Four key storylines heading into BLAST Premier Fall Final

Delve into some of the important storylines of the first Big Event after the Major, where teams will once again play in front of a live crowd.

The first Big Event following the end of PGL Major Stockholm is nigh. In under 24 hours, we'll get our first glimpse at new compositions among some fan-favorite rosters as eight teams clash at the BLAST Premier Fall Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, vying for the $425,000 prize pool from November 24-28. The tournament will utilize a double-elimination bracket to determine its champion, who will earn a spot at the World Final in December where a whopping $1,000,000 will be on the line. Points on the BLAST Premier World Leaderboard are also up for grabs, which will determine the final three teams who qualify for 2021's culminating event.

26,000 fans will make their appearance over the three days in the Royal Arena

The Fall Final will kick off behind closed doors for the first two days before opening up to the public, with all eight attending teams having the opportunity to play in front of the crowd on Friday as the elimination matches get underway. With Natus Vincere entering the tournament as strong favorites to take the title, it'll be up to the other seven sides to surpass expectations — although that's easier said than done, for most.

Astralis debut with blameF and k0nfig

Change has been a long time coming in the Astralis camp, and it all finally came to a head after the team's 12-14th place elimination at PGL Major Stockholm. Rumors had been swirling for months regarding the impending departures of Peter "⁠dupreeh⁠" Rasmussen, Emil "⁠Magisk⁠" Reif, and coach Danny "⁠zonic⁠" Sørensen as their contracts are set to expire at the end of the year, and it wasn't long after their Major run was brought to an end that the Danish organisation made roster changes a reality. The outbound trio — who are reportedly headed to Vitality — were succeeded by former Complexity duo Benjamin "⁠blameF⁠" Bremer and Kristian "⁠k0nfig⁠" Wienecke, while former CS 1.6 legend and ex-North coach Alexander "⁠ave⁠" Holdt was enlisted to fill the spot left vacant by zonic.

gla1ve will look to lead a new band of players to victory

For the once-unrivaled Danish super-squad, change of this magnitude rips apart any final semblances of recognizability from the team's former roster, with just Lukas "⁠gla1ve⁠" Rossander and Andreas "⁠Xyp9x⁠" Højsleth now left remaining. In a way, it offers a fresh start as a whole, one in which the team will need to heavily rely on the output of blameF and k0nfig, the latter of whom will be playing his first official matches after sitting out to recover from a wrist injury in September.

On top of the uncertainty regarding k0nfig's form, potential role overlaps and the individual level of Philip "⁠Lucky⁠" Ewald are also in question, especially with the 18-year-old's experience in comparison to some of his opposition. If the new Danish composition can figure out their growing pains and mesh together though, there is the fearsome possibility of an Astralis that can contend for titles rising again — although that happening at this event, so soon into the roster's tenure together, seems more like a pipe dream than anything when Natus Vincere seem in unbeatable form. An opening match against NIP awaits the Danish roster, and although it's not even close to the same grudge match as previously, Astralis will still be looking to make a strong statement with their new roster and claim revenge for the battering they received from the Swedes in Stockholm — especially when matches take to the arena on Friday and they get to play in front of a home crowd.

es3tag replaces LNZ on NIP

It's been no mystery that NIP were spying another change to their roster after swapping out Erik "⁠ztr⁠" Gustafsson for Linus "⁠LNZ⁠" Holtäng. Giving the youngsters a chance to prove themselves has played a pivotal part in their careers and provided both members the chance to develop, but you'd have to be kidding yourselves to suggest that either player currently had what it takes to compete against the best teams in the world and win consistently.

es3tag will make his debut for NIP on home soil

That's why the addition of Patrick "⁠es3tag⁠" Hansen presents such a tantalizing prospect for NIP — a stable, consistent force who can be the glue for the team on the server, providing support to Hampus "⁠hampus⁠" Poser's aggressive stances and helping to serve as a backup to Nicolai "⁠device⁠" Reedtz. Despite recent history with Cloud9 and Complexity coloring his name, es3tag was a force to be reckoned with during his time alongside device on Astralis, a level of talent that NIP sorely need if they hope to contend for titles.

