We are heading towards the fourth BLAST Pro Series event this year. BLAST Pro Los Angeles will feature some new names such as Renegades and NRG that we couldn’t see at past BLAST Pro events. The main question remains – can Team Liquid finally win a BLAST Pro event?
Format and Schedule Novelties
The fourth BLAST Pro event will take place in Los Angeles at HD Buttercup Building. It will kick off on July 13th and like all previous BLAST Pro events, it will last for only two days. However, when it comes to format and schedule, this edition of BLAST Pro Series will see some novelties.
To begin with, BLAST Pro Los Angeles will have two more Best-of-3 matches. Unlike in the previous events, not only the best two teams will advance. This time, the top four teams from the Group Stage will secure a spot in Play-offs. There, they will start off in a new Play-off stage, Semi-final. The Group Stage remains Best-of-1 Single Round Robin Group made of 6 teams.
The format is not the only thing that changed at BLAST Pro Los Angeles. At this event, we will have only two games per round instead of three. Hence, we will have seven rounds per two games that start at the same time. This means it’s going to be easier for viewers to see more games. However, with a new stage in Play-offs, it seems like the schedule on Day 1 is too tight as all Group Stage matches are going to be played on the first day of the event.
When it comes to Pro Standoff showmatch, the concept of it will remain the same.
New names at BLAST Pro Los Angeles
The one thing that has been specific about BLAST Pros so far is that RFRESH invites teams very carefully. Accordingly, only the most elite teams could get an invitation to the event. Hence, we were seeing the same names over and over again with very few exceptions. In terms of teams that compete, BLAST Pro Los Angeles is going to be very different from previous editions.
“I think once we get to work, and once we finally implement everything we want to, we can bring a trophy home.” – @peterjarguz
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) July 4, 2019
To begin with, Astralis will not play in Los Angeles. Although their relationship with BLAST Pro events has become notorious, the Danes decided to skip this tournament. Also, teams that used to compete at BLAST Pros on a regular basis are absent as well. So, NaVi and NiP will not be there, as well as ENCE.
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The absence of names we used to see a lot means the appearance of some new names in BLAST Pro Circuit. Hence, we will have an opportunity to watch Renegades and NRG for the first time at BLAST Pro events. Both teams have a great year so far, although Renegades have been struggling recently. Nevertheless, 2019 has been the best year for both NRG and Renegades without a doubt. Thanks to their great results, they deserved an invitation to this tournament. Alongside these two, the North American crowd will have a chance to watch another two domestic teams, Team Liquid, and Cloud9. The list of participants of the event in Los Angeles ends with FaZe Clan and MiBR.
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Can Team Liquid finally clinch BLAST Pro title
Despite the fact that BLAST Pros aren’t the most prestigious events, the best teams in the world are attending them and they draw the attention of the big part of the crowd. On top of that, the prize pool of BLAST Pro events ($250,000) easily challenges the prize pool of many other prestigious LAN tournaments. Hence, winning BLAST Pro event can be really lucrative and teams put a decent amount of effort to accomplish that.
However, the best team in the world at the moment, Team Liquid, failed to win a single event from this circuit, even though they were just one step away from the title twice. In the first Grand Final, they lost to their old nemesis, Astralis. The second time, however, they had a much better chance against FaZe Clan in the Grand Final, but Europeans just outplayed Liquid. Thus, Liquid hasn’t won BLAST Pro “triangle” yet.
Considering their great form as they clinched four big events in a row, Team Liquid are clear favorites for lifting the trophy in front of the domestic crowd.
Besides Liquid, we should also pay attention to Cloud9 and FaZe Clan. Whereas Cloud9 again completely shuffled their roster, FaZe are still trying to find their best form with a new IGL, NEO. Therefore, this is a good chance to see how new Cloud9 roster will play and is FaZe’s form in rising or decline. In addition to all said, it will be interesting to see how will NRG perform as they didn’t have so much time to practice with stansilaw prior to ESL One Cologne where they recorded a decent result (Quarter-finals). In front of the domestic crowd, they perhaps can take the main prize.