BLAST Pro Series Miami: the EVPs
We went through the numbers of the recently concluded BLAST Pro Series Miami to present you with our three Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs) of the $250,000 event.
BLAST Pro Series Miami came to a close on Sunday, with FaZe coming out as the surprising victors after beating Liquid in a convincing grand final, which saw the European squad lift their second trophy of 2019 while Nikola "NiKo" Kovač was awarded his first MVP medal of the year.
Now we look back at the two-day tournament and its numbers again, presenting the Exceptionally Valuable Player picks. As usual, BLAST's signature quick format, which importantly lacks a proper playoffs bracket where players normally make a significant portion of their case, only sees three players earn the accolade: two from the winning side and one from the runners-up.
HLTV.org's EVP picks (by order):
Several other players performed to high standards, most notably Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken, the majority of MIBR, Emil "Magisk" Reif, and Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, but they didn't do well enough to make the list, in the end.
Picking up the pace from Liquid's few latest appearances, in Miami NAF earned his first award since he became the Most Valuable Player of the first tournament of 2019, iBUYPOWER Masters. At BLAST Pro Series, he was once again within reach of the medal as the clear standout player of his team, leading Liquid to the grand final after playing a key role in all of their five wins throughout the group stage, with each of them rated above 1.15.
A 1.36 average rating across the first five maps saw the Canadian star reach the the final showdown as a close second candidate for the highest award after NiKo, but ultimately, he was unable to catch up to the Bosnian after a below-average performance in the quick series loss – a 0.93 rating (still the highest in Liquid).
rain comes in second place following his highest-rated tournament since ESL One Cologne 2018 – where he last received a big-event EVP before his individual level began to suffer – as in Miami, the Norwegian averaged a 1.19 rating as one of the pillars in FaZe's title-winning campaign.
Much like his team team as a whole, rain took the opening match against Liquid to warm up to the competition with a very slow start. He quickly recovered from the second match, a tie with MIBR, on, with some solid maps against MIBR, Cloud9, and Astralis helping FaZe earn much-needed points to make it to the grand final. It wasn't until the best-of-three series that the 24-year-old locked in his award, though, as a jaw-dropping 21-0 start on the second map of the final, Dust2, saw rain finish off the tournament on a high note, a 1.86 rating.
Continuing the stories of improvement from Miami, FaZe's addition at the beginning of 2019, AdreN, also played one of his best tournaments in recent memory, with an overall 1.10 rating ranking as his best of the year after the Kazakh veteran underperformed in São Paulo and Shanghai.
Putting up 0.58 and 0.65 ratings on day one of BLAST Pro Series, AdreN seemed to be on path to another disappointing showing at the beginning of the tournament. However, he stepped up massively on day two, playing a key role in four out of FaZe's five map wins at the event, including a 1.64 rating on Mirage in the grand final against Liquid.