Criticism of the community works wonders. First, thanks to it, the League of Legends European Championship ended its cooperation with NEOM after just a few hours, and yesterday it was announced that BLAST representatives would probably withdraw from the contract.
At the beginning, let us remind you why the cooperation did not take place in both of the above-mentioned cases. NEOM is a large city in Saudi Arabia, the construction of which could cost as much as 500 billion dollars. It was because of the country and its standpoints that the issue first arose. Women are marginalized and discriminated against, human rights are violated, and minorities are openly discriminated and even punished, which is at odds with global standards.
After the record deal was announced on July 28, criticism fell on BLAST. The community, however, was not interested in building a huge esports center in NEOM. Very quickly, many cast members and famous personalities publicly criticized the tournament organizer’s decision. Among them were Frankie Ward, Duncan “Thorin” Shields, Harry Russell, Hugo Byron, Vince Hill and Dust Mouret.
Astralis also joined them, and unofficially, the other partner teams also raised their opposition. Jason Lake, director of Complexity on Twitter, wrote that the teams with which the tournament organizer had signed contracts did not learn about the planned cooperation before it began.
It was these above-mentioned factors that were to lead to the breaking of cooperation by mutual agreement. Although both companies did not confirm this, according to HLTV portal sources, they were to communicate it to the organizations involved in the project at the Monday meeting. If this information turns out to be true, BLAST will be the second company in the last two weeks to choose a good name and not money from NEOM.
Update: BLAST’s collaboration with NEOM has officially ended. Iain Twine, Non-Executive Director at the Danish company, said in a comment to the Danish portal BT that it had reached a “mutual, professional and respectful agreement” with the futuristic city to terminate the contract. In addition, he informed that his company will continue to expand its reach, including in the Middle East.