Although es3tag's addition won't solve all of the team's problems — namely, their disastrous T sides and the recently waning forms of Fredrik "⁠REZ⁠" Sterner and Nicolas "⁠Plopski⁠" Gonzalez Zamora — it could well be the catalyst for swift improvement on the server. It's hard not to expect more from the team after making such a change, but much like the other teams who are making changes, we're unlikely to see them surprise against NAVI.

Liquid running dry, Vitality depleted

It's not quite the last dance for Liquid as they will still attend IEM Winter with their current roster, but the writing is definitely on the wall. With reports indicating that Gabriel "⁠FalleN⁠" Toledo and Jake "⁠Stewie2K⁠" Yip have been evaluating their options, as well as Jonathan "⁠EliGE⁠" Jablonowski confirming during a stream that there is internal conflict and they have not practiced ahead of BLAST Premier Fall Final, changes are inbound, and hopes for the North American team impressing in Denmark are not high.

This Liquid roster is on its last legs

Despite looking in improved form at BLAST Fall Showdown, Liquid have struggled to replicate any of their prior consistency to perform at a top level, and without coach Eric "⁠adreN⁠" Hoag in tow at the PGL Major, bowed out early from the event in 12-14th place. With impending roster changes, it's hard to get excited about Liquid's final tournament bid, but one can only hope that the talent on the roster don't phone it in and try to bring this iteration of the team to an end on a high note.

Conversely, the French lineup of Vitality is also about to run its course, with the aforementioned Astralis trio inbound by the end of the year and Richard "⁠shox⁠" Papillon reportedly in talks with Liquid. However, the team are still approaching the event with gusto and have continued to practice leading up to its start, putting them in a better position to pull off one final deep tournament run before swapping out players.

NAVI looking to go 3 for 3 in LAN trophies

Following a historic, undefeated run at PGL Major Stockholm, Natus Vincere enter the BLAST Fall FInal as the unrivaled favorites to take home the title. For the Russian-Ukrainian lineup, the event is just the next notch in their belt, another title they should almost assuredly add to their tally as they look to continue imposing their dominance over every team below them.

NAVI are looking to add a third LAN trophy to their cabinet this year

They are also in pole position to take home titles at all four of the LAN events they will attend in 2021, having already won IEM Cologne and PGL Major Stockholm. While they will be absent from IEM Winter, a spot at the BLAST World Final is already guaranteed, and with so many teams still integrating their new rosters and heading into their matches in Copenhagen and a handful of rosters on their last legs, NAVI are looking unstoppable as they prepare to take to the stage in the Royal Arena.

