The BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown features some of the best CS:GO teams competing for a prize pool of $162,500. Adam Boothe takes a look at the teams in attendance and discusses the tournament in his betting preview. Read on to find out more.
If you are a follower of Counter-Strike, you should be well aware that a tournament can end on a Sunday evening, only for the next one to begin just 24-48 hours later. It is one of the things that as a CS:GO bettor you either love or hate, depending on your disposition and returns over a given period. Either way, it is best to at least keep on top of the turnover to keep the mental blade sharp.
The next event running – the BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 - is an evolution of the original Blast events which ran up until the Covid-19 pandemic began. However, this event has done away with the frills and the extra group stage shenanigans. What we are left with is a straight run to a title - no round-robin, no upper/lower bracket, no one-map advantage, no best-of-ones.
In fact, there is no advantage to any of the teams other than the fact that some teams are facing much more favourable opponents in their end of the 16-team bracket. For example, Astralis open their campaign against OG at a 70/30 probability, while Vitality, on the other end of the eight-series bracket, face off against 9z, at approximately 95/5. Both are heavy favourites, but not nearly in the same echelon. Even OG would be closer to Vitality's pricing against 9z than to the 70/30 the Danes hold against them.
Heading into this event we should expect to see Gambit overtake Astralis as the second-best team in the world, according to the HLTV rankings. They are set to at least walk away from the ESL Pro League in the top four. It should be noted that Gambit edge above Astralis after beating the Danes 2-0 in the Pro League, a feat that few teams have ever accomplished, with. Furia kind enough to follow up the Russian's performance by also disposing of “dev1ce” and co in the same fashion. In fact, Astralis has never lost two best-of-threes without winning a single back-to-back in the same event. This is an incredible feat. In other words, this core of”dev1ce”, “dupreeh”, and “Xyp9x” has never gone 0-4 consecutively in the same event. Now, as tournament structures have evolved, this has become less possible.
Many teams can sport stretches that would sound relatively impressive on this line. However, even the current world number one, Natus Vincere, went 0-2 in back-to-back series of the same event three times in 2020 alone. The first was to North & BIG in March during ESL Pro League Season 11, followed by losses to Complexity and NiP at ESL Cologne in August, and then finally to a couple of their regional rivals in Virtus Pro and Forze at IEM New York in October. Without taking a peek at the historical odds in all six matches, you would likely agree to the range of probability that was likely present over those series.
So, when we speak about the Great Danes still being the best team in the world over three and, maybe, more years it is not because they have won every tournament but they have stood out as consistently bringing a game to the server which few teams could walk over. Now that this one streak has concluded it will be interesting to see what Astralis has done with the week off in preparation for the next event, because what we witnessed on the server did not look reminiscent of what we have come to expect from these legends.
We have been hearing about Gambit non-stop in 2021 and rightfully so. However, it is not as though the Vitality's, Furia's, Spirit's, and Heroic's of the world are now scrubs. Add to this Liquid and G2, who are maybe a few good strats and improvements away from going on a long tournament run themselves here in this single-elimination event.
The opening round of sixteen features a plethora of heavy favourites and not a single matchup below 70/30. The two closest matchups are Astralis vs. OG and Liquid vs. Dignitas. Both OG and Dignitas present very real threats to their opposition and, talent-wise, are likely even closer. OG have just swiped “Flamez” from Team Endpoint to shore up their firepower a bit. Meanwhile, “Thomas” has returned from his foray abroad to rejoin his old compatriots, “Surreal” and “MiGHTYMAX”, making Endpoint the third squad to be tagged as likely a bit closer to their opponents than the odds suggest, even with the recent roster swap.
All in all, this tournament is destined to provide a handful of the most compelling matchups the current CS:GO landscape can offer. Keep in mind that the true contenders of this event are likely to be only a pistol or clutch away from victory over one another.