BLAST and Betway join forces to expand into DOTA2

Tournament organizer BLAST is crushing it this season! Only two days after the culmination of ongoing BLAST Premier Spring 2020 Showdown in CS:GO, there will be another BLAST tournament. And this time, it’s going to be something new! 

The Danish company announced early in May the inaugural Dota2 BLAST: Bounty Hunt Tournament with a $145,000 dynamic prize pool and even a $5,000 cash prize for audience participants. On top of that, Betway joins as a sponsor. 

The first BLAST Dota 2 Tournament 

The online event will feature some of the top talents from Europe and CIS, including OG Esports, Team Secret, Nigma, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, and Team Liquid. BLAST Bounty Hunt will be held from June 9th to June 13th and will be broadcasted on BLAST’s new Dota 2 Twitch and YouTube channels.

BLAST made a careful decision not to just copy their existing tournament format from CS:GO, but rather create something unique. With this intention, the organizer decided to go from shooter to a completely different genre, as well as to introduce new special features: the dynamic prize pool and a fan prediction game. Both were reportedly created in collaboration with participating teams.

Dynamic prize pool

All teams start with $15,000 in their bank (top two seeds start with $20,000), while 40% of their bounty is available for other team to steal every time time they compete in Bo3. Teams will seed each other and play in double elimination brackets. Seeds 3-6 will playoff with the winners moving on to play seeds 1-2 for a place in the Bo5 final. 

The aim of the dynamic prize pool is to create real reward and tension during every match.

To let audience engage in the tournament, $45.000 of Additional Bounties are up for grabs along the way through challenges, on which viewers can vote through BLAST social media channels.

Fan Prediction Game

In addition, viewers will also have a chance to win up to $5,000 of the total prize pool in the Fan Prediction Game. Fans will be able to predict the winners of each match, the number of bounties collected and a couple of other twists and turns throughout the tournament.

According to BLAST, this innovation is supposed to “bring audience closer to the action”.

Partnership with Betway

Last week, online bookmaker Betway announced partnership with BLAST in Dota 2 expansion, growing their portfolio of top tier events even bigger. Bookmaker will sponsor team Ninjas in Pyjamas in their battle with elites.

Adam Savinson, Head of Esports at Betway, spoke on the decision in a release:

“We have had an incredibly successful 2020 working with BLAST across their Counter-Strike tournaments, making it a very easy decision to support their entry into DOTA 2. We are excited to see BLAST bring their innovative and exciting approach to a new game, and are proud to help them on that journey.”

Betway has established itself as a prominent bookmaker in esports industry, supporting big tournament organizers such as ESL and various esports organisations. The company began supporting BLAST’s CS:GO tournaments in 2019 and this year returned as a sponsor of current BLAST Premier tournament. Furthermore, Betway recently established a deal with tournament organizer DreamHack and also sponsors ongoing Dreamhack Masters Spring in CS:GO. 

Collaborations of biggest names in the industry together with innovative and engaging approach appear to be great steps towards growth of professional gaming and its fan base. Will BLAST’s new model write a new chapter on how viewers experience esports? We are to find out very soon!