The BLAST Premier Spring Final will see eight of the best CS:GO teams in the world in attendance. Adam Boothe provides his expert betting insight on the potential competition at the tournament. Read on to find out more.
In this article, I will pick up where I left things ahead of the IEM Summer event a couple of weeks ago. The focus of my previous article was the achievements of Gambit and Heroic - each a frontrunner to win their respective group and the IEM Summer event – which I looked at in contrast to the rest of the field in 2021. The argument I made was that despite a recent string of successful tournament runs, their success has not nearly been enough for me to view them in the same way many had viewed Astralis through their era of huge success over the past three years.
The other point I discussed was how you might go about selecting a team from the field to either win their group or win the whole event, given the tournament format. I suggested that if one of the teams were able to upset Gambit or Heroic, their opportunity to go further in the tournament would be increased. And, as fortune would have it, we saw this scenario play out in the event -with both Gambit and Heroic being relegated to their respective group’s lower bracket.
In the case of Heroic, they would have an early tournament exit after losses at the hands of the resurgent Evil Geniuses (1-2) and then Ninjas in Pyjamas (0-2). Gambit, on the other hand, recovered nicely after their defeat to Team Vitality (which saw a dominant display from Vitality’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut) to make it through to the finals.
So, how does that set us up heading into the next big event? Well BLAST, the new kid on the block in terms of the big-boy tournament organisers, have demonstrated that money talks in CS:GO. While the tournament format they entered the competitive space with was inferior, their prize money was not, and because of that, they’ve been able to maintain a space for themselves on the competitive CS:GO tournament circuit. It didn’t hurt that they have also tried to reserve a spot at some of their LAN events for a local team to play to the home crowd.
Their event this week – the BLAST Premier Spring Final - has a very large $425,000 prize pool to be divided up among the eight teams in attendance. The best part of the Spring Final is that there have been no direct invitations - a frequent point of debate in the community. Each of the eight teams has earned their spot in the tournament through high-quality performances at other BLAST events this year. That being said, the form of some teams at their last outing was certainly lacking. The most notable team fitting such a description is Faze Clan.
One of the original teams to feature a mixed European roster set-up, Faze have only made headlines this year when announcing the transfer or benching of players (and not from winning events). Most recently, it was Brazilian superstar (or perhaps former superstar might be more appropriate), Marcelo “coldzera” David. I feel like this organisation, in the context of CSGO, have been circling the drain since their collapse at the 2018 Boston Major.
One can certainly respect Finn “karrigan” Andersen for returning to the club he came so close to success with, now without Nikola “NiKo” Kovac, to give it another go. However, at the point at which new addition Helvijs “broky” Saukants became the highest-rated player on a team that’s meant to be loaded with the best talent money can buy, it became all too apparent there had been a critical decline in performance, both individually and as a team. Adding a top North American talent like Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken is not a poor pick-up, and benching “coldzera” will be reflected on as a wise move, provided it improves the team cohesion. The primary concern as things stand now, is whether the remaining four can provide enough synchronicity that the last-minute addition to the roster, whoever that is, can exist in a plug-and-play scenario for this event.
One of the futures markets that might grab some attention is Region Winner. For years, we have seen Europe dominate this price. Well, not for this week! With the event being a boutique eight-team, double-elimination bracket, we have seen the CIS supersede their Western cousins to a very short 1.64 despite only representing 25% of the clubs. There are some other factors involved here, notably that both Gambit and Natus Vincere - the two CIS representatives and the number one and number two seeds - are starting on opposite sides of the upper-bracket against the two weakest competitors by ranking.
However, if my math is correct, the ‘worst’ team by Pinnacle’s pricing is actually BIG. It should also be noted if you are entering the Region Winner futures market that there is only a singular North American team, Evil Geniuses. It is a natural assumption to follow the home continent when it is, in fact, based upon the roster itself. With most squads this need not be differentiated; however, Complexity is the exception at this event.
Carrying on from this point, it means that five of the eight teams at the event fit into the European definition. So, if we remove Pinnacle’s 8% margin on this particular market we find a probability of 56% to the CIS, 40% to Europe, and 4% to the one North American representative. Drawing similar theories to the IEM preview as to the current openness of the CS:GO scene among this calibre of talent, Europe nearly represents a ‘field’ alternative.
View the latest odds for the BLAST Premier Spring Final.