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BLAST Premier Spring Showdown EU - Preview

The likes of Astralis and fnatic will duke it out hoping to win a spot in the Spring Finals. We break down the format and the recent roster moves in our preview of BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
31st May, 2020·☕️ 5 min read
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The likes of Astralis and fnatic will duke it out hoping to win a spot in the Spring Finals. We break down the format and the recent roster moves in our preview of BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.

Competition Information

BLAST Spring Showdown is a tournament that works essentially as a qualifier for the BLAST Spring Finals which is set to kick off on June 15.

The ten teams in the competition have been split into two groups of five, and four teams from each group will make it through to the playoff round. The format used is round-robin, and all matches are best-of-one with no overtime. Three points will be awarded for a win, and one point for a draw. 

The playoffs will feature two single-elimination gauntlet style brackets, with no grand final, and a third-place match will be played to determine who gets the last spot in the BLAST Spring Finals. Unlike the group stage, all matches will be best-of-three.

The groups are as follows:

Group A

  • 🇩🇰 Astralis
  • 🇫🇷 Vitality
  • 🇫🇮 ENCE
  • 🇸🇪 NiP
  • 🇵🇹 sAw

Group B

  • 🇸🇪 fnatic
  • 🇪🇺 mousespots
  • 🇸🇪 Dignitas
  • 🇩🇰 MAD Lions
  • 🇰🇿 Virtus.pro

BLAST Spring Showdown kicks off June 1 and runs through June 15.

The Current Season

Teams to Watch

Note: All stats are from online games in 2020.

fnatic

fnatic
Record: 36 / 0 / 33
Most Played Map: Inferno (68.8%)
Best Map: Inferno (68.8%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (30.0%)

fnatic won ESL Pro League in stunning fashion, but they have looked really shaky since then. They failed to deliver in ESL One: Road to Rio, and they just about managed to make playoffs in DreamHack Masters with a 1–2 record. fnatic will definitely be a big-time favorite to make top three, but they are certainly vulnerable to upsets with their current form.

Astralis

Astralis
Record: 40 / 0 / 17
Most Played Map: Dust2 (69.2%)
Best Map: Inferno (84.6%)
Worst Map: Overpass (57.1%)

There have been some big-time changes on the side of Astralis recently, with both gla1ve and Xyp9x choosing to take a break from the game. Astralis have signed es3tag, JUGi and Snappi, with the latter two set to play for them in this tournament. JUGi has already made his debut for the team in DreamHack Masters, where Astralis made playoffs with a 2–1 record. The core three of device, dupreeh and Magisk have enough firepower to compete even against the world’s best, but Xyp9x and gla1ve’s importance to Astralis should not be underestimated, and they will likely not be as strong moving forward. The addition of Snappi is solid, since he can take over the in-game leader role if they so require, but having JUGi as a hybrid is far from optimal, and this team will likely struggle until es3tag joins the team when his contract with Heroic expires at the end of the month.

NiP

NiP
Record: 31 / 0 / 23
Most Played Map: Overpass (61.5%)
Best Map: Vertigo (81.8%)
Worst Map: Mirage (33.3%)

NiP have chosen to let go of Lekr0 in favor hampus, who has taken over the in-game leader role for the team. hampus was added on short notice, and it has been quite evident in their recent matches that they have not had enough time to properly integrate him into the team yet. Removing Lekr0 was a questionable move, but hampus is a promising player and the organization will hope that the change pays off in the long term. A positive sign for NiP going into this tournament is that nawwk has been playing lights out recently, and if he continues to show this type of form, NiP will be a hard nut to crack for most of the teams in the competition. 

ENCE

ENCE
Record: 28 / 0 / 28
Most Played Map: Train (63.6%)
Best Map: Train (63.6%)
Worst Map: Overpass (33.3%)

ENCE have played the last few matches with the young talent Jamppi, and they will be eligible to play with him once more despite his VAC ban since this is not a Valve sanctioned event. ENCE failed to make playoffs in DreamHack Masters after a loss to NiP in the final match, and they will hope to rebound with a good performance here. Jamppi has looked solid for ENCE so far, but it is clear that they are lacking a bit of confidence right now. 

Virtus.pro

Virtus.pro
Record: 36 / 0 / 29
Most Played Map: Inferno (91.7%)
Best Map: Inferno (91.7%)
Worst Map: Overpass (27.3%)

Virtus.pro have just acquired the Latvian player YEKINDAR, with buster choosing to take a break from the game. This is an exciting pickup, as YEKINDAR has looked excellent playing for a very lackluster pro100 side. It would be surprising to see Virtus.pro make a deep run, but it will be worth keeping an eye on how YEKINDAR performs for them moving forward. 

Betting Tips

There will likely be a few upsets in the BO1 group stage, especially when you consider the online factor, as well. A team like Virtus.pro, for example, will likely be underdogs against most of the competition but will have a fair shake at an upset due to the BO1 format. Astralis are definitely vulnerable to upsets due to the roster changes, as well. However, once we get to the playoffs, the big names should come out on top.

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