Say what you will about the business setup of the BLAST events, they do provide an opportunity to watch and wager on the best teams of the CS:GO world. We’ve already seen an upset as Giants Gaming won the Iberian play-in in the run-up to the tournament – here are a few other things to look out for as the event progresses:
Astralis haven’t played in a non-BLAST event since the major and they really dropped the ball the last time around, finishing fourth in Miami. That said, this still isn’t reflected in the odds, with the Danes at 1.37 at most for the different group stage matches. This might be one of those cases where it’s worth wagering on an upset or two, especially if you consider that these best-of-one matches. For instance, a loss to Na'Vi would net you $74 off of a $25 stake if you get it right.
It’s highly unlikely that Giants Gaming will make any waves at the event due to the gulf in class – not only that, but Cloud9 also failed to post a single win at the last time of asking in Miami. There isn’t much reason to expect anything better from them this time around, and betting against these two teams could be decent “seasoning” for a parlay.
NiKo and other pros went on record saying that it’s difficult to stay motivated for the last few rounds of the BLAST events once it’s become clear that you have no chance to qualify for the final. Keep this in mind when betting on the second day’s matches!
Famously, the Finns only missed out on the finals on a tiebreaker criteria the last time they participated in a BLAST outing, and the absence of Liquid coupled with the two lower-quality participants could very well mean that they can go one better this time around. We've put them at 1.75 on a top two finish.