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Published: February 25, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • BLAST initially said it would cover the expenses of just five members per attending organization
  • This meant that many teams’ coaches would not have been able to attend the RMRs
  • This spawned a wave of criticism toward the tournament organizers

Following a series of criticism, BLAST made a U-turn on their decision to cover the accommodation and travel expenses of just five members per team.

BLAST Announces New Decision

Preparations for the BLAST Premier Paris Major RMRs are underway with the organization constantly sending out progress updates to teams. However, a recent one sparked a wave of criticism amongst professionals because BLAST said it will cover the accommodations for only five members per team, meaning that the coaches would not be counted. 

After receiving much criticism from teams, BLAST sent out a new update to the attending teams saying it will cover accommodation, flights, visas, and catering expenses for six team members, marking a U-turn on their earlier decision. After this change, the CS:GO roster’s coaches will be able to attend the event.

“BLAST will now provide and pay for accommodation, flights, visas, and meals for six team members,” the tournament organizers wrote. “Any additional participants, including staff replacements or flights and visas, will be arranged by BLAST at the expense of the team.”

The initial criticisms started when on Thursday, several coaches and other team members of organizations that will attend the BLAST Paris Major RMR said that the tournament organizers announced to them they will cover expenses only for the five players. A widespread backlash ensued, as it was a distinct change from previous Majors. 

BLAST has sent out an updated email saying they are now accommodating 6 people

thank you to Valve/BLAST for reacting and changing it to 6 people ????

Originally tweeted by m1cks (@joshm1cks) on February 23, 2023.

Previous RMR cycles, such as those ahead of the IEM Rio and PGL Antwerp Majors had BLAST cover expenses for six people per team, meaning the coaches could also attend the events. Considering it’s quite hard for smaller esports organizations to fund themselves, paying for their coaches’ logging and travel would have meant additional expenses they didn’t have the budget for.

Many also took the move as a sign of further disdain towards coaches from Valve, who previously made several adjustments to limit what coaches can do during matches in events sponsored by the developers. This included preventing teams’ coaches to cheer on their players or having any physical contact outside of designated tactical timeouts.

Some of the most prominent critics of BLAST’s initial decision to cover just five members per organization included Detonate’s coach Joshua “?m1cks?” Micks, OG manager Vladyslava “?Vladyslava_Z?” Zakhliebina, Fluxo’s Wilton “?zews?” Prado, and Imperial’s Gabriel “?FalleN?” Toledo. All of them were initially slated to attend the Paris Major RMRS so they Spearheaded the wave of backlash that BLAST received when they announced their initial decision

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