Natus Vincere will look to keep things rolling after taking down the BLAST Global Final to start the year. We take a look at how things stack up heading into the Spring Season of BLAST Premier.
Natus Vincere will look to keep things rolling after taking down the BLAST Global Final to start the year.
With the BLAST Global Final drawing to a close, it is time to kick-off a new season of BLAST Premier. The Spring season will feature twelve of the best teams in the world, who will battle it out for a combined prize pool of $150,000 and six spots in the Spring Finals in June.
The format is pretty straight forward at this event. The twelve teams in the competition have been divided into three groups of four, and they will play each other in a BO3, Double-Elimination format (GSL).
The top two teams from each group will advance to the Spring Finals in June, while the bottom two teams will have to try their luck in the Spring Showdown in April.
The groups are as follows:
BLAST Premier Spring kicks off February 4th and runs through February 14th.
Astralis had to settle for second place at BLAST Global Final to start the year, losing out to Natus Vincere in the grand final. Despite that, they have retained their spot at No.1 in the world rankings. While many teams in this tournament have chosen to make roster moves over the last few months, the Astralis team has remained unchanged. Bubzkji makes the occasional appearance off the bench, but other than that it is the Astralis core that we are used to seeing. One of three clear contenders for the title.
There isn’t much to say about Vitality other than that they are a very consistent team and one of the best teams in the world right now. It is rare to see the guys not make playoffs, and when everything clicks for them, they have tournament winning potential.
NaVi kicked off the year in style by winning BLAST Global Final, so they are in good form coming into this event. It is always so tough to know what to expect from this team because they can look lost at times and still come out on top thanks to individual brilliance from the likes of s1mple and electronic. They have a pretty easy first-round matchup against MIBR, but the likes of Liquid and FaZe can certainly upset them.
Complexity may be playing some terrible CS at the moment, but I think they have a decent shot at bouncing back with a solid performance at this event if poizon plays for them. The Bulgarian has had to watch Complexity suffer with stand-ins as he has been out on medical leave, but it looks like he is set to make his return for “The Juggernaut”. So far, jks hasn’t lived up to the billing since joining the team, but with poizon on the sidelines things haven’t been optimal for them. As such, it will be interesting to see how they perform at this event now when poizon appears to be back on the team.
NiP just recently announced that they have benched twist in favour of ztr, who was promoted from the academy team. Both fnatic and Dignitas have decided to take a chance on Swedish talent in the form of Jackinho and HEAP recently, and NiP have now followed suit with the addition of ztr. NiP have largely underperformed despite having a fairly respectable team on paper, so a change was needed. I wouldn’t expect much from them at this event, but it is worth keeping an eye on how they look with ztr.
FaZe have announced the signing of Twistzz, who comes in to replace Kjaerbye on the roster. The Canadian has spent the majority of his career on Team Liquid, where he showed excellent mechanical ability. FaZe are still expected to make further roster moves as they are still without an in-game leader, so the team is still incomplete in that sense. With that said, it will be interesting to see how they perform with Twistzz on the roster.
One team that stands out as having some upset potential in the group stage is Complexity. They have played some terrible CS recently, but it appears as if poizon is set to start for them again after being sidelined due to surgery. He should give the team a big boost and I wouldn’t be surprised if they take down a big name or two. I would expect teams like Astralis and Vitality to do well, as they are two very consistent teams overall. While NaVi are coming off a win at the BLAST Global Final, I would personally rather take a chance on a team like G2 or even Liquid at this event.