São Paulo, Brazil will be the first stop in the BLAST Pro Series 2019 schedule. Taking place on the 22nd – 23rd March with a $250,000 prize pool. Six teams kick things off in a best-of-one, round-robin group format. The top two teams will advance to the grand final and battle it out for $125,000.
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- Group Stage:
- Single Round-Robin format group
- All matches are Bo1
- Top two teams advance to the Grand Final
- Grand Final:
- Match is a Bo3 series
- BLAST Pro Standoff:
- The BLAST Pro Standoff is a prize bonus show match, with five 1v1 aim duels.
- The team finishing in 3rd place chooses their opponent from the remaining teams who finish below them.
- The winner of the BLAST Pro Standoffs takes home a $20,000 bonus prize.
Prize Pool Breakdown
- 1st = $125,000
- 2nd = $50,000
- 3rd = $25,000
- 4th = $15,000
- 5th = $10,000
- 6th = $5,000
Following their dominant showing at IEM Katowice last month, I think it’s fair to say that Astralis come into this event as favourites. With MiBR being on home soil, this could play into their hands and prove advantageous.
However, they were at WESG Grand Finals this past week and got defeated by Windigo. This was a surprise to many and has raised some questions regarding how well they can do at this tournament.
We can almost assume that Astralis will be one of the top two teams that advance from group play into the grand final. Will anyone be able to knock them down?
Is there an underdog?
With this being a smaller event filled with high-quality teams, I don’t think it’s fair to call any an underdog. Despite this, I feel many will still be writing ENCE off from doing any damage. ENCE caused many upsets during their historic run at IEM Katowice last month.
It finally came to an end when they faced off against Astralis in the grand final. With the ups and downs many of these teams have experienced recently, it’s hard to determine who will make it to the grand final.
Teams Attending and Their Odds
- Astralis at 1.65 odds
- Liquid at 5.25 odds
- MiBR at 6.50 odds
- ENCE at 11.00 odds
- FaZe at 13.00 odds
- Ninjas in Pyjamas at 22.00 odds
These odds are courtesy of Betway.
Round 1 Matches – 22nd March at 22:00 GMT +1
FaZe vs. NiP, MiBR vs. ENCE, Astralis vs. Liquid
Round 2 Matches – 22nd March at 23:30 GMT +1
Astralis vs. ENCE, FaZe vs. MiBR, NiP vs. Liquid
Round 3 Matches – 23rd March at 16:00 GMT +1
ENCE vs. NiP, Liquid vs. FaZe, Astralis vs. MiBR
Round 4 Matches – 23rd March at 17:20 GMT +1
MiBR vs. Liquid, ENCE vs. FaZe, Astralis vs. NiP
Round 5 Matches – 23rd March at 18:40 GMT +1
ENCE vs. Liquid, Liquid vs. FaZe, Astralis vs. MiBR
BLAST Pro Series Standoff – 23rd March at 20:00 GMT +1
BLAST SP Grand Final – 23rd March at 21:00 GMT +1
With Astralis being firm favourites across the board, betting on the direct winner might not be appealing. The 1.65 odds for Astralis to win the event isn’t too bad. If you want to chance it on an underdog, I’d recommend MiBR. This is purely because they have the ‘home advantage’, which has become a vital factor in the past at events.
When looking at individual matches, there’s a magnitude of betting options other than the outright winner. You can bet on map handicaps, total rounds, pistol rounds and overtime. I will cover some of these options in the match predictions during the event.
All in all, I believe we will see Astralis winning another Championship. I think their biggest challenge will come against MiBR in Round 3. We could very well see a repeat of the Round 3 matchup in the grand final.
I had a soft spot for ENCE during their run at IEM Katowice. This continues here. They’ve shown that they’re a quality roster than can compete against the best. As mentioned, Astralis are almost expected to automatically be in the grand final. In my opinion, it’ll be a battle between ENCE and MiBR in regard to who will make the grand final alongside Astralis.