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BLAST Premier ends controversial deal with NEOM

Amidst increasing community pressure, and other industry leaders breaking off from deals with the NEOM, BLAST Premier have ended their deal with the planned Saudi Arabian mega city.
BLAST Premier ends controversial deal with NEOM

BLAST Premier have allegedly cut ties with NEOM after mutual agreement from both parties, according to a report made by BLAST informed teams involved with the tournament organiser that the deal had been cancelled in a meeting held on Monday night.

The decision comes after mounting public and private pressure from teams and the community alike to end the deal, due to ethical concerns and human rights violations associated with NEOM and Saudi Arabia. It seems BLAST - and RFRSH management above them - have acceded to that pressure.

They are not the first high-profile esports league to pull out of a deal with NEOM. Riot Game’s LEC announced a similar deal to BLAST just one day after the CS:GO tournament organisers, but then rapidly cancelled that deal within 24 hours.

Blast neom deal cancelled
(Picture: BLAST Premier)

It took significantly longer for BLAST to make a response or even a statement. Numerous casters and personalities associated with the brand vocally distanced themselves from BLAST on the 5th of August, and a leaked email from Jason “Moses” O’Toole offered a professional, but withering broadside aimed at the tournament organiser over their inaction. “Your silence on this matter,” he said, “is deafening.”

Moses' own response to the leaked email was to ask for patience - patience that seems to have been rewarded. While there has been no official statement from BLAST Premier yet, if the leaked reports are true, then the community can breathe a sigh of relief that the controversial deal is finished.

Much as with Riot though, questions now have to turn to how such an ethically dubious deal was approved by BLAST - and critique how their silence was intended to push through the controversy.