Tomi Kovanen, Managing Director and Executive Vice Chairman at the Immortals Gaming Club (IGC), has told Dexerto that CS:GO is still a priority for their Brazilian esports organization.
On April 21, BLAST announced that the BLAST Premier slot owned by IGC had been acquired by Norwegian organization Heroic for an undisclosed fee.
The news came as a shock to the Brazilian community as it meant that MIBR no longer have a guaranteed spot in an active franchise league (Flashpoint, of which they are a founding member, has not operated since Season 3 in July 2021). MIBR can still qualify for BLAST events via the pathway available for non-partner teams, which consists of regional qualifiers and the Showdown tournament.
But despite the criticism that has come with the sale of the slot, IGC’s Tomi Kovanen has guaranteed that CS:GO remains a vital part of MIBR’s operations.
“[CEO] Roberta and [executive chairman] Yuri are doing a great job operating MIBR, which will remain committed to Counter-Strike, where the brand’s roots are,” he told Dexerto.
“With the strong performance of late, we are confident that MIBR will continue qualifying for BLAST events even without a guaranteed partner slot.”
Kovanen also confirmed that MIBR had no involvement in the decision to sell the league slot. “In IGC’s corporate structure, the holding company (of Immortals, MIBR, and LA Valiant) makes all asset acquisition and divestiture decisions.”
MIBR’s reaction to the news
MIBR strategic coach Renato ‘nak’ Nakano was saddened by the loss of the league spot, but at the same time, he showed understanding for IGC’s decision.
Triste por não ter mais a vaga na BLAST mas sendo bem sincero, estávamos lá há um bom tempo e não tivemos resultados expressivos. Corríamos o risco de perder essa vaga por desempenho, o lado bom é que vendemos e conseguimos mais recursos para manter a estrutura que temos. [2/3]
— Renato Nakano (@nakfps) April 21, 2022
“Honestly, we have been there [BLAST Premier] for a while, without any outstanding results,” he wrote on Twitter.
“There was the risk of losing the spot based on performance. The good thing is that with the sale, we will have more resources to keep the structure we have in place.”
MIBR recently qualified for PGL Major Antwerp after finishing the American RMR in second place. This will be the first Major for four of the squad’s players, and it will mark the return of MIBR to the biggest stage there is in CS:GO after the team missed the Stockholm Major in 2021.