Six professional Counter-Strike teams will battle against each other at BLAST Pro Series Moscow starting on Friday, Sept. 13.
This will be the first BLAST Pro Series event played in Russia. ForZe, the only full-Russian lineup, will be the crowd favorites alongside AVANGAR because of Russian captain Dzhami “Jame” Ali. But can one of these CIS teams win it all? ENCE, Natus Vincere, MIBR, and NiP will be there to fight for the title, too.
Here’s everything you need to know about BLAST Pro Series Moscow.
BLAST Pro Series Moscow will be broadcast on BLAST’s three Twitch channels since the matches in the group stage are played simultaneously. If your favorite team isn’t playing on the main broadcast, you can follow them on the second and third channels.
Matches will be played for two days in Moscow. Six teams will fight for their share of the $250,000 prize pool and for BLAST Pro Series points based on their placement at the event. The top-four teams to collect the most points in 2019 will be automatically invited to the BLAST Pro Series Global Final at the end of the year.
The teams will play through a best-of-one, round-robin group stage and the two top teams qualify for the best-of-three grand final. The winner will take home $125,000. Second place gets $50,000, while third and fourth get $25,000 and $15,000, respectively.
- ENCE: Aleksi “allu” Jalli, Jere “sergej” Jalo, Miikka “suNny” Kemppi, Jani “Aerial” Jussila, and Sami “xSeveN” Laasanen
- Natus Vincere: Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Denis “electronic” Sharipov, Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko, Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev
- MIBR: Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, and Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles
- Ninjas in Pyjamas: Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Fredrik “REZ” Sterner, Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson, and Nicolas “Plopski” Zamora
- AVANGAR: Ali “Jame” Djami, Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev, Alexey “qikert” Golubev, Timur “buster” Tulepov, and Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev
- forZe: Dmitriy “facecrack” Alekseyev, Andrey “Jerry” Mekhryakov, Almaz “almazer” Assadulin, Bogdan “xsepower” Chernikov, and Evgeny “FL1T” Lebedev
Friday, Sept. 13
- 12:45pm CT: ENCE vs. forZe
- 12:45pm CT: Na’Vi vs. MIBR
- 12:45pm CT: AVANGAR vs. NiP
- 2:15pm CT: AVANGAR vs. forZe
- 2:15pm CT: MIBR vs. NiP
- 2:15pm CT: ENCE vs. Na’Vi
Saturday, Sept. 14
- 5:30am CT: Na’Vi vs. AVANGAR
- 5:30am CT: ENCE vs. MIBR
- 5:30am CT: forZe vs. NiP
- 6:50am CT: AVANGAR vs. MIBR
- 6:50am CT: Na’Vi vs. forZe
- 6:50am CT: ENCE vs. NiP
- 8:10am CT: ENCE vs. AVANGAR
- 8:10am CT: MIBR vs. forZe
- 8:10am CT: Na’Vi vs. NiP
The best-of-three grand finals will take place on Sept. 14 at 10:30am CT, while the Standoff (where the third-place team plays a series of one-vs-one games against the crowd-favorite team) will be played one hour before.
Plenty of fans will be doubting ENCE and MIBR, who are playing their first LAN tournament with their new players, sunNy and kNgV-, respectively. Both of them would like to make a first good impression with their new team, especially sunNy, who replaced ENCE’s former in-game leader Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen.
Na’Vi, on the other hand, will play their last tournament with longtime captain Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko. The legendary Ukrainian will retire after the tournament and Na’Vi hasn’t announced his replacement yet.
This means that AVANGAR are in a good spot to replicate their success from the StarLadder Berlin Major, where they were the runners-up. The Kazakh powerhouse have the most stable lineup of the tournament alongside Russian underdogs forZe.
BLAST Pro Series Moscow will mark the return of Plopski in NiP’s lineup after they attended the CS:GO Major with Maikil “Golden” Selim as a stand-in. The Ninjas have been struggling for months and aren’t expected to advance to the grand finals this time.