Astralis capped off a near-flawless run at the BLAST Pro Series São Paulo with a win over Team Liquid in the grand finals of the $250,000 CS:GO tournament, which was held at the Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.
The Danish side would rip off five straight wins in RFRSH’s first BLAST Pro Series tournament of 2019 before they would drop their first map on Dust2 against Team Liquid in the first map of the grand finals. However, Astralis would be able to pick themselves back up again, scoring quick map wins on both Mirage and Overpass to secure the trophy.
ENCE eSports, the darlings of the Katowice Major, were just one map win away from securing a rematch against Astralis in the grand finals. Instead, they had to settle with the bonus pro standoff, where they won every round of the 1v1 aim duels against the hometown favourites, MIBR, to win $20,000.
BLAST Pro Series São Paulo Grand Finals Recap
In the first game of the title round of BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, Team Liquid got off to a quick 3-0 lead on Dust2 before Astralis pulled off yet another run of their own to make it 5-3. Having started to lose control of the round, Team Liquid struck back in Round 9 to pull off 4 straight successive round wins before exchanging rounds with Astralis near the end of the half to make it 8-7 in their favour heading into the break.
A stretch of six rounds in eight would go to Astralis as they switched over to T-side and it looked like that was pretty much it. However, Team Liquid would assert control back on the game to tie it 13-13.
A successful frag grenade by Keith ‘NAF‘ Markovic would then pave the way for Team Liquid to make it 14-13, tilting the economy advantage towards their favour as Astralis could do nothing but watch as Team Liquid ripped off six straight rounds to take map and the series lead 1-0.
Astralis played like a team on a mission on Mirage, however. After letting the first map slip by them, Astralis went on to win 10 straight rounds before Team Liquid were finally able to put a stop as they pulled within 11-4 at halftime. The momentum would carry over for Team Liquid on the T-side as they ripped off three straight rounds to make it 11-7. Unfortunately, the early lead built by Astralis was just too much as would eventually close out the round 16-8 to force the series to a third map.
Astralis Take It In Overpass
Overpass was Mirage all over again as Astralis raced out to take 8 straight rounds before Team Liquid managed to take a round for their own. However, unlike Mirage, where Team Liquid threatened to come back and turn the map around, Astralis were far sharper this time around.
Astralis would take a 13-2 lead heading into halftime and closed things out 16-2 to secure the series, 2-1, and go home with yet another trophy in hand.
Although Andreas ‘Xyp9x‘ Højsleth was the leading performer for Astralis on Overpass with an absurd 1.99 rating to help the Danes close out the series and secure the championship, Nicolai ‘dev1ce‘ Reedtz would end up taking home the MVP honors based on his consistency throughout the tournament as he led all performers with a 1.35 rating across 8 maps.
A Rough Start for FaZe Clan and MiBR
For a roster built to, not just compete, but to contend for championships, MiBR and FaZe Clan haven’t really done a lot of contending lately. In fact, they’ve shown no signs of being a top contender at all.
Months into their latest lineups, both FaZe Clan and MiBR have very little to show for so much talent on their respect rosters. Although FaZe Clan do have the added benefit of having won at least one LAN tournament at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019, one has to keep in mind that the tournament was more of a show match than anything else. Not to mention, none of the teams that FaZe Clan played in Atlanta would even make it to the playoffs of the Katowice Major, which only speaks to the level of the competition that they played in the said tournament.
Either way, both teams will definitely need to take a close look at the makeup of their lineups and what they need to do to improve going forward. This is especially true after such a lousy performance at BLAST Pro Series São Paulo.
With Team Liquid looking primed to establish a stranglehold on the title of the second best CS:GO team in the world and Astralis looking as scary as ever, plus up-and-coming teams such as ENCE eSports, as well as Ninjas in Pyjamas, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of changes both MiBR and FaZe Clan will be making in the coming weeks to try and retain their spot as one of the best CS:GO teams in the world.
With the conclusion of the BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, we can now start looking forward to watching teams play in multiple big events starting in April.
One tournament that’s particularly noteworthy will be the StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, where sixteen CS:GO teams will be duking it out over a $500,000 prize pool in Shanghai from March 30 to April 7. Given that all but the grand finalists of BLAST Pro Series São Paulo will be playing at the said tournament, it’s going to be yet another must-watch event that will serve as an opportunity for both title hopefuls and contenders alike to prove themselves.
What do you think was the biggest takeaway of BLAST Pro Series São Paulo? Is there ever going to be a team that’s going to be able to put a stop to Astralis’ current run of dominance? If so, who? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.