Some of the biggest analysts in the Counter Strike: Global Offensive pro scene are sharing their best BLAST Spring Showdown predictions. With the two online events starting June 1, some of the best teams in America and Europe are getting ready for their shot at the regional finals and hundreds of thousands that are on the line.
Meanwhile, some of the best CS:GO analysts in the world have broken down who the big winners could be across both regions. Here’s a look at the Blast Spring Showdown predictions from Duncan “Thorin” Shields and Jason “Moses” O’Toole.
BLAST Spring Showdown predictions: Europe
The European side of the BLAST Spring Showdown is absolutely stacked. Four of the top ten teams in the world will be playing alongside some of Europe’s finest. When you’ve got Astralis, Fnatic and Mousesports all in one event, you know it’s going to get wild. O’Toole is already predicting two of those titans to clash in the finals. He’s seeing an Astralis – Fnatic dust up, with Fnatic taking it over the Danes. It would be a upset in terms of rankings, but O’Toole says it’s less of an upset than people would think.
“I see Astralis and Fnatic making the final in Europe. In North America I have Furia taking on EG. My predicted champions coming out of those regions would be Furia and Fnatic. So I guess by way of rankings both of those are considered upsets, however there are circumstances that I believe make these predictions less of upsets. The absence of glaive in the Astralis roster for one, their long-time champion caliber in game leader.”
Astralis will be without their star IGL going into the event. Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander announced he would be stepping back from the starting lineup to focus on his mental health. Jakob “JUGi” Hansen was tapped to fill the hole in the roster. While the group looked okay in the opening DreamHack Masters EU matches, it remains to be seen how they will fair against tougher competition. This is still one of the world’s finest teams however, never to be underestimated.
Shields is expecting that some of the younger and less experienced players and teams could thrive now that the event is all online. He says the being at home and not on the stage of a packed arena will help those younger players feel more at ease.
“Playing online means you remove a lot of the psychological considerations of playing offline in a stadium environment,” Shields says. “You’re at home or in a comfortable spot. You have no travel and thus no stress or tiredness from moving locations or time zones.
“All of these factors no longer mattering means you can theoretically just play and show your everyday level,” he adds.
Canadian esports caster Connor “Scrawny” Girvan doesn’t expect to see too many upsets coming out of the tournament. With only three qualifying spots, he says there’s a few favorites to book their tickets to the finals later in June.
“I think it’s less likely there will be upsets in the European Showdown. There may be interesting outcomes between the contenders, but both Astralis and fnatic should qualify for certain. Even with the third spot up for grabs, there are clear favourites – Vitality, NiP, and mousesports.”
BLAST Spring Showdown predictions: Americas
Girvan expects the American side of things to be more of a slugfest than the European competition. Tournament favorites could easily be ousted if they’re not prepared, he says.
“I’m setting high expectations for FURIA, Gen.G and Cloud9. There’s a possibility all three could qualify, but it depends whether Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves have managed to adapt to online competition.”
O’Toole says Evil Geniuses could be one of the most susceptible teams in the event for an upset. While the team is the #3 squad in the Americas behind Team Liquid and Furia, they’ve seen some struggles online as of late. EG has had a 3-5 record over the past month of online play after finishing second in ESL Pro League.
“I think Evil Geniuses are far weaker than their world ranking (8th), and also seemingly having an identity crisis as far as their game is concerned,” O’Toole says.
When asked if there could be a team who’d step up to be America’s sweetheart in this event, Shields gave an answer that will make many NA fans happy. He picked the ever popular Cloud 9 and the upstart Gen.G as two teams to look for.
“The best chances for it are Cloud9 and Gen.G. [C9] has a nice core who work hard but just haven’t proven able to perform at an elite level thus far,” he says. “[Gen.G] have really nice individual names but haven’t really shown the killer instinct I’d want from that talent stack.”
“C9 are the up and comers and battling hard to earn what they’re getting. Gen.G have some of the nicest guys in the scene and strong individual games, so if they catch fire I could see them attracting some of the old C9 fans their way.”
With some of the regions best teams all gathering for an online brawl, it’s looking like a weekend where anyone could beat anyone. O’Toole says the unexpected nature of the NA scene is sure to make for some intense matchups that could change the regional hierarchy in a big way.
“The hierarchy that was once dominated without a doubt by Liquid and EG has crumbled. Neither of those teams seems nearly as intimidating. Gen.G has the roster on paper to compete with both of them, but don’t yet have experience/cohesion together,” he says.
“Cloud9 has a really interesting lineup with an emerging star player in Ricky “floppy” Kemery. Joshua “Steel” Nissan has Chaos rising up the ranks, good for an upset but starting to change opinion that perhaps there is more depth than simply an upset team.”
“All this is before we get to MIBR, a nebulous squad that nobody knows where to place with another roster change, and Furia, the best squad from Brazil. So literally all of those matchups excite me because there’s a power vacuum at the moment in the region,” O’Toole adds.
BLAST Spring Showdown starts soon
The online event will take place this week, with both the American and European showdowns starting on June 1. The events will be jam packed with some of the best talent the regions have to offer. Only three teams from each region can make it to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals.
Stay tuned to SQUAD for more coverage of BLAST and the CS:GO pro scene.