A lot of CS:GO talent have announced they will no longer work with BLAST as long as the tournament organizer (BLAST Pro Series) keep working with NEOM, a Saudi Arabian city project. BLAST announced a partnership with NEOM recently, leading to a lot of outrage.
Numerous CS:GO casters and analysts such as Frankie Ward, Vince Hill and Harry “JustHarry” Russell came out to say they will no longer work with BLAST as long as their partnership with NEOM stands. They also took to Twitter to inform others of their decision, speaking out about the problems with human rights and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by the Saudi government.
Been off Twitter for a good while.
Blast x NEOM is a disgrace to the Blast brand, an organisation I know is filled with wonderful, talented & loving individuals.
The idea that this could be “silenced” through ignoring it is not a standard or precedent that should be set either.
— JustHarry (@JustHarryGG) August 5, 2020
In a tweet Russell spoke out about the partnership on his Twitter page and criticized it. “Blast x NEOM is a disgrace to the Blast brand, an organization I know is filled with wonderful, talented and loving individuals. The idea that this could be ‘silenced’ through ignoring it is not a standard or precedent that should be set either.”
It’s not the first time NEOM has come up in controversy within the esports scene. Earlier the LEC (European League of Legends Championship Series) announced a partnership with NEOM, which was met with outrage and a lot of the talent speaking out in a similar fashion to the current BLAST situation. The LEC eventually reversed the partnership. BLAST is yet to respond to the controversy.
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