BLAST Pro Series has chosen a very unorthodox host location for their Global Finals — Bahrain. The conclusion of the year-long circuit will take place Dec. 13-14 and will crown its 2019 champion with a $350,000 check.
At the end of the year, Bahrain will welcome the top four teams points-wise from the championship standings. Currently, Team Liquid are in the lead with 26 points, followed by Astralis with 22, FaZe with 20 and NiP with 10. Astralis and Team Liquid will skip the upcoming Moscow event but will return for the last one in Copenhagen (Nov. 1-2). That said, being so far ahead of the competition, it is unlikely that any of the top three teams misses the Bahrain Finals.
The ones that have the most to gain from the upcoming events are MIBR and NaVi, currently 5th and 6th, respectively, and just a handful of points behind NiP. All three of these teams will be present in Moscow, and placement there could make or break an org’s chances for Bahrain.
Finally, the choice of venue should raise many eyebrows. Bahrain has never been an esports location, and even though companies have invested in local esports businesses — such as Rogue owners ReKTGlobal — the country isn’t really associated with the industry at all. And while BLAST CEO Robbie Douek claims that “there is already a strong and engaged base of fans” there, it is unlikely that any of the core Team Liquid, Astralis, and FaZe fans will make the trip to the Persian Gulf.