BLAST, one of Counter-Strike's largest tournament organizers, has announced changes regarding the fall season of the BLAST Premier series.
Because of Korona, the league season had to be divided into the American and European divisions, but the teams are now playing in the same division.
The BLAST arrangement is exceptional, as the last time teams from two different continents have met in a top-level tournament at IEM Katowice, played at the turn of February-March.
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The league's partner teams are Evil Geniuses of American background, MIBR, Team Liquid and European Astralis, Complexity, FaZe, G2, Na`Vi, NiP, Vitality and OG, which includes the Finnish Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen.
100 Thieves was America’s fourth partner team, but the organization announced unexpectedly earlier this week that it was leaving CS.
Team Liquid doesn’t play like the others in the group stage, but starts the season from the Showdown final qualifier.
In addition to Evil Geniuses and MIBR, FURIA, Liquid's replacement BIG and European partner teams will participate in the block phase.
The blocks will be played in three rounds on October 26-28, October 29-31.
The top two in each block advance to the league final, with the other teams looking for a new impetus in the Showdown.
All matches are played online due to the pandemic situation, even though each team is physically in Europe.
The change in BLAST will also affect Elisa's 26 October – 1 November
to host the Elisa Invitational, a BLAST Premier Qualifier qualifier, which had new schedules.
Elisa Invitational's group stage matches will be played on Monday and Tuesday from 12.30 to 16.30 and on Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 to 17:00.
On Sunday, the semi-finals (12.00 and 15.00) and the final (20.00) will be played.
In addition to the Finnish ENCE and HAVU, the Danish Heroic, MAD Lions, AGF Esport, the Swedish Norwegian Dignitas, the Norwegian Apeks and the European GODSENT starring Jesse “ZehN” Linja will play for the qualifying victory.
The qualifying tournament starts on Monday 26.10.
In the A-block matches Heroic – Dignitas and GODSENT – HAVU.
Block B will be kicked off on Tuesday with matches from ENCE – Apeks and MAD Lions – AGF.
The winner of Elisa Invitational will be able to play with well-known names in Showdown, which is the last chance to enter the finals.
BLAST Premier Fall Schedules:
Block phase (October 26-November 4)
Elisa Invitational (26.10. – 1.11.)
Showdown Final Qualifier (November 23-29)
League Finals (December 8-13)
In addition to BLAST, Flashpoint and ESL have made arrangements to see even more matches between European and American teams this year.
ESL has announced plans to host an eight-team IEM Global Challenge in Europe in December, if the corona situation allows.
Three teams from Europe, three teams from North America and one from the CIS region will be eligible for the tournament.
Flashpoint's second league season will be played online from 9 November to 6 December.
The broadcasts are made in London, so the matches are also played in Europe.
As many as four of the seven partner teams in the series are from North America.