FaZe Clan trumped Team Liquid 2-0 in front of the NA crowd at the Watsco Center in Miami, Florida to take home the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 trophy.
FaZe Clan were one of the underdogs heading into the tournament. With the likes of Natus Vincere, who recently won the StarSeries i-League Season 7 in Shanghai, and Team Liquid in the tournament, as well as the undisputed best CS:GO team in the world Astralis, all odds were stacked against Nikola ‘NiKo‘ Kovač and the rest of FaZe Clan.
All of that didn’t matter to FaZe Clan, however.
After going 3-1-1 in the group stages, including a resounding 16-5 win over Astralis, the NiKo-led lineup took care of business against Team Liquid. They put a dominant showing on Mirage to take the series lead and went on to close things out in a tight affair on Dust2 to win the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019.
NiKo took home the MVP honors following FaZe Clan’s win. He was easily the tournament’s best player all throughout. He led all players in multiple statistics, including posting a 1.44 rating across 7 maps to end the tournament.
FaZe Clan will take home $125,000 for winning the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019. Meanwhile, Team Liquid will bag yet another runner-up finish and pocket $50,000.
BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 Recap
Let it be said that the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 was the tournament where every participating team came to play.
Well, at least, everyone except the newly-formed Cloud9, who looked every bit out of place against the juggernauts of the CS:GO scene. But, for the most part, every match was as exciting and as fun as you would expect a tournament filled with tense best-of-one matches between the best that CS:GO had to offer.
Both FaZe Clan and MiBR already looked dead in the water prior to the start of the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019. However, at the tournament itself, there were times that they both looked like they were the best CS:GO teams playing on the server. In particular, MiBR gave Astralis their worst LAN beating since North beat them 16-1 at the DreamHack Masters Stockholm by taking a 16-2 win on Overpass over the Danish side.
While not seeing Astralis playing in the grand finals of a tournament that they were playing in was surprising, to say the least, it was nice to see other CS:GO teams stepping up as the best CS:GO team in the world seemed out of sync for the most part.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, it was Team Liquid and FaZe Clan who faced off against each other in the grand finals of the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 after going 5-0-0 and 3-1-1, respectively, during the group stages.
FaZe Clan Dominate Team Liquid in Surprising Win
FaZe Clan kicked the series off with a strong 8-0 surge on Mirage on the Terrorist side before Team Liquid were able to take two rounds of their own. What then ensued was Team Liquid playing more like their usual selves as they executed their defense well to win 5 rounds to FaZe Clan’s 10 heading into the half.
Just as Team Liquid were expected to make a run in the second half on the Terrorist side, however, NiKo went and pulled off a quad kill in the pistol round to give FaZe Clan a huge advantage. Although Team Liquid showed a lot of discipline despite playing with their backs against the wall, FaZe Clan showed even more composure, calmly taking the rounds and not overextending their lead to take the map 16-6 and the series lead.
Dust2 was more of the same as FaZe Clan played the role of the dominant team all throughout. Håvard ‘rain‘ Nygaard was particularly amazing for FaZe Clan, going 20-0 at some point and even acing a couple of rounds.
Team Liquid could do nothing more than take three rounds heading into the half. However, they looked much better after switching sides, winning the pistol rounds and threatening to make a huge run to tie the series 1-1. Unfortunately, Team Liquid did not expect a fast push from FaZe Clan in the 24th round, which spelled the end for them as they lost the round and most of their cash, which prevented them from making any sort of comeback.
What’s Next for FaZe Clan?
A busy month of April and May awaits FaZe Clan. They’ll fly off to Sydney for IEM Sydney 2019 in a few weeks’ time before flying to DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 at the end of May. They’re also playing at EPL Season 9 – Europe in between.
For a team that initially looked like they were going to disband real soon, FaZe Clan winning the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 is huge. However, it’s far from enough to justify the kind of firepower and talent on their lineup. It likely isn’t enough to validate having a star player like NiKo play the role of in-game-leader.
But, then again, who knows?
FaZe Clan are admittedly individually skilled enough to make up for any shortcomings that they may have without a proper in-game leader and so, they might just soldier on just fine without one.
We’ll just have to wait and see what they’ll do in the coming tournaments.
FaZe Clan winning the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019 was a huge story. Astralis losing three straight maps for the first time in a long time is an even bigger surprise.
Astralis looked out of sync and out of sorts, as if they weren’t really feeling themselves, especially after their 16-2 loss against MiBR.
Whether or not this performance from Astralis is a one-off is anyone’s guess, but what we do know is that it’ll be a while before we see them playing in a LAN setting against top-tier teams.
Until then, we’ll have to give Astralis the benefit of the doubt.
What do you think of FaZe Clan’s win at the BLAST Pro Series Miami 2019? Will it be the first of many? Or was it a mere flash in a pan performance that they won’t be replicating anytime soon? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.