With the second instalment of RFRSH's unique event concept BLAST Pro Series set to begin on Friday, we've collected all the information you'll need to enjoy the Turkish tournament.
Blast Pro Series Istanbul will take place from September 28-29 in the 15,000-seater Ülker Sports Arena and offers a $250,000 prize pool.
The Blast Pro Series concept is constructed to compress tournament action into just one day of arena play, and as such, the format sees the six directly invited teams play each other in a round-robin format with three best-of-one matches running simultaneously. The group stage will run on both tournament days, with nine total matches being played in the arena on Saturday. The the top two teams will then face off in a best-of-three grand final in the early evening.
Before the grand final, the organizers have come up with a concept called 'BLAST Pro Standoff', a bonus match featuring a $20,000 prize, where the team placing 3rd in the group stage picks another remaining side to play in a match featuring five 1v1 aim duels.
The organizers behind BLAST Pro Series, RFRSH Entertainment, who also own the world's No.1-ranked team Astralis, have invited the recent Major champions as well as five other squads to the event, forming the full team list:
As part of the BLAST Pro concept, the teams have already completed the map vetoes for the group stage best-of-ones matches, a feature that has been both praised and criticised by players and viewers alike.
The full schedule for the event - with three matches being played at the same time in the group stage - can be found below:
17:00 - BLAST Pro Series Stand-off | five 1v1 aim duels
18:00 - Grand final | BO3
To guide viewers through the busy, compact action in Istanbul, RFRSH have brought in some well-known faces and voices from the talent scene as well as French pro player Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey. The full list of analysts, casters and interviewers can be found here:
Adam Savage - Stage Host
Paul "ReDeYe" Chaloner - Desk Host
Tomi "lurppis" Kovanen - Analyst
Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey - Analyst
Christine "potter" Chi - Analyst
Anders Blume - Commentator
Jason "moses" O'Toole - Commentator
Daniel "ddk" Kapadia - Commentator
James Bardolph - Commentator
Conner "Scrawny" Girvan - Commentator
Mohan "launders" Govindasamy - Commentator
Finally, here is how the $250,000 prize pool will be distributed among the competing squads:
BLAST Pro Stand-off winner: $20,000