BLAST restructures prize pools amid coronavirus pandemic
Prize pools for upcoming events will be lowered, but the overall payout will remain the same as the tournament organizer looks to provide stability in the ecosystem.
BLAST announced changes to its financial structure which will see them pay out more money to organizations — in the form of participation fees —, balancing that out by lowering tournament prize pools.
The tournament organizer confirmed that the total sum paid out will remain the same, but that the amendments made will "provide a more sustainable model for the broader industry" amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO of BLAST partner team OG, JMR Luna, described the change as investing in the ecosystem which enables organization to develop infrastructure around the players, adding that "this change is crucial for the long term sustainability".
Robbie Douek, BLAST CEO, added that they "partner alongside the most progressive brands in esports, many of whom have also felt the impact of COVID-19", with this realignment helping not only them, but the broader ecosystem.
BLAST's next CS:GO season kicks off with the BLAST Premier Fall group stage in October, followed by the Showdown and Fall Final. The competition will be played separately in Europe and North America, with partner teams such as Vitality, OG, and Astralis confirmed for the group stage.
The partner teams, 12 in total, are the ones that will benefit from the changes initially through the participation fee increase, but BLAST announced that from the 2021 season onwards, non-partner teams will also be receiving a participation fee for each tournament.
With the newly announced prize pools, $150,000 for the 2020 Fall group stage and Showdown, and $425,000 for the Fall Final, the prize pool for the upcoming season has been lowered by $650,000, a 47% cut from the $1,375,000 per season initially announced in December of last year. The prize pool of the yearly Global Final event has also been cut by a third, from $1,500,000 to $1,000,000.
The prize money allocated to each event in BLAST Premier 2020 and 2021 is available below:
Fall Series 2020: $150,000
Fall Showdown 2020: $150,000
Fall Final 2020: $425,000
Global Final 2020: $1,000,000
Spring Series 2021: $150,000
Spring Showdown 2021: $162,500
Spring Final 2021: $425,000
Fall Series 2021: $150,000
Fall Showdown 2021: $162,500
Fall Final 2021: $425,000
Global Final 2021: $1,000,000