BLAST Pro Series Miami key storylines

With BLAST Pro Series Miami fast approaching, we went through some of the key storylines that will define the event in Florida.

BLAST Pro Series is back with its two-day action-packed format that will see a best-of-one round-robin group stage lead to a best-of-three grand final. This time, the action will go down at the Watsco Center in Miami, Florida, where six teams will battle it out over the $250,000 prize pool that is on the line.

Astralis could make it three in a row in Miami

The best ranked team in the world, Astralis, will have Liquid and Natus Vincere trying to shake them down while FaZe and MIBR will be looking to bounce back from poor results and find better form. Meanwhile, Cloud9 will be giving yet another experiment a test drive in Florida.

Astralis, the sole favorites

Astralis will hope to make the event at the Watsco Center the third BLAST Pro Series event in a row where they lift silverware after tallying victories in Lisbon, in late 2018, and in São Paulo, earlier this year. The Danes, who are continually cementing their hegemony, have been on a rampage for almost a year, when they took first place in the rankings on April 23, 2018. Since winning the FACEIT Major in London, they have racked up nine first-place finishes counting online and LAN competitions, ending all but just two competitions on top: BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, where they finished third, and BUYPOWER Masters, where they were runners-up to Liquid.

Astralis come into BLAST Pro Series Miami off of a Major victory in Katowice, a first-place finish in the first online ECS Cup, which grants them a spot in the finals, and a victory at the previous BLAST Pro Series stop, in São Paulo. Astralis will show up in Miami about to mark their first anniversary at the top ready to once again take it all against a field of teams who, with the exception of, perhaps, Liquid and Natus Vincere, are struggling to find their identity.

Astralis will be rested after skipping StarSeries i-League Season 7

Since the beginning of the year, Astralis have lost four maps in official matches and are showing no signs of slowing down, with every bookkeeper putting them down as favorites no matter who’s in front of them. Like with anything else in the cyclical nature of the world, Astralis will have to come down sometime, but by all measurable factors that should not be anytime soon.

Can Liquid and Na`Vi challenge Astralis?

Two other teams who are considered contenders at BLAST Pro Series Miami are Liquid and Natus Vincere. After failing to make their mark at the Major, the duo have shown glimpses of promise here and there that could make one think that, if they have a particularly inspired couple of days, they could snatch the trophy and the $125,000 lion’s share of the prize pool that will be up for grabs in Miami.

The previous BLAST Pro Series in São Paulo saw Liquid make it all the way to the grand final, where they faced off against Astralis in the best-of-three grand final. They were reverse swept convincingly by the Danes after winning the opener, Dust2, but showed that they are nonetheless a worthy contender, or as worthy a contender anyone can be against Astralis, at least.

Na`Vi travel to Miami straight from a victory in Shanghai

On the other hand, Natus Vincere come from taking first place at StarSeries i-League Season 7, one of the events where other teams not named Astralis had a chance to lift the trophy. In China, Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and Denis "electronic" Sharipov showed the best versions of themselves, with the former winning the MVP medal with a 1.43 rating and the latter having the second best rating at 1.33. The biggest problem Natus Vincere face is going to be maintaining both star players firing on all cylinders at all times, especially if they do make it to the final and have to face the mighty Danes, who have a much stronger map pool.

Will Cloud9 stop the bleeding?

Cloud9 have been in turmoil ever since winning the ELEAGUE Boston Major in early 2018. Following the departures of Jake "Stewie2K" Yip and Tarik "tarik" Celik, the North American organization has been in a downward spiral, signing players on a temporary basis, trialing youngsters, and using stand-ins. That amount of instability ultimately resulted in the team dropping all the way down to 142nd in the world, a number that is not representative of the quality of the team but that highlights the need for a more controlled environment to spur growth. As it stands, the American-European team have made so many changes that they no longer hold on to their slot at the StarLadder Major, in Berlin, later this year.

Golden is back to lead Cloud9 after a prolonged absence

Following the end of Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro’s trial, Robin "flusha" Rönnquist’s decision to step down from the roster to take some personal time, and Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey’s removal from the lineup, Cloud9 brought back in-game leader Maikil "Golden" Selim, who had been on medical leave, given a trial to another inexperienced player—at least at top level—, Daniel "vice" Kim, and signed ex-OpTic veteran René "cajunb" Borg, who had fallen out with his former team during the shuffle season. Unless magic has happened in practice, Cloud9 should be regarded as the weakest team of the lot.

