BLAST, a CS:GO tournament organizer, has ended its deal with NEOM after two weeks of partnership, according to a report by HLTV.
The termination comes a day after BLAST’s CS:GO partner teams met with the organizer in order to discuss a resolution to the issue. Every organization, apart from Astralis, stayed silent about the deal when it was initially reported. In the meeting held yesterday, BLAST reportedly told their partner teams that they would be ending their relationship with the Saudi Arabian backed NEOM project.
When the deal was originally announced between the two, the announcement was met with backlash as BLAST described NEOM as an “ambitious project.” NEOM is a planned futuristic city in Saudi Arabia. However, the Saudi Arabian human rights track record and anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been cited as issues by various CS:GO talent. New Team Liquid head coach Moses also voiced his opinion on the matter.
BLAST becomes the second group in esports to terminate their relationship with NEOM. The first was the LEC, the premiere European tournament for League of Legends. The league faced considerable backlash including multiple talent members boycotting the partnership and refusing to work on-air for Riot. The league later dissolved the partnership on July 29.
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