Blast Premier will be returning for the tournament series’ third instalment this year and organisers say it will see ‘318 hours of world class Counter-Strike’ played across seven events in 2022.
The tournament series will be the first and last major CSGO event for fans to sink their teeth into this year, where no team will be required to play more than one best-of-three match in a day.
The Blast Premier 2022 tournament circuit has a combined prize money of $2,475,000.
“Taking place from January to December, Blast Premier will unite all major tournaments, offer opportunities to the underdogs of the scene and be open to a wide variety of regions – while looking to crown the champions of Counter-Strike, with all roads leading to the World Final at the end of the year,” Blast said in a press release.
The format and structure remains largely the same with the biggest changes affecting the Groups and Showdowns. The Showdowns will be split into two regions (Europe and North America/Rest of the World) and be played online – giving more teams and territories a chance to compete in Blast Premier events than in previous years.
Blast Premier’s Qualifier Series will also return in 2022, giving teams from all over the world a chance to compete for a spot in the regional Showdown events.
The Groups will see some format changes. Teams will initially play in three groups of four, in a best-of-one Double Elimination group stage to set their place in a group stage gauntlet. The winners of the gauntlet will qualify for finals, while second and third place in the gauntlet will battle it out in a last-chance match to decide the remaining three teams who will progress to the Finals.
The Spring Groups will take place online and the Fall Groups will be hosted in a LAN studio setting, while the Showdowns will take place online and all three Finals will be held in an arena with an audience with locations to be confirmed in the future.
The ‘Race to the World Final Leaderboard’ will return as the qualifying mechanism for the World Final and a points scoring system for competing Counter-Strike teams in leading tournaments around the globe.
Teams with the best six scores from each tournament earn points by winning matches and progressing as far as possible in these selected events.
At least two teams will qualify for the World Final via the leaderboard due to their performances across the calendar year, while the remaining six places will be made up of winners from: Spring and Fall Final, ESL Season 15 and 16, IEM Cologne and the Major.
Andrew Haworth, Commissioner for Blast Premier, said: “The last two years of Blast Premier has provided fans with countless brilliant storylines, an exceptional standard of Counter-Strike and industry-leading production – we’re delighted to be back for a third year with some new adjustments to keep raising the bar higher.
“With our expanded qualifier series and split regional Spring and Fall Showdowns we’ll be able to offer more teams than ever before an opportunity to compete in Blast Premier events and the chance to feature in one of our three arena events – the Blast Premier Fall and Spring Finals and World Final. We’ve also listened to teams on scheduling and limited their gameplay to only one best-of-three per day.”
Blast Premier member teams are Astralis, NiP, G2 Esports, OG, Team Vitality, Navi, FaZe Clan, Big Clan, Complexity, MiBR, Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid.
The Blast Premier 2022 schedule and prize pools are as follows:
- Spring Groups: January 28-February 6 ($177,500 prize pool)
- Spring Showdown: April 20-24 ($135,000 prize pool)
- Spring Final: June 14-19 ($425,000 prize pool)
- Fall Groups: August 19-28 ($177,500 prize pool)
- Fall Showdown: October 19-23 ($135,000 prize pool)
- Fall Final: November 22-27 ($425,000 prize pool)
- World Final: December 14-18 ($1,000,000 prize pool)
Last month, the Blast Premier CSGO World Final was held without a live audience.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.