The BLAST Premier: Fall features some of the best CS:GO teams competing for a prize pool of $150,000. Adam Boothe takes a look at the teams in attendance and discusses the tournament in his betting preview. Read on to find out more.
BLAST Premier odds
The odds below represent the group odds for the BLAST Premier Fall. For a complete list of odds, head over to our dedicated section for BLAST Premier.
BLAST Premier Fall: Groups 2021 odds
How will NAVI perform at BLAST Premier Fall?
The organisers of the BLAST Premier series of tournaments are determined to still hit their event quota even with the first Major in two years looming at the end of October. They are giving us the group portion of the Fall Showdown in September, sandwiched between the ESL Pro League Season 14 and the IEM Fall events. Then the final round of the Fall Showdown will run for five days in October, a week before the Stockholm Major.
The poll seems to have settled with about two-thirds of respondents deeming a Major victory the more valuable asset.
This past week, the HLTV podcast put out a poll on Twitter asking whether the Major or Grand Slam was more valuable. ‘Value’ in this context, just like in sports betting, holds a distinct meaning to different people. Increased money, increased rarity, and increased difficulty were all assessments that the respondents used to make their decision. The poll seems to have settled with about two-thirds of respondents deeming a Major victory the more valuable asset. My theory is that if you asked professional players, especially those who have significant experience, we would see an overwhelming result in favour of the Major.
The PGL Stockholm Major will have many ‘firsts’ for competitive CS:GO, with the event marking the first Major to offer a $2 million prize pool; the first time a live event will greet spectators in the COVID-19 era; and the first time we’ll see the attendance of seven of the current top 10 teams in the world that have never lifted a Major title.
Global superstars like Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, and Nikola “NiKo” Kovač are among dozens of players who have never tasted that victory. Teams will never openly admit to not competing to the best of their ability at the three events prior to a Major, especially when there is $450,000 in prize money up for grabs during that time; however, you can be sure that not all of the contending teams will be pulling out all the stops.
NAVI are fresh from a thrilling best-of-five grand final victory against Team Vitality at ESL Pro League Season 14. Each team won their respective map choices with Team Vitality more convincing based on the scoreline. However, a 14-16 loss in the deciding map Mirage is all that matters at the end of the day. Both teams are once more competing in this BLAST Premier Fall group stage and are heavy favourites in their opening matches at the tournament.
These two have somehow avoided one another throughout 2021...facing off five times with OG picking up five maps in their previous encounter.
NAVI are sitting as the 70% favourite against another top 10 team, OG. These two have somehow avoided one another throughout 2021, though last year they were quite familiar with each other, facing off five times with OG picking up five maps in their previous encounter. Both teams have made alterations to their roster since they last battled, with Valerii "b1t" Vakhovskyi coming in for NAVI and Shahar "flameZ" Shusha joining OG. Looking at OG, they are not in poor form in the least, yet it is still hard to call their odds ‘value’ given the team on the opposite end of the server. In fact, I would be taking OG at 3.0 odds to win against just about every other team in the world. If you back them, you are hoping that it’ll be an off day for NAVI.
That can certainly happen, and especially when they have not played against one another in recent memory. However, this is not the NAVI of old that would flop consistently on the opening day of an event. NAVI have only dropped a match to two teams, BIG and Gambit, since the start of June. They have also beaten both over that same four-month period. Teams can certainly lose focus between events – G2 Esports comes to mind immediately – yet I am not sure that OG’s 3.0 odds are enticing enough to hope that they can win against clearly the best team in the world (NAVI).
Elsewhere, G2 Esports were one of the four teams to not pick up a single victory (going 0-5) against their group at ESL Pro League Season 14 last month. They are receiving the brunt of the negative attention is because they were the only team within their group that the majority of analysts thought would go through to the playoffs, with the odds placing them as favourites to continue their journey at ESL Pro League Season 14 past the group stage. The likes of Bad News Bears, TeamoNe, and Evil Geniuses – with whom G2 share a 0-5 record – are not exactly stellar company.
G2 Esports have the opportunity to redeem themselves at this event against an easier opponent, MIBR.
G2 Esports have the opportunity to redeem themselves at this event against an easier opponent, MIBR. The Brazilian team are hamstrung, starting BLAST Premier Fall with two stand-ins in lieu of Ricardo "boltz" Prass and Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes. We have seen upsets of this magnitude before; however, this is also a G2 Esports team who have had plenty of time to reflect on their mistakes at ESL Pro League and put in some official practice time.
Pinnacle is offering a -5.5 spread for each of the first two maps. If G2 Esports mange to return to their pre-ESL form against this iteration of MIBR, they should not have difficulty hitting the -5.5 spread but it is also not exactly an easy decision to back them, given what we’ve seen recently.