In this preview, we will take a look at the format and the teams at BLAST Premier Spring Final 2021
In this preview, we will take a look at the format and the teams at BLAST Premier Spring Final 2021.
The BLAST Premier Spring Finals will feature eight teams who will duke it out for $420,000 and a spot in the World Final in December.
The format for this event is straightforward. The winner will be crowned after a double-elimination bracket with best-of-threes from start to finish. Six of the teams qualified for this event through the BLAST Spring Groups back in February, with the remaining two qualifying through the Spring Showdown in April. The field includes several heavy hitters, such as current world №1 Gambit and Flashpoint 3 runner-up, NiP.
The teams are:
BLAST Premier Spring Finals kicks off June 15th and will run through June 20th. The matches will be broadcasted on Twitch and YouTube. You won’t wanna miss it!
All stats are from 2021
NiP had an impressive debut with device, making it all the way to the grand final at Flashpoint 3. Their performance at the more recent IEM Summer was less than stellar, however, as the Ninjas failed to make it through to the playoffs. However, this was their tournament with LNZ who was brought in from the academy team. With limited practice, it is not too surprising to see them struggle. This team desperately needs some consistency after several changes in quick succession. So far, the NiP management has been keen on giving their academy players a chance and it makes some sense after splashing big on device. With fnatic struggling, it would not be surprising to see a player like KRIMZ become available later down the line as well. The question is if they have what it takes to win a tournament like this. We have already seen them appear in a grand final, but I would like to see some more consistency by them before I bet on them to win anything.
Gambit are on a roll right now and have been for quite some time. The Russians are now the undisputed №1 after winning both IEM Summer and IEM Katowice, as well as runner-up finishes at DreamHack Masters and ESL Pro League. They are now just two events away from winning the coveted Intel Grand Slam and cashing in a one million dollar check at the bank. Gambit have been drawn against Evil Geniuses in the opener, a team that they had no problems against at the recent IEM Summer event. If they win that match, they take on the winner of NiP vs. Complexity, two teams that they have had the edge against recently, as well. With this in mind, it is really hard to argue against Gambit being a sizeable favourite at this event.
Things have been odd for Natus Vincere recently. s1mple’s side suffered a crushing blow at the EPIC League, where they were shockingly defeated by the Ukrainian team, AKUMA. A team that was more or less unknown before the start of the league. However, suspicious later arose that AKUMA had been cheating after they took down another big name in the form of Virtus.pro in the following game. It is still unclear if there was foul play involved or not, but it certainly seems odd that a completely unknown team would come in and easily dismantle both Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro. With all of this mess put aside, NaVi should still be respected at this event. They are currently ranked №2 in the world and have performed very well in BLAST events in the past, having won BLAST Global Final to start the year.
G2 have been looking pretty solid as of late. They are consistently making semi-finals, but that is where the journey has ended for French-Balkan side so far. Will this be the one where they break through and make the finals? You could argue that they have been given the more favourable side of the bracket with BIG, NaVi and FaZe. These are all teams who have had their difficulties and can certainly be beaten. Most importantly, G2 aren’t on the same side of the bracket as Gambit who they are on a four-game losing streak against this year.
It is hard to be excited about this team as things stand right now. With the exception of a successful qualification campaign for this event, they have failed to reach top placings in big events since IEM Beijing-Haidan in October of last year. It is a bit complexing (no pun intended) as they have all the right ingredients to be a solid team. The newest addition to the team, jks, has had a rise in form after a less than stellar start with Complexity, but it is worrying that poizon isn’t having the same type of impact that he had before. Perhaps he is still suffering the effects of the wrist injury that forced him into surgery last winter. They are going to need him to get back into the swing of things if they want to have any chance against this level of competition. It just doesn’t cut it to have an AWPer who isn’t putting up numbers in the current meta.
Evil Geniuses pulled off a solid upset against Heroic at IEM Summer, but they were quickly humbled by Gambit in the following match. This is a bit of a weird mix of players, and they are certainly in the position of an underdog as they will take on Gambit once more. What worries me about this team is the dip in form for Brehze, who is otherwise a consistent force for this team. If Brehze could get back into form, they have enough firepower to pull off some upsets against stronger competition, but Gambit seems like an opponent too difficult for them at this stage.
Breaking news! olofmeister has made his return to the FaZe roster and it seems like they might be tempted to make the move a permanent one. The Swede comes in to replace coldzera, who was deemed surplus to requirements after a poor stretch of form, which saw FaZe drop to 33rd place in the world rankings. The last time we saw olofmeister with FaZe was in February and he actually looked superb after NiKo’s departure. If we could see him perform at this level once more, FaZe could be a team to look out for. It is hard to see them drop further down the rankings, at least. They take on NaVi in the opener, a match which has historically been a proper battle. Three maps could definitely be on the cards for this one.
We see flashes of brilliance from BIG but they just haven’t been able to replicate the form that they showed last year. They won the recent FunSpark ULTI event, but the competition was definitely not comparable to the one we will see at this BLAST event. I think it is safe to say that these guys can beat just about anyone, but there isn’t much pointing towards a BIG win at this event.
It is hard to argue against Gambit being a significant favourite here for aforementioned reasons. Natus Vincere certainly shouldn’t be counted out either despite their recent slip-ups at Epic League. Out of the other teams, G2 stand out as the team having the best chance. They have been awfuly close to making finals on a number of occasions now. The new map, Ancient, is still a bit of a question mark however. Ancient certainly does mix things up a bit right now and some teams may be able to take advantage of this new map, making upsets a bit more likely.