When the LEC announced a deal with nascent Saudi Arabian city-state NEOM, the outcry was near-instantaneous. So much so, the deal was cancelled less than 24 hours later. BLAST Premier’s own deal with NEOM, announced the day before the LEC, had initially seen a more muted response. The simmering fury amongst commentators and the community now appears to have boiled over.
Moses Criticizes BLAST for NEOM Partnership in Email: 'Your Silence on This Matter is Deafening.'https://t.co/wgfFshldZF— DeKay (@dekay) August 8, 2020
In a leaked email to BLAST and the RFRSH management (who own BLAST) obtained by DBLTAP, Moses laid into the tournament organiser for their complete lack of public response to the community, or a private one to their freelance talent, over the ethically dubious deal with NEOM. Moses made no bones of his sentiments: “Your silence on this matter is deafening.”
The email appears to be the latest in a string of attempts by broadcast talent to wrestle an answer from BLAST and RFRSH about why the NEOM deal was made and its extent. That private outreach - made out respect for the working relationship Moses and others have had with BLAST - has clearly been unsuccessful:
“[BLAST and RFRSH] have not returned that respect in any way. Since I first reached out on July 30th, calls and meetings have been scheduled and then delayed, dodged, rescheduled, and cancelled. The only response we have been given is that the situation is complex and you need more time to give us any details. I cannot properly express how frustrating and disappointing this has been for many of us.”
- Read More: The recent NEOM sponsorships are a travesty - there can be no place for human rights abuse in esports
While Moses remains respectful, if blunt, in his email, the caster’s most pointed comment leaves little room for doubt on his own and many others’ thoughts: “If you can’t even speak in support of the partner you have chosen to work with, maybe this is not a partnership worth having.”
The BLAST x NEOM deal is an opportunity to educate ourselves so that we no longer work with people who would kill our friends.https://t.co/OY5lnFtcVK— Frankie (@FrankieWard) August 5, 2020
A majority of broadcast talent began to vocally criticise and refuse to work with BLAST as of the 5th of August. Duncan "Thorin" Shields, Vince Hill, Dust Mouret, Frankie Ward, Harry Russell, and Hugo Byron have all publicly distanced themselves and levelled their own criticisms at BLAST, with Moses being the latest. However, it is important to note Moses’ criticisms were private and then leaked.
Since the email was leaked I have spoken to a representative of BLAST- about my concerns around the deal and their silence.— Jason O'Toole (@MosesGG) August 8, 2020
I can't speak about the details in the conversation but I would please implore a bit more patience with the pitchforks while waiting for their statement
Moses has since made a statement regarding his leaked email, confirming BLAST have since responded to him, and asking the public for “a bit more patience with the pitchforks” while we wait for BLAST’s official response. As yet, the wait for that response continues, and the angry mob awaits.