BLAST premier spring group recap.

17:30, 17 Feb 2021

The BLAST Premier Spring Groups have finally come to an end following three group stage winners. A lot of important highlights were taken from the event including Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken playing against Team Liquid for the first time since leaving the team. 

NiP’s new roster put up a great fight and somehow managed to win four maps in a row. Astralis had a tough time at BLAST after being knocked out of the race after two sets. Same thing went for Team Vitality, an org that was carried by the one and only Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut. 

As for NAVI, so far they’ve continued their winning streak this year by pummelling all of their opponents. Some teams have extended their contracts by reinventing themselves while others are struggling to maintain their identities.  

ASTRALIS TAKES A ROCKY TURN 

Astralis, NiP, OG, and BIG were the first teams to battle it out at BLAST in the first group stage. Based on previous results and a last minute roster change, viewers expected Astralis to destroy their opponents. 

This time it didn’t work out like that, instead NiP alongside Erik "ztr" Gustafsson won both maps. Young Ninjas prodigy ztr put up a lot of great stats for his team and even played like an experienced pro. 

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Astralis definitely wasn't on their A-game, but NiP knew what they were doing throughout each and every map. Their plays showed sophistication and were executed to perfection against one of the best teams in the world. The sneaky shooters definitely put on a show for their fans last week and had a great time up until they faced BIG in the grand final.

Before losing their opportunity to earn $25,000, NiP beat BIG in the upper bracket final. They won both maps and even went into overtime on their opening set. It was a great run for NiP but BIG was the better team at the end of the series. 

THE FINAL MOMENT FOR NIP  

OG also struggled against BIG except they had to face them in round one of the upper bracket. Before being sent to the loser division, OG lost both maps to BIG but only by a couple of rounds. They proceeded to face Astralis in a close best of three series but eventually lost skilful magic touch on Inferno. Astralis didn’t last long after beating OG due to facing BIG in the loser bracket final. BIG finished first in their group stage while NiP earned the runner-up spot. 

TEAM VITALITY IS NO MATCH FOR COMPLEXITY 

Team Vitality had the same experience as Astralis, except their run was even worse. While the kings of Europe entered BLAST, so did North America’s top players. Team Vitality went up against Complexity Gaming. A team that was on a six-month losing streak and was losing all hope. 

Complexity pulled out their magic wand known as Justin "jks" Savage and won both maps against Team Vitality. It was a shock, especially when Complexity took Overpass by a total of fourteen rounds. While Complexity went on to play against G2, a more humbled Team Vitality was sent to the loser bracket with Evil Geniuses.  

NORTH AMERICA MAKES IT IN THE TOP THREE 

Complexity proceeded to breeze through their sets against both G2 and EG in the upper bracket. Both Complexity and G2 put up great numbers, but North America took game point at the end of the day. 

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Nikola “NiKo” Kovac had a solid performance while some of his teammates crumbled against their opponents. Complexity moved on to the grand final while G2 was dropped to the loser bracket with EG. A team that had recently advanced after taking map three against Team Vitality. 

G2 and EG had a close battle up until game three which was on Nuke. EG won by a total of eleven rounds earning their spot in the grand finals with Complexity. Both North American power houses started off strong on Inferno, but Complexity completely dominated on Mirage. 

TWISTZZ, OLOFMEISTER, AND TEAM LIQUID 

Now for the match that everyone was waiting to see during the final week of BLAST. FaZe was lucky enough to play against the former team of Twistzz known as Team Liquid. Dust 2 was a great matchup considering Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer came out on top with the most damage.

The recently benched player of FaZe went into BLAST knowing that it was one of his final matches with the team. On map two, FaZe almost won all sixteen rounds as Twistzz showed no mercy to his original team. Both teams met once again in the loser bracket where FaZe continued to deal two cards of death towards Team Liquid. 

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They won both maps and took Inferno by a ten round landslide. All of those matches led to the finals where NAVI beat FaZe in a close best of three series earning themselves a first-place finish. BLAST was definitely full of surprises, and it was a great way to watch competitive rivalries. 

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Images via BLAST | Twitter 

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