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BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 Tournament Preview and Team Power Rankings




Pavo Jurkic
in CS:GO | Apr, 12th 2021

The ESL Pro League Season 13 is all over! We have crowned our winners, Heroic, following a marvelous five-map thriller that went to two overtimes, one of which was a proper record-breaker. But, things will settle down in the next few days, just in time for another major CSGO competition, BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021.

And, mind you, we’re not just talking about any tournament here. True, Showdown might not be the biggest, most lucrative contest in CSGO, but it does bear a ton of importance. You see, the Spring Showdown will reward the two best teams with direct tickets for the upcoming Spring Finals. That’s what’s on the line here, that’s what every single one of these 16 teams has in their crosshair.

BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 | Interesting Facts

  • BLAST Premier Spring Showdown starts on Tuesday, April 13 and runs through Sunday, April 18.
  • The contest has two separate brackets. The winner of each qualifies for the upcoming Finals.
  • The total prize pool amounts to $162,500, $30,000 of which goes to each winning team.
  • All matches in both single-elimination brackets are scheduled for best of three contests.

Tournament Format

As mentioned earlier, BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 is set to feature two single-elimination brackets. They are in no way connected; the winners don’t play against each other in a bo5 grand finals as we’ve seen on ESL Pro League. No, sir; each bracket winner gets $30,000 and a ticket to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals. It’s as simple as that! The best three scenarios are set from start to finish, with the first round starting on Tuesday at noon.

Power Rankings | First Showdown Bracket

Here are the opening-round matchups of the first BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 bracket:

  • Astralis vs. OG
  • Endpoint vs. G2
  • Spirit vs. Extra Salt
  • Dignitas vs. Liquid

One thing is certain right off the bat – the winner of this bracket lies in the first two matches. It’s either Astralis or G2, which means the one of two BLAST Premier Spring finalists should be decided in the second round here.

Of course, Spirit and Liquid’s likes will fancy their chances, but we all know how much Astralis need to qualify for this one. However, we also know how much upset-friendly this competition has been so far. Teams will have to proceed with caution here.

Astralis are the obvious favorites here! Even though they experienced an early exit on the recently finished ESL Pro League S13, they’re still regarded as one of the best teams out there. You know how they say – form is temporary, class is permanent. Well, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that the Great Danes are nothing but the epitome of CSGO class!

Device and the boys’ form isn’t the greatest, though! They did have a blast in late 2020 but failed to transition it to early 2021. The second-place finish on BLAST Premier Global Final in late January is the best they’ve shown this year. That major playoff run was followed by three miserable outings, including the BLAST Premier Spring group stage. The Great Danes need to turn a new page here; that goes without saying.

Xyp9x is the player everyone expects more of in this tournament. He hasn’t been at his best over the last few months, and his lack of composure shows in the results. Without xyp9x’s clutch potential and dueling ability, Astralis can’t keep winning match in and match out. One thing is certain; they’ll need Xyp9x to step up if they are to swing past G2 and clinch Spring Finals tickets.

G2 are the dark horses in this portion of the bracket! NiKo and the boys aren’t the direct favorites with Astralis onboard, but they’ll be fancying their chances in the opening round. However, I don’t think Endpoint will go down without a fight. Plus, G2 didn’t play all that well last time they faced against heavy underdogs, so things could get fiery here.

NiKo, nexa, huNter – G2 fans better hope their marvelous trio steps up for the challenge in the opening round. If they do, chances are they’re going into a direct battle for the Spring Finals in the second round. Yessir, Astralis vs. G2 is the match that will decide things in this portion of the bracket… Yep, I’ve said it, and I’m not taking it back. Liquid/OG/Spirit will be in an uphills struggle no matter who they go up against in the grand finals.

Team Liquid has high hopes from this contest! They desperately need to get their hands on some silverware. A spot in the Spring Finals seems like the perfect occasion! EliGE and the boys in blue had solid success thus far this year. Fourth place on BLAST Premier Global Finals, semifinal finishes on DH Open NA and IEM XV World Championship. True, they had a massive mishap on ESL Pro League S13, and that’s just a different reason why they need to rise to the challenge this week.

