Abu Dhabi welcomes world’s best esports players for BLAST Premier World Final

  • The tournament is the first to be staged in the Middle East and will see the world’s eight best Counter-Strike teams battle for glory this week to be champions of 2022 at Etihad Arena
  • BLAST has partnered with AD Gaming to host the season-ending tournament which will have a prize pool of USD $1 million
  • Tickets for 17th and 18th December are still available to purchase for the event which will also be attended by the region’s top gaming stars including Saudi Arabia’s BanderitaX

Abu Dhabi: This year’s BLAST Premier World Final, one of the elite global esports tournaments, will kick off in Abu Dhabi from Wednesday (14th December) with eight of the world’s best teams set to compete for the chance to be Counter-Strike champions of 2022.

BLAST has partnered with AD Gaming, a pioneering gaming and esports initiative to bring its season-ending tournament to the UAE capital for the first time as part of a three-year partnership.

To run until 18th December at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena, the World Final will see eight of the world’s biggest esports organisations battle for glory in the seventh and last event of BLAST Premier tournament series, which will have a prize pool of USD $1 million.

Among the top sides to feature are FaZe Clan (ESL Pro League 15, NAVI, (BLAST Premier Spring Final), Team Vitality (ESL Pro League 16), Outsiders (IEM Rio Major) and Heroic (BLAST Premier Fall Final). They will be joined by G2 Esports, Team Liquid and OG Esports, who finished in the top three in the World Final Leaderboard.

Representing the teams will be some of the biggest esports players including Team Vitality’s ‘dupreeh’, who has won four majors, and ‘s1mple’ of NAVI  – widely considered as one of the greatest and most accomplished professional gamers and esports players of all-time with 21 HLTV MVP medals and a Major.

For Karrigan, the in-game leader for Faze Clan and one of the most well-known and successful in-game leaders in Counter-Strike, said: “I’m looking forward to playing in Abu Dhabi and with BLAST setting up this World Final in this region is a fantastic way to reach to new audiences. BLAST is doing a great job in growing esports and seeing the fans is something I’m looking forward. One of the best things about playing is playing in front of fans and reaching new audiences and I think it’s important we go around the world and make CS:GO and esports popular for everyone.”

ZywOo from Team Vitality, said: “We don’t have any expectations as it’s the last tournament of the year so for us it’s about enjoying the experience and the tournament. We are going to play against some of the best players and it’s the biggest tournament of the year.”

Abu Dhabi will be the first city in the Middle East to stage a BLAST Premier tournament and joins a list that includes London, Copenhagen, Miami, São Paulo, Istanbul and Madrid.

Charlotte Kenny, Managing Director of BLAST Premier, said: “After months of planning, the BLAST Premier World Final 2022 is finally here and we could not be more excited especially as it’s being hosted in Abu Dhabi for the first time.

“With the support of AD Gaming, Abu Dhabi is taking strides to boost its gaming ecosystem and we are proud that the BLAST Premier World Final will help contribute to establishing a thriving local esports scene.

“While there will be exhilarating performances by the best players in the world, there will be plenty of entertainment in the BLAST Gaming Zone that will keep people of all ages entertained. Whether you’re a gaming fan or not, the World Final promises to be an event like no other in what will be a historic occasion.”

The event aligns with AD Gaming’s wider strategy and commitment to aggregate Abu Dhabi’s drive to build a thriving gaming and esports ecosystem, and continue to promote the city as a global gaming hub.

James Hartt, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development at AD Gaming, said: “BLAST’s commitment to Abu Dhabi perfectly demonstrates the scale and impact of the emirate’s growing gaming and esports sector, both in terms of the industry and the player and fan communities. Crucially, it also shows a deep trust in the growth and untapped potential that Abu Dhabi has to offer.

“The world’s leading esport tournament organisers are increasingly selecting Abu Dhabi as their destination of choice, and we’re proud to be at the centre of it all. AD Gaming is continuously working to build up Abu Dhabi’s gaming and esports ecosystem even further – particularly its suite of first-class venues, its pool of passionate fans, and its growing community of talented developers and creators. We can’t wait to show Abu Dhabi what a world class esports event entails.” 

The event will also attract some of the biggest names in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia’s popular gaming creator BanderitaX along with professional Fortnite players NM7 and spyerfrog

They will be among a host of top gamers, influencers and content creators including Basharkk,” and Galaxy Racer’s professional Fortnite players “Souriano” and “g1ntl” with spectators able to meet the stars in person.

The BLAST Gaming Zone will also have something for every person to enjoy with fans able to participate in a weekend of playing Counter-Strike, FIFA and Fall Guys.


We’re on a mission to take esports to the next level of global entertainment. We excite and invite billions of fans to join the esports revolution. We create live and digital experiences – from tournaments that pack out major arenas around the world to great content that’s guaranteed to blow your socks off.

We work with some of the world’s best game publishers and brands to elevate their properties into amazing esports experiences – having delivered tournaments, content and shows in a variety of games, including: Counter-Strike, DOTA 2, VALORANT, Apex Legends, FIFA 2022 and Fortnite.

Over the last year, we’ve been working with Fortnite to develop industry leading, year-round, calendar of exciting and competitive esports events. Following last year’s FNCS All-Star Showdown and FNCS Grand Royale tournaments, we’re now operating the entire FNCS Chapter 3 broadcast schedule during each Fortnite Season for 2022.

BLAST Premier is a worldwide Counter-Strike tournament series where the best teams and biggest superstars fight it out for glory and a multi-million dollar prize pool. Famous for its unparalleled production quality and game changing fan-first moments. Attracting tens-of-thousands of fans to our crazy-big-adrenaline-pumped live events in big arenas from London and Copenhagen to Miami and Sao Paulo, with millions more watching at home on our broadcast tuning in from more than 154 territories and in 25 different languages.

About AD Gaming

Abu Dhabi Gaming is a collaborative initiative that aggregates the broad efforts throughout Abu Dhabi to drive and build a self-sustaining gaming and esports ecosystem.

Its role is to facilitate, empower and create an industry that is essential for the future of Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment industry.

Fostering an environment of growth and knowledge, AD Gaming will provide a support system for the next generation of game developers and players, consumers and businesses alike.

Abu Dhabi Gaming is powered by the collaboration of multiple Abu Dhabi based governmental and commercial organisations, as well as content creators and gamers, with the collective focus to build this creative sector.