Denmark Emil 'Magisk' Reif
Emil 'Magisk' Reif
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1325
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.63
France Richard 'shox' Papillon
Richard 'shox' Papillon
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1918
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
United States Eric 'adreN' Hoag
Eric 'adreN' Hoag
Age:
31
Team:
Sweden Nicolas 'Plopski' Gonzalez Zamora
Nicolas 'Plopski' Gonzalez Zamora
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
908
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
Denmark Philip 'Lucky' Ewald
Philip 'Lucky' Ewald
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
377
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.63
Denmark Danny 'zonic' Sørensen
Danny 'zonic' Sørensen
Age:
35
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.75
Maps played:
20
KPR:
0.49
DPR:
0.68
Denmark Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1840
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.61
United States Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1456
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1511
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
Denmark Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen
Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1205
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
Sweden Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1261
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
Sweden Erik 'ztr' Gustafsson
Erik 'ztr' Gustafsson
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
295
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.69
Denmark Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1867
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1474
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.60
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1777
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
Sweden Linus 'LNZ' Holtäng
Linus 'LNZ' Holtäng
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
253
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.64
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1548
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
Denmark Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1418
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.69
Denmark Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
740
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.60
Sweden Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1237
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
#1
 | 
Europe CapDeSuro01
ez for navi
2021-11-23 14:27
13 replies
Realistically speaking, Heroic can win this event. Multiple factors can line up for this. Perhaps NiP challenges if things turn out great. Other than that, yeah, hardly any competition for the title favourites.
2021-11-23 14:29
6 replies
Heroic on Lan is scary as fuck. Especially Stavn. Why does he always start off every map super super hot? Like gets 3 pistol frags minimum and then gets a lot more frags in the next two rounds.
2021-11-23 14:31
4 replies
It's not just about Stavn. Every single player on Heroic is very solid at their roles, except probably CadiaN who sometimes seems to crumble a bit under pressure.
2021-11-23 14:33
3 replies
Probably just the pressure of IGLing and awping and lan coming together for CadiaN in a major I guess? But I believe in him. He has some insane mechanics and game sense and calling skills. Also, yes! I agree, the others were fantastic as well! I just liked Stavn personally because he is so young yet so good.
2021-11-23 14:34
2 replies
#76
B1T | 
Russia D1sect
Heroic run was fluke helped by lucky matchups
2021-11-24 06:49
1 reply
Navi run was fluke helped by lucky matchups
2021-11-24 09:28
No, Heroic are noobs
2021-11-23 22:19
+1
2021-11-23 14:58
party-drunk Navi potentially losing to Big bots is not a storyline for Blast finals???
2021-11-23 15:31
reported for capdesuro
2021-11-23 16:50
1 reply
:( Reply needs to have actual content
2021-11-23 16:53
+1
2021-11-23 16:52
#69
 | 
World evilimpale
+123445656493432
2021-11-23 19:18
#2
 | 
Germany AngiMerkel
nice
2021-11-23 14:26
#3
 | 
Latvia HiImRenars
ez navi
2021-11-23 14:26
#4
 | 
Norway CRINGEMAN
Bye bye s0mple
2021-11-23 14:27
1 reply
#45
 | 
Argentina Frannnnnnn
name
2021-11-23 15:28
#5
 | 
CIS GambaIsGood
ok
2021-11-23 14:27
#6
 | 
United Kingdom CharlieeUK
no one cares ESL Pro League conference is on, YEAH THE BOYS
2021-11-23 14:27
5 replies
#61
 | 
Pakistan hawrU
