BLAST Premier Spring Groups Stage
The first Tier 1 tournament of the 2023 CS GO season is officially well underway, hosted in Copenhagen with the BLAST Premier Spring Groups Stage. A total of 12 teams will meet in group stage plus the play-in stage, with all hoping to reach the coveted top 6 spot that would award them a guaranteed place at the Spring Final Stage.
The event started with some incredible matches, such as the unexpected surprise of Evil Geniuses upsetting the recently high-ranked Heroic lineup, thanks to a comeback push after a tough first map defeat on their respective map pick. To finish out an exciting day 1, Vitality and Astralis battle head to head in a meetup of the well known 3 time Major champions Astralis roster, however this time around it was Vitality who managed to come out on top with 2 incredibly close map wins on Overpass and Inferno.
The schedule then became bigger going into game 2, starting with a 3 matches per day format. Thanks to this change we were able to enjoy even more incredible gameplay, including a stand-in superb performance.
It is easy to see that the last couple of weeks have been tough for FaZe, especially finding their 5th player to enter the BLAST event with a full lineup. Both Håvard “rain” Nygaard and head coach Robert “RobbaN” Dahlström were not able to attend the tournament due to personal reasons, the team was later informed that their potential signing of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke was not legal under the ruleset, and reportedly Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer Gustafsson didn’t know he was still listed as a substitute when approached by FaZe.
Nevertheless, 2 days before the deadline, FaZe was able to bring in ex Complexity and Ninjas in Pyjamas player Patrick “es3tag” Hansen. Barely arriving in time for their match against Complexity, he was able to put on an absolute dominant performance against his former organization. His best plays came in the map Overpass, as he managed to accrue a massive total of 31 kills compared to only 9 deaths. This talent showcase was good enough for HLTV to put a player rating over 2.0 for the first time in his career.
An outstanding substitute performance could be the key for es3tag’s future squad search. Last year for FaZe, Justin “jks” Savage was in a similar situation, where he was called as a stand-in for FaZe at IEM Katowice, he helped the squad win the event and immediately buffed his market value. Soon after, he signed a starter deal with G2 Esports to path his career into a better spot.
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