BLAST allegedly considering player substitutions during games

Olivia R. May 14, 2020

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament organizer BLAST is allegedly considering changing a big substitution rule for upcoming competitions. 

According to a report by Jarek "DeKay" Lewis, the Danish event organizer is considering a rule change that would allow teams to make substitutions at halftime of matches. 

The existing rules for BLAST Premier allow teams to bring on two substitute players to swap out between maps if needed. These changes are only allowed if the lineup for the map is submitted to the Tournament Operations Manager 10 minutes prior to playing. So far, no team has utilized this rule during a BLAST tournament, most likely because most teams only have a five-player roster. 

Astralis wants tournaments to allow player swaps

One organization, Astralis, has seven players on their main roster. This was a move they made knowing that ESL One Rio's Regional Major had an updated rule that cost teams 20% of their Regional Major Ranking points per player swap. While talking with WIN.gg earlier in April, Astralis Group director of sports Kasper Hvidt appeared to have some insider knowledge that this kind of thinking would be challenged in the near future within the CSGO scene. 

"Some tournament organizers are already allowing player swaps on a more frequent basis, and honestly, I don't see how the industry can't start to move towards healthier conditions for its players," Hvidt told WIN.gg

Having a larger roster, Hvidt said, not only allowed for a more consistent performance but created opportunities for players to recharge if needed. This is a mindset that other organizations might consider if BLAST and other tournament organizers become more open to player swaps. 

It's unclear if Astralis already knew about BLAST's plans to expand substitution allowances back in April, but it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that pro teams have been given this information early in case they want to prepare for the changes. Some fans have even speculated that Astralis might have been privy to the information prior to making their recent roster moves due to the former business ties between Astralis and BLAST.

The BLAST Premier Spring Showdown starts on May 31. The online tournament will have top teams from North America compete amongst each other, while the European division dukes it out separately. Four teams from each region will advance to the finals, ready to take on those who qualified during the regular season. At that point, there will be eight teams from each division battling for the eight spots at the BLAST Premier Global Final in 2021. This tournament is scheduled to be held offline, though no location has yet been announced.