BLAST has announced its flagship event, the BLAST Premier World Final 2023, will return to Abu Dhabi in December with tickets now on sale. BLAST continues its partnership with ADGaming to bring its prestigious USD $1 million year-ending tournament to Yas Island’s Etihad Arena on 16th and 17th December.
It is the second consecutive year that the prestigious esports event will be staged in the UAE capital after last year’s event, which was the biggest esports event to be hosted in the UAE.
The event will see eight of the globe’s best Counter-Strike teams compete for the chance to end the year as world champions and a share of the $1million prize pool.
Among the qualified teams are reigning World Final champions G2, with the European-mixed team already winning two major trophies this year. Other teams that will be in action are FaZe Clan, a European team with players from Denmark, Norway, Canada, Estonia and Latvia, who booked their place after winning the ESL Pro League Season 17 earlier in the year, and World No.1 ranked side and reigning Paris Major champions – Team Vitality.
Joining them are the all-Danish team, Heroic, who claimed glory in the BLAST Premier Spring Final in Washington, D.C. in June this year to book their place to Abu Dhabi. The line-up will be completed from the top three teams on the ‘Race to the World Final Leaderboard’, the ESL Pro League Season 18 champions in October and the eventual BLAST Premier Fall Final winners in November.
With the tournament being held in Abu Dhabi, it strengthens the Emirate’s position as a leading gaming hub and aligns with BLAST’s objective to reach new audiences, showcase the benefits of what esports can offer, and deliver incredible esports experiences in state-of-the-art arenas for both teams and fans.
Andrew Haworth, Programme Director for BLAST Premier, said “We’re very much looking forward to bringing the BLAST Premier World Final back to Abu Dhabi later this year, especially at a time where the UAE and region’s gaming and esports ecosystem is going from strength-to-strength at a rapid pace.
“The 2022 edition, the first time the tournament was held in the Middle East and the biggest esports event to take place in the region, was a huge success with more than 6,000 people watching the world’s best Counter-Strike players live in action in what was a spectacular atmosphere inside the Etihad Arena, and we are determined to raise the bar even higher in December 2023.
“By working closely with our partners ADGaming, this year’s event will have plenty of entertainment on and off the main stage, with a wider fan experience programme, showcasing the very best of esports with a variety of gaming experiences as well as the education benefits that the sector provides.
James Hartt, Director for ADGaming, said “Last year esports fans finally had a chance to experience a true, tier 1, arena esports event in the Middle East for the first time. Abu Dhabi and BLAST made it happen.”
Hartt added “The show was spectacular, the production was world class and the competition was intense throughout. Gamers in the region want more. We are all counting down the days in anticipation to this year’s BLAST Premier World Final in the Etihad Arena.”
For reigning champions, G2, they are looking forward to competing against the best in Abu Dhabi. NiKo, star player for G2, said “Abu Dhabi is a special place for us given it was where we won our first big tournament and trophy in a three years so it’s great to be returning again in December to defend our title. We are looking forward to the challenge of regaining our crown against the world’s best Counter-Strike teams in front of thousands of fans at the Etihad Arena.”
Tickets to the BLAST Premier World Final can be bought on Ticketmaster and Etihad Arena with prices starting at just AED 160. Discounts of up to 20 per cent for those who wish to book four or more tickets and hospitality tickets are also available.