Blast Pro Series: A breath of fresh air

Blast Pro Series is back with an event from Sao Paulo, and the comment we have made many times is that it should be longer. Obvious "it’s his wife I feel sorry for" jokes aside, that is a legitimate position, based on a desire to see the RFRSH/Blast team expand their format into a ‘real’ event, but there is another point of view, that maybe this could be a new way to think about esports, and consume it too.

For a long, long time we’ve been conditioned to think that the best way esports can evolve is toward the end goal of proper, fair, elite competition, and that has to be the main aim for the likes of ESL, Valve and other big companies invested in the long-term.

Catch the action: Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo schedule and live streams

However, there is equally a desire for more easily consumed, American style entertainment, with some influential names including Immortals CEO Noah Whinston and pundit Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields both weighing in on the side of razzle over real results.

Give us fireworks!

This is an odd position for a man who styles himself as an historian, but the UFC is an alluring beast to men of a certain persuasion, and it is tempting to imagine esports going the same way. On the other hand, watching the likes of NAF or Gla1ve attempt UFC-style build up could be cringeworthy if earlier attempts to make gaming ‘cool’ are anything to go by.

No, what makes Blast Pro Series great is that even though it is different it is still esports, and still very much a product of what makes esports great. We have the likes of Anders Blume as our Joe Rogan, and are infinitely more fortunate as a result, as he is a person who has risen to the top of his chosen field based on his quality and intelligence. Watching him sit and talk with top pros and other talent is a gift, and the conversations are unique to esports.

Competitive integrity

It would also be great to see the company branch out into more competitive events with fewer best-of-one matches, but then again if they were that would raise some serious questions about their ability to run an event fairly. The company behind Blast are closely connected to the Astralis brand that has dominated CSGO for the last year or more, and any Major run by them would have massive questions about the integrity of the result, even if no collusion could be proved.

On the other hand, if they stay as they are now then we still get to enjoy the ESL and ELEAGUE events, with the added bonus of the variety that Blast provide with their weekend parties. Even with FACEIT’s failure to run the London Major properly, it’s clear they see themselves as a tier one TO eventually, meaning that we will have a large number of companies at that end of the spectrum, hopefully enough to go around.

It seems like Blast could exist alongside that, and fulfil many roles in doing so, from convincing those new to the scene that it can be fun to selling the concept of esports to large investors. An evolution or spinoff down the line might be interesting, but with all the entanglements around RFRSH and Astralis that could be wishful thinking, and taking for granted what we already have with Blast, which is different, and right to be so.

CSGO podcast: Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo preview

Episode 21 of The Luckbox Podcast is all about Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo, with Sujoy Roy and Paul "Redeye Chaloner" looking ahead to some top-quality Counter-Strike action in Brazil.

Who's in Brazil?

There are eight teams at Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo

  • FaZe Clan
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • MIBR
  • ENCE
  • Astralis
  • Team Liquid

Image credit: Blast