- BLAST has officially terminated its partnership with NEOM after two weeks.
- The partnered teams had already been notified of the same on Monday via a meeting.
- BLAST becomes the second company to end its partnership with NEOM following Riot Games.
The Danish esports tournament organizing company has officially ended its heavily criticized partnership with NEOM, the Saudi Arabian state-backed futuristic mega-city and business zone. It had been earlier reported by HLTV that the partnership had come to an end after on mutual agreement, which has now been officially confirmed by a Danish website bt.dk who received an email from the non-executive director of BLAST.
BLAST Officially Ends Partnership With NEOM
More than two weeks after BLAST partnered with NEOM “To help shape esports vision,” the partnership has now been terminated following heavy criticism from top CS:GO talents, majority of the CS:GO community, and even the partnered teams especially Astralis.
The mail received by bt.dk states that “We can confirm that we have reached a joint, professional, and respectful agreement with NEOM to terminate our contract.” But despite the partnership coming to an end, BLAST will continue to expand their global footprint and in the process have pledged to improve the esports scene in the Middle East as well.
BLAST had initially termed the deal as a ‘ground-breaking global partnership’ but due to NEOM being built on territory that is partially owned by the Huwaitat tribe who are being evicted from the region forcefully, along with Saudi Arabia having a history of human rights violations, the partnership was met with heavy scrutiny and public outrage.
The following decision had already been conveyed to partner teams on Monday after a meeting was held with BLAST representatives. With this, BLAST becomes the second company to end its partnership with NEOM following Riot Games who had terminated their partnership just a day or two after agreeing to it.
LEC (League of Legends European Championship) was met with similar public outcry by its talents and user base almost immediately after the partnership was announced which led to the company being forced to take swift action against it. On the other hand, BLAST faced a delayed protest resulting in the partnership coming to an end almost two weeks after it was announced.
All said and done BLAST is still adamant on improving the esports scene in the Middle East as stated in the email, “We will continue to seek to expand our global footprint, including in the Middle East.” The organizers have already held two CS:GO tournaments in the region in the past namely, BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul 2018 and BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019.
[Also Read: YouTuber Simon Wilson gatecrashed BLAST Pro Moscow]