With Natus Vincere taking the crown at BLAST Finals 2020, the new CS:GO season has commenced in no time. With last year’s BLAST Spring Series being canceled due to covid, hopes are high for the first major tournament of 2021.
Twelve teams, drawn into three groups, are fighting for six available spots at the Spring Finals, while the other six will have to go through the gauntlet of the Spring Showdown.
With a $150,000 prizepool and teams like Astralis, Na’Vi, and G2 Esports among others in the fold, BLAST Spring Groups is looking poised to satisfy our CS:GO cravings early in the year, and set the stage for the upcoming Spring Finals.
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Although completely outclassed at the BLAST Global Finals 2020, Astralis is still considered the best team in the world. The Danes will be looking to bounce back from their Grand Finals loss at the hands of Na’Vi and prove to everyone that they’re still the best team in the world.
Na’Vi pulled off quite an upset with their victory at BLAST Global Finals 2020. Although infamous for their inconsistency, the team is one of the very few that has the ability to dominate their opponents in every aspect on a good day. Na’Vi’s main issue is that their results are dependant on s1mple, but with the Ukrainian always looking on the top of his game, the reliance is justified.
3. Team Vitality
Team Vitality had a good showing at the Global Finals, ultimately getting eliminated by Na’Vi and finishing in third place. The team houses arguably the world’s best player in ZywOo, and are one of the main favorites wherever they go. Vitality sports a well-oiled roster, that all too similarly depends on its star player to deliver for the most part.
BIG is still a top-five team in the world, even though their recent results don’t show it all too well. With syrsoN emerging as one of the premier players in the world, the team evidently found its much-needed ace player. All that BIG needs to do is get some matches under their belts to return to tournament form.
5. G2 Esports
The addition of NiKo has still not paid the desired dividend, but G2 is well on track to again becoming a perennial contender in the CS:GO scene. The team has shown promise, but are still a long way from being considered the world’s best. With time, the team is expected to bond better, but in the current state of affairs, G2 is a step down from the top teams in the tournament.
OG was definitely one of the breakout teams of last year and will be looking to improve their standing early in 2021. The team has proven they can duke it out with the best of the best and will be looking to make a splash in the Spring Groups.
7. Complexity Gaming
Although the acquisition of jks has failed to replicate the results Complexity had with oBo, the international stack is still a dangerous threat that can give any team a run for its money. Although the odds are not in their favor, Complexity can never be counted out.
8. Team Liquid
Team Liquid had a 2020 they’d rather like to forget. Constant roster changes have taken their toll on Liquid, and with the team losing Twistzz to FaZe Clan, they ultimately looked in a dire spot. A good showing at the Global Finals did well to raise their stuck, but Liquid still has a long road ahead.
9. Evil Geniuses
EG has emerged as the top team in the currently desolate North American scene. Although they haven’t featured much against top competition, this could be a chance for EG to prove themselves on the international stage.
10. Ninjas in Pyjamas
NiP is another team that is looking like a shell of its former self. Plagued by constant roster changes and inconsistent form, the Ninjas have lost their spot in the upper echelons of the CS:GO scene. The addition of ztr might rejuvenate the team, but NiP is a long way from the top where they once were.
11. FaZe Clan
Another team that is facing a big crisis is FaZe Clan. The loss of NiKo will be nearly impossible to make up, and with Kjaerbye getting benched to accommodate the signing of Twistzz, FaZe’s chemistry is in the gutters.
MIBR has signed the former BOOM Esports’ roster, that although dominant in the Brazillian scene, has not tasted Counter-Strike at this level before. Although there are some veterans like boltz and yel in the mix, mibr is looking like the complete underdogs.
Group A Recap
Ninjas in Pyjamas pulled the upset after their clean sweep of Astralis that knocked the Danes down to the lower bracket. The team looked like a well-oiled machine, taking down Astralis on their own map pick, before sealing the series in a nail-biter on Inferno. BIG on the other hand had a similarly tough series against OG, but ultimately closed to series down with syrsoN shooting lights out.
NiP would go on to pull another upset, this time over BIG. NiP picked Overpass, which went to a double-overtime, with REZ ultimately finishing the first map with 36 kills. A strong T-side showing enabled NiP to ultimately close out the series on NiP’s map of choice, Inferno.
In the lower bracket, Astralis had a clean series versus OG, and although Dust 2 went into overtime, Inferno was all Astralis. In the Lower Bracket Finals BIG faced off against Astralis, and between the two group favorites, it was the Germans that ultimately emerged victorious.
Heading into the Group A Grand Finals, BIG were looking to pay back NiP for their defeat earlier, and they did so in style, dominating the Swedes on 16-2 on Vertigo, before closing out the series on Overpass.