I was just wondering Why is there no australian qualifier for Blast showdown? There should be one slot for oceania, they are a contending region.
2021-11-23 17:03
4 replies
#73
 | 
United Kingdom CharlieeUK
I know bro its BS. They miss out on a lot, they've recently missed out on a DH tournament, and a few other events that Tyloo and other asian teams get invited to, if Tyloo etc get a slot then OCE deserve one for sure
2021-11-24 00:31
3 replies
asian and oce should be together, SA have a slot also entire NA
2021-11-24 06:23
#85
 | 
Pakistan hawrU
so bad for them Renegades are a decent team and OCE is a better region than Asia and Middle east
2021-11-24 13:29
1 reply
#92
 | 
United Kingdom CharlieeUK
agreed
2021-11-24 15:07
Sheesh
2021-11-23 14:27
EZ 4 navi. Elige baits everyone and liquid go on till semis
2021-11-23 14:28
7 replies
#23
 | 
United States $harlen
Liquid haven’t even practiced a single bit and they have mad internal issues with the team and roster moves are coming so I feel like they’re not gonna go far
2021-11-23 14:52
2 replies
they wouldn't even if they cared
2021-11-23 16:41
1 reply
They would if they didn't care
2021-11-23 18:27
Not even semis probably
2021-11-23 15:04
3 replies
Yeah they're eliminated when facing Vitality.
2021-11-23 15:29
2 replies
Are you stupid or are you stupid? It’s a double elim bracket
2021-11-23 18:07
1 reply
Ohh my bad. Thought it was single elim. Still I got no hope for Liquid to perform well. Max I think they'll go is the semis.
2021-11-24 05:30
#11
 | 
Sweden sn1pie
GONINJAS
2021-11-23 14:29
"Liquid running dry, Vitality depleted" KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
2021-11-23 14:30
NaVi will win this. And if they dont i would not care, they proof they are the best.
2021-11-23 14:32
1 reply
the best for now.... things can change arround fast, look at eg
2021-11-23 15:40
>Liquid running dry n1 men)))
2021-11-23 14:35
rip
2021-11-23 14:40
#19
 | 
Russia mshkoda
So, are we going to hear about Liquid's and Vitality's roster changes right before the start of the match?)
2021-11-23 14:42
1 reply
no they had to confirm their rosters already
2021-11-23 15:14
Why has Liquid a storyline but BIG not?
2021-11-23 14:42
4 replies
because big is trash since forever liquid is trash since 2020
2021-11-23 14:54
not big enough of a story, no pun intended
2021-11-23 15:14
2 replies
lmao
2021-11-23 16:07
1 reply
Or we get a party two🤔
2021-11-24 08:10
ez 4 k0nfig
2021-11-23 14:54
it's gonna be ez for shiro and the boys
2021-11-23 14:56
5 replies
??? Gambit isn't participating in this event
2021-11-23 15:05
4 replies
2021-11-23 15:09
3 replies
not the same event LOL this thread is about > hltv.org/events/5607/blast-premier-fall-..
2021-11-23 15:12
Nope thats the wrong event lmao
2021-11-23 15:21
they aint
2021-11-23 17:08
I really don't get it why Liquid isn't practicing for this and IEM Winter at all. I know they are planning to make changes but seriously this is not a professional behaviour. They have to give it all and do their best even if changes are on the horizon.
2021-11-23 14:58
1 reply
+1 very unprofessional behavior
2021-11-23 16:19
Imagine if pasha and adren come in to play instead of fallen and stew lmao. (Just for the fun factor)
2021-11-23 15:07
So the global world finals will be on LAN too
2021-11-23 15:08
1 reply
probably yeah 👍
2021-11-23 15:30
ez 4 s1mple
2021-11-23 15:09
liquid running dry :)))))) astralis WILL surprise for the better
2021-11-23 15:10
GL
2021-11-23 15:15
imo its gonna be between navi and astralis (i really like the upgrade)
2021-11-23 15:16
1 reply
+1 I really like the upgrade too, best like for like replacements they could have made from their local scene. But there are a lot of ifs and buts here that will affect their showings in the future. Will Konfig be the same as before with his injured wrist? Will Lucky have more impact for a T1 awperr? Will Xyp and Glaive bounce back from their terrible form? If all goes in favor of the team, they can emerge real good
2021-11-23 18:00
S1mple going to dominate
2021-11-23 15:28
Ez4B1T Dude's adding another LAN Trophy to his cabinet .
2021-11-23 15:30
Forgot the most important one: Can BIG regain their Top 1 Spot?
2021-11-23 15:38
Astralis with insane firepower upgrade in k0nfig and blamef are looking scary now that they only have 1 washed up player, don't know if lucky is good or not. heroic title contender and zywoo is zywoo. liquid first flight out KEKW
2021-11-23 16:04
EZ4NAVI
2021-11-23 16:08
#63
 | 
Greece h0nest_fan
Despite being absolute best right now, I have a feeling that NaVi could loose it to Heroic in the final
2021-11-23 17:36
