BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 Preview Based On IEM Katowice Aftermath

By: Mikele Schembri
Mar 05, 2019

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BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 is an upcoming CS:GO event scheduled to take place in Miami, US between April 12th – 13th. Like all BLAST Pro Series events, it brings together 6 teams, all of whom have been directly invited, and offers a prize pool of $250.000.

The amazing thing about BLAST Pro Series tournaments is that the organizer, RFRSH, has a very epic way of doing things and only invites strong and famous teams. This quickly translates into a hyped event in which every single match is worth watching.

In this article, we will provide an analysis of 4 of the 6 competitors that will attend BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 and give you a better understanding of where they’re at and what they’ve done this season.

Astralis

You either love them or hate them at this point. Many people have started to suggest that we should regard them as the villain. That’s how monotonous things have gotten when it comes to CS:GO tournaments attended by Astralis. These guys just keep on winning. And they’ve been smashing opponents for 10 months now.

Astralis played in 15 Grand Finals over the last 10 months and won 12 of them. That’s insane. Last time they did it, it was at the IEM Katowice Major, where they simply destroyed everyone they encountered. NiP got smashed in the Quarterfinals, MIBR in the Semifinals and ENCE eSports in the Grand Final. It was a complete bloodbath.

Expectation from Astralis for BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019

It may sound as a cliche at this point, but it’s hard to imagine dev1ce and his teammates not winning the title at BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019. In the worst case scenario, they should at least qualify for the Grand Final. Anything less than that would be a complete disappointment.

If you want to go against the current and bet on Astralis’ failure at BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019, there are a couple of things that support that idea.

First of all, every match until the Grand Final is a Bo1. So Astralis will have to play 5 Bo1s in total and this gives their opponents a real chance, not only because they can veto their best maps but also because the Bo1 format is ideal for upsets.

The second reason why you may be justified to believe that Astralis will miss the Grand Final is the fact that it’s happened before. In 2018, 3 BLAST Pro Series events took place in total and Astralis did miss the Grand Final at one of them.

Apart from these reasons, nothing really supports the slightly crazy idea that the Danes will fail to deliver on a big stage such as this one. So based on that, we think that it’s probably safer to assume that Astralis will likely be one of the Grand Finalists at BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019.

MIBR

Their fans are probably happier than ever before. MIBR has come back this year to their tried and tested 100% Brazilian roster. After one year of experiments, FalleN had had enough and decided to go back to basics. Sending TACO away was clearly a mistake from day 1, but I guess the team needed a change at the start of last year, after their results started to plummet.

So TACO left the team and the rest is history. Soon after, MIBR went from bad to worse while he started to play in a lot of Grand Finals with Team Liquid. The conclusion was obvious: whoever’s fault it was, TACO shouldn’t have been blamed for the team’s failures.

Fast forward to 2019, FalleN and the other 2 members of the core trio, fer and coldzera, are finally reunited not just with TACO, but with felps and zews as well. In this new formula, MIBR is playing excellent CS:GO, reminding everyone why they used to be the best team in the world. At the recent IEM Katowice Major, MIBR finished 3rd – 4th after losing to Astralis in the Semifinals. This was probably the best match of the tournament or at least the Playoffs Stage. On the first map, MIBR actually came close to winning but ultimately lost (score 14 – 16).

MIBR’s chances at BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019

Going into BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019, we expect MIBR to finish 2nd, although to reach the Grand Final they will have to defeat at least two of their main rivals. That is, Astralis, Team Liquid and Natus Vincere. FaZe Clan and Cloud9 shouldn’t be a problem for them at this point, even though they did lose terribly bad against the last of these teams at IEM Katowice. In all likelihood, that was a rare accident.

FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan is having a tough time right now. Niko is simply not the confident leader that karrigan was and YNk is not the experienced coach that RobbaN was. As for AdreN, the relatively new player who got transferred from Gambit Esports, he’s not bad with his aim but that’s just a tiny part of being a strong CS:GO player. Overall, I don’t think he’s good enough to play at this level and have a real impact.

FaZe Clan finished 5th – 8th at the recent IEM Katowice Major. They also won a smaller event before that, namely ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019, by defeating Cloud9 in the Grand Final. However, there’s a big difference between playing against teams from outside of top 8 and playing against the likes of Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, Astralis and MIBR. At this level, we wouldn’t be surprised to see FaZe Clan lose every single match.

Watching them play, you can definitely see that their individual players are very strong for the most part. But you can also spot right away that there’s not cohesive game plan and that every round is a throw of the dice in the hopes that someone will hit some ridiculous shots. Or that the whole roster will instinctively know what to do.

Low expectations for FaZe going forward

At the upcoming BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019, FaZe Clan seems doomed to finish 5th or 6th. Anything more than that would be miraculous at this point. Unless they bring back karrigan until the start of this tournament. That may give them a real chance.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid is still a very dangerous team, even though they did make some ridiculous mistakes at IEM Katowice, where they lost 0 – 2 in the Quarterfinals against ENCE eSports. It’s not yet clear what happened there but they had a massive lead and just squandered it. That kind of throw is unthinkable at this level and yet they did lose against a much weaker team after being in full control of the second map.

With TACO and zews out of the team, Liquid has brought in Stewie2K as their 5th man and adreN as their new coach. And things looked great for a while. Liquid won a trophy at the start of this season, at iBUYPOWER Masters IV, where they defeated Astralis in the Grand Final.

Liquid is still a top favorite

Now the situation is a bit unclear, simply because of the defeat against ENCE eSports. However, we do believe that based on the overall results they’ve had in recent months, Team Liquid is still a top 4 team and possibly even stronger than that.

Going into BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019, our expectation is that Liquid will finish 3rd or 4th, based on how well Na’Vi plays at the event.