BLAST has teamed up with NODWIN Gaming to launch The Draft

The Draft will elevate Indian and Pakistani Counter-Strike teams to International stardom, offering a $50k prize pool and the opportunity to compete alongside global esports icons.

BLAST has teamed up with NODWIN Gaming to launch The Draft
Image Credits: NODWIN Gaming

Esports entertainment company BLAST has teamed up with South Asia's leading esports and gaming media company NODWIN Gaming, to launch 'The Draft' - a Counter-Strike tournament that will give teams from India and Pakistan the chance to play with tier-one players on the global stage.


The tournament will see the very best of Indian and Pakistani Counter-Strike battle it out from late January to early February. With a prize pool of $50,000 at stake, participating teams will also have the opportunity to compete alongside and against legendary global Counter-Strike professionals.


The Draft will start with 64 teams from each nation competing across online qualifier tournaments in late January. These teams will be vying for a spot in the Pakistan and India online group stages, where each group offers 6 coveted spots.


The top 3 teams from each group stage will then qualify for February's Super Six LAN event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Each team will be given a Counter-Strike legend via a special draft-inspired selection process - allowing local talents to learn from the world's very best players. 


To celebrate The Draft's launch, True Rippers Esports from India and Team WahWah from Pakistan will take centre stage at the BLAST Premier World Final 2023 Showmatch in Abu Dhabi on Sunday (16th December). A global audience spanning 150+ territories and 28 languages is anticipated to tune in via BLAST's expansive global broadcast network, while thousands of fans will gather at the state-of-the-art Etihad Arena. Notably, each showmatch team will be drafted two BLAST Premier players, selected through fan votes on users.

Faye Marlborough, Brand Director for BLAST, said: "We are delighted to be teaming up with NODWIN Gaming to launch The Draft, giving Indian and Pakistan Counter-Strike teams the chance of a lifetime to play with CS legends on a global stage. Providing emerging esports and gaming markets with opportunities to play on a global stage is key to their long-term growth. The Draft will not only act as an important pathway for aspiring players but will also provide an exciting tournament for global and local fans to enjoy."


Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming, said: "We're incredibly thrilled about our partnership with BLAST to introduce The Draft to our community - a conscious effort to reenergise the local Counter-Strike scene and elevate the esports landscape across India and Pakistan. More than just an esports tournament, The Draft symbolizes a tribute to skill, strategy, and the indomitable spirit of esports, offering a stage where the finest esports talents from our local ecosystem join forces with some of the biggest names in the global Counter-Strike scene, delivering a mesmerizing showcase of esports brilliance."


We feel tournaments of such magnitude play crucial roles in contributing to the robustness of the gaming ecosystem within the subcontinent, and provide a global stage for talented esports athletes to showcase their abilities. We truly share our community's sentiments and cannot wait to witness some exhilarating Counter-Strike brilliance at The Draft."


A recent report by esports market research firm Niko Partners revealed that the Asia and MENA regions accounted for over 56% of global esports revenue in 2022. India and Pakistan were the countries with the strongest number of active esports players in the South Asia region in the same period.


The collaboration between South Asia's leading esports and gaming media company NODWIN Gaming and global esports giant BLAST signifies a concerted effort to uplift the overall esports ecosystem within South Asia, providing a platform for emerging talents to shine and be mentored by legendary Counter-Strike professionals.


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