The BLAST Pro Series is returning to Copenhagen, and the excitement in the air is palpable. Last year, the event had the likes of Astralis, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, and SK Gaming. This year, the team lineups are just as impressive. Still, we await the confirmation of the last team to join the roster of organizations, but the confirmed teams are enough to get our blood pumping. Let us check out the teams that will be heading to Copenhagen, some new to the tournament, and some with a little bit of history.
— BLAST Premier 💥 #LetTheBattleBegin (@BLASTPremier) August 23, 2018
Last year, Astralis was heading into the BLAST Pro Series without their superstar AWPer Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz. They would instead use Dennis “dennis” Edman as stand-in for the event. Nonetheless, the rest of Astralis would pick up a lot of the slack. Even without dev1ce, this was still a dangerous team and they would show it. Astralis would win all but one series, against North. However, in the Grand Finals against SK Gaming, the lack of firepower from their star sniper would be felt. They would lose to SK 2-1, and have a disappointing end to what was a pretty dominant tournament. Now, the Danish powerhouse looks for revenge, as they return to Copenhagen with dev1ce ready for battle. The Danes are undoubtedly the strongest team at the BLAST Pro Series and are the favorites to take it all.
There were no North American players at Copenhagen last year, so Cloud9 will need to make a statement. Yes, we know that two of their current players are from Europe with in-game leader Maikil “Golden”Selim and current stand-in Martin “STYKO” Styk. However, the original trio of Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, Timothy “autimatic” Ta and Will “RUSH” Wierzba are still on the roster. STYKO is only guaranteed until September of this year, so he may not be on the team come Copenhagen. Therefore, we hope that the synergy that Golden and the rest of Cloud9 is enough to push them to greater heights when the BLAST Pro Series comes along.
FaZe Clan would have a pretty lackluster showing at BLAST Pro Series last year at Copenhagen. They would go 2-1-2 for the tournament, losing to North, Astralis and tying with Ninjas in Pyjamas. However, the silver lining of the event would be their victory at the Pro Standoff. The Pro Standoff would pit each individual player from two teams in a one-vs-one. Whichever team won the most one-vs-one’s would win $20,000. This year, they come to Copenhagen with the same lineup, but with more experience under their belt. Every player has grown tremendously as an individual and as a team. The amount of time they’ve spent together has made a huge difference from last year, so expect FaZe Clan to perform at a higher level come this November.
The defending champs come in with a new logo on their chests and a couple new teammates at the frontlines. Last time, FalleN, Fer and coldzera were able to raise the trophy over their heads. However, their lineup looks very different. The firepower still remains though, especially with star fragger Stewkie2K within their ranks. The only question is how their game style has changed over the year, with brand-new coach Janko “YNk” Paunovic manning the steering wheel. However, I believe there is more than enough time for MIBR to solidify their identity as a team, and become a force to be reckoned with.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
One of the oldest teams in Counter Strike, the Ninjas in Pyjamas did not have the best showing at BLAST Pro Series last year. They would end up last in the tournament, going 1-1-3. However, these 2018 Ninjas are ready and hungry. They have also replaced Xizt and Draken with Dennis and in-game leader Lekr0. They are also combining these new faces with the veteran presence of Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg and Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund. Now, as we look at the Ninjas’ 2018, it hasn’t been looking too great. They have been suffering from multiple early exits from many tournaments ever since their championship at IEM Oakland 2017. However, after a tournament win at the Europe London Minor, maybe things could be moving up in the world. Time will tell whether the Ninjas can end their year on a good note.
There is still one more team to be confirmed for the BLAST Pro Series in Copenhagen. However, I still think that with the teams we’ve learned are going, the competition should be electric. My prediction for the tournament, barring some drastic roster changes, is that Astralis will come out on top again. There are only a few teams that can truly challenge the best team in the world. I think that the only team that could push Astralis this tournament is FaZe Clan. Even then, Astralis with dev1ce aiming down the sight of an AWP is almost unbeatable. The only thing you can wish for is a competitive, exciting day of games.
What do you think of the confirmed teams for the 2018 Copenhagen BLAST Pro Series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more Counter Strike content, check us out here!