Donating to a good cause while playing video games? Yes. BLAST Premier, organizers of global Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events, announced on Monday that the organization would donate $12.5K USD to SpecialEffect, a U.K.-based charity that “utilizes gaming and technology to enhance and improve the lives of people with disabilities.” The funds for the donation were derived from the fines levied for teams that had infractions in the 2020 Fall Season or Global Finals.
SpecialEffect uses “the power of gaming” which offers opportunities to those who struggle or may not otherwise be able to play due to a disability. SpecialEffect addresses each person individually in order to help achieve some level of benefit. The organization also works closely with participants in order to help create or tweak technology to better focus on individual capabilities.
From modifying gaming controllers to eye-control systems or voice control to using a chin joystick, every system the charity recommends or loans is personalized.
BLAST Premier also announced its plan to expand its Qualifying Series, which will take events to multiple continents and 20 countries, with five slots available in April’s Spring Showdown. The series will now be open to more than 1.5K teams.
According to the tournament organizer, the expanded Qualifying Series is part of “BLAST Premier’s 2021 ambition to offer a Counter-Strike tournament series that provides opportunities for countless regions and organizations – giving both the world’s elite and the scene’s underdogs a shot at reaching the World Final in December.”
The finals of the BLAST Premier Qualifying Series will see 40 teams directly involved in five events. These teams will be derived from the possible 1.5K teams coming from open qualifiers that will feed into three regional competitions. There will be five places in the Spring Showdown available with a $25K (USD) participation fee given to each team “to invest into growing and developing their organizations.”
The qualifying events will see teams from more than 20 countries representing the Nordic, South America, Western Europe, Iberia, and North America regions with more to be announced at a later date. However, BLAST is looking to expand the Fall Season to include other continents and regions.
Each BLAST Premier Qualifier will consist of eight teams competing across three-day tournaments which will be organized and facilitated by leading regional partners. Qualification for the eight spots will be organized through these partners in the form of existing tournaments, local leagues, open qualifiers, and direct invites.
Eventually, the winning team from the five regional qualifying events will earn a spot in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown and a chance at winning part of the $162.5K (USD) prize pool.
BLAST Premier Spring Qualifier dates:
Latin Power by FiReSPORTS: March 19-21 (Latam America)
Unity Cup by LVP/RTP Arena: March 22-24 (Iberia)
Fantasyexpo Cup: March 23-25 (Western Europe)
North American Qualifier: March 26-28 (USA & Canada)
Nordic Masters: March 26-28 (Nordic)
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