Esports tournament organiser BLAST today announced the details of BLAST Titans, its first foray into Apex Legends esports. Best known for its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions, BLAST has also experimented with tournaments in Valorant, Fortnite, and Dota 2 in the past year.
BLAST has worked with EA to host a two-weekend tournament during the ALGS’ off-season period, before the flagship series starts again in September. BLAST Titans will see 40 European teams compete in July and August, starting with a double elimination bracket which will presumably run similarly to the preliminary rounds of the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational which was hosted in Kraków, Poland in 2019. The second weekend is fully under wraps at the moment, but BLAST is using the two-week format as a way of championing diversity in the Apex Legends esports scene.
The Loadout spoke exclusively with Leo Matlock, VP of commercial at BLAST, who revealed that the tournament would be an opportunity to showcase a diverse roster of high-level Apex Legends players through the open qualification and ten invited “wildcard” teams.
“Esports should be an environment where there is no barrier to excellence for pretty much anybody,” Matlock tells The Loadout. “We all look forward to the day where you go to a LAN event, or watch an online tournament, and you’re seeing pro players and the best players in the world that are fully representative of who you would see if you walk down the street or in other environments.”
Matlock is keen to showcase the very best players in BLAST Titans, regardless of gender. “We’re hoping to see female representation in both the open qualifiers and in wildcard teams,” he says. “This really isn’t a token gesture or like a tick box exercise for us, it’s a really nice opportunity to actually try and stimulate integration and participation.”
He hopes that BLAST will be able to break down some of the barriers to entry that marginalised people often face, and host a tournament fully representative of Apex Legends’ diverse playerbase. Streamers like ‘HisandHersLive’ have been hosting and promoting female-only tournaments and scrims in recent times, and Matlock believes that incorporating more female competitors at BLAST Titans can only help the Apex Legends esports scene.
Diverse teams will qualify through the standard means as well, but the wildcard invites offer an opportunity for BLAST to address gender imbalances at the highest level of competitive play.
“We’re hoping to see female representation of both the open qualifiers and the wildcard teams,” Matlock says. However, he is also keen to ensure the online competition is accessible to players from as many areas of Europe as possible, too.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to look at how we can give more opportunities to people from different areas that aren’t in the ALGS but are great players, and can compete just as well,” he says.
BLAST Titans promises to be a diverse, accessible, and competitive Apex Legends tournament, and will hopefully be a welcome addition to the game’s rapidly growing esports scene.