BLAST receive £1.7m investment to expand into international markets - Dexerto
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BLAST receive £1.7m investment to expand into international markets

Published: 20/Nov/2020 9:45 Updated: 20/Nov/2020 9:46

by Adam Fitch

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Tournament organizers BLAST have received £1.7m in investment to speed up their expansion into international markets.

BLAST are best known for hosting prominent events in Counter-Strike but, more recently, they have also produced competitions in Dota 2 and Valorant.

They will utilize the funding to accelerate their international expansion, further improve their production, and increase their staff in the United Kingdom.

The investment comes from Edge Investments, who are described as the “leading growth investor in the UK creative economy.”

BLAST Spike Nations
BLAST
BLAST have undergone plenty of growth in 2020 so far, expanding into new titles for the first time.

Edge back companies that will impact the economy and mentor them to create “long-term success” and have identified esports as a promising industry after some research.

This development follows BLAST’s announcement on November 19, which saw them partner with the BBC to broadcast their next three Counter-Strike tournaments on digital platform iPlayer.

The events that fans will be able to watch through the BBC are the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown on November 24-29, the BLAST Premier Fall Final on December 8-13, and the BLAST Premier Global Final on January 19-24.

“To have Edge Investments’ backing is testament to the impressive work BLAST has achieved so far this year and highlights the upward trajectory the esports industry is on right now despite a turbulent year for everyone,” said BLAST’s CEO Robbie Douek.

“We chose Edge for access to their specialist knowledge and network in content distribution, media promotion, and production, and we are delighted to have them on board as we enter what looks to be a pivotal year for us.”

BLAST raised £11m in investment in May 2020, securing capital to continue to grow and expand the brand despite the complicated global health situation. Since then, they expanded into Dota 2 with the BLAST Bounty Hunt as well as Valorant with the BLAST Twitch Invitational and BLAST Spike Nations events.

Esports

BBC creating LEC documentary following EXCEL, narrated by Cillian Murphy

Published: 2/Dec/2020 11:02 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 11:06

by Adam Fitch

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Major British broadcasting company BBC are set to release a five-part documentary following UK esports organization EXCEL ESPORTS.

The series, named ‘Fight for First: EXCEL ESPORTS,’ follows the org’s team in the European League of Legends competition LEC throughout the 2020 Spring Split.

The documentary is narrated by Cillian Murphy, an actor who’s been nominated for awards at the Golden Globes and BAFTA, and will be broadcast on BBC iPlayer in early 2021.

In 2020’s Spring Split, EXCEL finished in seventh place — narrowly missing out on a spot in the playoffs with a record of seven wins and 11 losses.

Dele Alli Excel esports
EXCEL
Dele Alli recently joined the growing list of footballers getting involved in the esports scene by partnering with EXCEL.

The description for the upcoming documentary will shed light on the “deep-rooted” reasons that the players compete as they are “navigating the growing pains of adulting, living away from home, love, new friendships, and fame.”

November 2020 was a busy month for the organization, not only changing their logo and ethos to represent “The Power of Better” but announcing that Tottenham Hotspur and England national footballer Dele Alli had joined as their first global ambassador.

Dexerto spoke with CEO Wouter Sleijffers at the time of the announcements to understand the need for change and what the future of EXCEL looks like.

“My sons love gaming,” said Cillian Murphy. “When I showed them the trailer for this, they said I had to do it. Being involved in Fight For First has been a great experience and there is so much more to professional gaming than I ever thought. It has opened up a whole new world to me and this series provides a proper insight into a fascinating, global industry.”

BBC picked up more esports programming just in November, acquiring the rights to broadcast Counter-Strike competition BLAST Premier for the remainder of the 2020 season. In 2020 alone, the media giant has also shown Rocket League and sim racing.