The player break has come to an end and it's time to get back to some good old' Counter-Strike.
The player break has come to an end and it’s time to get back to some good old’ Counter-Strike. We will begin with BLAST Premier Fall Groups, a tournament which will feature some brand new rosters after the teams have taken the opportunity to revamp their rosters for the upcoming season. In this article, we will give you a re-cap of the recent transfers and break down the tournament in detail.
BLAST Premier Spring Groups will be starting on August 19th and will run through August 28th. Twelve teams will battle it out hoping to qualify for the Fall Finals in November. In total, six teams will advance to the Fall Finals out from this event, with the remaining six getting a spot in the Fall Showdown. A last chance qualifier starting in October.
The format is a bit weird, as it essentially allows teams to lose more than they win and still qualify. But the good thing for the viewers is that there will be more matches and thus, more betting opportunities.
Here is a quick rundown of the format.
- 3 double-elimination (GSL) format groups
- 4 teams in each group
- All teams advance to the seeded Play-In Stage
- 3 Single-Elimination gauntlets
- 1st from each gauntlet will proceed to the Fall Finals
- 2nd and 3rd teams from each gauntlet will proceed to the Last Chance Stage
- 4th team from each gauntlet advance to the Fall Showdown
Last Chance Stage
- Single-Elimination bracket
- Winners proceed to the Fall Finals
- Losers proceed to the Fall Showdown
Vitality adds Spinx
Vitality have bolstered their roster with the addition of Spinx. The young Israeli has impressed for ENCE, where he was their highest rated player. The versatile rifler should be able to slot in quite well in the Vitality system. Some of the most common star rifler spots on several maps in the pool will be available for him, as dupreeh and Magisk often play in tandem on B on a lot of maps. Overall, this is a roster move that makes Vitality a lot more scary in terms of raw firepower.
OG adds degster
OG have chosen to sign degster after a succesful stand-in campaign at the BLAST Premier Sprin Final earlier in the year. He will come in to replace mantuu.
There is no denying the fact that degster hits as hard with the AWP as he does with his slaps. He was their highest rated player during his stand-in period with OG, bolstering a rating of 1.16 and a team-leading 0.75 kills/round. Now, mantuu was no slouch on OG, but degster is the stronger AWPer at this point of time and he also brings a level of hunger that could prove to be key for OG.
G2 adds jks, HooXi
After a successful stand-in period for FaZe, jks finally finds himself a team as G2 opts to let go of JaCkz and Aleksib in favour of jks and HooXi. It will be interesting to see how G2 adjusts to these changes. HooXi was never a strong fragger as the in-game leader of Copenhagen Flames and jks needs a lot of room to shine. Even during his stand-in period with FaZe, they chose to change things up pretty significantly to make room for him and G2 might have to do the same.
Additionally, HooXi has little experience leading an international team in his second language, which could prove to be a factor in the early days of this roster.
Complexity adds Hallzerk
Complexity have decided to look to Europe for reinforcement with Hallzerk coming in to replace Junior as the main AWPer of the team. He was touted as a pretty big talent when he teamed up with legends such as f0rest on Team Dignitas in 2020, but he wasn’t quite able to live up to the hype on that roster. He will get a second chance on Complexity, a team that has struggled despite some respectable American talent.
Mechanically, Complexity does have some quality and with Hallzerk they may have enough to find some upsets in Europe. They will have an ample opportunity of doing just that in the BO1 opener against a NaVi side that is missing s1mple at this event.
Heroic adds Jabbi
Jabbi is coming in to replace refrezh on Heroic. The Young Dane really impressed on Copenhagen Flames LAN, so it is no surprise that Heroic jumped at the chance to sign him. While roeJ was the highest rated player on Copenhagen Flames by a big margin, Jabbi proved himself to be a high impact player on LAN against top competition. Much more so than roeJ was (1.08 rating vs. 1.00) and (1.11 impact rating vs. 1.01). This is a big factor why Jabbi could prove to be a very solid addition to a Heroic side that wants to compete for trophies.
BIG adds k1to
k1to re-joins the roster as tiziaN chooses to step-down. A familiar name comes in so it should be easy for him to adapt despite being a much more aggressive player than tiziaN was. Will this be enough to really take BIG to the next level? Questionable, but they will have some extra oomph of firepower. If they can make the roles work, that is.
Evil Geniuses adds HeXt, neaLaN
EG’s main roster, which will be at this event, has chosen to promote HeXt from one of their other teams. The Canadian is completely unproven at this level and he will have a difficult task ahead as Evil Geniuses are missing autimatic at this event. His abscence means that RUSH will have to step-in from the secondary roster. They have also added the Kazakh player neaLaN. A respectable rifler, but hardly a superstar. They will be big underdogs at this event. The only thing that speaks in their favour is the format.
No s1mple on Natus Vincere
It is also worth noting that NaVi are without s1mple at this event. The Ukrainian is out citing ‘Personal Reasons’. Academy player headtr1ck comes in to replace him, a player who they have used in the past when the likes of Boombl4 has been absent. This time around, he should wield the AWP – something which he has experience doing with the academy side. A solid replacement, but he is replacing the world’s best. Natus Vincere are definitely susceptible to some upsets with s1mple out, but with a forgiving format, they may get out regardless.
This event will feature many teams with new rosters and a format like BO1 sets up for some potential upsets. Especially when you consider that this is early in the season, when teams might not be fully up to speed. There will be a lot of matches and a lot of opportunities to take advantage of soft odds for sharp bettors.
Once we get to the BO3s however, the top tier teams will have a sizeable edge. However, some teams who have remained unchanged over the break will be more in tune than the big dogs who have made recent roster changes. That is particularly true for G2, who have made two changes.
Vitality should have an easier time coping with the change, as they have only added Spinx and haven’t changed their in-game leader at all. Such things should be taken into account when you place your bets at this event.