BLAST announced that this year's Premier World Final will be staged in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The world championship will be played Dec. 14-18 at Etihad Arena on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island. BLAST plans for there to be a live audience at the 18,000-capacity arena.
It is central to a three-year partnership that BLAST revealed with ADGaming that will aim to "build a thriving gaming and esports ecosystem" in Abu Dhabi.
"The World Final will follow in the footsteps of popular sports such as UFC, F1 and NBA in hosting major events in Abu Dhabi and the remarkable Etihad Arena provides the perfect stage for our World Final event," BLAST Premier managing director Charlotte Kenny said in a news release. "Esports and the gaming sectors are growing at a rapid pace in the Middle East with hundreds of thousands of people engaged with gaming, as either players or spectators."
Eight CS:GO teams will qualify for the $1 million World Final, the most prestigious event on the Counter-Strike calendar. FaZe Clan already qualified by winning the PGL Antwerp Major earlier this year.
This month's Spring Final is scheduled for Portuguese capital Lisbon. The Fall Final will precede the World Finals; it's set for Copenhagen, Denmark in November.
--Field Level Media