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Esports - CS:GO Blast Premier Spring previews

This week marks the return of top-tier action in competitive Counter Strike: Global Offensive with the start of the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023.

The S-Tier event, which has a prize pool of $177,500, is the first major tournament in the CS:GO calendar this season and features the Esport's 12 teams partnered with organisation BLAST.

That includes the likes of FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere and Team Liquid and the top six teams from the competition will progress to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2023, which get underway in June.

The other six teams will then have to go through the Spring Showdown along with non-partnered teams from across the globe.

The event begins with a group stage in which the 12 teams are divided up between three double-elimination groups with the winner of each group automatically securing a finals berth.

The remaining teams will then go on to compete in the play-in stage which will feature three single-elimination gauntlets and the winner of each gauntlet will also make the finals.

Thursday is the first day of action in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 with Group A kicking things off. Heroic firstly take on Evil Geniuses before Team Vitality and Astralis lock horns.

Heroic a value selection to top Group A

WhatHeroic v Evil Geniuses, Blast Premier Spring
WhereCopenhagen, Denmark
When14.00, Thursday 19th January 2023
How to watchBLAST Twitch & YouTube channels
OddsHeroic 1/16, Evil Geniuses 7/1

With experienced figures like Martin "stavn" Lund and Casper "cadiaN" Moller on their roster, Heroic have evolved into one of the fiercest sides on the CS:GO circuit and they go into the BLAST Premier Spring Groups top of the HLTV world CS:GO rankings.

Set to play on home soil in Copenhagen, the Danish outfit could represent a bit of value to win Group A at 11/8 and are 1/16 favourites to get the better of Evil Geniuses in their opener.

They were underwhelming in the BLAST Premier World Final at the end of the year, finishing bottom of their section with two defeats from two matches, but in fairness they were mixing it with the very best of the best.

And although the strength of opposition is clear to see in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups, Heroic should be a cut above their initial opponents, having won the BLAST Premier Fall Final in November and finished as runners-up at the IEM Rio Major in the same month.

The best bet could indeed be backing Heroic to win their group but for those after a bet in this match specifically, opt for Heroic at -12.5 on the rounds handicap at 10/11.

Evil Geniuses are outsiders at 14/1 to win Group A.

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Expect Team Vitality to make their experience count

WhatTeam Vitality v Astralis, Blast Premier Spring
WhereCopenhagen, Denmark
When17.30, Thursday 19th January 2023
How to watchBLAST Twitch & YouTube channels
OddsTeam Vitality 4/7, Astralis 5/4

The other two teams competing in Group A at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups - Team Vitality (11th) and Astralis (18th) - are also in the top 20 in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings and can be dangerous opponents on their day.

Astralis have a pretty settled roster but added 19-year-old Mikkel "MistR" Thomsen to their team during the offseason, while Team Vitality are unchanged from the end of last season.

Of the two, Team Vitality played in the more prestigious events at the back-end of last season and consequently have the edge in experience.

The European outfit featured in the BLAST Premier World Finals 2022 and managed to make it out of their group, having been knocked out by eventual champions G2 Esports in the event's quarter-finals.

They made it to the Legends Stage of the IEM Rio Major beforehand, failing to make the knockouts, but were also champions in season 16 of the ESL Pro League last autumn.

Astralis are definitely a growing side but their last showing of any note was their runners-up finish at the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Europe back in October and they are worth opposing in this one.

Vitality are a good bet at 4/7 but could also represent value at -1.5 on the match handicap at 7/4.

In the outright betting, Team Vitality are 2/1 shots to win Group A, while Astralis can be backed at 5/2 to come out on top in the section.

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