BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen preview

As the third edition of BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen is ahead of us, we take a look at the six competing teams and evaluate their chances at the event.

The tournament in Copenhagen will be the last $250,000 BLAST Pro Series stop of 2019 and will lead up to the $500,000 Global Finals, which will be held in Bahrain, on December 13-14. Three of the four teams for the finals are already confirmed — Astralis, Liquid, and FaZe —, while Natus Vincere and Cloud9 will be looking for a miracle to make up 10 points on NiP and secure the last slot at the Global Finals.

The Royal Arena in Copenhagen will once again host a BLAST Pro Series event

BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen is also important as a standalone event. We will see two of the best teams in the world, Liquid and Astralis, fight to regain points and climb towards the top of the world rankings again after watching Evil Geniuses surge to the summit. While the remaining four teams aren't big contenders for the title, each of them has something to prove, coming off of recent roster changes.

The full team list for BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen is as follows:

The current BLAST Pro Series table sees three teams in contention for the final spot. Natus Vincere and Cloud9 are 10 points behind NiP, a gap they can only close if they win the tournament and NiP finish last.

1. United States Liquid - 26
2. Denmark Astralis - 22
3. Europe FaZe - 20
4. Sweden NiP - 16
5. Brazil MIBR - 12
6. Russia Natus Vincere - 6
7. North America Cloud9 - 6

Some speculative results have followed for Astralis since their third consecutive Major win in September, resulting in the Danes losing the No.1 spot in the rankings in the lead up to BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen. A one-sided defeat to Evil Geniuses at ESL One New York was the first underwhelming result for Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's team in the season, and it was followed by an upset loss to fnatic in the semi-finals of DreamHack Masters Malmö, the tournament the Swedes would go on to win while debuting their new lineup.

Will third time be the charm for Astralis?

A win, a second place, and a top-four from three tournaments played is a record many teams would love to have, but the bar is set higher for Astralis, who are aiming to return to their 2018 levels, when they were the supreme rulers of the Counter-Strike landscape. During their successful ESL Pro League group stage outing, the Danes got revenge on fnatic, but the scorelines — two 16-14 victories — do not instill the confidence that the "old Astralis" are back quite yet.

Thankfully, their star player Nicolai "device" Reedtz is in good form and should be expected to put in work at BLAST Pro Series as Astralis hope to get back to winning ways, and most importantly, stay ahead of Liquid, ensuring the North Americans don't gain momentum like they did after their iBUYPOWER Masters victory at the start of the year. Additionally, this is not just another event for Astralis: this is their home event, and one which they were unable to win in the last two iterations. The additional desire to win in the Danish capital, with their families and friends in the crowd, could be exactly what they need to push them across the finish line.

Lineup Age Rating
United StatesJonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski 22 1.21
CanadaKeith "NAF" Markovic 21 1.16
CanadaRussel "Twistzz" Van Dulken 19 1.08
United StatesNick "nitr0" Cannella 24 1.05
United StatesJake "Stewie2K" Yip 21 1.02
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
9-12th
DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019
3-4th
ESL One New York 2019
5-8th
StarLadder Major Berlin 2019

It was looking like 2019 was going to be their year, it was hard to find a way Liquid's dominance would be stopped, but the North American squad came back from the summer break without the cutting edge they had when they won Intel Grand Slam Season 2 at breakneck speed. Today's Liquid are no pushovers either, but they have definitely dropped off, which can be seen in their ranking. Nick "nitr0" Cannella and his men are currently ranked fourth, and the last time they were this low was in August of 2018 when they still had Epitacio "TACO" de Melo in the lineup.

There is no place for panic yet, however, as Liquid will have plenty of opportunities to prove their worth as we approach the tail end of the season. In addition to that, their recent placings are a bit misleading. Drawing Astralis in the first playoff matches of both the Major and ESL One New York resulted in Liquid's early exits, while DreamHack Masters Malmö, where they were eliminated by Grayhound 0-2 while dropping a 12-3 T-side lead on their home map, Mirage, is surely an anomaly that won't be repeated soon.

Liquid are hoping to spoil the Danes' plans

In Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, Liquid still have one of the best players in the world who shows no signs of slowing down, Keith "NAF" Markovic's form has been rising, and the team's star trio is completed by the ever-dangerous Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken. BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen is the perfect tournament for Liquid to remind people what they have in their arsenal, and potentially get back at Danish nemesis Astralis.

For all the hype that came after a successful debut at DreamHack Masters Malmö, Natus Vincere's last-place elimination at StarSeries i-League Season 8 (which put them in the same category as Imperial, Invictus, and 5POWER) came as a cold shower, pulling everyone down to earth. This lineup definitely needs more work, because it was apparent that there were difficulties taking in what was envisioned by Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy, transforming it into a call by Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov, and then executing that on the server.

s1mple and co. will try to make up for the underwhelming showing at StarSeries

There was little time to improve, but we can only imagine that the Black and Yellow saw the elimination as a learning experience and have worked hard to cut out their mistakes. If they managed to take the next step — and stopped repeatedly running out of time on the T-side, for example —, this team can be extremely scary, especially since the BO1 group stage will allow them to focus on a smaller pool of maps. The individual strength is still there, Boombl4 has been admirable in his aggressive role, Egor "flamie" Vasilyev has improved, Denis "electronic" Sharipov and Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev continue to shine, despite the latter making a shift away from the main AWP role.