The last time Cloud9 attended a BLAST Pro Series event was in Lisbon, where they managed to get a third-place finish with Ismail "refrezh" Ali standing in. Their previous results had been a fifth place in Copenhagen and a last place in Istanbul. Other than that, Cloud9 haven’t played since the IEM Katowice Major, where they scraped by the New Challengers Stage before going out of the last-16 stage with a 2-3 record. It's hard to see Cloud9 pulling off upsets in Miami, and it won't be the end of the world if they haven't found themselves yet, but being so deep in the mud they simply have to start showing at least a glimpse of hope soon.

Can MIBR and FaZe find Major form after StarSeries blunders?

Last but not least are two teams that should be contenders after showing certain potential at the IEM Katowice Major but that have since dipped way down in form. Ever since FaZe parted ways with Finn "karrigan" Andersen to bring in Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev, and MIBR brought the band back together with the additions of Epitacio "TACO" de Melo and João "felps" Vasconcellos, both teams have been having a hard time despite managing to defend Legend status in Katowice.

After a semi-final run that was ended by none other than the winners of the Major, Astralis, MIBR seemed to be on the right path, even adding Nuke to their map pool to become more fearsome before even jumping into the server. The disappointments came soon after, however, as the Brazilian squad went out in the quarter-finals at the WESG 2018 World Finals in Chongqing, where they were the heavy favorites to take it all, following a 1-2 loss to Windigo. They then flew home to play at BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, where they were humbled by every other team in attendance, leaving the arena without a single victory, before going out of StarSeries i-League Season 7 in 12th-14th place after losing to Renegades, NRG, and North.

MIBR need to show signs of life before the heart rate monitor goes flat

FaZe also seemed to do OK at the Major, getting a discrete 5-8th place finish, which was something that could be expected from a relatively new team at such a high stakes event. Before that, the European team had flopped out of iBUYPOWER Masters in 5-6th place, although they had bounced back from that by winning the small ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational as preparation ahead of IEM Katowice. After their quarter-final run at the Major, where they lost to Natus Vincere in the quarter-finals, FaZe traveled to São Paulo, where they only managed to end in fifth place. A 2-0 start at StarSeries looked auspicious, but the Europeans then lost three in a row at StarSeries, in similar fashion to MIBR, against Renegades, ENCE, and North.

BLAST Pro Series, an entertainment-heavy format with a lot of matches at once that conclude in the grand final being the only best-of-three of the event, could actually prove to be a point of inflection for several teams who are on the balance regarding form and results. From Cloud9’s umpteenth attempt at putting together a roster to FaZe's and MIBR’s inability to compete against the likes of Liquid and Natus Vincere, or these two teams continually lagging behind Astralis, every team will have stakes on the table at the Watsco Center.

Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
992
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.12
Brazil João 'felps' Vasconcellos
João 'felps' Vasconcellos
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
731
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.16
United States Jordan 'Zellsis' Montemurro
Jordan 'Zellsis' Montemurro
Age:
21
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
508
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
United States Tarik 'tarik' Celik
Tarik 'tarik' Celik
Age:
23
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1193
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Kazakhstan Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1434
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Russia Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Age:
21
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
807
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
United States Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1108
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
France Fabien 'kioShiMa' Fiey
Fabien 'kioShiMa' Fiey
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1248
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.15
Denmark René 'cajunb' Borg
René 'cajunb' Borg
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1452
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Sweden Maikil 'Golden' Selim
Maikil 'Golden' Selim
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
548
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
United States Daniel 'vice' Kim
Daniel 'vice' Kim
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
493
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
1538
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Sweden Robin 'flusha' Rönnquist
Robin 'flusha' Rönnquist
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1502
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.18
Denmark Ismail 'refrezh' Ali
Ismail 'refrezh' Ali
Age:
21
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
583
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.12
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
1060
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.10
Storyline: Astralis wins and mibr goes 0-5
2019-04-11 23:46
0/8 not this time
2019-04-11 23:47
0/8 He's right though
2019-04-11 23:53
#22
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
0/8 he is not right mibr 3-2 ez finals
2019-04-11 23:55
0/8 mibr 0-10 yet again
2019-04-12 02:55
0/8 mibr 1-9 yes
2019-04-12 03:07
#72
 | 
India KNOX23 
Nope mibr will lose hard once again They are having a hard time , not at all a top tier team right now they lost to rngg , NRG ,"North" Lmao
2019-04-12 05:54
#73
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
wtf lemme believe
2019-04-12 05:57
#74
 | 
India KNOX23 
Hhhh
2019-04-12 05:57
No
2019-04-12 08:41
#91
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
why you do this mennnn??
2019-04-12 15:21
#93
 | 
Germany Fabbsen 
Even 3-2 isn't a guarantee to be in the final. In Copenhagen Astralis was 3-2 and still not in the finals. MIBR did go 0-5 there btw.
2019-04-12 16:30
#94
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
3-2 is enough shut up asstralis 2-3
2019-04-12 16:31
#95
 | 
Germany Fabbsen 
hltv.org/events/3701/blast-pro-series-co.. Mad cuz bad? Also MIBR first to go 0-15 in 2 Blast Events added up
2019-04-12 16:45
#96
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
hey, glory hunter, go back to BIG AHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA
2019-04-12 16:53
#98
 | 
Germany Fabbsen 
Why go back to BIG? I'm still a big BIG fan. Also i follow Astralis since their early TSM days so nice try.
2019-04-12 16:54
#99
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
You sure do follow them early tsm, we believe it man BIG win nothing so you must change flair HAHAH
2019-04-12 17:02
#100
 | 
Germany Fabbsen 
I do follow them since i started watching csgo in early 2015 (basically since ESL One Katowice 2015 if you want to say so) which was right after they moved from Dignitas to TSM. They were one of my first teams i really liked, right next to LDLC/Envy. Also i never had a BIG flair, always Astralis since the beginning since BIG didn't even exist as long as the Astralis trio. If it were not Astralis i would have a BIG flair.
2019-04-12 17:05
#101
 | 
Germany Fabbsen 
Also BIG never lost to SK/MIBR axaxax
2019-04-12 17:06
how many major does big have ? LUL respect the legends.
2019-04-12 17:06
#103
 | 
Germany Fabbsen 
I respect MIBR but you began to talk shit tho i talk back ;)
2019-04-12 17:07
ok mann sorry my friend
2019-04-12 17:08
#23
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
0-6 again
2019-04-11 23:55
Nah 1-5 mibr, 0-6 cloud9, Astralis wins
2019-04-12 00:08
Each team plays 5 matches not 6 wtf
2019-04-12 08:42
I thought it's 6 matches due to attendace of 6 teams
2019-04-12 11:55
If 6 matches with 6 teams, then you would have to play your own team mate? Team 1 vs 2 Team 1 vs 3 Team 1 vs 4 Team 1 vs 5 Team 1 vs 6
2019-04-12 11:57
#97
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
indian average iq
2019-04-12 17:02
More than favelas'
2019-04-12 18:14
#76
jhd | 
Finland JHdash77 
Nah, it will be Cloud9 this time
2019-04-12 06:41
#77
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
F5
2019-04-12 06:58
#87
 | 
Germany TheyCallMeGod 
NT IKEA
2019-04-12 09:58
#3
 | 
Canada BreXuwu 
Ez
2019-04-11 23:46
#4
 | 
Finland henkkeb 
N1
2019-04-11 23:46
#7
 | 
Bulgaria blackmambay0 
Where is Windigo wtf?
2019-04-11 23:47
#11
New Zealand CZR^ 
windigo trash why would they be there 0-5
