The BLAST Pro Series circuit is gearing up for its first stop in Istanbul, and it’ll be bringing Turkish Airlines along for the ride as its official transportation partner.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, which is owned and ran by RFRSH Entertainment, will take place at the Ülker Sports Arena on September 28-29th.
Complete details on the partnership will be revealed nearer the time of the tournament. It was initially set to take place on June 23-24th, but was pushed back when the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for snap elections on the latter of the two days.
Bettina Kuperman, CEO of Impact34 and Event Director for the Istanbul leg of the BLAST Pro Series said the following in a statement: “BLAST Pro Series is the biggest esports tournament and event ever held in Turkey, and not just here, but on a global scale, the format is set to change the way we see live esports. The World Premiere of BLAST has been an obvious inspiration to the industry, and a lot of exciting and new elements has been added to the show production since then.
“Ever since we announced we’d bring BLAST Pro Series to Istanbul, we have received a lot of attention from fans, broadcasters and some of the biggest Turkish and international brands. Needless to say, we’re proud to welcome Turkish Airlines to the BLAST family and together with our partners, we can’t wait to present the new, mindblowing set-up and world-class esports entertainment live in Istanbul.”
This iteration of the BLAST Pro Series has a prize pool of $250,000, and includes the following teams: Cloud9, MIBR, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Virtus.pro, local Turkish team Space Soldiers and, of course, Astralis (which is also owned by RFRSH Entertainment).
This is Turkish Airlines’ first venture into esports, but it isn’t the first company in the aviation industry to work inside of the industry. For example, AirAsia has multiple ties to esports including a recent partnership with Alisports and a majority share in Team Saiyan. Last year, Emirates partnered with ESL to include esports as a form of in-flight entertainment.
Esports Insider says: Turkish Airlines is just one a number of high-profile non-endemic companies to get involved with esports in the last week, and one of a few aviation giants to get directly involved with the industry. We’re intrigued to see exactly what the partnership entails.