BLAST Pro Series has faced a lot of criticism over recent months. The tournament organizer came under fire for perceived attempts to move towards a “soft exclusivity” circuit such that many of the top teams would rarely face each other outside of BLAST events, while the best-of-one-heavy format of the BLAST events also came under fire.
The Los Angeles event itself also faced issues after the tournament schedule was adjusted and the venue moved to what many considered an inferior location, going from the Galen Center arena to a much smaller venue.
Meanwhile, the ticket price to attend the event was nearly quadrupled, from $25 before fees to $99 for a day ticket, and those who had paid the original price initially had their tickets refunded and would have had to buy tickets at the new price in order to attend, although BLAST later revised this policy.
With the change in venue, BLAST introduced the “Front Row Experience” that would offer fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making an event, with access to areas like production that are usually hidden.
It seems BLAST’s “behind the scenes” approach to the Los Angeles event went a step too far, however, after they broadcast the communication of FaZe Clan coach YNK to his team during a time-out against NRG Esports.
The clip, which was also tweeted out by the BLAST Twitter account, saw YNk detailing strategic adjustments for FaZe during his window to speak to the team. Fellow pro players were quick to respond, however, hitting out at BLAST for sharing information that could be tactically relevant to the tournament.
While it’s not uncommon for event organizers to use clips from teams’ communications for highlight reels, these are usually limited to the likes of humorous moments, trash talk, or reactions to plays, rather than detailed strategy.
Given the responses from the likes of MIBR’s Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo and Team Liquid’s Jonathan ‘ELiGE’ Jablonowski – both of whom were competing at BLAST LA – it doesn’t appear that the teams were warned beforehand that tactical discussions like this might be broadcast.