WHO is in Abu Dhabi?

Harry Richards
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Yep, you read that right: OG are, according to BLAST, one of the eight best teams of 2022.

BLAST have been fairly transparent about the benefits they need to offer their partner teams like OG, but this case takes it too far. It’s like inviting Qatar to a World Cup!

HLTV’s Striker has written a very good piece on just why OG’s presence in Abu Dhabi speaks to a more pressing problem at BLAST, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss.

  • 83% of OG’s 6300 ‘BLAST points’ came from the group stages of BLAST Spring (which wasn’t even a LAN!) and BLAST Fall.
  • 15,300 points are on offer at BLAST’s groups and showdowns, compared to 6000 for the Majors (excluding the winners, who gets a direct invite to Abu Dhabi) and 8000 for Katowice and Cologne combined.
  • The 12 BLAST partners are guaranteed to share a minimum of 40,400 of the 101,000 points on offer over a year.

As Striker points out, it’s not even like it just favours partners. Sure, non-partners like ENCE and Cloud9 deserve it more than OG, but it’s obvious why they’d rather have a BLAST partner in Abu Dhabi.

It’s the fact that even partners like NIP get screwed over just because their main achievements came outside the BLAST circuit.

If this is the cost we have to pay to avoid an ESL monopoly, there’s an argument that it’s worth paying. BLAST’s production is second to none, and the Paris Major is shaping up to be everything ESL promised us Rio would be.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating when we’re this close to greatness.

Holding the event at 7 AM EU time in Abu Dhabi — when there’s gonna be empty seats there anyway — is already going to make it struggle in a fistfight against Katowice and Cologne. This system only makes it harder.

There’s no such thing, of course, as a perfect method. But we’re pretty sure the brains behind an IRL smoke grenade mid-showmatch can come up with something better than this.

December 12, 2022

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