BLAST Premier: Spring 2020 will kick off this Friday, January 31st and it will mark the debut tournament of BLAST Premier, the brand-new CS:GO event series. The event will feature two splits, with 12 of the best CS:GO teams in the world fighting their way to the grand finals, where the final two squads will duke it out for the largest slice of US$750,000 prize pool.
BLAST Premier will work as a franchised CS:GO League, with only the best teams receiving direct invites. The series is split into the Spring regular season, Spring Showdown and Spring Finals, each with their own prize pools.
Present in the BLAST Premier: Spring 2020 will be 100 Thieves, Astralis, Complexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Team Liquid, MiBR, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG and Team Vitality. The 12 teams will be divided into three double-elimination GSL format groups, each with four teams. ALl fixtures will be played as best-of-three (Bo3), with the top two teams from each group getting a pass for Spring Finals, while the bottom two get invited into Spring Showdown.
In this betting preview, we will look over the three groups, the teams and ultimately give out our predictions on which team has the best chance of securing the first seed and earning a spot in the Spring Finals.
As it's the case with every tournament, there must be the weakest group and while it's hard to point towards the softest out of three in such a stacked event, we believe it's fair to say Group A has earned itself the unenviable title of the weakest group here.
Starting off with the legendary Swedish squad - Ninjas in Pyjamas, who had a very successful 2019 season, especially towards the end of the year, when they finished third in BLAST Pro Series Global Finals, pocketed silver at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen and finished fifth-sixth at ECS Season 8 Finals. Other than that, NiP had a very turbulent season, with a plethora of mediocre results, which fail to inspire much hope they can compete for a strong finish here. While they are not to be completely ignored, the departure of Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg won't do them any favors when playing against the elite CS:GO teams.
MiBR are another team we don't trust to deliver here. Once one of the best teams in the world, the Brazilians have been in a downright spiral since Marcelo "coldzera" David left for FaZe in September 2019. They might be considered as a team that can maybe make something happen here, but in our eyes, MiBR severely lack any real quality to defeat the likes of FaZe and Team Liquid.
That leaves us with the final two teams - Team Liquid and FaZe Clan, who both had an up and down season in 2019, yet it's easy to see that they are the alpha dogs of their group. We can't imagine a world where MiBR or NiP finish above TL and FaZe, who are far superior squads. Out of the two, however, it's Team Liquid who should clinch the top seed. FaZe have a lot of firepower, but lack a solid IGL, which is why we rank them below TL here.
Group B is widely regarded as the strongest group of the event and there are no arguments to be made against that. With Astralis, Vitality, NaVi and Complexity all crammed into one group, no team will have an easy time making it out alive, which should make for an exciting series between three of the best CS:GO teams in the world and the new and promising squad under the Complexity banner.
Talking about Complexity, it's hard not to be excited about this team, seeing how it's led by Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke and Benjamin "blameF" Bremer, however, we have a hard time believing they will make it out of this stacked group.
On the other side, we can't imagine Astralis not finishing as the top seed. The difference in quality between the Danes and the remaining three teams is immense and while any tournament has upset wins, we don't expect any surprises here considering all fixtures will be played as Bo3.
In the end, the only real question of this group is whether it will be Vitality or NaVi who will secure the second seed and to be fair it's hard to tell. NaVi just recently replaced Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács with a young Russian talent Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy who will have huge shoes to fill, however, should help with the team chemistry.
Last but not least, we have Group C, featuring G2 Esports, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses and OG.
Out of the four teams, we believe EG have the best chance of securing the top seed, as they are simply a class above all other teams in this group, at least on the paper. As for the remaining three squads, they seem to be fairly close in terms of quality and their chances of advancing into the next stage, but if we had to rank them, it would be 100T, G2 and OG.
G2 have been a mess in recent months and while they field some exceptional players, we simply can't imagine them suddenly improving here. 100T on the other side have had their ups and downs, but in terms of what they bring to the table, we really like them and their chances to secure the second seed, especially if they can play with the same tempo as they did during IEM Beijing.
OG, who we have ranked as the weakest team, have solid players in the team, but the fact that this will be their third tournament together, we have hard time believing they can impress. While it's always great to see an underdog team putting up a show and impressing everyone, we don't believe OG will be capable of achieving that feat this February.
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