Sadokist and Sir Scoots row over Blast Pro Series

The row over Blast Pro Series and their impact on the professional CSGO scene continued over the weekend, with popular caster Matthew ‘Sadokist’ Trivett becoming embroiled in a Twitter spat, linked below, with Counter-Strike Professional Players Association (CSPPA) representative Scott ‘SirScoots’ Smith. What makes the online encounter all the more remarkable, aside from the vehemence, is the fact it took place while Trivett was casting the Grand Finals of DreamHack Dallas, which Team Liquid won over ENCE.

The court of public opinion has long held Smith in high regard for his forthright views and apparent Midas touch within the CSGO scene, but his role as representative of the CSPPA has put him in an awkward position, this time as ‘defender’ of the Blast Pro Series. On this occasion he was responding to an allegation made by Trivett that multiple players had allegedly expressed their unhappiness with the Blast events, but are unable to publicly say so due to contractual handcuffs.

Smith’s reply didn’t directly address this accusation, instead claiming that Trivett was exercising a grudge related to not working Blast events due to a misdemeanour on the part of the Canadian caster, something that was denied quickly despite the fact the final of Dallas was ongoing. The row descended into personal insults from there, at least on the side of Scoots, and serves as a continual reminder of the negative impact Blast parent company RFRSH’s tournament series has had on CSGO at the top level.

Soft exclusivity

This is down to the fact that the group have essentially aimed for, and achieved in 2018 at least, a form of soft exclusivity where contracted teams are obliged to prioritised Blast over other events. The question of whether the players want to play, and were involved in the decision to be a part of the competitions has not been answered outright, but it has been intimated by some at least that teams are being paid an appearance fee for attending, rather than just their prize money.

This all comes on the back of weeks of complaints about the fact Astralis, now the world’s second best team after Liquid's Dallas win, are being used by RFRSH to promote the Blast series at the expense of their own ranking and the wider competitive scene. With both the team and the tournament series being in the control of RFRSH, that would certainly seem possible at least, although it of course has not been proven.

It may be that the CSPPA also came under attack as a result of the fact one of the founding and key members of that group is Astralis’s Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth, but the reality is that the argument contained very little in the way of substantial information, and much to embarrass CSGO. The divisive effect Blast has had on the tournament calendar is also now being reflected in the scene itself, with sides being taken, which is another tainted legacy for a series that has already got its fair share of enemies.

Image credit: Blast Pro