BLAST Premier Expands To 16 Teams

24 Dec 2023
Tit Krajnik 24 Dec 2023
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  • BLAST Premier announced that four new Counter-Strike teams will become affiliate partners for the 2024 season
  • As result, the tournament circuit will expand to 16 teams in 2024
  • The news comes after Evil Geniuses’ BLAST spot was acquired by Cloud9
BLAST Premier
BLAST Premier (Getty Images)
On Friday, December 23, BLAST Premier announced that the tournament circuit will expand to 16 Counter-Strike teams for the 2024 season. This also means that the tournament organiser will announce four affiliate partners who will sign a one-year contract, which will run out in 2025.

BLAST made the decision to expand the number of members after Cloud9 acquired Evil Geniuses’ BLAST Premier spot though a bidding process, which proved there is interest from other organisations to become BLAST members.

As confirmed in an announcement, BLAST will unveil four new members before BLAST Premier: Spring Groups at the end of January. All new members will compete for the tournament prize money but won’t be entitled for of BLAST Premier revenue share.

Even though BLAST has yet to reveal which four teams will join the Counter-Strike circuit, the organiser expects each membership spot to be sold for a minimum of $350,000, with the payments due in Q1 2024. Moreover, BLAST intends to review the proposals since it expects that the demand will exceed supply.

This marks the first expansion to the BLAST Premier circuit since it was introduced in 2019. Initially with only 12 teams, BLAST Premier grew to become one of the most prestigious CS esports circuits, and it has over the years changed three members – MiBR who got replaced by Heroic, BIG, who bought 100 Thieves’ spot, and most recently Cloud9, who replaced Evil Geniuses.

All new partnered teams will sign a one-year contract since 2024 will be the final year BLAST and ESL will be allowed to host closed circuits. As decided by Valve, all tournaments starting with the 2025 season will need to hand out invites through open qualifiers or follow Valve’s official ranking system to determine participants.

Even in the new competitive landscape, BLAST intends to remain involved as a premier tournament organiser.