Olivia R. July 10, 2019
Despite backlash from fans, BLAST Pro Series director of product and experience Nicolas Estrup is confident that its upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event will be a great experience thanks to a late change of venue.
Originally to be held at the University of Southern California's Galen Center, the BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles CSGO event will now be held in a smaller space in Oakwood, California. While fans who purchased tickets to the original venue were offered refunds and priority booking for the new location, attendees were still weary of the smaller capacity and the raised ticket prices.
The capacity of the Bevery Avenue venue dropped from 7,000 fans to 1,500. The tickets prices were also doubled.
"For the fans attending, we’re sure they’ll feel like this was an unexpected but appreciated change, as they’ll be brought closer than ever to the players, talent and production,” Estrup said in an interview with Unikrn.
He went on to say that the event's engagements will be "above in a level never before seen" in competitive CSGO.
The new space offers an outdoor viewing area, as well as a 360-degree experience inside. More details will soon be revealed on what exactly that means. There are also many food and drink options closeby. Fans will be able to watch a performance by asking Alexandria.
According to Estrup, drawings and videos will be released in the near future, explaining what will take place at the new venue.
The sudden change of venue came from BLAST's long-time desire to create an "immersive, intimimate, and inclusive" experience for fans. Estrup expressed that this event was the right moment for this to play out after the original venue failed to sell out.
After their recent Sao Paulo tournament sold out in a few hours, Estrup was disappointed by fans' response to the Los Angeles event.
"That to us meant that we now had the opportunity to tweak the experience for the better, with the focus being on that ticket group but opening up a bit wider to let more people in to this more inclusive and intimate show," he explained.
The sudden switch was a risky move for BLAST, who are often under fire for past tournament formatting.
The Los Angeles event takes place on July 13 and 14. Team Liquid will be fighting to defend their title as the best CSGO team in the world, facing FaZe Clan, Cloud9, NRG Esports, Renegades, and MiBR.