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Published: February 13, 2024

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The Indian team defeated True Rippers at the tournament’s grand finals
  • It was a thrilling game that went to the full five maps
  • It was the first CS2 tournament in the region organized by BLAST Premier

Marcos Gaming’s victory at BLAST The Draft Season 1 shows South Asia has great potential for the development of competitive CS2.

Marcos Gaming Emerge Victorious

Although Counter-Strike is known globally and has become one of the biggest esports titles in the world, there are still regions where the game isn’t as popular. South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan, is such a place. However, considering the rapid rise of esports as a whole in the region, as well as its large population, it is an untapped market.

For this reason, BLAST Premier announced The Draft Season 1, an amazing opportunity for teams from the region to enter the global stage. Over the weekend, the tournament had its big LAN finals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which saw Marcos Gaming win first place and take home the $20 000 prize.

The Indian team faced the True Rippers in a spectacular final match that went all the way down to the fifth and final map. Marcos Gaming won the first two games on Vertigo and Ancient to take the upper hand, but ended up losing the next two which resulted in the series getting levelled at 2-2.

This set up the scene for a nail-biting last showdown on Overpass. Unfortunately for the True Rippers, this was a one-sided affair as Marcos Gaming dominated their opponents throughout the map. It was not long before the Indian squad took the map to lift the trophy above their heads.

The Draft Develops Pro CS2 in South Asia

As mentioned before the tournament is a way to kickstart the development of competitive CS2 in South Asia. BLAST Announced The Draft Season 1 back in December, saying that there will be 128 teams that will compete for the six slots of the main event.

Following various regional qualifiers, the squads were set to participate in the main event. To boost their performance and make things more interesting, BLAST brought in six legendary players from Counter-Strike to join the teams as mentors and coaches, as well as playing as their fifth player. These were:

  • Adam “friberg” Friberg | Pak Boyz
  • Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs | Gods Reign
  • Richard “shox” Papillon | Marcos Gaming
  • Olof “olofmeister” Gustafsson | WahWah
  • Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund | Come Mid
  • Kenny “kennyS” Schrub | True Rippers

As shown by the thrilling final match between Marcos Gaming and True Rippers, the region promises some interesting potential. Considering the good reception of the tournament, chances are BLAST will invest more in the region.

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