The Blast Pro Series is back with its latest iteration in Miami. The tournament follows a similar pattern as with the other editions. The Blast Pro Series Miami will feature six attending teams, each with a valid chance to reach the Grand Finals of the tournament. Blast Pro Series Miami features a prize pool of $250,000. Blast Pro Series is a series of tournaments hosted by the organisers RFRSH Entertainment. They have a significant investment in esports tournaments and teams. With the Blast Pro Series of tournaments, RFRSH Entertainment wants to bring forth the best Counter-Strike teams to their audience.
The Miami leg of the Blast Pro Series will be a two-day event. The tournament will take place on the 12th & 13th of April 2019. It features a total of six teams competing at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. The six teams will play in multiple Best of One matches as they attempt to secure a place in the Grand finals on Day 2. The map vetoes will be announced before the start of the event. This single Round Robin format has its advantages and disadvantages. However, the event is an invite-only event which ensures that we are witness to the best teams competing against each other.
Here’s a brief look at the six teams taking part in the Blast Pro Series: Miami event. They include the best team in the world Astralis, as well as other top tier contenders to the Danish supremacy.
Astralis: The Favourites
The Danish team is undoubtedly the best team in the world. Their dominance extends from 2018 and there are no indications that any other team has come close to overthrowing them. Astralis’ supremacy comes from more than just their skill and gameplay. The team has large support staff and they are constantly self-evaluating their own performance. The team’s performance has moved from strength to strength.
What is important for Astralis in this tournament is the fact that this is the last event [ Blast Pro series] before the addition of Vertigo. Vertigo is a map that is very new to every professional player. The lack of experience of playing on the new map is going to be a huge task going forward for all teams. It will be a dramatic change in the map pool, one that might just change the way Astralis approach their vetoes.
However, for this tournament, the Danish lineup definitely has the upper hand. They look extremely comfortable in the current meta and they don’t really need to change much from their existing playstyle to secure the victory. They have already played many matches against each of the other participating teams. Every time, Astralis came out on top, further cementing their position as a top tier team.
Natus Vincere: The Starseries Season 7 winners
Natus Vincere won the Starseries & I-League Season 7. The victory came with the knowledge that Astralis was absent from the tournament. Regardless, the CIS team definitely looked very strong when we saw them in China. The team’s performance has shown us why they are considered a top tier team.
They have some of the best players in the world in the form of Electronic and S1mple. The young duo, accompanied by Flamie. The three players are extremely young and we have seen their skill ceiling to reach the very top of the Counterstrike scene. S1mple has had a temperament in the past which saw him at odds with his teammates. However, he has evolved into a team player during his time on Na’Vi. It is not uncommon to see S1mple pass on the AWP or better weaponry to another player on the team.
The focus on helping the team develop into a strong unit relies on the ability of individual players to perform well. Despite S1mple’s strong performances, the rest of the team is simply unable to put forth a strong performance on a regular basis. In fact, S1mple is such a good player that we saw him win the MVP award despite Na’Vi being the losing team.
For Na’Vi, this tournament will be a true test for their ability to challenge Astralis. They definitely have the momentum and the confidence to do so. It remains to be seen if they can truly execute their playstyle to win the tournament.
Team Liquid – Will they reclaim their position?
The North American team was once considered to be the best North American team in Counter-Strike. By all means, they are still the better team from amongst the rest, however, their performance has definitely waned since their peak. The North American squad made changes to their roster late last year. They brought on Stewie2k and Adren to the team. Stewie2k’s addition to the team definitely added better firepower to the roster while Adren is one of the better strategic minds in the region.
Team Liquid’s last outing was during the Blast Pro Series Sao Paolo. The team reached the Grand Finals where they faced Astralis. They still remain a very strong team, but they have been relegated to the second position for a long time. Team Liquid relies on their superior firepower which recently received a huge boost due to the addition of Stewie2k. They are not afraid to play aggressive and take the game to their opponents. The team has several stars and it is not uncommon to see one player rise to the occasion with multiple kills in a round. These performances often secure them the victory in the round further ensuring a strong half/game for the North American side.
The format of the Blast Pro Series means there is very little room for error for any team. The matches are all Best of One matches and the teams move directly to the Grand finals. Ensuring a Top two position in the tournament would speak a lot for the team’s performance and return to the professional scene as a force to reckon with.
Faze Clan: The Blast Pro series is an opportunity for the mixed team
The expectations from the International team were very high when they were announced. But after several months of playing together, the team still has not been able to reach their expectations. Faze Clan’s latest changes saw them add YnK to their team as the coach. The former Analyst turned coach has a knack for the theoretical improvement that a team requires. However, so far, he has not achieved much success when it comes to the team’s expectations.
Faze Clan probably has the second best-decorated players in the professional scene. With the likes of Guardian, Olofmeister and Niko in their ranks, no opponent can take this team lightly. They remain one of the best teams on paper, but with really poor results overall. The Faze Clan roster’s performance has not inspired confidence and despite getting a new coach, we have not seen them in their prime.
For now, Faze Clan is probably the 4th best team amongst the rest at Blast Pro Series Madrid. The team will barely scrape it to make it to the Top 3 at the tournament.
MiBr – A team which missed the boat.
Made in Brazil is yet another team which has failed to live up to its expectations. The team has some of the best players in the world and this particular roster was also one of the best teams in the world at a time. However, their current form is nowhere near their peak performance which was the reason why Brazilian counter strike rose to prominence in the first place.
Made in Brazil still needs a lot of time to prove their worth. Their last few tournaments saw them lose to teams such as Windigo at the WESG 2018 event. Made in Brazil will probably accompany Faze Clan near the 3-4th position in this tournament. They will be using this tournament to adequately judge their ranking in the Counter-Strike scene.
Cloud9 – The Underdogs.
The North American squad is not really in the same place as the rest of the teams in the tournament. The team recently made some changes to their roster. They added Vice and CajunB to their CS: GO roster. CajunB’s addition to the team definitely adds a lot of flexibility to the team. He has been a focal point of the Danish scene in the past and he was a part of the former TSM / Dignitas team in the past. However, while he was touted as being a very aggressive player on the team, his actions did not really put forth a similar performance with regularity. He was decent, despite being provided with enough opportunities to make plays for the team.
His role in the Cloud9 roster will require a lot of finetuning. He is not the star player as he was in his previosu teams. Instead, he will be required to work with the rest of the squad and still put forth a strong performance for the team. We don’t have many expectations from the team in this tournament. Cloud9’s roster remains fairly new and this tournament will be a way for the team to get to know each other. They will possibly come last in the tournament after losing matches to the better teams in Miami.
The Blast Pro Series Miami is a tournament filled with the best teams in the world. The tournament presents an exciting format to the audience, especially with the Best of One matches. The teams will be aware of the map of choice much before the start of these matches.
The Blast Pro Series continue at periodic intervals ensuring a thorough understanding of the best teams’ rankings. Astralis remains the favourite at this tournament. The other teams will be wanting to reach the Grand finals of this tournament as it could cement their position in the final rankings. For now, the tournament presents an exciting format, one which allows the best teams to compete against each other. You can catch all the action live on Twitch here.