Liquid is done as a team, all the reports are saying at least 2 players will get kicked/leave soon, I expect a very bad performance from them
2021-11-23 17:58
should be a easy tournament for Na`Vi, everyone playing insanely and they're by far the best team in the tournamet. Let's see if someone can upset them.
2021-11-23 19:16
#70
 | 
Estonia rokuomi
Another win for GOAT
2021-11-23 19:27
I doubt Astralis will make much impact in this event, with Xyp9x out of form, Lucky not really shining, gla1ve just coming back from a break, k0nfig after injury, and also adding to the fact that they are in a rebuilding phase it's hard to expect anything from them really. NIP changed only one player, but the impact of this change will be big imo., because we will see how the roles look now, I don't think es3tag will just cover all the spots LNZ played, so I guess they will also need more time to play well with this roster. Hearing all this roumors about Liquid making changes soon, and also EliGE saying that they had no practice between the Major and BLAST also makes it's hard to believe in them. Also Vitality going for overhaul of the roster, which is totally needed, they could bomb out of this event really quick. Overall with all those teams either after changes or before them NAVI will probably dominate the event, Idk. who could even take the map from them atm., surely not one of those "dead" lineups. This could be a messy event tbh, but I hope for a good show. GL NAVI!
2021-11-23 19:41
28 replies
Xyp out of form changes every tournament and lucky they kind have to cope with it, the others should he sharp, konfig Ofc has been grinding again
2021-11-24 08:11
27 replies
Yeah for sure he was grinding but playing officials is something else you know. We will see, I hope for a good fight.
2021-11-24 09:37
26 replies
yeah its diffrent but also has been praccng man
2021-11-24 11:50
25 replies
For sure, but it's still not the same.
2021-11-24 12:54
24 replies
all i can say is that he is probably hyped and ready to go
2021-11-24 14:55
23 replies
Hopefully.
2021-11-24 14:58
22 replies
surely! i think he made that clear) at least blame did
2021-11-24 14:59
21 replies
Yeah I mean those guys probably are still not aware of how Astralis really treats their players.
2021-11-24 15:06
20 replies
well they are playing with glaive under an epic brand name so thats good for now?
2021-11-24 15:07
19 replies
for now
2021-11-24 15:07
18 replies
i mean the managed 4 majors so im sure they can do fine :)
2021-11-24 15:09
17 replies
I'm pretty sure they would've make the same under any other org.
2021-11-24 15:10
16 replies
yeah but its about the prestige it has now because of it and if they could do it under any org then it doesnt drag them down that much
2021-11-24 15:21
15 replies
what doesn't drag them that much? That Astralis treats their players like shit? I think it might drag them down tbh.
2021-11-24 15:47
14 replies
Well not enough for them not to win 4 majors!
2021-11-24 15:47
13 replies
Back when they had dev1ce, Mag1sk and dupreeh aswell as Xyp9x and gla1ve in prime form? For sure.
2021-11-24 17:24
12 replies
Well the point is not that they will be as successful but that they will be good
2021-11-25 08:11
11 replies
We will see
2021-11-25 09:10
10 replies
they did show promise
2021-11-25 09:13
9 replies
Yeah this first match was amazing actually.
2021-11-25 13:44
8 replies
im confident they could get top 5
2021-11-25 15:04
7 replies
Absolutely they can even be the no.1, they have the players to do so but you never know how is it going to be in the future.
2021-11-25 15:09
6 replies
getting a bit ahead of yourself then) they need a better awper probably
2021-11-25 15:11
5 replies
I mean Lucky seems really bad on paper but in this one match they played with this roster it didn't feel like a problem.
2021-11-25 16:58
4 replies
And in that match it did matter
2021-11-26 09:08
3 replies
I mean firepower wasn't an issue, tbh. I feel like Vitality won because they play better together because of how long they play together as a team, Astralis just needs time imo
2021-11-26 09:36
2 replies
Dude astralis was throwing arround the AWP to everyone but lucky, it’s clearly a problem(
2021-11-26 09:38
1 reply
But it's not like they didn't frag with the AWP, they still were making their job.
2021-11-26 10:14
Liquid giving fake news so that they come 110% prepared and smash everyone is op
2021-11-24 09:54
I'm so excited to see Es3tag back in Scandinavia where he belongs! This Blast is going to be so good!
2021-11-24 11:05
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