The power of Blast Pro Series has always been underestimated by the CSGO community, but if you are really objective about it this is the tournament that has united fans like no other. While some love ESL One Cologne, or prefer the Major, the vast majority of fans and pundits alike can agree that Blast’s best-of-one format plain sucks for competitive esports.
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The good news is that for this, and future Blast events, we'll have more best-of-three games in the semis, so things are getting better there at least. You can’t argue with is the quality of teams involved in RFRSH's events though, and Blast Pro Los Angeles is no exception, with the world’s best team in attendance, alongside the likes of FaZe, MIBR and NRG. With that in mind, let’s have a look at who might take home the $125,000 at the end of the weekend, and who is just making up the numbers.
When are coming off the back of winning the most stacked CSGO event since Katowice it’s fair to say you should be favourites elsewhere, and Team Liquid are the clear class of this field. With best-of 3 semi-finals now included in the equation that goes even further, but there is a banana skin in the foreground in the shape of a domestic derby with Cloud9.
On paper, C9 shouldn’t have a chance, but a combination of factors might make the 5.25 on them look like great value. Their new team is going to be hard to anti-strat for Liquid, and the players won’t be intimidated by people they train with often easy. Liquid are 1.18 for a reason, but these are the sort of games any team can lose, especially when they are flying straight from Cologne and presumably a $1m party.
Probably the most interesting first round tie is the game between NRG and FaZe Clan, with the super team out at 2.55 to NRG’s 1.74. While those odds make some sense when you look at how the pair played in their recent outings, and the improvement in fragging stanislaw has brought to NRG, there is never a time when you can write NiKo and GuardiaN off, and there isn’t enough talent in NRG to assume they are safe from getting out-skilled.
If not Liquid, then who?
If the world’s best do falter, or just not manage to find the motivation to win an event nobody will blame them for losing, then the field is wide open. To Liquid this is just a quick cuppa after the Lord Mayor’s show, but a victory even at Blast Pro LA would be a great thing for the likes of MIBR, FaZe and Cloud9, all of whom are working with new players, and trying to get back to tier one.
CSGO Live: Bet on Blast Pro LA now
We’ve not even touched on Renegades yet, who were so impressive at the Major but have struggled to find their form with Gratisfaction’s ongoing VISA issues, but the ANZ mix is a massive threat here with their big green gun back in Grat’s hands. A lot depends on Team Liquid, and their ability to convert their superiority into wins after such a gruelling start to the month, with Blast Pro LA looking like it could be one of the most interesting events RFRSH have put on to date if they can’t.