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Esports: CS:GO BLAST Premier World Final Thursday matches

The action in the Counter Strike: Global Offensive BLAST Premier World Final is moving at a fast pace and there are more games taking place on Thursday.

The eight-team S-Tier event is the pinnacle of the CS:GO BLAST Premier season with the winning side set to take home $500,000 of the $1 million prize pool.

Teams qualified for the tournament through performances in Majors such as the IEM Rio or the ESL Pro League, while others advanced thanks to their positions on the Global Leaderboard.

The eight teams were split into two groups with the top three in each section advancing to the knockout phase and Group A is all but concluded with G2 Esports finishing third and securing a quarter-final berth and Outsiders finishing bottom of the pile of a 0-2 record.

FaZe Clan and Team Liquid, meanwhile, are battling it out for top spot in the group.

The other two games on Thursday are in Group B with Heroic and Natus Vincere squaring up in the elimination match and OG and Team Vitality clashing in the winners match.

Heroic can dig deep for key group win

What: Heroic vs Natus Vincere
Where: Abu Dhabi
When: 12:00, Thursday 15th December 2022
How to watch: DAZN / bet365 Live Streaming
Odds: Heroic 5/4, Natus Vincere 4/7

These are two big sides to be involved in an elimination match and it will come as a shock to see either outfit bow out so early in the tournament.

Natus Vincere remain one of the biggest names in the Esports, having won each of the last two BLAST Premier World Finals as well as the BLAST Premier Spring Final back in June this year.

But they have not exactly been a picture of consistency in 2022, failing to make much of an impression in season 16 of the ESL Pro League, having fallen to defeat against G2 Esports in the quarter-finals.

And they exited at the same stage in the recent BLAST Premier Fall Finals, losing 2-1 to Ninjas In Pyjamas, suggesting their aura of invincibility from early in the season has fully worn off.

Those in the know may therefore have expected a setback in the BLAST Premier World Final and Vitality battled well to beat NAVI 2-0 with wins on Inferno and Nuke.

As for Heroic, it was arguably more of a shock to see them lose their opener given the Danish side reached the final of the IEM Rio and then went one better at the recent BLAST Premier Fall Final, winning the title.

But their opening defeat to OG was only marginal with the teams level after Inferno and Mirage and OG only just edged the final map - Anubis - 22-19 after overtime.

That game could have easily gone the other way and Heroic should not be too downbeat. They are worth chancing at 5/4 to bounce back with a win against Natus Vincere.

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Vitality can make class and experience count

What: OG vs Team Vitality
Where: Abu Dhabi
When: 15:00, Thursday 15th December 2022
How to watch: DAZN / bet365 Live Streaming
Odds: OG 7/4, Team Vitality 2/5

Few would have predicted the winners match in this group would feature OG and Team Vitality but both teams are there on merit.

Team Vitality are nine places above OG in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings and the French outfit are big hitters in the Esport with Dan "apEX" Madesclaire an iconic in-game leader.

It feels like a distant memory now given the action in the IEM Rio Major and other BLAST events but Vitality were champions of season 16 of the ESL Pro League earlier this season, beating Outsiders, G2 Esports and Team Liquid in the playoffs on their way to the title.

They also topped their section with a 5-0 record, finishing above the likes of Fnatic and Natus Vincere, and qualified for the BLAST Premier World Final as a result of their performance in that tournament.

As for OG, the most success they have had this season beyond simply qualifying for this event was when they finished runners-up in the SteelSeries Nova Invitational back in August.

They were pushed a lot harder in their opening Group B match against Heroic and Vitality look about right at 2/5 to win this one.

However, punters can squeeze more value out of that result by backing Vitality to win 2-0 at 11/8.

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