After months of separated tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic, the North America vs. Europe rivalry is back in CS:GO thanks to BLAST Premier Fall Series.
The tournament will be played online in Europe and three North American-based teams—FURIA, Evil Geniuses, and MIBR—have traveled there for some top-notch CS:GO action.
Twelve CS:GO teams in total will be fighting for their share of the $150,000 prize pool, with half of the teams qualifying straight for the BLAST Premier Fall finals and the other half having to play at the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown later in November.
FURIA and Evil Geniuses aside, there are six other top 10 CS:GO teams in the world in the BLAST Premier Fall Series: Astralis, Vitality, Natus Vincere, BIG, OG, and FaZe Clan. But don’t sleep on G2, Complexity, and Ninjas in Pyjamas since they’re all top 15 teams in the world, according to HLTV’s rankings.
Here’s everything you need to know about BLAST Premier Fall Series.
You can watch all of the BLAST Premier Fall Series action on BLAST’s Twitch channel. There won’t be any simultaneous matches, so you just need to know when your favorite teams are playing.
The 12 teams have been split into three double-elimination GSL groups of four, with all of the matches being played as best-of-three series. The top two teams from each group qualify for BLAST Premier Fall finals and the bottom two teams from each group advance to BLAST Premier Fall Showdown.
This event features a $150,000 prize pool, with the winner of each group taking home $25,000 and the runners-up earning $12,500.
- Coach: B1ad3
- Coach: zews
Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Coach: THREAT
- Nivera (sixth player)
- Coach: XTQZZZ
- Coach: tow b
- Coach: YNk
- Coach: keita
- Coach: zonic
- Coach: maLek
- Coach: cogu
Monday, Oct. 26
- 10:30am CT: Na`Vi vs. NiP
- 1:30pm CT: EG vs. OG
Tuesday, Oct. 27
- 10:30am CT: Group A winners’ match
- 1:30pm CT: Group A losers’ match
Wednesday, Oct. 28
- 10:30am CT: Group A consolidation final
- 2:30pm CT: Group A finals
Thursday, Oct. 29
- 10:30am CT: Vitality vs. Complexity
- 1:30pm CT: BIG vs. FaZe
Friday, Oct. 30
- 10:30am CT: Group B winners’ match
- 1:30pm CT: Group B losers’ match
Saturday, Oct. 31
- 10:30am CT: Group B consolidation final
- 2:30pm CT: Group B finals
Monday, Nov. 2
- 10:30am CT: Astralis vs. MIBR
- 1:30pm CT: FURIA vs. G2
Tuesday, Nov. 3
- 10:30am CT: Group C winners’ match
- 1:30pm CT: Group C losers’ match
Wednesday, Nov. 4
- 10:30am CT: Group C consolidation final
- 2:30pm CT: Group C finals
Will FURIA and EG beat the European teams?
FURIA and EG are the best North American-based teams at the moment. They’ve won all of the CS:GO tournaments in North America over the last five months. All of the major CS:GO tournaments since IEM Katowice in March have been played regionally due to the coronavirus pandemic, so there are a lot of expectations for BLAST Premier Fall Series.
We’ll get to see if FURIA, and especially their in-game-leader arT, will maintain the hyper-aggressive playstyle that they’ve used to dominate North America if they face Astralis, one of the best European teams in the world. EG, on the other hand, have one of the most skilled CS:GO lineups, which should be more than enough to threaten the likes of Na`Vi, OG, and NiP.
Jks’ debut for Complexity
Jks’ transfer from 100 Thieves to Complexity is probably the hottest roster change of the entire year. The 24-year-old Australian is regarded by every CS:GO analyst as one of the best riflers in the world and has joined Complexity to replace Owen “oBo” Schlatter, who helped Complexity peak at No. 5 in HLTV’s world rankings.
Of course, losing oBo was a big hit to Complexity’s camp, but jks could be the perfect replacement. The Australian fits into almost all of oBo’s previous roles, so he won’t need to adapt his playstyle too much on Complexity. Jks, however, will play for a non-Australian team for the first time since his professional career began in 2014 with Vox Eminor. A good first impression can be crucial for him to earn the trust of his new teammates and start developing that team chemistry Complexity needs to keep grinding the ranks.
The return of the Clutch Minister
It’s been more than five months since Astralis played their last match with their three-time Major winning lineup. Xyp9x went on medical leave at the end of May due to feeling symptoms of stress and burnout and will be officially reintroduced to Astralis’ lineup at BLAST Premier Fall Series.
Although everyone on the team is seemingly happy with Xyp9x’s return, Astralis had been playing well with Patrick “es3tag” Hansen, who played his last tournament with Astralis at DreamHack Open Fall and has now joined Cloud9’s new CS:GO team. It’s unclear if Astralis will use gla1ve, device, dupreeh, Magisk, and Xyp9x or if the Danes will opt to rest one of their players to test Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen in official matches.
It’d be uncommon, but BLAST’s rulebook opens the possibility for Astralis to use all six of their CS:GO players and even swap them in between maps or matches. We’ll have to wait to see how Astralis will want to play their cards, but there’s certainly hope among fans that the Danes will play with their strongest lineup.
Can MIBR find some hope for 2021?
The Brazilian team didn’t have a great time in Europe during their last travel period in August. MIBR was completely outplayed by several European teams, including some tier-three names such as Wisła Kraków, Copenhagen Flames, and PACT.
The terrible results made MIBR’s management take drastic measures. Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, and manager Ricardo “dead” Sinigaglia were dismissed from their duties and the organization saw Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo bench himself right after as a result of the roster changes.
MIBR then had to hurry to find three players for BLAST Premier Fall Series and Flashpoint season two. The team signed Brazilian legend Raphael “cogu” Camargo as its new head coach and manager until the end of the year and added Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles, Vinicius “vsm” Moreira, and Leonardo “leo_drk” Oliveira as stand-ins for the two aforementioned tournaments.
It’s highly unlikely that kNgV-, trk, LUCAS1, vsm, leo_drk, and cogu will be good enough to take on Astralis, FURIA, and G2 with only one or two weeks of team practice, but it’ll be satisfactory if at least one of the new members shows strong results inside the server so MIBR could have someone to sign heading into 2021.