Aside from the team play and tactical side, which will surely get better with time, the biggest concern for this squad is Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács. The veteran Slovakian AWPer had some good initial games for Natus Vincere but has been struggling to keep up a high level since. Switching back to Russian after communicating in English during his FaZe stint could be something that is hindering him at the moment, as well as the fact that he is being used as more of a support player than a star AWPer. None of that makes his current level acceptable, but some more time is needed before we can pass the final judgment on GuardiaN's position on the team.

Another team that is fresh off of a change and brought in a new AWPer is NiP. The Swedes have had some good results since adding Simon "twist" Eliasson, making playoffs in Malmö, securing two out of three wins at their ESL Pro League group stage, qualifying for ECS Season 8 and picking up victories over Evil Geniuses and FURIA at StarSeries. While all of those results are respectable to a certain degree and show improvements compared to the pre-Major struggles, there is a lack of deep tournament runs and truly impressive showings. With all of it combined, we simply don't know where NiP stand yet.

f0rest is still doing damage

One thing is certain, though: Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg is back. The 31-year-old's career-worst showing at the StarLadder Major (0.54 rating) was not a sign of the end nearing: he bounced back and recorded 1.10, 1.19, and 1.15 ratings at his next three LAN outings. Alongside him, Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson has also had an uptick in performance, but the worrying sign is Fredrik "REZ" Sterner, who has not been playing his best since the addition of twist, and more recently of Björn "THREAT" Pers, who came in to work as NiP's strategic coach.

With their place at the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals almost secured and all they need to ensure it being a 5th place finish, NiP don't have too much pressure to perform at this event. However, it will serve as a good test to see if they have the proficiency to fight for the top, or if they will remain the gatekeeper of tier two teams.

Lineup Age Rating
SwedenOlof "olofmeister" Kajbjer 27 1.10
BrazilMarcelo "coldzera" David 25 1.09
NorwayHåvard "rain" Nygaard 25 1.03
LatviaHelvijs "broky" Saukants 18 1.01
Bosnia and HerzegovinaNikola "NiKo" Kovač 22 0.96
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
7-8th
ESL One New York 2019
12-14th
StarLadder Major Berlin 2019

The highly anticipated, blockbuster move of signing Marcelo "coldzera" David to FaZe can be described as an opening night flop, seeing that the international mixture had a disappointing debut at ESL One New York, where they were eliminated without a single map win and their star players showing abysmal form. Since then, there have been signs of improvement, but in the end Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and co. faced more disappointment as they failed to qualify for ECS, losing to Astralis, BIG, and Virtus.pro in the process.

Will coldzera and NiKo start living up to the hype?

One of the biggest talking points as of late has been NiKo's individual form. The Bosnian superstar hit rock-bottom in New York, where he put in a 0.80 rating, and was barely above average at the StarLadder Major and the ESL Pro League group stage. However, there is an indication that things are starting to get back on track for the team's in-game leader, as looking at the (mostly online) games he has played within the last month, he is sitting on a 1.12 rating, making him the second-best performer in the team behind coldzera.

This FaZe lineup was built around the Brazilian-Bosnian partnership and if they can continue that form — and maybe even turn it up on LAN, where they are more motivated and comfortable — we can expect them to pull off some upsets. The rest of the team is, to a certain degree, doing what is expected. Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer has been about average on the AWP, Helvijs "broky" Saukants has fit in nicely for a young and inexperienced player, while Håvard "rain" Nygaard is perhaps the individual who has lost some of the space he had before, which is reflected in his stats. It is clear that FaZe are no favorites, but they will be looking to turn some heads in the action-packed, BO1 heavy format at BLAST.

#37
Lineup Age Rating
SpainOscar "mixwell" Cañellas 24 1.11
CanadaYassine "Subroza" Taoufik 22 1.07
United StatesKenneth "koosta" Suen 23 0.99
CanadaDamian "daps" Steele 26 0.97
United StatesTimothy "autimatic" Ta 23 0.93
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
3-4th
Arctic Invitational

The reformed Cloud9 lineup showed some promise at their debut at BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles, but despite bootcamping in Europe while the Major was going on, didn't shine at the Arctic Invitational in Finland, where they were eliminated quickly. But things really went sour only after that, as the league season kicked off. Damian "daps" Steele' squad recorded losses to NRG (now Evil Geniuses) and Sharks in ECS before going 0-3 in their ESL Pro League group (including losses to eUnited and Complexity), which puts them in the relegation battle.

This Cloud9 roster has shown little since its creation in July

Changes weren't expected, but the decision to drop Tyson "TenZ" Ngo wasn't all that surprising either, especially after it was revealed that he wasn't fitting into the system Cloud9 wanted to play. The replacement coming in was a bit out of left-field, though, as Cloud9 added Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik from a dispersed Swole Patrol on trial. The 22-year-old has averaged a 1.07 rating over the past three months and has a history of playing alongside Kenneth "koosta" Suen and under James "JamezIRL" Macaulay, which perhaps helped him get a shot in the blue jersey.

