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BLAST Pro Series is the world’s newest and most explosive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event! With an audience of more than 10,000 in the new state-of-the-art Royal Arena, it is the biggest eSport tournament ever in Denmark.
You’ll witness six of the world’s best Counter-Strike teams, which includes the Danish Derby between Astralis and North, battle it out on the new, unique triangular stage! It’s a tournament where ALL GAMES MATTER!
The first half of the program includes the last three and decisive rounds of group stage matches. Also, there will be a chance to see the qualifiers simultaneously with all critical moments and highlights on the main screen. Experience the constant audience surprises while being guided through it all by Anders Blume and his team of world-class casters. The second half includes a couple of surprises and the Grand Final — one game, one stage, one winner!
Forget the usual fear of missing out on seeing your favorite team on stage. Forget the uncertainty of who’s playing when. All teams will play on stage! Forget waiting for hours or even days for the exciting games. All teams play in the arena on game day!
When Lukas «gla1ve» Rossander joined Astralis towards the end of last year, things turned around right away for the Danes. They went from a contending team to a championship team almost instantly. The result, of course, was an incredible run at the ELEAGUE Major, which saw them lift the year’s first major trophy. The Astralis era was a foregone conclusion. Just, it never happened.
Nicolai «dev1ce» Reedtz and his boys won another tier-one event at IEM Katowice in March, but that’s it for gold medals. This, of course, isn’t enough to claim an era.
While Astralis continuously showed solid performances at most events they attended, it almost seems as if they fell back into old habits – choking. A lot of 2nd or 3-4th place finishes in the second half of the year, without a trophy.
The reasons are difficult to pinpoint. But one thing that certainly doesn’t help is that Markus «Kjaerbye» Kjærbye lost his form from late 2016, early 2017. He was the star of the ELEAGUE Major and rightfully won the MVP award. He’s been struggling extensively throughout the rest of the year. He might be the decisive factor in swaying the fortune the Danes’ way once again in their quest for gold medals.
SK has been at the top of CS:GO for nearly two years now. It is remarkable and even longer than the world-beating Fnatic of 2014/2015. This year has been a good one for the Brazilians, all things considered. If you were to ask them, they’d probably disagree, mainly because of lack of glory at the majors. However, 6 gold medals speak for themselves and should secure them team-of-the-year status once again.
Just this past month, João «felps» Vasconcellos decided to step down from active duty, and he was replaced by Ricardo «boltz» Prass. Truth be told, even though SK had by all standards a good year, playing with felps, they never looked like a team certain of its own identity. Always on the verge, but never quite there.
With boltz at EPICENTER, on the other hand, they looked like they knew exactly who they wanted to be. With him as a stand-in, and without any training at all, they went to St. Petersburg and won the entire event. They managed to beat FaZe, Astralis, and VP on their way to gold. With boltz in the team, Marcelo «coldzera» David and Fernando «fer» Alvarenga have more freedom to be aggressive, which helped them a lot in Russia. We see this version of the team becoming much stronger.
1-0 SK Gaming
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FaZe has been the team of recent months. The always quick-to-judge community immediately praised the Euro-mix to the skies and predicted the era of Finn «karrigan» Andersen & Co. Admittedly, their run of two straight gold medals at ESL One New York and ELEAGUE CS:GO 2017, which included 15 straight map wins, were impressive to say the least. But then EPICENTER rolled around, and almost all of FaZe’s streaks ended. Their first map loss on LAN against Gambit. Their clean slates on Train, Overpass, Mirage, Cobblestone, and Inferno, tainted. Their undefeated run in BO3 series ended against SK before they were kicked out of the tournament altogether by Virtus.Pro.
None of this, of course, means FaZe now sucks. They still enter Blast Pro series as one of the favorites, alongside SK and Astralis. It just allows us to assess their actual strength in a more realistic manner. We won’t see FaZe simply run over the tier-one opposition as if it were nothing. The fact still remains that, at least in CS:GO, no single team ever bore as much individual talent as this FaZe squad.
There’s no sugar-coating in the fact that 2017 has been a lousy year for NiP. The best the Swedes could do at tier-one events was a 3-4th place finish at DreamHack Malmö. At every other major tournament, they stood no chance against, simply put, superior opposition.
NiP did manage to win DreamHack Valencia. However, anything else would’ve been a disappointment as they were the favorites coming into this event that featured mainly tier-two teams.
Coming back to DreamHack Malmö, their first event with the newest addition, Fredrik «REZ» Sterner, the Ninjas showed great promise in their home country and lost to G2 in a very close series. The second map, de_cache, went into overtime, where the French managed to close it out. In that match, Richard «shox» Papillon & Co. abused REZ on B side. He seemed quite overwhelmed holding the site on his own. REZ is still quite new to this top-notch, high-pressure Counter-Strike, and it will be interesting to see next week if he has adapted in the meantime, as he undoubtedly possesses the talent.
1-0 FaZe Clan
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