We break down the Day 1 matchups at BLAST Fall Showdown.
The BLAST Premier Fall Showdown event will determine the teams that will join the elite at the Fall Finals in November.
Sixteen teams will battle through a single-elimination best-of-three bracket and only two will qualify, so there is little margin for error in this one.
The event includes many top teams, with Heroic, G2 and OG being the main standouts.
Here are the teams competing in Day 1 of the competition:
The event kicks off today, October 12th at 20:30 AEST and the event runs through October 17th. In this preview, I will be breaking down the first round matchups for Day 1.
Heroic didn’t have the most convincing of showings at IEM Fall but now they are back where they do their best work; online. Their last online tournament was ESL Pro League, where they finished in 3rd-4th place with wins against many of the world’s best teams, such as Vitality, Liquid and Astralis.
They take on a POGGERZ side in the opener, which is essentially a mix-team put together by D0CC and Lobanjica featuring two Syrians and a Saudi Arabian. The team made it through the middle eastern qualifier and they will have a tough time against a very strong Heroic side. Considering the BO3 format, it is hard to see anything but a Heroic victory for this one, with a 2-0 sweep being the most probable scenario.
In this match, Fiend will take on the Swedes from Dignitas. Fiend had a solid showing at IEM Fall, making it through to the playoffs where the likes of Astralis proved far too strong for them. The same cannot be said for Dignitas, who had to settle for a 13th-16th finish after a less than stellar group stage performance.
With that said, Dignitas deserve to be the favourite in this matchup. Their map pool sets up favourably for them here. Mirage is their usual perma-ban, and this is one of Fiend’s best maps in the pool. Fiend meanwhile, will probably go for the Vertigo ban, which opens up for Dignitas to pick Nuke, a map where they have always been very comfortable and one where Fiend have struggled with four straight losses.
Fiend will probably go for Dust2, which would be their best chance at taking this to a decider. I think they are certainly more than capable of doing so, but I think you would have to favour Dignitas on a decider, with Inferno being the most likely map pick. Dignitas have looked very strong on Inferno, with recent losses to Vitality and OG being their only blemish in 12 straight games on this map.
Fiend could opt to ban Inferno in the veto and hope for a win on Overpass, but their recent form on this map has been bad with five straight losses.
Dignitas will be in a good spot to take this one, but with Dust2 being suspect for the ninjas, a 2-1 win seems probable.
MIBR are fresh off two roster changes, with yeL and shz being replaced with Tuurtle and WOOD7, formerly of BRAVOS. Since they added these two players, they have only played three games. Two of those were losses to LDLC and Entropiq, with their only win coming against lower-ranked Entropiq Prague. However, they were without chelo in all three games, who is arguably their best player alongside boltz.
Complexity went 1-5 at IEM Fall and they currently have a weird roster constellation which involves es3tag and blameF in a more aggressive role on the team. This change was made after the addition of coldzera, who came in as a short-term replacement for k0nfig, who has now left the team.
Complexity will be a big favourite here, but there is some room for MIBR to do something. With something, meaning that they could be competitive in a loss.
They tend to go for the Nuke ban and that is favourable against Complexity, who are a strong Nuke team. I think there are no obvious punish picks for Complexity either. They could go for Vertigo or Dust2, but both maps are pretty volatile and there is usually room for an underdog on maps like these.
I think the round handicap exotics are the most interesting for this matchup, as I could see MIBR stringing some rounds together. With that said, I would expect Complexity to come out on top here overall, as there is a stark difference in class.