The CS:GO Blast Premier has been underway for a week, and the play-in stage will kick off on Thursday. Three teams have been locked in for the finals, Astralis, Natus Vincere and Heroic. The semi-finalists – Faze Clan, Team Vitality and Team Liquid are awaiting their opponents from the results of the quarterfinals.
OG will face Complexity in the first round, followed by G2 Esports and Evil Geniuses taking on BIG and Ninjas in Pyjamas in the matches that follow. The six finalists will progress to the Fall Finals, and that will be the focus of all 12 teams heading into play-ins. The lower six will head instead to the Fall Showdown.
After losing both their group stage matches, G2 have found themselves relegated to the bottom stage of the play-ins. They lost their opening game to team Liquid 12-16, then dropped to the lower bracket where faced off against reigning champions Natus Vincere.
G2 decided to remove Dust2, Overpass, and Nuke, and were finally left with Mirage in the best of 1. Ilya ‘m0NESY’ Osipov was on the money, his rating for that game at 1.51 after accounting for 29 kills, and undergoing just 16 deaths. Unfortunately, the apprehension behind the signing of the team’s new members right before the fall, Justin ‘jks’ Savage and Rasmus ‘HooXi’ Nielsen, turned out to be spot on.
Jks especially has been nothing short of a liability. Against Na Vi, he was killed 20 times but managed only 9 kills, and finished with a rating of 0.68. Despite teething problems with their roster, one can comfortably say that between G2 and BIG, the former are the more capable side by a stretch.
BIG were slotted into Group C in the fall groups along with two of the toughest opponents of the Blast, Faze Clan and Heroic, and getting past them was never going to be easy. In the end they didn’t play Faze even once, but Heroic were well up to the task. BIG were beaten 13-16 by Heroic in Mirage and slipped out of the Upper Bracket.
Their opponents in the first round of the losers bracket were Evil Geniuses, who are sporting an all-new roster this fall and still finding their feet. Getting past them wasn’t much of a problem for G2, who brushed them aside 6-16. This meant that they were up against Heroic again in the final round of the loser’s bracket, and went down in Nuke 14-16.
New recruit Nils ‘k1to’ Gruhne was demoted to the Academy earlier in the year, and has been a disappointment in the Blast. In the most recent match against heroic, he had a rating of 0.57, and as low as 0.33 kills per round. Karim ‘Krimbo’ Moussa, however, in spite of being only a temporary signing at the moment, has proved he’s worth his weight in gold.
OG have lost both their games in the group stage against all CS:GO odds. In group A they were paired with Team Vitality, Astralis and NIP. Their opening match was against Vitality, where they competed on Dust II. In that game only Abdulkhalik ‘degster’ Gasanov managed a rating of over 1.
IGL Nemanja ‘nexa’ Isaković and Adam ‘NEOFRAG’ Zouhar recorded a below average 0.59 and 0.37 killers per round. Degster’s 18 kills were the most claimed by any other player in the side against Vitality. Astralis proved to be an even bigger contest. Despite a loss in their first game, Astralis won three in a row to book their place in the finals.
OG were the ones who kicked off that streak, losing 9-16 in Mirage. Suffice to say that degster has been their saving grace this Blast, starring with 23 kills and a rating of 1.26 while also recording 0.92 kills per round. Nexa disappointed once more, his kills per round of 0.24 the worst of the lot.
Complexity found themselves in Group B, alongside Natus Vincere, G2 Esports and the renewed Team Liquid. They started their campaign on the right note, with a 16-9 win over NAVI in Mirage , an all-round team effort. Justin ‘FaNg’ Coakley topped the kill charts with 22, while Ricky ‘floppy’ Kemery dealt the most damage with a count of 91.5.
Michael ‘Grim’ Wince walked away with the best rating, 1.38. But then things went downhill for Complexity, losing the upper bracket final 14-16 to Team Liquid. Na Vi then knocked them down to the quarterfinals with a 3-16 defeat.