BLAST Pro Series Madrid will be the 3rd BLAST Pro Series event of this season. Great teams such as Astralis, Natus Vincere and ENCE will compete at the event, providing us with an amazing chance to watch some world-class matches.
Just like the other editions, BLAST Pro Series Madrid offers a prize pool of $250.000 and lasts for two days. This time, as the name suggests, the tournament will take place in Madrid, Spain between May 10th – 11th.
BLAST Pro Series Madrid Participants
BLAST Pro Series Madrid features six teams. Five of these are known and the 6th will be an underdog from Spain or Portugal. This 6th team will be given a chance to compete against some of the world’s most formidable teams. This is clearly done to promote the local CS:GO scene and to attract more spectators to the event.
These are the teams that will take part in BLAST Pro Series Madrid.
- Natus Vincere
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Moviestar Riders OR Giants Gaming (Iberian Qualifier)
The most important teams and the ones that are most likely to play in the Grand Final are Astralis, Natus Vincere and ENCE.
— BLAST Pro Series (@BLASTProSeries) April 24, 2019
BLAST Pro Series Madrid Team Analysis
Here’s a brief analysis of the first five teams, so that you may get a better understanding of what they’ve done lately and where they’re at right now.
Astralis is starting to look like a crumbling giant. Of course, it’s still too early to say if the end is nigh, but during their last four matches, the Danes showed clear signs of weakness and made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes that are usually associated with a loss of focus and motivation. Or who knows? Maybe the other teams have started to catch up with their tactics and strategies.
Regardless of what the cause may be, at the previous BLAST Pro Series Miami edition Astralis finished 5th out of six competitors after they lost against MIBR (2 – 16!), Team Liquid (14 – 16) and FaZe Clan (5 – 16). Each of these three losses were painful to watch, but the one against MIBR showed that something is definitely wrong with Astralis these days. That score hadn’t been registered against them for a long long time.
After that BPS tournament, Astralis won several matches against much weaker teams. But as soon as they met a tier one opponent (BIG), they struggled to find success and even lost on their best map, Inferno, needing three maps to finish the match.
Going into BLAST Pro Series Madrid, we expect Astralis to play in the Grand Final just because FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and MIBR aren’t here to contest them. The only real opponents for the Danes are Natus Vincere and ENCE, and these teams are themselves in a bit of trouble. So overall, this should still be Astralis’ tournament to win, but it may well be one of the last until the team starts to crumble.
Na’Vi has had a good season so far, but they’re still struggling against the top 6 teams. Every one of their matches is painful to watch when the opponent is one of high caliber. S1mple and his squad finished 3rd – 4th at the IEM Katowice Major, won the title against Fnatic at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 and then finished 4th at the latest BPS event.
Both Astralis and ENCE have proved to be a serious match for Na’Vi during the last three months. Astralis is considerably stronger while ENCE is slightly weaker, but still has what it takes to bring Na’Vi down. So overall, if s1mple sleeps well that weekend and everything goes according to plan, the CIS competitor should be the second finalist at BLAST Pro Series Madrid. However, the battle is open and let’s not forget that NiP could also overperform. They tend to do that from time to time with devastating consequences for the other teams.
At their previous BPS editions, Na’Vi finished 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively.
The Finns are currently sitting at number five in the global rankings and their notable results during this season include the following: 1st place at Europe Minor Championship Katowice 2019, 2nd place at IEM Katowice 2019, 3rd place at BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo 2019 and 5th – 8th place at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7.
ENCE seems to be in good shape so they will be one of the main candidates for a place in the Grand Final at BLAST Pro Series Madrid. In the worst case scenario, they should finish 3rd after Astralis and Natus Vincere. It’s not likely that NiP or Cloud9 will beat them, so we can’t see them drop in the bottom half of the pack.
Cloud9 is not exactly owning right now. They’re not a bad team, but whenever they compete at this level, against the world’s best teams, they tend to get crushed. At the latest BPS event, for instance, they finished last with five consecutive losses and a round handicap of -30. That’s quite bad, but you need to look at their opponents from that tournament: Astralis, Team Liquid, FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, MIBR. In other words, most of the world’s best teams.
At BLAST Pro Series Madrid, Cloud9 will face a more approachable set of teams but three of them are still considerably stronger. Namely, the ones we listed above. The other two are beatable but not without an excellent performance. In particular, C9 is only slightly weaker than NiP at this point and is probably much stronger than the 6th competitor who will join the race after the qualifier.
Overall, we expect Cloud9 to finish 4th or 5th at BLAST Pro Series Madrid and no higher than 3rd. On paper, they should end up in 5th place but we do give them a high chance of beating NiP in a Bo1 match. So 4th is almost as likely as 5th.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
NiP is a top-eight team at the moment but they’ve been losing a lot lately. Whenever they face an opponent from the top 10, f0rest and his squad have a really hard time finding the winning formula.
This season, NiP has had a number of important participations at tier one events. Among them were the following: IEM Katowice Major (5th – 8th), BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo (4th) and StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 (5th – 8th).
One noteworthy thing about NiP is that they tend to do well in Bo1 matches. In 2018, NiP took part in three BLAST Pro Series events, finishing 2nd, 3rd and 6th. In 2019, they finished 4th. So the team does have a good chance at BLAST Pro Series Madrid, given the lower than usual level of competition.
Overall, we expect NiP to finish this event in 4th place. They could climb a bit higher but it will be hard. Astralis has almost always crushed them in direct matches while Na’Vi and ENCE are also out of reach for now. If NiP is to produce an upset, they will have to capitalize on at least one of these teams’ lack of form and defeat Cloud9 and the underdog (6th team).