Australian gaming entertainment giant Fortress will partner with Danish tournament organiser BLAST to host Oceania’s first BLAST Premier Qualifier, with the top local team nabbing a spot at the BLAST Fall Showdown in October.
First hinted at in late 2020, the BLAST circuit’s expansion in 2021 was halted as a direct result of the COVID pandemic.
Titled the Fortress OCE Masters, the top four teams to emerge from an online qualifier will compete on LAN live at Fortress Melbourne’s Alienware Arena. For the victor? A spot at the Blast Premier Fall Showdown, set for mid-October.
The Showdown will see teams from across the globe compete for a shot at the Fall Final, then the World Final — all up, a lion’s share of $2.5 million USD will be up for grabs across the circuit.
“2022 will be a massive year for esports in Australia as we present the Fortress OCE Masters, bringing a Blast Premier Qualifier to Oceania and giving gamers in the region the chance to qualify to play on the global BLAST stage,” said Fortress Chief Operating Officer Mads Brown.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with BLAST, one of the world’s premier esports companies who are known for their ground-breaking events and best-in-class production, and we’re looking forward to flexing our state-of-the-art production capabilities with our live grand finals.”
Exact details and more information regarding the event is coming soon, but another opportunity for an Oceanic-based team to compete internationally will be welcomed, especially as the scene returns to normality after the COVID lockdown.
“Fortress is the perfect partner to bring BLAST Premier to our fans down under and to a wider Australian audience. We are very much looking forward to seeing BLAST’s Australian qualifiers being played out of their state-of-the-art venue.”ALEXANDER LEWIN, BLAST VICE PRESIDENT FOR DISTRIBUTION
Oceanic presence at BLAST tournaments has been previously limited to just the Renegades line-up that finished top four at the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019.
The squad departed Renegades and became a BLAST Partner team at 100 Thieves in 2020, but only competed at one main event and one American Showdown.
Justin “jks” Savage attended multiple BLAST group stages under Complexity, with the team qualifying to the Spring Finals in 2021 but finishing 5th-6th.
The Fortress OCE Masters qualifier will gift another international opportunity to a local team, with Renegades, LookingForOrg and Order already notching appearances overseas in 2022.