Team Vitality Secure Spot at BLAST Premier Spring Final 

As teams are starting to qualify for the Spring Final the pressures and stakes are starting to mount in the CSGO world.

Seven days into BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 and we have our first qualifier for the Spring Final in June later this year, as Team Vitality won the Group A Grand Final against Heroic on the 25th. With two more groups with Grand Finals to play, the next few days are guaranteed to be packed with some great matches of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Wednesday also saw Max “maxter” Jansson sub in for Hampus “hampus” Poser for Ninjas in Pyjamas. The announcement was made at 6:00 AM ET on the Ninjas in Pyjamas Counter-Strike Twitter. According to the announcement, Hampus is out due to personal circumstances, and there will be an update when available. 

Ninjas in Pyjamas would go on to lose a close 2-1 match to Natus Vincere in the Group C Lower Bracket final, slating them for a match against Astralis in the first round of the Play-In Stage. Ninjas in Pyjamas showed they are capable of winning maps even with the roster change, and with more time to practice and synergize, fans can expect a competitive showing from the Ninjas. 

Thursday, January 26th

Thursday will see the Grand Finals of both groups B and C. First, FaZe will take on OG at 9 AM ET in the Group B final. The Group C final will follow directly after and will feature G2 Esports and Natus Vincere. Both of these are rematches from the Upper Bracket Finals as OG and Natus Vincere both try to beat the teams that sent them to the lower brackets. 

 FaZe’s path to the finals has been one of domination, giving up only 15 rounds in their first match against Complexity. FaZe then went on to win against OG in a 2-1 match. Though OG took the second map in a tight 16-11 game, FaZe was dominant in the first and third maps taking them 16-7 and 16-4, respectively. If OG can put pressure on FaZe early, they may be able to pull off the upset. 

G2 Esports has made an impressive run to the finals, having not dropped a single map in their dismantling of BIG and Natus Vincere. Though G2’s record is better than FaZe’s, they don’t share the same dominance in the manner in which they are winning. G2’s largest map win was 16-9, and has even been taken to overtime in their match against Natur Vincere. The skill gap between G2 and Natus Vincere is not as big as the records show, and if all three maps went to overtime, I wouldn’t be surprised. 

Friday, January 27th

Friday brings us the first two matches of Round 1 of the Play-In Stage. Evil Geniuses will take on Complexity at 9 AM ET, while Team Liquid and BIG will face off after that match. Teams will be fighting in their last chance to qualify for the Spring Final without having to win a Showdown, and though qualification through Play-Ins brings in $10K less in prize money, you can still expect teams to play top-tier Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.  

Evil Geniuses surprised many early on in the tournament when they upset Heroic. Look to see if the momentum continues with them as they take on a Complexity team that has failed to pick up a single map so far in this tournament.

Meanwhile, you could argue BIG has had to play some pretty tough opponents in their two defeats losing to G2 and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Team Liquid has only lost to OG and only beat Complexity, so it’s hard to get a read on where Team Liquid truly stands in comparison to the competition skill-wise. Expect this match to be really fun and really close.