The Blast Pro Series will be taking place in Copenhagen from November 24 to 25, and for those who don't know, this competition will see six of the best international teams, including Astralis and North, descend on Copenhagen's Royal Arena to compete for their share of the $250,000 USD prize pool in front of 10,000 spectators. We were incredibly interested in the event, and so we interviewed Rfrsh about it, with the Q&A answers include down below.
So for those who don't know, what is the Blast Pro Series?
Blast Pro Series is a new CS:GO series of mega-event featuring 6 of the world's best teams, all playing on stage in the main arena. The Blast Pro Series will premiere with the first edition called Blast Pro CPH in Royal Arena in front of 10.000+ spectators on November 24 [to 25]. It is a new format, developed together with some of the main stakeholders in CS:GO, including casters, players on the top teams, producers, and streamers to secure a format where fans are certain to see their favourite team on the main stage in the arena. It is a compromised, energetic, and engaging format with focus on the show and the fan experience.
Semi final and grand final will still be the main event in the arena, but by playing the group stage matches simultaneously in the arena, we give the audience a possibility to watch the qualification live - and again: You WILL see your team live and get up close with your favourite players.
The first two teams have been announced - how important is it you got those two high profile teams?
Blast Pro Series will only consist of tier one teams together with one wild card possibility for a local team. In Copenhagen we are so Lucky that we have two local teams in the world's top 10, and this is of course a plus for all the Danish fans, who have never seen their favourites live at a major event. All other teams will be high profile as well.
Is it important that they're both Danish?
The tournament is designed and produced with the fans and the spectator experience in focus, so a local team will always be interesting for us. It adds to the excitement and we want to give CS:GO fans the possibility to experience the ultimate live arena event. In Denmark we have two local teams in the event, but this is not something we aim for in general.
Is it important for you guys to have a big venue like the Royal Arena?
Absolutely. Royal Arena is the newest, most modern state-of-the art arena in Denmark, and we can produce a show and a tournament unlike anything else here. Big venues, large crowds and modern facilities give us the possibility to create something special - this is our ambition every time.
Tell us a bit about this "brand new format" and what it means to you?
Basically it means that we can promise a fan of any team that participates, that he or she can experience their heroes live. Normally the group stage is played behind closed doors, and often you do not know who is playing in the arena Saturday until Thursday or even Friday night. Not many fans will travel, when they do not know for sure who is on stage, and by doing everything on stage one full day, we take out a lot of breaks and waiting time. We want to focus on the drama, the excitement, the highlights and the explosive energy in the arena that many have yet to experience for the first time.
It is what Rfrsh is all about when it comes to team management, live entertainment, and content production - together with the scene and the stakeholders, including fans, we want to take CS:GO to the next level. The organisation has deep roots in esports, and what we aim for is taking the best from the scene to develop and refine formats that will cater to the hard core fans together with the millions of spectators, fans, brands, broadcasters and organisations who [are] presently looking at the scene from the outside. We want to open up the world of esports and gain mainstream recognition for all the hard work everybody in this business puts in.
Lastly, would you say Denmark is up there with the best countries for producing esports talent?
There is certainly a great talent- and grass roots scene, which Rfrsh is also involved in through cooperating with some of the local clubs and with the city of Copenhagen and their initiatives to support the grass roots. Denmark is up there with the best, but the competition is only getting fiercer by the week, so if you ask us in a year or so, the answer might be different. It takes hard work, dedication and support from many sides, which fortunately we see more and more of in Denmark and elsewhere.