BLAST PRO Series, organized by RFRSH Entertainment, returns to our screens with the 3rd instalment of 2019. After a successful tournament in Sao Paolo and Miami, BLAST PRO Series travel to sunny Madrid, where we will get to see some of the best teams fighting for the lion's share of $250,000 prize pool.
BLAST PRO Series is in full swing and only months away from the long-awaited Global Final, which is set to take place in December. However, before we get to see the final tournament, the teams still need to go through two more events, the upcoming Madrid 2019, and then Los Angeles 2019 which is scheduled to take place in July.
RFRSH Entertainment released the complete schedule for the upcoming BLAST Pro Series Madrid, which will be played at the Madrid Arena over May 10th-11th. The tournament will feature six of the strongest CS:GO teams in the world, who will fight their way through the group stage for a chance to grab a $125,000 prize and ten BPS points. Those points will count towards their ranking that will ultimately decide which four teams will attend the $500,000 Global Final in December.
BLAST PRO Series: Madrid 2019 will start off with a play-in Bo3 Final match between Movistar RIders and Giants, the winner of which will also be the last team joining Astralis, Cloud9, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas and ENCE on the grand stage in Madrid.
The tournament as a whole will be split into three parts - Group Stage, Grand Final and BLAST Pro Standoff, which is more or less a bonus "showmatch" with five 1v1 duels that offers a $20,000 bonus prize.
The group stage will feature a Bo1 single round-robin format, which will force teams to put up impressive performances with no room for mistake, as there will be only two teams advancing into the Grand Finals, which will be played in a Bo3 format.
Astralis are considered favourites to win here and rightfully so. They are the number 1 ranked team in the world for a reason, winning 9 out of last 10 events they played in. They have also won 3 BLAST tournaments out of 5 they played in.
Looking back, their last BLAST tournament campaign was quite a disaster for Astralis, as they lost games to teams such as MiBR, Team Liquid and FaZe Clan, but I would not put too much emphasis on those defeats, solely due to the fact those games were played in a Bo1 format, which is known to be perfect for upsets.
As for the upcoming tournament, the only worthy opponent Astralis have to beat are Natus Vincere and ENCE. Team Liquid and FaZe Clan are, on the other side, both playing at the IEM Sydney 2019, which makes for quite a weakened field compared to the last BLAST Pro Series tournament.
Looking at the other teams, Movistar Riders and Giants should not be able to win any games against teams ranked higher than them, Ninjas In Pyjamas are a former shell of themselves, Cloud9 had numerous roster changes recently and there is no knowing how will they react to it, ENCE are a strong contender, but their team is quite young and they have never beat Astralis before. That leaves us with Natus Vincere, who are probably the only candidate alongside Astralis that have a real chance to lift the trophy. Still the team’s biggest flaw is their leadership, which just might cost them the title.
All in all, Astralis are in a perfect spot for another trophy. The team should be well rested and in great spirits. They have also topped their ESL Pro League Season 9 group, so there should be no problems with their form. Take Astralis to bag another trophy in Madrid!
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