With the dust having only just settled on Season 17 of the ESL Pro League, the next major Counter Strike: Global Offensive event is upon us - the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown EU.
Earlier this season, the BLAST Premier Spring Groups took place with six of the 12 teams competing advancing to the prestigious BLAST Premier Spring Finals which take place later in the year.
But for those who did not qualify, there is still another chance to reach the finals, with the last two spots set to be filled by the winners of the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown EU and BLAST Premier Spring Showdown AME.
On Tuesday, the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, which is a straight knockout event, gets underway with the first two quarter-finals - Ninjas in Pyjamas vs OG and Cloud9 vs Copenhagen Flames.
The other quarter-finals in the event are between Rare Atom and BIG and Fnatic and 9INE.
The BLAST Premier Spring Finals are set to take place in Washington DC later this June.
|What||Ninjas in Pyjamas vs OG|
|When||15.30pm, Wednesday 29th March 2023|
|How to watch||DAZN|
|Odds||Ninjas in Pyjamas -175, OG +125|
It has been a slow start to 2023 from Ninjas in Pyjamas, who failed to reach the playoffs in Season 17 of the ESL Pro League and placed 10th-12th positions in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023.
As a result of the latter, they must now compete in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown EU to stand a chance of making the BLAST Premier Spring Finals and first up in the quarter-finals for them is OG.
Fortunately for Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG have also had a tough time of it recently and, although they finished a little better off in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups in the 7th-9th positions, they were the worse team in the recent ESL Pro League, having actually lost 2-0 to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the lower-bracket semi-finals.
It is therefore perhaps no surprise to see Ninjas in Pyjamas rated -175 favourites to come out on top when these sides meet again with OG priced at +125.
Ultimately, though, there is not a lot between these teams - Ninjas in Pyjamas are 20th in the HLTV world rankings and OG are 15th - and neither are in good enough form to warrant backing.
The winner of this tie will go on to face either Cloud9 or Copenhagen Flames in the first BLAST Premier Spring Showdown EU semi-final but rather than opt for a match winner, punters should back this one to go the distance with over 2.5 maps a good bet at -120.
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|What||Cloud9 vs Copenhagen Flames|
|When||18.30pm, Wednesday 29th March 2023|
|How to watch||DAZN|
|Odds||Cloud9 -1200, Copenhagen Flames +600|
While the clash between Ninjas in Pyjamas and OG is a tough one to call, Cloud9 are long odds-on to win their respective quarter-final with Copenhagen Flames.
That is hardly surprising given Cloud9's recent showing in the ESL Pro League.
In Season 17 of the event, Cloud9 firstly stormed Group A, defeating Evil Geniuses, G2 Esports and Outsiders to top their section, meaning they would start the playoffs in the quarter-finals.
And from there they continued to impress, racking up successive 2-1 wins over MOUZ and ENCE to reach the Grand Final.
Unfortunately for fans of Cloud9, it was there that their journey came to an end as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat to FaZe Clan, but a runner-up spot was still greater than many would have anticipated from them.
They are now seventh in the HLTV world rankings and are +110 favourites in the outright market for the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown EU, ahead of the likes of Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
They should at least make the final and in their opener against Copenhagen Flames, a 2-0 win looks the most likely outcome, although that only offers odds of -225.
Instead, punters may want to consider a bet on Cloud9 at -12.5 on the rounds handicap at -110.
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