With only one series played with Subroza, a 0-2 loss to INTZ in ECS, there isn't much to judge this exact lineup on. However, considering the core's results dating back to July, it is fair to say that we can, at least until we see something better, continue sleeping on Cloud9.

Brazil Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.19
Maps played:
1098
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.11
Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
1023
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.12
Latvia Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
264
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.12
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1234
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Sweden Simon 'twist' Eliasson
Simon 'twist' Eliasson
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1252
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Canada Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.12
United States James 'JamezIRL' Macaulay
James 'JamezIRL' Macaulay
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
71
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.13
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1153
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Sweden Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg
Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1639
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.12
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1209
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Sweden Björn 'THREAT' Pers
Björn 'THREAT' Pers
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.80
Maps played:
50
KPR:
0.53
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1428
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.13
Russia Egor 'flamie' Vasilyev
Egor 'flamie' Vasilyev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1248
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Sweden Jonas 'Lekr0' Olofsson
Jonas 'Lekr0' Olofsson
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
879
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Sweden Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
903
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
1069
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.11
Russia Kirill 'Boombl4' Mikhailov
Kirill 'Boombl4' Mikhailov
Age:
20
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
616
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1459
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Canada Tyson 'TenZ' Ngo
Tyson 'TenZ' Ngo
Age:
18
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
382
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1170
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.16
Canada Damian 'daps' Steele
Damian 'daps' Steele
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
910
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Russia Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Age:
21
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
816
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Age:
33
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.83
Maps played:
899
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.16
Canada Yassine 'Subroza' Taoufik
Yassine 'Subroza' Taoufik
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
535
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
United States Kenneth 'koosta' Suen
Kenneth 'koosta' Suen
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
820
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1271
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.17
Sweden Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1348
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1184
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
ez for s1mple
2019-10-31 13:18
Navi win ez
2019-10-31 13:54
C9 wtf
2019-10-31 14:36
#28
 | 
India faze_kash 
Faze_up
2019-10-31 15:00
#5
 | 
African Union Zawwy 
NO ZYTALITY no games
2019-10-31 13:20
#9
 | 
Australia strikebacK 
they suck LUL
2019-10-31 13:27
they suck LUL
2019-10-31 14:37
eZaF
2019-10-31 13:20
#10
 | 
India nAgent 
there should be an option to like a comment. and I don't understand how is autimatic worst rated player on cloud9 people seem to praise him a lot saying he is one of the best NA player. (haven't watched cloud9 after boston major so I have no idea about his current form.)
2019-10-31 13:30
#14
 | 
United States Dengar95 
Still pretty solid and has a lot of experience
2019-10-31 13:38
Subhash Chandra Bose?? :O
2019-10-31 13:56
#27
 | 
India nAgent 
Still alive and hiding here.
2019-10-31 14:49
*Amit Shah wants to know your location*
2019-10-31 19:03
#37
 | 
India nAgent 
We meet on regular basis. He is keeping it in the dark like most of the things he does.
2019-10-31 19:25
#11
 | 
Netherlands PasscaLl 
cool story tell again
2019-10-31 13:36
#12
 | 
Germany sommares 
1337
2019-10-31 13:36
#13
 | 
Germany sommares 
nvm 1337
2019-10-31 13:37
#15
masq | 
Czech Republic Puget1 
Tier 2 event
2019-10-31 13:40
#17
 | 
Sri Lanka VuXn 
With the 2 best teams
2019-10-31 13:44
#23
masq | 
Czech Republic Puget1 
no #1 = tier 2
2019-10-31 14:20
#34
 | 
Sri Lanka VuXn 
EG is fake #1. ESL Gaming Ranking > HLTV Ranking
2019-10-31 18:25
#16
 | 
Bulgaria zhelyazkoG 
Fantasy player's amount it's based on last 3 months performance is it ? Or when they were participated for tournament, which had fantasy game ?
2019-10-31 13:45
#18
 | 
Kazakhstan dc7 
welcome to 2k19 NiKo rating <1
2019-10-31 13:54
#21
Jame | 
Denmark PATMAN-DK 
Forest 30+ still good <3
2019-10-31 13:59
nice
2019-10-31 14:19
#24
 | 
Finland J3bediah 
If it is 3 games at the same time and only bo1’s i’m not watching
2019-10-31 14:27
It's 6 games running at once this time and each game is in casual game mode
2019-10-31 15:03
#30
 | 
Portugal joaosenra 
Faze and Cloud9 wasted spot
2019-10-31 15:13
#31
woxic | 
Turkey berkovic 
LETS GO
2019-10-31 16:14
cloud9 lol
2019-10-31 16:16
#33
rain | 
Lithuania Planum 
Finally, a real tournament where faze can show their explosive skill.
2019-10-31 16:27
Finally some nice CS again
2019-10-31 18:44
#38
 | 
Denmark hj3lmen 
Insane that Astralis is so BAD on home soil. Emberizine!
2019-11-01 22:27
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