BIG confirmed as new BLAST Premier Member Team
Berlin International Gaming (BIG) joins Counter-Strike’s most successful organisations in securing their place as a BLAST Premier Member Team following a highly competitive bidding process.
Founded in 2017, BIG has quickly become one of the world’s best teams and are currently ranked fourth in the HLTV world rankings. BIG’s CS:GO team enjoyed an incredible 2020 where they were ranked as world number one for eight weeks and claimed the Dreamhack Masters Spring trophy.
The announcement comes after a match at BLAST Premier Global Final between Team Vitality and NAVI became the most popular and watched online event in Counter-Strike history with the match peaking at 687,691 viewers.
Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, said: “BIG are highly respected in the industry and have been one of the most successful esports organisations over the past 12 months – making them the perfect addition to BLAST Premier as a Member Team. Last year’s highly successful circuit came to a record-breaking conclusion on Sunday and we are excited for BIG to be a part of our plans for 2021 as we continue to deliver world-class Counter-Strike to all corners of the world.
“We undertook an in-depth and extensive process when selecting BIG for our latest Member Team, the scope and level of interest and investment for this final slot is testament to the incredible growth and success of BLAST Premier over the last 12 months.”
The BLAST Premier circuit is one of the most competitive tournaments on the CS:GO scene with 11 of the 12 Member Teams currently ranked in the top 20 world rankings. BLAST Premier Member Teams include: Astralis, NiP, G2 Esports, OG, Vitality, NAVI, FaZe Clan, Complexity, Team Liquid, MiBR, Evil Geniuses and BIG. The draw for the Spring Groups and schedule will be announced for next month’s event on Thursday.
Daniel Finkler, CEO of BIG, said: “We are incredibly proud and excited to be a part of BLAST Premier as a Member Team. The successful acquisition is an indication of our outstanding development in the past years. We have clearly established ourselves among the world’s best teams thanks to our team’s hard work and people working behind the scenes.
“The tournament series BLAST has created in recent years is one of the most-watched, entertaining and competitive in Counter-Strike, and we look forward to competing alongside some of the world’s best teams in the upcoming seasons as a Member Team. At this point, we want to thank our investor Marc Staperfeld, who shared our ambition and supported us tremendously with the buy-in fee during the highly competitive bidding process.”
The 2021 season is expected to have up to 32 teams take part in the seven BLAST Premier events with potentially 80 teams competing in the qualifying events, meaning the season could see up to 286 matches take place across the calendar year. Member Teams will feature in at least four of these events. BLAST Premier tournaments will have a combined prize pool of $2,475,000.
All 12 BLAST Premier Member Teams will automatically earn a place in the Fall and Spring Groups before progressing to the Showdown or Finals depending on performance and progression.
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