After six BLAST Pro Series tournaments, we have finally reached the Global Finals with four incredible teams, $500,000 on the line, and a Bo3 format. This is the event that will truly show if RFRSH can become a top tier CS:GO organiser. However, the location of the Global Finals in Bahrain has caused some controversy. The Human Rights Watch has described the Kingdom of Bahrain’s human rights record as “dismal”. This seems to be a growing trend in the Esports scene (and the entertainment business) with more and more companies doing business with Middle-Eastern countries who have very questionable human rights credentials. For instance, it was recently announced that Riot Games will be hosting a League of Legends tournament in Saudi Arabia. I really hope this trend doesn’t become the norm.
The Future of BLAST!
2020 is set to be the biggest year yet for RFRSH, introducing the BLAST Premier! This is a new form of circuit that will have a total prize pool of $4.25 million! The circuit will be split into a Spring and Fall season which will give opportunities for any team to qualify for both the season finals and Global Finals. The splits will employ best-of-three series, abandoning the best-of-ones that were used in regular BLAST Pro Series. (Yes Finally!)
Astralis, The Clear Favourites.
Astralis will absolutely be looking to win this event. The Danes have been looking particularly strong ever since their win at the StarLadder Berlin Major in September. Also, in recent times, Astralis have won IEM Beijing and the ECS Season 8 Finals. While they were defeated by Mousesports at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, Astralis are still the number one team in the world! The opening game for Astralis is against Team Liquid, and the Danes seem to have Liquid’s number at the moment, defeating the North American roster in the Grand Final of ECS Season 8 as well as beating them during the Group Stage of ESL Pro League Season 10.
Team Liquid, End The Year On A High?
Team Liquid haven’t won a tournament since IEM Chicago back in July. Liquid will hope to end their trophy drought before the end of the year and finally conquer their demon that is Astralis. During the summer, the North American roster won six top tier tournaments, playing some of the greatest Counter-Strike ever seen and becoming the best NA team ever to play CS:GO. Liquid will hope that 2020 will be the year they can reach those lofty heights once more.
FaZe Clan, Time To Show Up!
I’m not sure how to rate FaZe Clan.Since the additions of ”Coldzera” and ”Broky” back in September, they have been on the rise, winning BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 and finishing top four atIEM Beijing (where they were 16-0’d by Astralis!). But their most recent event was the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals where they crashed out in 9-12th place after losing to MIBR and 100 Thieves. FaZe Clan have so much raw firepower that they could end up winning this entire tournament, or they could be knocked out in last place. You never know what you’re going to get with FaZe.
Ninjas in Pyjamas, The End Of ”f0rest”?
The last time we saw NIP was at the ECS Season 8 – Finals where they almost defeated Evil Geniuses to make it to the playoffs. Following the arrival of ”twist” in October, the Ninjas have looked solid but not spectacular. Their opening match of the Global Finals will be against FaZe Clan who defeated them in the final of BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019.
Finally, we must talk about ”f0rest”. The only OG member of the 2012 roster that dominated the CS:GO scene might be leaving the Ninjas soon, after reports came out saying that Dignitas want to make a return to male Counter-Strike by forming a roster consisting of Adam ”friberg” Friberg, Richard ”Xizt” Landström, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Håkon ”hallzerk” Fjærli and of course Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg. This roster would see ”f0rest” join up with three of his former NIP teammates in hopes of reigniting the NIP magic. However, this team to me seems more like a retirement squad. If this the last tournament that “f0rest” plays under the NIP brand, then the Ninjas will be hoping to send the GOAT off in style!
The opening match of BLAST Pro Series Global Final 2019 will be FaZe Clan vs Ninjas in Pyjamas starting December 12, 2019 – 13:00 CEST.