Blast Pro conflict of interest

The Blast Pro Series is a wonderful event, where some of the best talent from European CSGO and beyond come together in a celebration of the game we all love. This weekend, the best team in the world met the former world number ones in a best-of three final that showcased everything good about the game, from individual brilliance to team play of the highest level.


The Blast Pro Series is a stain on esports, and the participation of Astralis in the same event shows that org are in no way interested in the growth of esports, outside of the way it fattens their own wallets. The competition makes a mockery of real tournaments, and also takes top teams away from events such as ESL One New York, run by legitimate organisers looking to advance esports, and not just their own cause.

Due to the unique nature of the world we live in, both of the above statements are true, or at least for the most part. Where you stand in terms of the weight and importance of one versus the other will depend on many factors, including your investment in the scene, level of interest in the economics and a few other factors, but if you care about conflict of interests then the Blast Pro Series is a real problem for CSGO, and a growing one.

The ownership issue with RFRSH has been around for a while, with the group having held the rights to three teams at one point, as well as numerous other properties. The Blast Pro series is their latest endeavour, and has many big names attached from within CSGO, including Anders Blume, the legendary Danish commentator and Astralis fan.

Not about where, but who

It’s worth saying here that we aren’t in any way discussing the choice to have an event in Istanbul, despite the problems with the government in Turkey, as esports is not big enough to be picky about location on a regular basis. However, the key point to competing with sport is that this has to be fair, elite-level competition, with the best of the best fighting in fair conditions.

For those wondering, there are a number of ways RFRSH could help Astralis without fixing results. Schedule times, favourable draws, and making sure they get prime stream visibility to increase the value of the firm are all viable ways to favour a team without risking a Valve ban, and would materially benefit Astralis at the cost of other companies.

Again, as we come to the end of this article, it is worth reaffirming that there is no suggestion that Blast or RFRSH have engaged in any nefarious activity, but that doesn’t matter. This is about optics, and making the world understand esports is real competition between elite level competitors, not some cowboy operation where one man owns all the moving parts.

It might seem small, but it’s actually a giant step forward the scene needs to take, and it should be mentioned that Astralis are not free of blame. As long as the world number ones are involved in this cluster of bucks, CSGO can’t claim to be committed to fair competition, and with the new money flooding in on a daily basis it’s not as though there isn’t enough to go around anymore either. Honestly, it’s just greed, and it needs to stop.

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