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Angie M. Gates

BLAST Premier Returns to North America with Spring Final Set to Take Place in Washington, D.C.

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BLAST Premier will be making its long-awaited return to the US with the Spring Final set to take place in Washington, D.C.’s Entertainment & Sports Arena.

BLAST has teamed with Events DC and Monumental Sports & Entertainment to bring its global esports tournament, the BLAST Premier Spring Final, to Washington in June this year.

Hosted at Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, the Spring Final will run from 7th-11th June and will feature the world’s biggest esports teams, battling for the first BLAST Premier trophy of 2023, a share of the event’s $450,000 prize pool and a place in the prestigious World Final.

The nation’s capital will host the first BLAST event to take place in North America since 2019, when the BLAST Pro Series was hosted in Los Angeles, California, and where US-based Team Liquid lifted the trophy.

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The announcement and partnership align with BLAST’s on-going commitment to reaching new audiences, delivering incredible experiences in state-of-the-art arenas and bringing esports closer to those who love it most.

Charlotte Kenny, Managing Director for BLAST Premier, said: “North America has some of Counter-Strike’s most passionate fans and talented players. We are delighted to be returning to the U.S. in June to host our first BLAST Premier arena event of 2023. BLAST is focused on uniting fans through their shared love of esports and providing them with first-class entertainment experiences. Washington, D.C. provides the perfect location to deliver on this ambition, where we are excited to be partnering with Monumental Sports & Entertainment and Events DC to bring the Spring Final to a city with such a rich history of hosting leading sporting events.”

“The BLAST Premier Spring Final is a dynamic event to host at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. We welcome Counter-Strike fans to Washington, D.C., a growing hub for the global esports community,” said Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates. “This partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment and BLAST Premier gives Events DC the opportunity to showcase more experiences that engage, excite and entertain visitors from around the world.”

“Monumental Sports is thrilled to welcome the world-renowned BLAST competition, the elite Counter-Strike athletes and global fans with a showcase of our warm hospitality and incredible facilities,” said Zach Leonsis, President, Media and New Enterprises for Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “The Washington, D.C. region has so many die-hard esports fans and it is a market ripe for accelerated growth. Once long-term and new esports fans see the energy and excitement at District E this summer, we know that will catalyse that trajectory.”

Opened in 2018, Events DC’s 4,000 seat Entertainment & Sports Arena is the state-of-the-art home to the WNBA Washington Mystics and NBA G League Capital City Go-Go. The multi-purpose venue hosts a wide range of entertainment from concerts, wrestling, basketball, esports and more. Further activity will also take place at District E Powered by Ticketmaster, which will debut in March 2023 as a new esports and entertainment destination in downtown DC, developed by Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

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BLAST Premier is the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series, hosting the best players and teams, offering opportunities to regions across the globe and crowning the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 of the world’s best teams take part in the seven BLAST Premier events across the year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

Six teams will confirm their place for Washington, D.C. during this week’s BLAST Premier Spring Groups which is currently taking place at BLAST’s studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. The remaining two teams will be made up of winners from each regional Spring Showdown (12-16 April).

BLAST.tv will be the home of BLAST Premier in 2023, where fans can get closer to the action than ever before. Innovative and fan-first viewing features will allow fans to tailor their viewing experience, relive key and exciting moments and impact the action unfolding before their eyes.

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Angie M. Gates

NBA 2K LEAGUE AND MONUMENTAL SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT PARTNER TO HOST 2023 SEASON AT NEW DISTRICT E POWERED BY TICKETMASTER IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

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The NBA 2K League announced today that, in partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the 2023 season will be hosted at the soon-to-debut District E Powered by Ticketmaster in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the league unveiled its complete competition schedule, which runs between Wednesday, March 8 and Saturday, August 5. The NBA 2K League will award $2.5 million in cash prizes across THE BANNER CHAIN SERIES Powered by AT&T and Coinbase NBA 2KL 3v3 BLACKTOP SERIES tournaments, and the NBA 2K League 3v3 and 5v5 Playoffs.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., District E Powered by Ticketmaster is adjacent to Capital One Arena, the home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.  District E is a nearly 14,000-square-foot live-event theater that, in addition to the 2023 2K League season, will offer a daily series of immersive experiences in esports, music, programming, an extraordinary culinary experience and community events – along with pre- and post-game activities for fans attending Capitals and Wizards games.

For the first time, the NBA 2K League season will be separated into 3v3 and 5v5 halves.  The 3v3 portion of the season begins with the Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 SLAM OPEN on March 8 and finishes with the NBA2KL 3v3 Finals on Saturday, May 13. The 5v5 competition tips off on Wednesday, May 23 with THE TIPOFF Powered by AT&T and will culminate with the NBA2KL 5v5 Finals on Saturday, Aug. 5.

“Pioneers of esports since the beginning, including through their success with two-time NBA 2K League champion Wizards District Gaming, we are thrilled to partner with the Leonsis family and Monumental Sports & Entertainment to help launch their new state-‑of-‑the-‑art facility, District E Powered by Ticketmaster,” said NBA 2K League President Brendan Donohue. “We can’t wait to make Washington, D.C. our home in 2023 and bring the excitement of the NBA 2K League to fans at District E.”

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“As early investors in the NBA 2K League, we are honored to host the most elite esports athletes in the world at our new esports and entertainment facility in our nation’s capital,” said Zach Leonsis, President, Media & New Enterprises at Monumental Sports & Entertainment.  “The League has designed an exciting season and we look forward to welcoming their fans and the rest of the vast gaming community from across the Mid-Atlantic to District E for a first-of-its-kind experience.  And for those new to esports, we believe we are going to turn them into die-hard fans once they see the amazing live-action in person and all the other amenities which District E will have to offer.”

“Washington, D.C. is a growing hub for the esports community with sponsorships, events, tournaments—and now the dynamic addition of the NBA 2K League.  We welcome the local, national and international athletes and fans to our city,” said Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates. “Working with the NBA 2K League and Monumental Sports & Entertainment allows us to accomplish our goals of bringing cutting edge experiences that engage, excite and entertain to sports enthusiasts.”

For the second straight season, community teams from around the world will have the opportunity to participate alongside NBA 2K League teams for a share of the 3v3 tournament prize pool in the Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 BLACKTOP SERIES. Also new for this season, the SLAM OPEN and SWITCH OPEN tournaments will use a double-elimination format.  NBA 2K League teams and community teams will qualify for the NBA 2K League 3v3 Playoffs based on their performance in the prior competitions throughout the season, with the STEAL OPEN remaining the last chance tournament for teams still trying to qualify for the 3v3 Playoffs.

THE BANNER CHAIN SERIES Powered by AT&T and the NBA 2K League 5v5 Playoffs will continue to feature only NBA 2K League teams.  All 25 teams will compete in THE TIPOFF and THE TURN.  The five top performing teams from each conference at the end of those tournaments will automatically qualify for the NBA 2K League 5v5 Playoffs.  The 15 remaining teams will compete in THE TICKET, with the winning teams from the two conferences earning the 11th and 12th spots in the Playoffs.

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