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BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Finals Preview

With the regular season and the showdown event coming to its conclusion, it is time to crown a winner at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
8th Dec, 20·☕️☕️ 8 min read
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With the regular season and the showdown event coming to its conclusion, it is time to crown a winner at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals.

Competition Information

Eight of the worlds best will battle it out for the $225,000 first-place prize this week at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. Additionally, a spot in the Global Final in January will be up for grabs for the winner.

Astralis, Vitality, NaVi, BIG, G2 and OG made it through by placing in the top six of the regular season, while FURIA and mousesports qualified through the showdown event.

The format is very straight forward for this one. The eight teams will fight it out in a simple double-elimination bracket. Unlike some of the ESL events that we have seen in recent time, all matches will be best-of-three from start to finish, including the grand final.

The whole shebang kicks off December 8th and runs through December 13th.

The Current Season

Astralis

Astralis
Record: 54 / 0 / 25
Most Played Map: Inferno (80.0%)
Best Map: Inferno (80.0%)
Worst Map: Nuke (53.3%)

Astralis are fresh off a win at DreamHack Masters Winter, where they took down mousesports in the grand final. Interestingly, the Danes utilized Bubzkji on some maps in place of Xyp9x, similar to what Vitality are currently doing with Nivera. Bubzkji has mostly been left on the sidelines in the past, so this is a refreshing change to the dynamics of the team. Considering that this gave them success at the most recent event, it is reasonable to expect that they will continue to utilize Bubzkji as a stand-in when possible going forward.

Astralis have actually received a pretty tough part of the bracket, with NaVi in the opener and Vitality potentially waiting on the other side. These are both teams that have gotten the better of them in recent time, so it is far from guaranteed that they will have a smooth ride at this event.

FURIA

FURIA
Record: 106 / 0 / 56
Most Played Map: Inferno (67.4%)
Best Map: Mirage (78.6%)
Worst Map: Nuke (53.1%)

Rumours were circulating that FURIA could be in the process of making a couple of roster changes, but those rumours have slowed down considerably after the Brazilians played really well at both BLAST Showdown and DreamHack Masters Winter. This is easily one of the most exciting teams to watch in the game right now, and they have the quality to go up against any of the teams at this event.

FURIA will take on G2 in the opener, which should be a match full of fireworks. G2 got the better of them at BLAST Showdown, but FURIA answered straight back with a win of their own at DreamHack Masters Winter last week, making this one of the most even matches on paper.

G2

G2
Record: 10 / 0 / 7
Most Played Map: Dust2 (60.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (100.0%)
Worst Map: Inferno (0.0%)

G2 now have three events under their belt with NiKo, and they have utilized both AmaNEk and JaCkz as their fifth at these events. However, it seems like they will be going with AmaNEk going forward. While JaCkz is a player with great individual ability, this makes more sense due to how versatile AmaNEk is as a player, and it will help get the most out of players like NiKo and huNter- who need space to shine.

G2 will take on FURIA in the opener, a team that they have played twice just over the past month with both taking a win apiece. If they were to take down FURIA, either BIG or OG await in the following round, two teams that they have yet to play with their new roster. However, they have a positive H2H map record against them with their old roster, so they will likely be happy with their draw at this event.

mousesports

mousesports
Record: 44 / 0 / 33
Most Played Map: Nuke (54.5%)
Best Map: Vertigo (75.0%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (38.5%)

mousesports are coming off an excellent performance at DreamHack Masters Winter, where they made it all the way to the finals. It appears as if they have benefited greatly from a rise in form from Bymas, and karrigan’s contribution definitely should not be understated either - both as a leader and with his play on the server. There were matches where he was key in finding important opening frags on their T-side in particular, and we have seen what mousesports are capable of when they are playing with this sort of confidence. However, I do still question how much of this is repeatable. In their last two events, their wins have come against GODSENT, Cloud9, Liquid and Heroic. The Danes from Heroic have been one of the hottest teams in the game, but the remainder of the teams aren’t elite at this stage in time.

Their opposition at this event will be far tougher, and they have received an incredibly tough side of the bracket with Vitality in the opener and Astralis and NaVi awaiting in a potential upper-bracket semi-final.

Vitality

Vitality
Record: 100 / 2 / 63
Most Played Map: Nuke (51.3%)
Best Map: Vertigo (81.2%)
Worst Map: Nuke (51.3%)

Vitality have undoubtedly been the most consistent team during this turbulent time. They were the first team to start swapping players mid-match with Nivera coming in to replace either shox or misutaaa, and this has worked out well for them so far. The Frenchmen have tallied up an abundance of second-place finishes at some of the biggest tournaments of the year, and they were finally able to get over the hurdle and win a tournament after taking down NaVi in the finals of IEM Beijing-Haidan in November.

Vitality will take on mousesports in the opener, with the winner of Astralis and NaVi awaiting if they were to win their first match. These are all teams that they have beaten recently, so while this is a very tough bracket, they have shown that they are more than capable of making a run at this event.

Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere
Record: 90 / 0 / 70
Most Played Map: Nuke (61.1%)
Best Map: Train (66.7%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (0.0%)

NaVi are easily one of the most difficult teams to forecast in the game right now. They have made runs all the way to the finals at events like IEM Beijing and ESL Pro League this year, but they have also floundered immensely, dropping games to lower-tier teams in the CIS region. The team is (and has always been) incredibly reliant on the duo of s1mple and electronic, which makes them a bit less consistent than other teams in the top flight.

Rumours are circulating that NaVi will soon add a sixth player to their ranks, with B1T getting promoted from their academy team. The Ukrainian has been the stand-out player on NaVi Junior, posting a rating of 1.16 this year. Something also worth pointing out is his incredibly high headshot accuracy of 70.0%, which is good enough to challenge some of the best head poppers in the game. Perhaps the addition of B1T can help plug a few holes and make them a more consistent force going forward.

Interestingly, NaVi will take on Astralis in the opener - a team that they have gotten the better of in three out of four games this year.

BIG

BIG
Record: 157 / 0 / 90
Most Played Map: Dust2 (67.9%)
Best Map: Mirage (70.4%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (53.6%)

BIG were incredible at the start of the year, but since then the results have been less than satisfactory. Ending Flashpoint 2 in 5-6th place can be seen as nothing else than a failure when you consider that they were arguably the favourite heading into the competition. The team that put an end to their Flashpoint journey was OG, who they will also go up against in the opener of this tournament. This was the second time in succession that BIG lost to OG over the past three months, so this appears to be a difficult matchup for them. The quality of this team is undeniable, but for whatever reason, they have not been able to challenge for trophies recently.

OG

OG
Record: 108 / 0 / 95
Most Played Map: Inferno (57.4%)
Best Map: Dust2 (58.3%)
Worst Map: Train (43.3%)

OG are definitely a team that has been trending upwards recently. They still don’t have a trophy on their resumé, but second-place finishes at both IEM New York and Flashpoint 2 is impressive. This team has actually been around for almost exactly a year at this point, and it seems like their hard work is now coming to fruition. Aleksib has been an absolute G for this team as the IGL, and it seems like they are really getting the most out of their personnel. I am questioning if they have the type of upside to actually win a tournament of this calibre, but they have clearly shown that they can play spoiler for a lot of the best teams in the game.

OG take on BIG in the opener, a team that they have beaten in the last two meetings. If they were to win that match, either FURIA or G2 await in the following round. It has been a year since they last played FURIA, but they actually won that match, and they got the better of G2 in their most recent meeting, as well.

Betting Tips

There are no outright odds for this tournament. For betting tips, check out the daily betting tip articles.

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