The likes of Heretics, HAVU and Movistar Riders are gearing up for BLAST Rising. We break down the form of these teams, and more, in our preview of the event.
The likes of Heretics, HAVU and Movistar Riders are gearing up for BLAST Rising. We break down the form of these teams and more in our preview of the event.
BLAST Rising is organized RFRSH Entertainment, and as the name suggests, focuses on teams lower down the world rankings. Sixteen European teams have been invited and will duke it out hoping to grab part of the €30,000 prize pool.
The sixteen teams in the competition have been split into four round-robin groups, where each team will play each other twice in best-of-one matches. Once the group stage has concluded, the top two teams from each group will advance to the best-of-three single-elimination playoff bracket.
The participants for the first-ever BLAST Rising looks as follows:
BLAST Rising will kick off with the group stage on May 4, with the final scheduled for May 22.
Heretics have been on a meteoric rise recently, taking down Dignitas, ENCE and Complexity at ESL One: Road to Rio before falling to two giants of the game in the shape of fnatic and Astralis. They will now come in as one of the favorites in a tournament with a far lower level of competition, and if they continue to show this type of form, they should have an excellent chance of becoming the champions of BLAST Rising 2020.
Maka has been an absolute monster for Heretics recently, and he was instrumental in earning Heretics wins against ENCE, Dignitas and Complexity. His performance against Complexity was particularly impressive, with the Frenchman posting 92 (!) frags across three maps with a K/D differential of plus-40. Many people may have been shocked by his ability, but Maka has long been revered for his ability in France, with the former Epsilon and Limitless player, LoWkiii, referring to him as “One of the best players I have ever seen in CS.” back in 2017.
A lot of people probably did not expect much from Movistar Riders when they were set to face off against mousesports at ESL One: Road to Rio, but the Spaniards shocked the world by upsetting the European side by a score of 2–0. Movistar Riders were constantly able to catch mousesports off guard with aggressive pushes, and they were able to do the same in the next game against c0ntact, as well. They finally fell to FaZe, but they were even able to take a map against the giants in that best-of-three series. Since then, they have been humbled a bit by both G2 and Copenhagen Flames, but the wins against mousesports and c0ntact will only boost their confidence going forward.
ALEX’s stats may not look at much, but the Spaniard has definitely been a key player for this Movistar Riders side. He was particularly impressive against FaZe, posting 104.2 ADR and 1.63 rating in their win on Mirage, and he will need to continue this form if Movistar Riders want to overcome the likes of Heretics and HAVU at BLAST Rising.
HAVU were one of the surprises of FLASHPOINT 1, earning themselves third place with wins against the likes of Cloud9, Gen.G and Envy, just to name a few. The likes of ZOREE, sLowi and hoody have looked great recently, and if they show the type of form that they did at FLASHPOINT, the Finns might just get a title under their belt.
sLowi has been excellent for HAVU recently, and his play was definitely a key component in HAVU’s road to third-place at FLASHPOINT 1 earlier in the year. The young Finn showed great mechanical ability all throughout the tournament, and he was particularly effective in finding opening frags for his team, leading all players in the tournament with 106 opening frags.
I like Heretics chances of winning this tournament. They have looked brilliant at the far more competitive ESL One: Road to Rio, and their map pool gives them a big edge against a lot of the competition at BLAST Rising. They have a nice mixture of experience with players like kioShiMa, xms and Lucky, combined with two excellent young players in Maka and Nivera.