CSGO community reacts as pros delay BLAST Fall Finals over voice comms

Alan Bernal
BLAST Premier trophy

The Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association disputed tournament organizer (TO), BLAST, for their past handling of voice communications and video recording, while expressing concern for the Fall Finals. Mousesports and Team Vitality delayed the start of the event, and the larger community took notice.

At the core of the issue, CS:GO players wanted to open a dialogue with BLAST on how sensitive voice comms can be used, stored, and deleted prior to, during, and after an event. Additionally, teams want BLAST to find a solution to the video screen recordings for players that “severely affect performance of the PC.”

The CSPPA couldn’t reach BLAST about the “harmful and illegal” measures the TO implemented for the Fall Finals, the player’s association said.

Player representatives from every BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Finals protested the event, though later began play as both groups opened a channel of communication to this point.

CS:GO community divided

There are a few camps on this issue across the CS:GO community. Some back the players and want to hold the competitive integrity of the event to the highest possible standards.

“TOs should not be recording Comms without player permission,” esports trailblazer Adam Apicella said. “Additionally, if they are recorded, there needs to be explicit parameters around their use. Players should worry about competing, not wondering what strategies they’re exposing or worried about speaking properly.”

Others believe that, while an important issue to discuss, this united front among CS:GO players and teams is far too late or a half-hearted attempt to actually ensure fair playing conditions and rights of those in the esport.

“I get players not wanting to be recorded,” CS:GO’s Erik ‘fl0m’ Flombut said. “But where the f**k was this stand for players when you guys agreed to halve Pro League and unemployed literally half of Pro League overnight and then let ESL push it as some good thing for the scene.”

Meanwhile, onlookers like Call of Duty legend, James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks, was surprised to see the extent of voice comms integrated in BLAST’s production, specifically in the BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles.

“This whole BLAST thing is kinda nuts,” Clayster said. “Listen-ins are a fun part of CoD in certain game-modes, but I just saw this clip and honestly I’d be furious if something this specific was broadcast live. Curious how the CDL stores all our comms/cams.”

BLAST and the CSPPA are expected to begin discussions on the best way to align their interests as it pertains to player video screens and voice recordings.