• Gonçalo "ghazz" Louro

Quick Thoughts on BLAST Pro Series Lisbon

The last big tournament of the year came to an end this past Saturday, with Astralis reaching another win to end the year as one of the strongest teams of all time in CS:GO. Not only that, but it was also the first international tournament of such proportions in Portugal and the fans have made sure that it won’t be the last.

Portugal has been waiting for years to have a tournament in home soil and all of a sudden, just six weeks ago, BLAST announced their next location in the event calendar: Lisbon. The fans were quick to respond and promptly all the tickets sold-out. But, no one was prepared for the amount of cheers, screams and noise that was heard in the Arena during the entire day. I could see for myself; the entire organization, the players, and the staff – they were simply blown away by the support showed by the Portuguese fans.

Astralis were quick to reach the final, without losing a single map, but the biggest surprise was, without a doubt, how hard Cloud9 was able to fight throughout the matches with a stand-in (one that did an amazing job, it must be said), only missing the final by one round! On the other hand, NiP was the disappointment of the tournament, by not being able to win a single match.

In the final, the surprises began in the veto – Na’Vi banned Nuke instead of their usual permaban, Cache, and Zonic decided to choose Cache to try and punish them. The match started on Overpass, with Na’vi getting the win with a 16-7 scoreline. Although it looked like we were seeing a tired version of Astralis, that theory was promptly dismissed after the next two maps, where Astralis showed their dominance – 16-9 on Cache and 16-4 on Dust2 - making them the first team to ever win two BLAST Pro Series events and solidifying even more their own era, which they want to extend into 2019.

As a finish note to this article, congratulations to both BLAST organization and the Portuguese crowd are in order, as they may have both written a new page in the CS:GO history books.