The likes of Liquid and Vitality will look to bounce back after falling short at ESL Pro League. We look at how the teams stack up in Group A of BLAST Fall.
The likes of Liquid and Vitality will look to bounce back after falling short at ESL Pro League. In this preview, we will have a look at how the teams stack up in Group A of BLAST Fall.
BLAST Premier Fall Groups will feature twelve of the world’s best teams who will hope to qualify for the Fall Finals in late November. In this article, we will preview Group A, which will start today, on September 16th.
The twelve teams in the competition have been divided into three double-elimination (GSL style) groups. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the Fall Finals, with the bottom two getting a second chance of sorts in the Fall Showdown event starting on October 12th.
Liquid are coming off a gut-wrenching loss to Heroic in the quarters of ESL Pro League, a match which went to OT on the last map after a crazy 1v5 by Heroic’s refrezh. The North American side had an otherwise positive showing at ESL Pro League, showing several solid performances which bodes well for them from now on - that is, if they can recover from this stunning blow.
Their high fragging rifling trio of EliGE, NAF and Grim have looked excellent, and it is also promising to see that FalleN had a few very impactful series on the AWP against the likes of fnatic and NiP.
Liquid will go up against Vitality in the opener, a team that they defeated 2–1 at IEM Katowice earlier in the year. However, Vitality have gone through some lineup changes since then and have been in good form recently making it a very tough matchup for Liquid.
Evil Geniuses are in a terrible spot after it was announced that both stanislaw and Brehze won’t be playing for the team at this event. They will now have to play with daps and SPELLAN as stand-ins. The North American side will go up against an Astralis side in the opener that has looked quite solid. If they still had Brehze, perhaps they would have a chance at an upset with gla1ve out for Astralis, but with the current situation at hand, an upset would be a miracle. I just don’t see Evil Geniuses getting anything done in this group after the recent news.
Astralis will play this event without gla1ve, with Xyp9x coming in to replace him. The in-game leader will be sorely missed for the Danish side, but we have seen them do decently well without him in the past. We have now seen one event with Lucky as the AWP and he has looked promising. He has shown little nerves despite his lack of experience at this level, which bodes well for Astralis. The fact that they have been drawn against a wounded Evil Geniuses in the opener certainly sets up nicely for them to make the Fall Finals.
Vitality are coming off a very close loss to Natus Vincere in the finals of ESL Pro League. The French side has been playing some really solid CS recently and I am honestly impressed at how quickly they have made things work with Kyojin. It is also great to see that both misutaaa and shox have been putting up some improved numbers statistically. Vitality have a tougher opponent than Astralis in the opener, but I still see them advancing from this group, even if they would get upset by Liquid and have to grind through the lower-bracket.
EG are clearly the punching bags of the group and I just don’t see them getting anything done without Brehze. He’s just too good of a player to lose. The likes of oBo, CeRq and MICHU will really have to step up in his absence. With Brehze out, I think they might even get eliminated without winning a map. As for the rest of the group, you would have to favour Vitality to get out in the end, but I think Liquid can definitely give them a bit of a fight in the opener.