The second biggest tournament of 2020 brought massive numbers.
On November 2, BLAST Premier Fall viewers peaked at 512k. Some of the highlighted matches took place between Astralis, MiBR, G2, and FURIA. The total turnout of the event brought in just over four million views, with average viewer counts totalled at two hundred thousand users. That’s a lot of people wanting to get in on the action. But why was this event so popular compared to previous ones? With a combination of roster changes, player transfers, and inactive teammates returning to the scene, BLAST Premier was hot. But a couple of matches really decided how popular this tournament would be, and Group C teams had a lot to do with this.
OFF TO THE RACES
One of the most anticipated teams was Astralis. They had just confirmed the arrival of Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth after being inactive for nearly four months. His decision to take a break left fans waiting, allowing time for anticipation to play its part in his arrival back on the main roster. Game one against MiBR peaked at 512k viewers, which was the most popular match throughout the entire tournament. In game one, the two teams faced off on vertigo which was picked by MiBR, and Xyp9x got a 1v2 clutch along with an overall 1.07 player rating. Astralis took the match with a very close 19-16 victory. As for nuke and inferno, the views started to soften due to fans only wanting to watch Xyp9x’s debut match. Xyp9x managed to secure another clutch on nuke despite going 11-17. Astralis finished off with a win against MiBR pushing them to the lower bracket.
The reasoning behind G2’s viewership increase was due to the fact that they signed on Nikola “NiKo” KovaÄ. NiKo’s move from FaZe was acknowledged as the biggest player transfer of 2020. Some even considered it one of the largest in the history of competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). This is why G2 vs FURIA had a total of three hundred thousand viewers. NiKo also got to play on a team with his cousin Nemanja “huNter” KovaÄ. The matches against FURIA were close, but G2 won with a 2-0 sweep. NiKo did really well and finished with a 1.11 player rating and was ready for his next matchup.
While the top competitors were battling it out, MiBR and FURIA were stuck in the losers bracket. Both Brazilian teams had personal victories that they wanted to achieve - being known as the best in Brazil. The two last played against each other at cs_summit 6 back in June of this year. The total views for their set at BLAST was just under four hundred thousand users, mostly made up of fans from their home country - definitely an exciting match to watch within any region. Three maps later and a total of four clutches, MiBR moved onto play in the loser bracket finals.
The bracket finals included Astralis, G2, and MiBR. With the success that FURIA had throughout this year, seeing MiBR dominate them was both entertaining and refreshing. The popularity contest between the group C contenders brought in new and old viewers.
TIME FOR FINALS
After a long day of competing, it was time for Astralis and G2 in the upper bracket finals. The three map set even went into overtime, bringing in almost four hundred thousand viewers. G2’s biggest contender was also their newest arrival. NiKo absolutely killed it on map one against Astralis. He got his first ace under the G2 name taking out all five players on cat. In round eleven, he almost doubled his ace count after dropping four enemy players attempting to plant on A. Map three was another main stage entrance for NiKo after he came out with a 1v4 clutch. Despite their best effort to land a spot in the finals, G2 lost to Astralis, making them the next opponents for MiBR.
G2 against MiBR was the second most popular set at BLAST for many reasons. It was a chance for MiBR to regenerate a successful roster and rub it in FURIA’s face, while NiKo had the possibility of winning his first event with G2. Map one and two were extremely close, and both went into overtime. Vito “kNgV” Giuseppe was able to ruffle some feathers after getting four AWP frags. After having a massive carry against Astralis, NiKo wasn’t overly impressive in the first two maps - but that all changed when it came down to train. He got four kills on round three, and it seemed like he couldn't be stopped. At the end of the map, G2 had beaten MiBR and was ready for the grand finals.
The last match between Astralis and G2 was a great matchup. But the results were very surprising for map two. G2 obviously handed over an L towards Astralis since dust2 was their choice of map. NiKo was once again ready to roll and finished out as the top fragger for his team. He also made two highlights and was an explosive player through and through. After beating Astralis on nuke which wasn’t even G2’s map pick, NiKo had a final rating of 1.51.
With Xyp9x, NiKo, and Brazil’s best teams, BLAST Premier Fall was one popular tournament, to say the least. It looks like the competitive scene will start to follow G2 rather than Astralis or FURIA.
Images via BLAST | G2 Esports