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Esports: BLAST Premier Spring Groups

We are reaching the business end of the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, with two more matches coming up on Tuesday.

The top-two at the tournament will advance to the Spring Final, so there is plenty at stake.

The losers of Tuesday’s match will fall into round one of the Knockout Stage, making qualification for Spring Final even trickier. Evil Geniuses will take on Heroic in a game many have already written off, while OG and Liquid lock horns for a second time at the tournament.

WhatEvil Geniuses v Heroic, BLAST Premier Spring
WhereOnline
WhenTuesday 24th January 2023
How to watchYouTube, Twitch
OddsEvil Geniuses 11/2, Heroic 1/10

As the number one team in the world, no-one expected Heroic to be in the consolidation final at BLAST Premier Spring. Having underwhelmed a touch at BLAST World Final, the Danes have struggled to bounce back at Spring Groups so far.

They are in this position thanks to a previous meeting with Evil Geniuses, where the North Americans caused a huge shock to kick off the 2023 season. Going into the game as huge outsiders, Heroic decimated them on their pick of Inferno 16-7, and the game looked set to be a forgone conclusion.

That was not the case, however, as Evil Geniuses bounced back with a narrow 16-14 win on Ancient and won Overpass by the same scoreline to cause a monumental upset.

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They were brought back to earth with a bang by Vitality in their most recent match, however, losing Overpass 16-11 and Inferno by a 16-1 scoreline. That will not have done their confidence any good and Heroic were dominant in their most recent match against Astralis.

They lost the opening map 16-10, but Heroic took the next two maps (Mirage and Vertigo) 16-4, easily putting away their Danish rivals. The whole squad played their part in that reverse sweep and they will certainly have the wind in their sails.

As the odds suggest, another upset from Evil Geniuses is very unlikely. There was no fluke to the previous encounter, but Heroic are the stronger and more consistent side who can be expected to win this handsomely.

WhatOG v Team Liquid, BLAST Premier Spring
WhereOnline
WhenTuesday 24th January 2023
How to watchYouTube, Twitch
OddsOG 11/8, Team Liquid 8/15

The second match of the day is another rematch, with round two of OG and Team Liquid at BLAST Premier Spring.

OG were one of the surprise packages at the end of 2022, with their presence at BLAST Premier World Final widely criticised due to their standing in the world rankings. They silenced the doubters with a third-fourth finish, defeating Heroic and Vitality before an eventual defeat to Team Liquid in the semi-final.

Ironically, the sides met again to kick off this tournament, with OG reversing the form of the World Final in no uncertain terms. It was a 2-0 success for the International roster, with a heroic performance by their in-game leader nexa helping them record a comfortable success.

FaZe proved a bridge too far for them in the upper-bracket final, but they made the game highly competitive and it is clear to see that OG have made giant strides in recent months.

Team Liquid leapt up to third in the world rankings with their grand final appearance at World Final, a run that saw them defeat Major winners Outsiders, Natus Vincere and OG before a 2-0 defeat to G2.

They were unable to keep up the form with OG in that aforementioned encounter, but a dismantling of regional rivals Complexity in their most recent match shows they are still motoring along at present.

Outstanding performances from NAF, EliGE and YEKINDAR stood out against Complexity and they will need those three components on the top of their game once more if they are to gain revenge here.

nexa was unplayable in the previous meeting between these sides, posting a 1.31 HLTV Rating, but that fragging power was absent against FaZe last time. OG need him to be stepping up to the plate once more, while degster is another who underperformed against FaZe and needs to improve.

With that in mind, it is more than plausible that OG secure another victory over Liquid. Although degster was below form against FaZe, his matchup against Broky was no easy task and he might find things slightly calmer against oSee.

Liquid have plenty of firepower themselves, but they have been too reliant on the consistently strong performances of NAF. It is not always a given that he is backed up by EliGE and YEKINDAR, giving a small edge to OG, who can be backed at odds-against in a very close encounter.

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