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Published: December 13, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The organizer will host an event for the region’s burgeoning competitive CS2 scene
  • It will feature a total of 128 teams divided equally between India and Pakistan
  • The event’s big LAN event will be held in February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Promising a $50,000 prize pool, BLAST’s new “The Draft” tournament will offer Indian and Pakistani teams a chance to enter the world stage.

BLAST Reveal Tournament

Over the past couple of years, competitive Counter-Strike has been growing in popularity in South Asia, a trend that has only increased with the launch of CS2 a few months ago. This has not gone unnoticed by the world’s biggest event organizers, such as BLAST, and this is why the organization has announced a brand new tournament for the region.

Called “The Draft”, BLAST’s new CS2 event is aimed to give teams from India and Pakistan the chance to play with tier-one players on the global stage. It is being created in conjunction with Nodwin Gaming, one of South Asia’s leading esports and gaming media companies.

The event will start in January with online qualifiers which will see 64 teams from India and an equal number of organizations from Pakistan compete. They will have to duke it out for the chance to win one of the six spots that each group of the proceeding group stage will offer.

When this is over, the top three teams from each group will then have the opportunity to defend their honor at the Super Six LAN event, which will take place in February in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Additionally, each qualified team will also be given a Counter-Strike legend via a special draft-inspired selection process, allowing the local talents to learn from the world’s very best players.

Officials Talk About the Event’s Importance

Naturally, BLAST is quite excited about venturing into South Asia with this new tournament. Faye Marlborough, Brand Director, BLAST said that the organizer is thrilled to be partnering up with Nodwin Gaming to tap into the potential of competitive CS2 in the region.

“Providing emerging esports and gaming markets with opportunities to play on a global stage is key to their long-term growth,” they said. “The Draft will not only act as an important pathway for aspiring players but will also provide an exciting tournament for global and local fans to enjoy.”

The feeling is mutual, as Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director, NODWIN Gaming said the organization is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a world-renowned tournament host like BLAST. He also talked about the growth of esports and CS2 in the region, stating the upcoming event is crucial in “contributing to the robustness of the gaming ecosystem within the subcontinent.”

To mark the launch of The Draft, True Rippers Esports from India and Team WahWah from Pakistan will play a showmatch at the Blast Premier World Final 2023 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, December 16. With viewers from over 150 territories expected to tune in to the tournament, The Draft will have a huge audience to advertise to.

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