The inaugural BLAST Paris Major gets underway in the French capital next month and qualifying for the Major has already begun.
The European RMR A qualifiers have concluded and the RMR B event begins on Tuesday at the BLAST Studio in Copenhagen. Every team is in action in round one on Tuesday and among the highlights are Team Vitality's clash with Astralis and an encounter between Ninjas in Pyjamas and Eternal Fire. All of the teams involved in this Group B RMR.
Vitality and Astralis are among the teams that could be favored to advance out of this group and qualify for the Major event in Paris in a matter of weeks. This event has plenty of teams looking to make a big run. With a field of 16 teams competing in this EU RMR Group B, anything could happen.
Let's look at some of the bigger matchups on Tuesday's schedule.
|What||Team Vitality vs. Astralis|
|When||7:45am ET, Tuesday April 11th, 2023|
|How to watch||CS:GO Twitch and YouTube|
|Odds||Vitality -190, Astralis +145|
This may be the first match of the qualifying period for both Team Vitality and Astralis, but it will feel like something much bigger.
Both organizations are no strangers to being a part of a Major event in CS:GO. This is no different as both will be trying to grab a spot in the BLAST Paris Major. The really challenging part is the teams have drawn each other in their opening match of the EU RMR Group B stage.
Vitality is coming off a recent defeat at the hands of ENCE in their last match. As for Astralis, they have won six-straight matches. Vitality holds the most recent head-to-head victory as they were able to outlast Astralis 2-0 with matches played on Overpass and Vertigo. This time however is a singular map.
The last time these teams played in a one-map match was at IEM Dallas 2022, when Vitality won the match-up 16-12 playing on Vertigo. Astralis will be ready for the challenge, but there are plenty of intriguing player matchups to watch in this match.
The biggest will be Vitality's ZywOo against Astralis's device. Both players were the top performers for their respective teams. ZywOo has a rating of 1.39 and is averaging 0.86 kills per round. This is by far a tough choice, but Vitality at -190 to win outright is a smarter play than Astralis at +145.
|What||Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Eternal Fire|
|When||8.30am ET, Tuesday April 11th, 2023|
|How to watch||CS:GO Twitch and YouTube|
|Odds||NIP -175, Eternal Fire +135|
Eternal Fire will be out to knock-off one of the more powerful teams as of late in CS:GO. That team is Ninjas in Pyjamas who always find a way to contend for Major event berths.
Plenty is on the line for both teams as they kick off action on the first day of BLAST Paris Major EU RMR B play. NIP has lost three-straight matches but those were in best of three map matches.
This match is a single map, which Eternal Fire has had plenty of matches in that format as of late. They have only won once in that format against far lower-tiered teams. Eternal Fire and NIP haven't faced-off in recent memory and will be trying to outduel the other.
Both teams are very similar as they are 21st and 22nd in the current CS:GO World Rankings heading into these qualification rounds for the Paris Major.
REZ has been the recent standout player for NIP with an average of 0.67 kills per round. He has plenty of experience around him with the rest of the Ninjas roster being filled out by Aleksib, Brollan, headtr1ck and k0nfig. All five players have plenty of big stage experience.
Their foe Eternal Fire, is led by XANTARES who has really become the face of Turkish esports, with an average of 0.81 kills per round and a rating of 1.26 in CS:GO. The rest of the Fire line-up is manned by MAJ3R, Calyx, imoRR and xfl0ud.
This match should all come down to the Map draw. NIP has performed well on the likes of Mirage, Nyke, Vertigo and Ancient. Eternal Fire has been a good play on Inferno, Overpass and Anubis.
No matter which map is played, both teams are here to make noise, and this match should not be a disappointment. That being said, going with an experienced NIP team at -175 is the best choice.
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