer's Paradise. This blast meme will persist until humanity dies.
2017-11-30 13:39
I was mad as hell on day 1, even thinking they deserve me some cash for losing so much time waiting Lol By day 2 I've changed my mind though, the new format is a very ok try in the mid of a monotonous scene. I mean, look at all the possibilities we have in this game that other producers didn't even seems to give it a try. Above all mistakes on day 1, I think Blast should be less criticized considering all the talking about how much more CsGo scene could last before is dead
2017-11-30 20:00
Finland Alko^ 
shit event who cares we only watch esl, iem, dh, el
2017-12-01 07:12
Poland spYr1X 
2017-12-01 19:48
Poland spYr1X 
CEO Nikolaj be careful, SPODERMAN behind you
2017-12-01 19:48
maybe get someone who understands how servers work
2017-12-03 09:00
-terrible production -terrible HUD (normal > everything) -some terrible "talent" -terrible format (if you do round robin then at least like IOS Pantamera 2015) -cringy social media (talent cards) Please not again.
2017-12-03 21:15
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