The likes of OG, VP and Liquid will be fighting it out at the BLAST Fall Showdown. We look at how the teams stack up in our preview of Day 2 & 3.
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 several top teams, with Heroic, G2 and OG being the main standouts.
Heroic and Dignitas got through their first round matchups with ease to make it to the next stage of the playoffs. Complexity managed to do the same, but MIBR really gave them a tough match which was something we flagged as a real possibility in the Day 1 Preview.
Let’s take a look at how things shape up for Day 2 and 3.
Here are the teams:
The event kicks off today, October 13th at 23:30 AEST and the event runs through October 17th.
Another Brazilian underdog in this one as paiN take on the European side OG. They should have a bigger shot at the upset than their friends from MIBR, but they will still be in trouble here against a strong OG side.
paiN does have a pretty interesting map pool for a Brazilian team, since they play Ancient frequently. This could give them a shot at a map win against OG, since OG rarely play this map - and when they have done so, they have lost. (2 losses to FaZe).
OG might even choose to ban it outright, but this would open up for paiN to pick Vertigo, which has traditionally been OG’s go-to ban.
I think it is still clear that OG are the favourites here, but there is certainly still upset potential for paiN. In the case of a decider, we would likely end up on Nuke as well, which is a good map for both teams.
Here is an interesting matchup between two teams who have had a different path trajectory recently.
Virtus.pro had a decent opening at IEM Fall CIS in the BO1 group stage, except for a surprising upset loss to INDI Rae. However, they really started struggling in the playoffs and ended up losing to NaVi, Gambit and Entropiq. You would have to say that there is no shame to losing against these teams, but their form is still not great heading into this matchup.
Movistar Riders on the other hand ended up having a great showing at IEM Fall after a slow start. They opened with losses to Heroic and Astralis but then went on a great run with wins against Complexity, Sinners (twice), Endpoint, Heroic, Copenhagen Flames and G2 to finish in 5th place.
The Spaniards have shown that they are not to be underestimated; the question is if they have what it takes to get things done here against VP in a BO3.
What really hurts them is that Nuke is VP’s perma ban. This map was great for them at IEM Fall with a 3-1 record and it is one where they are very comfortable.
I would expect Movistar Riders to pick Vertigo, which was another great map for them at IEM Fall. This is VP’s worst map in terms of overall win rate and Vertigo was the map where they lost to low-ranked side INDE IRAE. They also got smashed 16-1 on Vertigo by Entropiq at the same event.
Vertigo is definitely Movistar Riders best chance at the upset and I think they definitely have what it takes to upset them on their map choice. VP have proven to be exploitable on Vertigo over the past month and the Spaniards looked great on Vertigo at IEM Fall.
With that said, I still think you have have to favour VP over the course of three maps with Nuke out of the picture. As such, I would take Movistar Riders on the Map/Handicap exotic or VP on the ML.
This is another lopsided matchup but those who have seen 9z play in the past know that they have some decent firepower with Argentinian “try” being a major standout on the AWP, and on maps like Nuke, they can definitely be competitive against stronger opposition.
Liquid have had a rough go of things on Nuke with four straight losses, so perhaps 9z could do something on this map. We saw Liquid lose to two South American teams recently on Nuke, with both paiN and GODSENT winning against them.
Nuke is 9z’s most played map by a significant margin, so I honestly would not be surprised to see them make Liquid sweat on this map at least.
I think Liquid would be smart to float Ancient and ban Nuke outright, but they showed no willingness to do so against GODSENT and paiN, so I assume they won’t do so against 9z either.
Liquid should take this series pretty comfortably as they are a far superior team, but as mentioned, there is some room for the underdog if Nuke is played.