BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021 - Preview
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BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021 - Preview

Major winners NaVi will look to continue their dominance at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. Can anyone stop them? We break it down.

Valle
Freelance Esports Writer
24th Nov, 21·☕️ 7 min read
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Major winners NaVi will look to continue their dominance at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. Can anyone stop them? We break it down.

Competition Information

Some of the world’s best teams have licked their wounds after the major and will look to challenge Natus Vincere for the BLAST trophy in Copenhagen.

The likes of Astralis and NiP have taken the opportunity to revamp their roster after the major, with teams like Liquid and Vitality having all but confirmed that changes are coming. 

Format

The format for this event is as simple as it gets. Long gone are the days when we saw a BO1 format for the BLAST events, with a BO3 double-elimination bracket now being the format of choice. Unlike many of the ESL and DreamHack events that we have seen recently, the final will also be played in BO3 format.

The event kicks off today November 24th at 12:00 CET Local Time (21:00 AEST) and runs through November 28th.

The Current Season

Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere
Record: 98 / 0 / 42
Most Played Map: Overpass (57.9%)
Best Map: Nuke (95.2%)
Worst Map: Overpass (57.9%)

Natus Vincere came out all guns blazing at the major and the favourites steamrolled their way through to the major trophy, resulting in a diamond coin for many of those who played CS:GO’s pick’em game. Personally, I felt like there was only one team with a realistic chance of taking them down and that was Gambit, but they absolutely annihilated their CIS rivals in the semi-finals. 

Interestingly, the last team to beat NaVi was BIG, who they are facing in their opening match. The Germans got the better of NaVi at ESL Pro League back in August with a 2–0 sweep. It is also worth noting that Heroic have been very competitive against NaVi throughout the online era, but NaVi have consistently been able to come out on top.

BIG

BIG
Record: 30 / 2 / 33
Most Played Map: Mirage (65.7%)
Best Map: Dust2 (73.3%)
Worst Map: Inferno (20.0%)

BIG have been active after the major, taking part in both DreamHack Open and V4 Future Sports Festival. They were defeated in the semi-finals at V4 against Gambit and they had to settle for a runner-up finish to blazing hot fnatic at DreamHack Open.

The Germans have received a rough draw at this event with major winners NaVi in the opening match. However, it is worth noting that they did beat s1mple’s side 2–0 at ESL Pro League in August. If they were to pull off yet another huge upset against NaVi, they will surely hope for Heroic to win their match against FaZe. They beat Heroic 2–0 in their most recent match at IEM Fall, while FaZe has been a tough nut to crack for them with two straight 2–0 losses.

Heroic

Heroic
Record: 85 / 0 / 43
Most Played Map: Nuke (71.4%)
Best Map: Overpass (72.2%)
Worst Map: Mirage (52.4%)

Heroic have been hungry to prove their doubters wrong recently and while they had to settle for the semi-finals at the major, their performance was a positive one. Their only losses came against the finalists, G2 and NaVi.

What worries me a bit about this team is the current form of TeSeS, who failed to impress at the major. Perhaps he is feeling the effect of an injury, having been sporting tape on his mouse arm over the last few events. TeSeS has in my mind been the rifler with the most consistent impact on the roster prior to the major, but I wonder if Heroic has tournament winning upside when he is not at his best. The likes of stavn and sjuush stepped up in a big way in his absence at the major, but I question if this is sustainable.

Vitality

Vitality
Record: 62 / 0 / 37
Most Played Map: Nuke (60.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (71.4%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (50.0%)

This is a bit of a weird one, as Vitality are expected to make changes soon, with dupreeh and Magisk reportedly coming in to replace shox and Kyojin. Bizarrely, they will take on a team in a similar position in the opener (Liquid.)

Vitality have long been an impressive team to me despite having a less than stellar roster on paper, but it is hard for me to put any faith in this team with the pending changes. We have seen teams go from the brink of death to a trophy, with the Cloud9 major win being the prime example, but it is rare.

Ninjas in Pyjamas

NiP
Record: 63 / 1 / 47
Most Played Map: Inferno (56.0%)
Best Map: Ancient (70.6%)
Worst Map: Mirage (47.4%)

NiP are coming into this event fresh off a roster change, with es3tag coming in to replace es3tag. The Dane isn’t exactly a franchise player, but he is a very versatile player who fits the bill for the position that they are looking to fill. The team will continue to speak Swedish as well, despite the language barrier. This shouldn’t be an issue long term, but it could take a while for es3tag to adjust to Swedish.

With that said, NiP are a more refined team at the moment, and with Liquid and Vitality on the brink of collapse, the Ninjas will be in a prime spot to make the finals at this event.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid
Record: 74 / 0 / 49
Most Played Map: Inferno (61.3%)
Best Map: Overpass (78.6%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (46.7%)

The likes of EliGE have been public with the fact that the team has some major internal struggles at the moment and a big change to the roster could be pending. As mentioned before, we have seen teams do well in this sort of position before, but it is rare. As such, it is hard to expect much from the NA boys at this one. 

Astralis

Astralis
Record: 19 / 0 / 18
Most Played Map: Nuke (63.6%)
Best Map: Nuke (63.6%)
Worst Map: Ancient (0.0%)

Astralis are coming into this event with two recent additions, with blameF and k0nfig replacing Magisk and dupreeh. I may be in the minority, but I think this is an upgrade and a move that had to be done. What worries me somewhat are the rumours that they are looking to replace Lucky, so perhaps their focus isn’t exactly where it should be for this event. The rookie hasn’t been terrible for Astralis in my mind, but perhaps they have someone more experienced on the radar.

The Danes will be an underdog in the opener against NiP and that is well deserved, but it would not exactly shock me to death if they were to make a Cinderella type run in what could be the last event for Lucky with Astralis.

Betting Tips

The most reasonable final would be NaVi vs. NiP in this tournament and I would definitely favour NaVi in that matchup due to how strong they are on D2 and Nuke.

In the opening matches, FaZe vs. Heroic stands out as a match worth targeting from a betting perspective. Heroic have a significant advantage on Nuke and I personally think it is better to eat the juice and bet on them to win their map choice than to bet the ML. Additionally, I think FaZe have a decent shot on Ancient/Mirage and with the lopsided odds, the round handicap makes for a decent play on their map.

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