The CS2 competitions of BLAST Premier will expand in 2024, according to a report by HLTV.
While there has been speculation that BLAST may be having problems following Evil Geniuses’ sale of its square to Cloud9, the organizer will expand the number of teams in Premier. According to HLTV, new members will be added to the rotation as soon as possible and the decision to expand was made after seeing interest in the EG position. BLAST expects to earn a substantial amount of cash for slot with a minimum value of $350,000.according to the report.
The timing of the expansion is curious. Each team joining BLAST Premier will only be associated for one year: in 2025, the associated league system will disappear completely.. In addition, the value of the slot seems extremely high for a one-year membership, which reportedly will also not grant access to revenue sharing.
BLAST Premier is the last prestigious event in the annual CS2 cycle that has not been acquired by ESL FACEIT Group. If it were to disappear, the only prestigious league-style competition remaining on the calendar would be the ESL Pro League. For tournaments outside of the Majors, the loss of the BLAST World Finals would make the IEM series, particularly IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, the dominant events on the calendar.
Valve highly values open ecosystem for Counter-Strike. In a post titled “A Level Playing Field,” they described their reasons for returning the scene to its open roots. However, without the revenue from the business relationships gained with BLAST Premier, BLAST could be in financial trouble. If it were to fall, the entire calendar would be dominated by EFG, which may not be something Valve wants. We will have to see how the Counter-Strike business evolves in the new era, which begins in 2025.