The BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown kicks off on the 13th of April, with 16 of some of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sides entering the server hoping to grab the lion’s share of a $162,500 USD prize pool and, more importantly, a spot in the BLAST Premier: Spring Finals. Several heavy hitters in the game’s professional circuit have found themselves in this lower bracket, giving this Spring Showdown, with its single loss elimination format, an added amount of ferocity and raising the stakes over the course of the competition.
With plenty of wildcards and new faces on show, here are some of the sides you should be looking to back with your bets at this year’s Spring Showdown.
Irregardless of their form or circumstances, Astralis will always enter a Counter-Strike tournament nestled amongst the favourites. And it would definitely take a brave man to bet against the Danes hitting their stride at a tournament they have always prided themselves on performing exceptionally well in over the past few years.
Astralis is the most successful organisation in the game’s history, dominating the CS:GO betting odds for every tournament they’ve attended over the past four years or so since their first official Major win. Their core five players are amongst the top earners from tournament winnings in the game’s history, becoming the first team to ever win four Majors (including the last three in a row), and their understanding of things ranging from the importance of diet and mental wellbeing all the way to regimented practicing structures have helped innovate the entire Esports industry.
They arrive at the showdown having rounded 2020 off as being the highest ranked CS:GO team in the world, but have found 2021 noticeably much harder to close out tournament wins, especially when facing off against some of the newer kids on the block. But, as the famous saying goes, class is permanent in the worlds of sport and competition, and Astralis have proven time and time again that they know how to perform when they need to.
One of the most established and recognisable orgs in the world of Counter-Strike, FURIA has emerged over the past year or so as Brazil’s finest teams. Not every side currently active in the game can point to possessing their own style and brand of play, but with FURIA there is an undeniable identity that follows them wherever they go.
Few sides in the world can match the intensity and aggressiveness of FURIA when they enter the server, with the players regularly taking aggressive positions, peeking ‘round corners and angles to take duels and priding themselves on playing a brand of Counter-Strike that tilts opponents with just how unpredictable it can be.
The likes of in-game leader Art are recognizable and feared faces within the game, the side’s new AWPer ‘Junior’ has adjusted remarkably well to his new org, and the team’s impressive run to the semi-finals of ESL Pro League Season XIII rounded off an impressive campaign and highlighted how FURIA’s style of play lends itself very well to the online era of Esports.
Denmark has always been a hub for top-tier Counter-Strike, but after years of dominance at the hands of Astralis, more and more fans are becoming convinced that there could be a changing of the guard in the region following the emergence of Heroic.
Whilst the results for Heroic had been convincing enough over the course of 2020, the new year brought with it two roster moves that have seen the Danish org’s stock soar so far. Refrezh and Sjuush made their debuts ahead of the recent ESL Pro League Season XIII, and the results were instant.
The side was the only team in the entire competition to run at a perfect 5-0 record in the group stage, before flawlessly dispatching FURIA 2-0 and overcoming Gambit in a thrilling 3-2 grand final win that contained possibly the finest clutch in CS:GO’s history from in-game leader Cadian.
Form, quality and confidence are all on the side of Heroic heading into the BLAST Spring Showdown, making them one of the most heavily backed sides with the bookies.