The Blast Pro Series is a series of tournaments spread throughout the worlds. With four new events already announced for the upcoming months, this tournament is turning out to be extremely exciting from a viewers perspective
Blast Pro Series Copenhagen is set to start on 2nd November 2018. It has six invited teams, each being a mixture of fan favourites as well as talent. The tournament takes place at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen. It has a total prize pool of $250,000. All the Group stage matches are Single Round Robin Formats with Best of One matches. Only the Grand final will be a Best of Three series.
After taking a miniature break, the Danish squad will be back in full force. The current Major Champions are definitely the team to defeat at this event. Their dominance in their playstyle comes from a deep understanding of their limitations. This basic understanding ensures a change in their playstyle. They are careful not to allow their opponents to take advantage of their weaknesses. For many, Astralis is not the most skilled team out there. Despite this, their smart movements ensure the best performance and result far exceeding that of their opponents.
Device and Dupreeh are the crucial elements on this team. They are the firepower that propels the roster towards success. However, it is their understanding of their role on the team which makes them as effective. However, Glaive is the person that turned this roster to its current dominant status. Along with Coach Zonic, Glaive has been able to devise a thorough understanding of the mid-round calls. His effect on the team is most evident in a map like Nuke which shows off the tactical acumen of the player.
Astralis come into this tournament as hot favourites, however, there are teams fully capable of causing an upset.
Faze Clan recently won the EPICENTER 2018 with a very dominant performance in the finals. While this win does not truly cement their position above Natus Vincere, it does show that they are a team that is not down and out. Most notably, Faze Clan has made some changes to their roles on the team. Niko’s new role as the In-Game Leader has proven to be a very successful In-Game leader. Despite Karrigan’s position on the team seemingly under threat, their recent success at EPICENTER 2018 will definitely instil confidence in their current setup.
However, Faze Clan is a team that needs multiple members to be performing well. This is exactly what happened during the EPICENTER Grand Finals. The roster looked like it was playing a death match as they just plain rushed in multiple times. Their superior firepower only meant that they were able to win their aim duels and secure an early advantage repeatedly.
Faze Clan does look strong right now if their players can continue in their current form. The team has the giving of being a world-class roster, although it has a very different style than Astralis. They rely heavily on their aim, and their players are definitely capable of turning the tides of matches on their own.
If Faze can repeat their performance from EPICENTER, they will rise to the occasion of being a challenger to Astralis.
The other team striving to retain the position as Astralis’ challenger is Na’Vi. The CIS team has two of the world’s best players and a formidable In GameLeader in Seized. However, despite this, they do not have the results to speak for themselves.
Most notably this team is reaching the Grand finals of big tournaments, but failing at the end. This might speak of nerves or otherwise, but Na’Vi has reached the Major Finals as well as the EPICENTER Finals. While their showing against Astralis was disappointing, it was the manner in which Faze Rolled them over that is a hard pill to swallow. Faze Clan has some of the best players in the world and when they perform as good as they did, it becomes almost impossible to tie them down.
Na’Vi also has a problem with their map pool. Their insistence on vetoing Cache even after several months of practice makes them very predictable. They are not the most dominant on other maps like Astralis and hence, it would have been better for the team to have more diversity. Na’Vi ends up force buying a lot, which is great when it works. However, when it does not work it digs a deeper hole for the team from an economic standpoint. Na’Vi will need to secure at least a finals spot at Blast Pro Series. Anything less would be sorely disappointing for the team.
MiBr has had ample time to practice with their new coach, YnK. We have already seen signs of the team performing really well at the Major. However, they need to iron out several flaws in their playstyle in order to start winning tournaments. In addition to this, the lack of form on several key members is also a problem for the roster. For now, they can only focus on improving their tactics and team synergy. They can hope that with time, the players can focus on getting good results once more.
No one expects Made in Brazil to win this tournament. With only six teams in attendance and Best of One Group stages, however, they definitely have a decent chance to reach the Grand finals. If they can do this, it will be a very good, albeit unexpected showing for the team. Made in Brazil has 5 former Major winners and that speaks to their skill ceiling. Of course their current form is far from their peak.
Luckily, we have seen Fallen pull off aggressive AWP positioning and plays during previous tournaments. With YNK joining the team, Fallen has definitely made a change to his playstyle, one that sees him being more effective. Whether or not it is enough is something that only time will tell.
The two teams are definitely the weakest at this tournament. They are capable of putting on great performances, especially after their recent uptick in results. NIP has looked particularly exciting with Lekro at the helm. The player is known for his good overall strategies but also for his individual skill. It is rare to see an In-Game Leader have such an impact on the team as Lekro does. In addition to Lekro, it is also encouraging to see the old guard of F0rest and Get_Right come into their own.
F0rest looked extremely menacing during NIP’s recent matches. His experience of playing so many years coupled with excellent aim has led to a resurgence in the players’ abilities. He is solely responsible for many of NIP’s recent match victories. Get_Right has had a mixed bag of results so far. His aim is really good even now and the instant headshots with the AK are manifest to the same. However, Get_Right does not have the same impact as a lurker as he used to. This is where Get_Right might need a change in his playstyle and position on the team.
Cloud9, on the other hand, will be attending with Kioshima as a stand-in. We don’t know how this is going to impact the team’s performance, but for now, they are a team in transition. With no fixed roster yet, this period seems to be a trial and error for the organisation.
Both Cloud9 and NIP will have a chance to prove upsets against bigger teams. Their performance is not as good as to secure a spot in the Finals. However, if they cause upsets, it can definitely change fortunes for Faze, Astralis or Na’Vi.
The Blast Pro series is available for viewing on Twitch. The matches start at 20:00 CEST with Astralis taking on Made in Brazil.