There were a lot of storylines coming into BLAST Premier Fall Series 2020, and the event not only featured the first glimpse of competition between European and North American based teams since the beginning of the global pandemic but it also provided its fair share of drama, revelations and insights.
Running from October 26th to November 4th, this tournament served as an appetizer for the last two BLAST events of the year: the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown, happening in late November, and BLAST Premier Fall Finals, which will occur in December.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen a lot of great Counter-Strike in the 44 maps that were played at the event, and with it, a good sum of knowledge about the future and the present of these rosters:
Evil Geniuses landed poorly on European competition
It’s safe to say that EG hasn’t had the best return to European soil; the team was knocked out and sent packing back home after two best-of-three series against OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The super-star of the squad, Vincent ‘Brehze’ Cayonte, ended both match-ups with very shy numbers. Jet lag or not, Evil Geniuses needs to show better form in their next European events if they want their homeland results taken seriously.
Team Vitality make the sixth man work
While it is still dubious if Valve would ever consider allowing the fielding of a six-man roster at their events, Vitality tested the waters by replacing Kévin ‘misuta’ Rabier with Nabil ‘Nivera’ Benrilton mid-series every time the team had to play Dust 2. The roster made a good impression at the event and made substitute players look like a viable investment.
There is fire on this new MIBR roster
Confident, hyped and with nothing to lose, the new MIBR line-up has done some damage at BLAST despite having less than a week of practice. Raphael ‘cogu’ Camargo knows his Counter-Strike, and this squad looks explosive but much more methodical than the former roster. With more training, this team could wreak some havoc at events if they manage to avoid getting clogged up in the negativity that haunts the organisation.
FURIA is fangless without Guerri
Falling short to a new G2 and to a new MIBR, the Brazilian squad has shown nowhere near the level of confidence they had under the guise of their head coach Nicholas ‘guerri’ Nogueira. His ESIC ban has left a notable absence on the spirit of the roster. The team seems confused on the server, and even the ridiculous antics of Andrei ‘arT’ Piovezan look more desperate and less like a calculated risk.
FaZe doesn’t have legs to run with Olofmeister
With G2 snatching their In-Game Leader Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač days before the start of the event, FaZe was forced to bring Olof ‘Olofmeister’ Kajbjer back from his hiatus as a stand-in. BLAST Premier Fall was a disaster for this version of the roster, as it is rampantly clear that FaZe needs a new leader and a new structure, something they have lacked since Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen left the organisation in 2019.
The Kovač family is the powerhouse of G2
On the other side of the coin, G2 look much sharper and dangerous compared to their previous incarnations, as expected. NiKo and his cousin Nemanja ‘huNter’ Kovač bring unmatched firepower to the roster, with François ‘AmaNEk’ Delaunay creating space for the stars to shine. It is still unclear if Audric ‘JaCkz’ Jug can return to active duty, but if Kenny ‘KennyS’ Schrub doesn’t work out his issues with the AWP, there might be an opportunity.
Astralis with xyp9x is still a Major winning roster
As much as it was expected, Astralis has showed good colours with Andreas ‘xyp9x Højsleth back in the fold of things. The ‘clutch minister’ still blames his four-month break but has definitely fit in the system, only dropping the final series against the largely-unknown forces of G2, which happened in the absence of their coach Danny ‘Zonic’ Sørensen. While the online era hasn’t been kind for Astralis, the Danes are still one if not the best team in the world.
The Juggernaut needs time with jks
Justin ‘jks’ Savage was the last piece of the Juggernaut and had big shoes to fill since the departure of Owen ‘oBo’ Schlatter. While Complexity put a great show against FaZe Clan, it became clear on their series against BIG that despite the ease of the Australian to fit in the new team, there are still a lot of issues to resolve when it comes to the consistency of their stars.