The BLAST Pro Series has promised to raise the bar when it comes to CS:GO events. Coming off the back of IEM Oakland, six of the world’s best Counter Strike teams are taking to the stage in Copenhagen, for what is sure to be an action-packed event. This betting guide will provide you with all the insight you need for finding value in the BLAST Pro Series odds.
The BLAST Pro Series has set out to do it’s CS:GO event slightly differently. The organisers are keen to promote transparency, with qualifiers being played simultaneously, and the map vetoes being done weeks in advance.
Teams have had weeks to prepare, knowing exactly when they’ll be playing their opponent, and on which map. This is great news for bettors, as it allows room to take map form into consideration when placing early bets. Additionally, we should see exceptionally high-quality Counter Strike being played, due to the time the teams have had to prepare.
BLAST Pro Series breakdown
- Six teams
- $250,000 prize pool
- November 24-25
With the event being played less than a week after the conclusion of IEM Oakland, teams are eager to seek revenge and make amends for any mistakes made during IEM. Ninjas in Pyjamas were crowned victors in California after their shock best of five victory over FaZe, and will be looking to add another trophy to their collection.
SK Gaming suffered a disappointing exit from the tournament, and G2 Esports have the talent to go far but have struggled with finding consistent form recently; the two will be looking to reverse this. The six teams invited to this event are all ranked in the top ten (accoring to the HLTV rankings), with North and Astralis both dreaming of a victory on home soil.
BLAST Pro Series betting: Tournament structure
Every CS:GO event has a slightly varying format, and understanding the format of an event is crucial for eSports bettors. BLAST Pro Series begins with a single group six-team round robin, played out in a best of one format. This means that every team will face off once, resulting in fifteen total matches in this group stage.
NiP are fortunate to have one of the best coaches in the scene, THREAT, travelling to events with them, and he brings his tactical prowess to a formerly unorganised roster.
Group matches will be played concurrently, resulting in three matches at the same time. A total of five rounds of matches will be played in this round robin format. After all fifteen matches have been played, the top two teams based on wins will qualify for the best of three Grand Final.
In previous events, teams have been allowed to make errors in the group stage, and have still been able to progress through the tournament, due to the bracket allowing second chances to save their tournament. In this event, every single game is crucial.
Only two teams will progress through the group stage straight into the Grand Final, and those teams will likely have near-perfect records. The combination of the importance of every match (and the time that teams have had to prepare) should result in close, tightly contested games.
Best of one matches are famed for their upset potential. Subsequently, having a strong knowledge of teams’ map pools and current form is key to success. Taking into consideration whether a team favours a tactical approach to their play style or whether they rely on out-aiming their opponents helps to analyse the matchup and whether a map is favourable for a particular team.
BLAST Pro Series odds: Analysing the teams
All six teams are in a single group contesting in a round-robin format, meaning they will face one another once. The six teams and their odds to win the tournament outright are as follows;
Coming into this tournament, FaZe and SK Gaming seem to still be the teams to beat, due to their historical form, and star talent. FaZe have the likes of NiKo, Olofmeister and rain at their disposal and it is hardly surprising that we’re seeing more consistency now that the team have had sufficient time to gel as a unit. FaZe lost to an in-form Ninjas in Pyjamas in a best of five at Oakland (2-3) but showed real prowess throughout.
SK Gaming can never be ruled out. The Brazilian’s fell out of IEM Oakland in disappointing fashion after losing to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the best of three semi-final (1-2). Their performance didn’t feel like vintage SK, with only coldzera being his usual self and performing admirably. If FalleN and fer return to form, and new addition boltz steps up, there is a strong potential that the Brazilian flag will be raised in Copenhagen’s Royal Arena.
NiKo and rain were great at IEM, and it was only karrigan who struggled to get kills on the board. If he can find form again, FaZe will go far in Copenhagen.
Ninjas in Pyjamas are the in-form team coming into this event after their surprising victory at IEM Oakland over a strong FaZe. The Swedish team has stated in recent interviews that they are dedicating more hours, inside and outside of the game to improving as a unit, and it is showing.
NiP are fortunate to have one of the best coaches in the scene, THREAT, travelling to events with them, and he brings his tactical prowess to a formerly unorganised roster. f0rest and new boy REZ stepped up big time in California, and if draken can return to form with the AWP, NiP could go far.
Astralis have the home team advantage coming into the event, and it is much needed, as they have looked a little lacklustre as of recent. However, the team has struggled with illness at recent events (in particular IEM) and this offers an explanation for their dip in form.
The Danish side certainly cannot be ruled out, and when at their best, they could win this event. The brilliant mind of gla1ve, coupled with device’s consistent quality is enough to worry any team (update: device will miss the tournament due to medical reasons and will be replaced by dennis from GODSENT).
Finally, G2 and North are two sides who find themselves in similar situations. Both teams are struggling to find consistency, with G2 departing IEM Oakland early after struggling against teams they were expected to beat. The team has the capability and talent to hit the heights, but unfortunately, they’ve looked unorganised and lacklustre.
North are the second team who will be looking to impress in front of a home crowd. However, if judged by recent results, it is hard to see them having too much success in a tournament with this much talent. Despite this, there is certainly a best of one upset potential to be considered here.
Why FaZe are still the team to beat
Despite their loss in the IEM Grand Final, FaZe are still the team to beat coming into BLAST Pro Series. They showed class and an ability to completely dominate opponents and fell only to a very good NiP. Their talent is unquestionable, and their only real struggle is teamwork, with this aspect steadily improving as events have passed.
NiKo and rain were great at IEM, and it was only karrigan who struggled to get kills on the board. If he can find form again, FaZe will go far in Copenhagen. They look like a strong choice for bettors, and the team will want to make amends following their IEM Grand Final blunder.
Will SK Gaming return to form?
SK Gaming are a team to be feared, however, they struggled at IEM after a semi-final best of three defeat to NiP. The likes of FalleN, coldzera and fer have the ability to dominate and frustrate any team, and they will be keen to show this again at BLAST Pro Series.
If FalleN and fer return to form, and new addition boltz steps up, there is a strong potential that the Brazilian flag will be raised in Copenhagen.
They still look like a team capable of winning the event, and now with the likes of FaZe and NiP taking centre stage, they may feel less pressure to perform in games, and this could unlock the SK of old. Less than a month ago they were crowned victors at EPICENTER 2017, and the Brazilians look capable of repeating that form. However, the team looked indecisive in their last Bo3, and they’ll need to iron this out going into BLAST Pro Series.
Can the Ninjas do it again?
The Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) lifted the trophy in California after a shock victory over FaZe in the Grand Final. Their win was convincing, and on their road to victory they also had to beat SK in the semi-final. The team were playing great CS, and have managed to reverse some of the issues associated with older NiP rosters.
The Swedish team are coming into BLAST Pro Series with a fantastic record and look healthy as a unit. Their win at IEM was considered a shock, but there is certainly a chance they’ll add another trophy to their cabinet in Copenhagen.
The home crowd favourites
Spectators inside Copenhagen’s Royal Arena will be wishing for a Danish victory at BLAST Pro Series, and Astralis are the team capable of delivering that. The team have struggled with illness at recent events, but the players won’t want to let this affect their game in front of a home crowd. Astralis have been targeting this event for a while, and with gla1ve and the team’s coach zonic both having the ability to prepare in advance for the maps they’ll be playing, they cannot be ruled out.
*Odds subject to change.