The stage is set for eight of the world's best esports and professional gaming teams to battle it out for a prize pool of $1 million in the five-day Blast Premier World Final starting in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Yas Island's Etihad Arena is the venue for the prestigious Tier One season-ending tournament organised by Blast in partnership with ADGaming – a pioneering gaming and esports initiative under the Abu Dhabi government.

"It's important to be hosting Tier One tournaments. There are so many people in the region who have not been or had the chance to attend a tier-one esports tournament and the energy and atmosphere in the Arena is an experience that every gamer should have. We're excited at ADGaming to bring it to fans through the Blast Premier World Final," James Hartt, gaming and digital development department director of AD Gaming, said, during a media session.

The world final is returning to Abu Dhabi for the second time following the success in 2022 and will see another strong line-up of teams from around the world. G2 from Europe will go into the event as the defending champions but face stern competition from Faze Clan (US), Cloud9 (US), Ence (Finland), Navi (Ukraine), and Team Vitality (France) during the competition.

"It's a special tournament for us as we won it last year and all the preparations have been good for us to do well. It's hard to put any expectations, and we will aim to put in a good effort in all the matches we play," Hooxie, captain of G2, said.

Last year's finals saw more than 6,000 people enjoying the thrilling action amid the world's eight best Counter-Strike teams.

Andrew Haworth, programme director of Blast Premier World Final, noted that the audience at the Arena can expect more excitement this time around.

"We cannot wait to get the tournament started at the Etihad Arena."

Haworth noted that there will be a wide range of gaming activities and pop-up tournaments for fans to experience. "We have a wide range of gaming activities in our Blast Zone that adults and children of all ages can enjoy."

At the Arena, there will be activities at the mobile gaming area, arcade games, meet and greet opportunities with esports teams, racing simulators, and more fun for all age groups.

Hartt added: "The fans are in for something special this year and the gaming festival combined means there is something for every fan in the Arena."

For further details and tickets to the final, visit the official websites of Ticketmaster or Etihad Arena.

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