The Counter-Strike player break is in full swing, but a busy second season for 2022 is already set in stone, with major tournament organiser BLAST opening the season with the Fortress OCE Masters.
Held at the Alienware Arena at Fortress Melbourne, the four-team CS:GO LAN will act as a qualifier for the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown — the first opportunity for an Oceanic-based squad to join the BLAST circuit.
The open qualifiers for Fortress OCE Masters take place on August 20 & 21, with the top two from each qualifier joining four invites in the group stage on September 10. Teams can register for one or both open qualifiers via Fortress’ official BLAST event site.
From there, the top four through the group stage will be flown to Fortress Melbourne in mid-September for the Fortress OCE Masters Finals, played live in the Alienware Arena.
For the ultimate winner — a ticket to the BLAST Fall Showdown in Europe in October, a shot at the lion’s share of $135,000 USD and further progression in the BLAST circuit against the world’s best.
“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 and looking forward to flexing our state-of-the-art production capabilities with our live finals.Mads Brown, Fortress COO
Hinted at in 2020, BLAST Down Under was made official back in March.
The eventual qualifier for the BLAST Showdown will see Oceania’s first squad at a BLAST circuit event since the 100 Thieves roster took part as a partnered team in 2020.
There, Aaron “AZR” Ward and the squad failed to progress past the group stage, before the COVID pandemic all but halted international offline competition.
It was understood early 2021 would have been OCE’s first taste of qualification for the BLAST circuit, but with border closures and overseas travel off the table, Oceania was made to wait for the opportunity.
Fortress OCE Masters’ live finals, set for September 17-18, adds to a packed month for gaming and esports in Australia — specifically in the Victorian capital.
DreamHack Melbourne, featuring CS:GO, League of Legends and Halo amongst other titles, kicks off September 2, with a month’s festivities in Melbourne concluding with PAX Australia on October 7.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Fortress,” said BLAST Vice President for Distribution Alexander Lewin.
“Fortress is the perfect partner to bring BLAST Premier to our fans down under and to a wider Australian audience.”
Aussie F1 fans line up for shot at Singapore GP trip
F1 fans, start your engines.
As part of a collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board, Fortress Melbourne is offering two return tickets to the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix in October.
From August 5-7, fans can head to Fortress and attempt a lap on the virtual Marina Bay Street Circuit on EA SPORTS’ F1 ’22, with the fastest driver winning an all-expense paid dream trip to the Singapore GP.
Included in the grand prize is return tickets for two to Singapore, four nights accommodation, two Grandstand tickets to the Grand Prix and a half-day tour with a Singaporean grandmother from the Singapore Tourism Board’s Gran Prix Singapore Style campaign.
“Grand Prix Season Singapore reignites a passionate community of racing-game fans and connects them with some of the most premium gaming and tech brands around,” said Fortress COO Mads Brown.
“Grand Prix season is Singapore’s most adrenaline-filled event of the year, with music performances and vibrant celebrations across the city,” said Stephanie Yong, Singapore Tourism’s Board’s Area Director for Oceania.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to partner with Fortress to bring some of that fun and excitement here to Melbourne, and hopefully entice more people to reimagine what their next visit to Singapore could be.”
Alongside the grand prize, the fastest drivers each day will receive bonus prizes.
It’s not the first F1 activation for Fortress Melbourne, with the venue hosting Take The Wheel in April as part of a collaboration with McLaren F1 and the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
Full details for the challenge can be found on Fortress Melbourne’s official F1 Singapore Challenge site.