BLAST add second RMR open qualifier for Americas & Europe; shift Americas qualifier dates
The tournament organizer made changes after they were met with criticism for the previous qualifying structure.
BLAST has announced that there will be an additional open qualifier held in each of North America, South America, and Europe for the BLAST.tv Paris Major Regional Major Ranking closed qualifiers. Additionally, the schedule for some events has been adjusted, with the Americas qualifiers being moved up by a week, and the closed qualifiers in all three regions being shortened by a day.
Previously, each region had just one open qualifier awarding all of the closed qualifier spots, leaving teams with absolutely no window for error and just one chance to make the Major through a brutal single-elimination, best-of-one bracket.
BLAST came under fire for the single open qualifier structure as teams pointed towards a number of factors that could jeopardize their qualifying efforts, including the possibility of sickness, having a single off-day in form, and running into cheaters.
The change means that two open qualifiers will now play out over three days. Teams who advance to the closed qualifier will play for seeding on day two, allowing those eliminated from the first open qualifier to take part in the second without an overlap. The open qualifiers in Europe are now scheduled for February 13-14 and 14-15, respectively.
North America and South America have also received additional open qualifiers, and have had the dates for all qualifiers shifted forward by one week — likely in response to scheduling clashes with ESL Pro League Season 17. The new dates are February 14-15 and 15-16 for the open qualifiers, and February 17-19 for the closed qualifier.
The new dates and schedule can be found below:
- Open qualifier #1: February 13-14
- Open qualifier #2: February 14-15
- Closed qualifier A: February 16-19
- Closed qualifier B: February 16-19
- RMR: April 3-12 (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- South America open qualifier #1: February 14-15
- South America open qualifier #2: February 15-16
- South America closed qualifier: February 17-19
- North America open qualifier #1: February 14-15
- North America open qualifier #2: February 15-16
- North America closed qualifier: February 17-19
- RMR: April 3-12 (Monterrey, Mexico)