2019-04-11 23:48
#13
 | 
United States fatburger 
0/8 windigo top 1
2019-04-11 23:49
1-4 cuz mibr
2019-04-12 02:21
Better than mi0-10br
2019-04-12 08:42
Lol true
2019-04-13 10:37
#12
 | 
United States fatburger 
they already in finals
2019-04-11 23:48
Must be the most honest name to date....
2019-04-12 00:22
#34
 | 
United States fatburger 
im not fat wtf
2019-04-12 00:23
not by American standards of course but you know...!
2019-04-12 00:25
#36
 | 
United States fatburger 
in all seriousness im actually like a fucking stick though
2019-04-12 00:26
Then NT fake name :D
2019-04-12 00:27
#38
 | 
United States fatburger 
men this is best name cause everyone calls us fatburgers so i can just say something retarded
2019-04-12 00:27
hahahha n1
2019-04-12 00:27
#41
 | 
United States fatburger 
if i get banned one more time i lose this account men((((((((((
2019-04-12 00:28
Then just stop posting shit :D All though thats hard on hltv
2019-04-12 00:28
#43
 | 
United States fatburger 
i tried stop being completely retarded. Ive lasted a couple months. But before i got ip banned i had like 6k comments so it was hard men
2019-04-12 00:29
Then it is hard to start over... I believe in you fatburger - you can do it :D
2019-04-12 00:29
#45
 | 
United States fatburger 
ok im going to go make a retarded thread now
2019-04-12 00:30
Good luck
2019-04-12 00:30
#47
 | 
United States fatburger 
what should i make the thread about men
2019-04-12 00:30
Well politics or religion is always a winner dude....
2019-04-12 00:31
#51
 | 
United States fatburger 
nonon thats too serious
2019-04-12 00:32
#52
 | 
United States fatburger 
im not trik or ///fuck men
2019-04-12 00:32
Then go with the race thing - seems to be your go to guy... Or maybe something about sexuality...
2019-04-12 00:33
#55
 | 
United States fatburger 
141dbe051417af2a270a6207944f117a
2019-04-12 00:33
Totally agree...
2019-04-12 00:34
#57
 | 
United States fatburger 
2019-04-12 00:35
#59
 | 
United States fatburger 
gyazo.com/81717b0f31cc26351a1442f5fba850.. men im may get ban(((((((((
2019-04-12 00:45
haha but fun :D
2019-04-12 00:47
#61
 | 
United States fatburger 
i think it the very funny men but jonathan may not think the same
2019-04-12 00:48
Maybe not, but at least you have 1 fan :D
2019-04-12 00:48
#63
 | 
United States fatburger 
ive literally only gotten banned by jonathan as far as i know on hltv
2019-04-12 00:48
#49
 | 
United States fatburger 
gyazo.com/141dbe051417af2a270a6207944f11.. also how did this thread not get me banned
2019-04-12 00:31
#39
 | 
United States fatburger 
and thats actually what got me ip banned so ez
2019-04-12 00:27
#75
 | 
African Union mikecool 
Solid bait
2019-04-12 06:32
ez4liquid
2019-04-11 23:47
#9
New Zealand CZR^ 
ye
2019-04-11 23:47
#10
 | 
Turkey jackAE 
ez4astralis
2019-04-11 23:47
#14
k0nfig | 
Denmark QDouble 
astralis-liquid final navi 3rd mibr 4th
2019-04-11 23:49
#86
 | 
United Kingdom EKersh 
faze 4th mibr 5th
2019-04-12 09:10
hard for liquid, please beat them this time, i believe in u, u are #2, u just need to push for 1
2019-04-11 23:49
#21
 | 
Brazil praxedes 
Liquid is currently 3rd.
2019-04-11 23:54
Mibr is current 0-10 from last blast pro
2019-04-12 08:45
#107
 | 
Brazil praxedes 
Does that changes Liquid's position by any means?
2019-04-13 00:06
Gl
2019-04-11 23:50
#17
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
MIBR attending "Cloud9 should be regarded as the weakest team of the lot." Pick one
2019-04-11 23:50
#19
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
0-17 incoming
2019-04-11 23:51
#24
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
s1mple 0 majors coldzera 2 major
2019-04-11 23:55
#80
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
coldzera 0-11 at blast
2019-04-12 08:30
#92
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
2 majors mvp, how many does s0mple have ? haha
2019-04-12 15:21
#25
 | 
Denmark GenericPilot 
MIBR >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Cloud9 sad but true
2019-04-11 23:57
nah
2019-04-12 00:05
Don't push it kid
2019-04-12 02:56
#26
 | 
Poland Kobel_ 
Gonna watch the stand-off and the final only anyway. Boring format
2019-04-11 23:59
+1 it was unique and interesting at first but now it's boring and hard to enjoy since 3 games are on at once. also its confusing as fuck
2019-04-12 00:09
Also it's like seeing the same teams playing the same format all over again Ast, Faze, Mibr, Navi, Liquid +1 random team
2019-04-12 01:17
#79
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
Enjoy another boring Liquid vs Astralis final
2019-04-12 08:29
#28
HUNDEN | 
United States DervGuy 
Just make all the matches at least BO3s and the tourney will be a little bit better. Personally just gonna watch standoff and grand final.
2019-04-12 00:07
GO NAVI , S1MPLETRONIC!!!
2019-04-12 00:10
Astralis unbeatable
2019-04-12 00:18
#53
 | 
Belgium azertyuio 
Yeah, actually we only watch games to see the new way Dupreeh and co have choose to kick Liquid ass
2019-04-12 00:32
ez for astralis
2019-04-12 00:31
#58
 | 
United States SWiFTzZzZz 
Correction: All the storylines for Miami
2019-04-12 00:39
#65
 | 
United States Swoosh_ 
#CooloffC9
2019-04-12 02:21
#69
 | 
Brazil hugoooo 
Lol, the story line that everyone cares is mibr losing all their matches or not. We even know the champion already.
2019-04-12 02:58
#71
f0rest | 
Mongolia 22joyZz 
mibr 0-5 incoming
2019-04-12 05:21
#78
 | 
Turkey Thunderball 
Mibr and c9 undeserved spots
2019-04-12 07:29
Im from future Astralis wins Mibr0-5
2019-04-12 08:41
money on Astralis hopefully they win!
2019-04-12 19:10
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