Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo: Can the Brazilian crowd behave?

It’s been a few weeks since the Major in Katowice told us all very little actually new, with Astralis still very much the best team in the world still, and it’s time for some more CSGO. Blast Pro Series is back and, as is so often the case, the event looks to be exactly what you’d want in a post-Kato world, with almost all of the interesting sides in action, and ready to build into 2019.

Sadly, because this is Blast Pro Series, we aren’t actually going to get a complete tournament, but some best-of-ones and a Grand Final with the latter at least being played over three maps. Quite why the company has not expanded their format yet is baffling, as most fans would agree it is a colossal waste of time to secure the best teams in CSGO, only to make them scrap it out over a single, pretty random map to see who makes it to the final.

Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo schedule, steams and results

There is $125,000 on the table for the winning team, or to put it another way a quarter of the amount the winner of WESG took home last week, but it must just be the case that Astralis care about more than just prize money. cough Obvious conflict of interest aside, the event is going to produce some great games, but the real question is whether it will end the way most people expect, or the way the home fans want. And, if the latter does not come true, how will the audience react?

A MaJ3r disgrace

Brazil has a massive CSGO audience, and at this point it is fair to say the country also has significant pedigree at the top level of play, but there have been few tier-one events held in that part of the world for a good reason. The combination of the danger to tourists and extreme fan attitudes has led to many players and members of the talent pool not wanting to travel there, regardless of price, and players have experienced unacceptable abuse at the hands, as well as mouths of the ‘fans’ that attend Brazilian events.

ESL One Belo Horizonte was a more recent attempt by CSGO’s top TO to take the game to Brazil, live, and as you can see above, it did not go to plan. On leaving the arena, Turkish star and then-Space Soldiers IGL Engin ‘MAJ3R’ Kupeli was not only abused by the crowd, but also spat on by some degenerate posing as a fan of esports. While he may have received an apology of sorts, the incident was not investigated, and to this day nobody has been banned.

Epic potential

With all of that in mind, there is pressure on Blast to show they can deliver not just good CSGO, but a good fan experience in a part of the world where there are still serious doubts about viability for a Major, for example. If a company with the scale and support Blast have cannot, it may be time to question the value of ever running events in Brazil, which would be sad for the majority, but not tragic, as they have had years to work to help solve this problem themselves.

If they can, then there are team at this event capable of providing an amazing final, including but not limited to Astralis and MIBR, who really deserved more than the 0-2 scoreline that the Danes inflicted upon them in Poland. A final between those two, or any of the top sides and MIBR, has the potential to be an epic end to the event, but the most important aspect has to be security and the ability to keep the players safe and dry.

Main picture: Copyright ESL | Helena Kristiansson