The first major championship of the new season, BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, will start on Thursday, January 19. Until the end of the month, twelve partner teams will fight for six tickets to the spring season finals, as well as the first points in the BLAST leaderboard. With some teams making roster changes while others have been in the shadows and training hard, it will be interesting to see the results of the first big matches.
In this article, we will go over all the participants, not forgetting the group stage draw, and also estimate the possible favorites, adjusted for the latest reshuffles and rumors. In general, let’s try to understand what to expect from the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023?
The main favorite of the first quartet is the Heroic team. The Danes played well at the end of last season, having managed to reach the finals of Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022, and also won BLAST Premier: Fall European Showdown 2022 and BLAST Premier: Fall Finals 2022. However, the team was tired at the very flag, unexpectedly failing the BLAST group stage Premier: World Final 2022. Nevertheless, Heroic looks fundamental enough not to return in the new season from the first championship.
It is very interesting to watch the updated composition of Astralis. Moreover, signing Buzz is unlikely to make the team weaker, since MistR seemed to be a frankly weak player for the TIER-1 level. In addition, dev1ce will be ready to prove his return to the ranks, and already at last year’s CCT, the sniper looked very possible. Therefore, given the lull and long preparations, Astralis can surprise and compete right now.
In turn, the prospects for Team Vitality are very vague. The Danish-French team has been unable to recover for a long time, and the victory at ESL Pro League Season 16 is comparable to luck. If we talk about the end of last season, then the team looked consistently bad there, unable to cope even with opponents of the caliber of ENCE and OG . Therefore, I would not believe that suddenly Team Vitality will play, but the team will definitely not be an outsider either.
Well, the main contender for the relegation is the North American team Evil Geniuses. The guys again hit the substitutions, but now they have thought of parting with CeRq. If you look at the distance, the new sniper can give a couple of extra rounds to the piggy bank, but the general logic of the team still contradicts the general logic of what is happening. So it turns out that from time to time Evil Geniuses looks like an easy target for other rivals, even without a chance to fight.
The review of the next group should start with the FaZe Clan team, which, by inertia, will be the favorite of any tournament, if it does not die out at the very beginning. To put it bluntly, even at the end of the last season, RobbaN’s wards functionally sank, losing their ideas and not getting a new carriage of tactics. Now there are fears that rain will turn off from the game, at least for a while, without which it will be even more difficult. And in general, the competition is quite high, which is why FaZe Clan cannot win all at once. Therefore, making a small discount, the team will remain the favorite, but with a big risk of swimming and giving away the optional.
Perhaps the most stable team in the second half of last season was Team Liquid. The North Americans really found their game and began to enter the playoffs with enviable regularity, except for the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022. The only weakness of the “liquid” is the position of the sniper, but this problem is often covered by the confident play of the leaders. And if Team Liquid is able to add stability, then there is a chance to see the guys take off even more, and already in this championship.
OG looks very contradictory. The team tried to change the composition in the offseason, but, apparently, gave the players a little more time. However, in essence, the team has always played according to their mood, so it is impossible to predict when and what will happen first: failure or sensation. And yet, you should not blindly believe in the chances of OG, since the team does not publish much self-confidence. From this, we should expect that the guys will fight for their chances exclusively in the Play-In.
By tradition, the North American team Complexity Gaming is an outsider of any such championship. To be honest, the team can shoot and take away a couple of cards from the favorites, but this line-up is hard to believe from the word “absolutely”. Moreover, even in their region, Complexity Gaming does not always win, so what to expect from guys at this level? In general, everything is as always illusory, and we can only hope for a miracle.
As in the case of FaZe Clan, in any such situation, the favorite is the Natus Vincere team. The Born to Win managed to make one change in the off-season, although the situation could have been much worse. It is still too early to talk about the prospects of npl, since the guy is only 17 years old, and very few matches have been played at the adult level. Nevertheless, Natus Vincere looks good in training, but we need to look at the fact. However, it is definitely impossible to get rid of the idea that s1mple and the company will try to return to the throne again.
If you remember the whole last season, then G2 Esports was associated only with failures. But then the team won BLAST Premier: World Final 2022, after which it was immediately elevated to absolute. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t praise the roster so quickly, which before that didn’t even manage to get to the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022. Yes, and HooXi can remember how it all started at any moment and start acting weird again. Therefore, despite the sensation in Abu Dhabi, G2 Esports seems to be somewhere between “bad” and “very bad”.
Another controversial team is BIG. Moreover, the Germans do not change themselves and continue to stand their ground, but this obstinacy does not bring dividends. To be frank, the team has long stood in one place and is not trying to move forward. On the other hand, there are no resources and the local scene does not provide talent. From this we can again expect a disastrous season from BIG.
Well, in the end, it’s worth talking about Ninjas in Pajamas. On the one hand, the team signed an intelligent sniper, solving their long-standing problem. But when did the Swedes ever win, even during dev1ce? Another problem lies in Aleksib and communication. As far as we know, Brollan joined the team only for the sake of the Swedish squad, but a lot has changed in six months. And now, multiplying the weak results of Ninjas in Pajamas by today’s controversy, it is very interesting to see what all this will result in.
BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 will be held from January 19 to 29 in Copenhagen. As part of the competition, 12 partner teams will compete for a prize pool of $177,498, ranking points, as well as six tickets to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2023.
Prize pool distribution at BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023
- 1st-3rd place: $27,500 + 2,400 points + slot in BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2023
- 4th-6th place: $17,500 + 1,200 points + slot in BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2023
- 7th-9th place: $8,500 + 900 points + slot in BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2023
- 10th-12th place: $5,666 + 600 points + slot in BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2023