Zechs Files: Tales From The Blast Pro Series

Posted by Michael "Zechs_" Radford at 28 November 2017 16:24

Blast Pro Series had its flaws, but there was still a hell of a lot of good Counter-Strike to watch. 

Blast Pro Series had its flaws, but there was still a hell of a lot of good Counter-Strike to watch. 

Blast Pro Series was an interesting tournament for a number of reasons. Of course there was some great Counter-Strike – eventually – and, of course, there were the hefty delays. At the end of it all SK Gaming proved once again that they are truly a special team. Meanwhile, Astralis ran them mighty close, despite playing with a stand-in for Device, who was out sick. Dennis acquitted himself exceptionally well for a substitute. He was 7th in HLTV’s post-tournament rankings, earning a 1.17 rating, better than all of his temporary teammates except for Kjaerbye. To play with relative strangers, outside your comfort zone, and to still be one of the best players in the tournament speaks volumes about how good Dennis is.

Benched by Godsent just a couple of weeks ago, he told HLTV.org “Astralis just told me to do what I like.” Rather than being inhibited by trying to fit in a new system, Dennis was let loose and that freedom was clear in his play. To borrow a cliché from football, he put himself in the shop window in case any teams happen to be doing any shopping in the coming months.

SK on Top Again

After another success for the Brazilians, they find themselves on top of the HLTV rankings. It should come as no surprise, really. SK has never been outside the top five teams since January 2016. People seem to have stopped talking about them since they failed to win a major this year. Winning two in the previous year is a tough act to follow, but if you look at the team’s results over the past 12 months they have done just that. They might not have won a Major in 2017, but they have placed highly in almost every tournament they entered. 

Perhaps people haven’t been as hyped because events like Epicenter don’t hold the same prestige as a major. Perhaps, though, it’s because we have kind of run out of things to say about a team this good. Coldzera might not have been MVP this time around, but he was still made the top four on HLTV’s rating system. How many times can journalists, commentators and analysts say “Coldzera is really good” without getting boring? The guy is really good. Sorry.

His team leader, Fallen was just behind him in said rating. In game leaders often get a little leeway for their fragging performance, but Fallen didn’t need any. He managed to average over 80 damage per round across 201 total rounds at the event. The fact that he had a couple of dodgy performances only makes his eventual success all the more impressive. He shook off the odd bad map here, the odd shaky half there, and led his team to another tournament win. That kind of mental strength is what makes a championship team.

FaZe Fighting

A lot of what I just wrote about SK is also true of Faze.They are a team with ridiculous individual talent, so much so that it has become a bit of a cliché to point it out. Their 2017 has been almost as good as SK’s, as evidenced by their number two ranking in the world right now.

Faze picked up third place at Blast Pro Series. No surprises there, but what is surprising is the fact that they have three of the top eight ranked players. Indeed, Faze players hold both first and second place in the shape of Niko and Rain. Niko, despite not playing in the final, put up 121 kills, averaging over 97 damage per round. That is absurd.

Similarly, Olofmeister’s resurgence continues apace.He has looked like a new man since donning the Faze jersey. The team as a whole just seems to be missing a certain something right now and it’s hard to say exactly what it is. Rest assured, if they find it, more titles will come their way. After all, they did beat the eventual winners of Blast Pro Series quite convincingly, 16-8 and were only narrowly eliminated 16-14 by Astralis. Further success cannot be far away for the international superteam.


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