BLAST Pro series is heading over the pond to Los Angeles, California for the fourth stop on the BLAST Circuit.
BLAST Pro Series is heading to Los Angeles, California for the fourth stop on the BLAST Pro Series Circuit. Read on as we break down all you need to know about the tournament.
BLAST Pro Series is organized by RFRSH Entertainment and features tournaments all throughout the world. What’s new for 2019 is the BLAST Pro Series Global Circuit, where teams will be able to earn points based on where they finish in the tournaments. There will be seven tournaments in total during 2019 and this will be the fourth stop on the circuit, as the BLAST Pro Series comes to Los Angeles, California. At the end of the season, the top four teams will qualify for the Global Finals.
There will be six teams in the competition. Cloud9, MIBR, Liquid and FaZe have been invited as they are part of the Blast Pro Series Circuit. In addition, Renegades and NRG will be making their Blast Pro Series debut after receiving wild card invites.
Astralis, FaZe and ENCE have all won a Blast Pro Series event in 2019, giving us three different winners so far. Unless FaZe wins in Los Angeles, we will have a new winner once again.
The Current Standings:
|Team||No. of BLAST Tournaments||Points|
|Astralis||3 tournaments||22 points|
|Liquid||2 tournaments||16 points|
|FaZe||2 tournaments||12 points|
|NiP||2 tournaments||10 points|
|NaVi||2 tournaments||8 points|
|MIBR||2 tournaments||6 points|
|Cloud9||2 tournaments||2 points|
Currently, Astralis leads the way with 22 points. Liquid and FaZe will have the opportunity to gain ground on the Danes as Astralis will not be in attendance in Los Angeles.
BLAST Pro Series has made some changes to the format this time around, as there will now be a best-of-three single-elimination playoff bracket in addition to the best-of-one round-robin group stage.
As always, there will be a show match of sorts, called the BLAST Pro Stand-off where players will take turns to play each other on an aim map with different weapons. At past events, the team finishing in third-place has gone up against an opponent of their choosing or an opponent picked by the crowd. With the tournament format revamped, it’s still unclear how this will be handled for this event. The most likely scenario is that the two teams that lose the semi-finals will go up against each other in the stand-off.
Blast Pro Series Los Angeles kicks off July 13 and will finish July 14.
*All stats are with the most current rosters on LAN.
Cloud9 (28.50) have chosen to completely revamp their roster, picking up in-game leader daps, TenZ, mixwell and koosta. Now, only autimatic remains from the original roster. The hope is that daps will be able to lead this team back into title contention after successfully doing so during his time with NRG. One of the most exciting names on the roster is the young Canadian, TenZ, who will finally get his chance on a top team. With mixwell and koosta joining the roster, it appears as if autimatic will go back to full-time rifling. Early signs are pointing towards mixwell being the one to pick up the big green gun for the team.
Team Liquid (1.70) are a million dollars richer after winning the Intel Grand Slam and ESL One Cologne earlier this month. The North American side look more confident than ever before and the scary part is that just about everyone on the roster is performing at a very high level individually at the moment. In particular, EliGE and Twistzz seem to have elevated their game quite a few notches during 2019. Team Liquid are the undisputed number one team in the world at the moment, and they will be big favorites going into BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles.
The Brazilian team MIBR (9.60) are in turmoil at the moment, with their star player coldzera announcing that he wishes to be benched from the team after several disappointing results. It is expected that coldzera will still be playing with the team at BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles, but it goes without saying that the atmosphere is likely quite sour within the team at the moment. We saw a similar situation occur recently, with daps getting booted off NRG and still playing for the team at the ESL Pro League finals. That time, both parties managed to set things aside for the sake of professionality, reaching the playoffs after upsetting Astralis in groups.
NRG (4.95) will be making their second LAN appearance with stanislaw, whom they picked up from compLexity last month. NRG had a decent showing, making playoffs after beating FURIA and FaZe. However, both Liquid and Vitality proved to be too much to handle and they went out in the quarter-finals. The quarter-finals matchup against Vitality was especially demoralizing, as they were unable to reach double digits on either map, losing both 4–16. NRG will be hoping to do better this time around, as they are set to make their BLAST Pro Series debut.
Renegades (16.50) have really struggled since Gratisfaction was struck with VISA issues in May, where they were forced to play with stand-ins at a number of events. They have been unable to make playoffs at every event since their playoff run at StarSeries i-League Season 7 back in April. Prior to that, they were in a good run of form which included a deep run at the IEM Katowice major. jks has put up big numbers for the team and AZR has been impressive in the IGL role for the team, but they are going to need the rest of the squad to step up if they want to make a deep run in their BLAST Pro Series debut.
FaZe (7.30) have now played three tournaments with NEO who they picked up from free agency back in May. They were able to make playoffs at both DreamHack Masters Dallas and the ESL Pro League Finals. However, they came up just short of the final at both of these tournaments, dropping out in the quarter and semi-finals. Their last showing was at ESL One Cologne, where they narrowingly beat Renegades only to get beat by both NRG and mousesports to get knocked out in groups. FaZe will hope to get back to winning ways with a win in Los Angeles. Last time we saw FaZe in a BLAST event was at BLAST Pro Series Miami, where we saw a vintage performance from the likes of rain and NiKo, which was enough to earn them the win against Team Liquid in the final.
Usually, I would hesitate to recommend betting on the favorite in an outright at the BLAST Pro Series events due to the format. However, BLAST has made some changes to the format this time around which will only benefit a team like Team Liquid. If you want to fade Team Liquid due to the short number, there is some value in taking both NRG and FaZe as these two teams have the biggest chance of taking them down.
The big boy play would be to take Renegades in the Top 2 market at 6.60. The Australians have had a rough go of things after Gratisfaction started facing VISA issues, however, they looked great prior to this stretch and they are a dangerous team in BO1s. A few BO1 upsets and a lucky playoff draw could potentially see them make the finals.
My overall advice would probably be to simply stick to the BO1 matchups in the group stage when it comes to underdogs, however. There will be some value in taking a team like Renegades in some of these matches. Either on the straight money line or as a handicap bet.