It won’t be easy, though. As stated earlier, it’s going to be an uphill struggle. Perhaps not right off the bat nor in the second round. But, cometh the final round, cometh the problems. Astralis or G2 will be the favorites; there’s no doubt about that!

If Liquid wants to reign supreme, they’ll need to display impeccable consistency throughout the bracket. Plus, they’ll have to broaden their map pool to contest G2 and Astralis on maps they typically opt for. Team Liquid isn’t exactly in a mission impossible scenario here, but it will require all five of their starters to play at 130%.

OG and Team Spirit

OG can’t keep up with the rising stars in Europe! As soon as they win a match or two, they end up getting stomped and going back to square one. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle that must be frustrating for everyone involved. Heck, the last time OG managed to string together more than two consecutive wins was back in early December. Long story short, I can’t see them doing anything noteworthy against Astralis, meaning they’ll get eliminated right off the bat.

As for Team Spirit, they might even be the true dark horse here; if we’re not counting G2, that is! They’re going up against Extra Salt in the first round, a matchup that shouldn’t cause too many problems. Assuming they go through, Liquid or Dignitas will be their second-round opponents, which will be a proper thriller. With a bit of luck and another one of mir’s inspiring displays, we could see Spirit venture into the finals against the better of G2 vs. Astralis. 

Power Rankings | Second Showdown Bracket

What about the second bracket? Well, it’s quite packed too. We have Vitality, Heroic, FURIA, and Gambit. Given how these teams have been playing recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a rerun of ESL Pro League S13 here. It would be a fine way to cement the final.

Team Vitality

Even though Team Vitality is often labeled as one of the best CSGO teams globally, they’re not the favorites in this BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 bracket. Heck, they’re not even the main contenders. I’m not blowing things out of proportion here, fellas. Heroic and Gambit are the favorites here because, you know, they played in the grand finals of ESL Pro League last Sunday.

I honestly think Vitality is going to be a big flop here. Heck, they might even wreck themselves in the opener against 9z Team. That would be a massive upset; it would be the talking point of all CSGO news outlets for the whole week. Even if they do end up in the second round, though, I honestly doubt they’ll contest Heroic. The Danes are on a whole different level right now, and Vitality won’t be able to reach it!

That is unless ZywOo goes back into beast mode and deals with the insurgents. He hasn’t been terrible over the last few months, but he’s missing the usual brilliance we’ve begun to associate with him. The stats are there, but the flair is missing. If he finds it against 9z, and that’s not an impossible scenario, things might not be all that bleak for the Frenchmen.

Yep, Heroic are champions of the 13th ESL Pro League season. They clutched their way through to the title, defeating Gambit in what was one of the most thrilling bo5 grand finals in recent times. Such a feat will be difficult to repeat. Heroic has won two major titles so far this year. Who says they can’t make it three on the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Finals?

Of course, they first have to snatch one of the two remaining tickets. Beating SAW in the opening round should be a straightforward task for the Danes. However, The Frenchmen in the second round ought to be far from that. The same goes for whoever ends up winning the lower portion of the bracket, be it Gambit or FURIA.

However, we can’t help but give Heroic the benefit of the doubt here. After all, they’re on a nine-match winning streak and look comfortable going forward. There’s not a single in-form player here, but an in-form collective as a whole. Heroic is leading the charge for international CSGO right now, and we have to point them out as the favorites here.

Can FURIA come close to reach its 2020 heights again? Well, their ESL Pro League S13 campaigns announced better things to come. Before that, they were terrible on five straight events. Can they use the last event to their advantage and come out with even more competitive displays? Can they take things up a notch and try to retrieve their long-lost form?

Despite the roster alteration, KSCAERATO and yuurih are still the best of what FURIA has to offer. The duo magnifico is the main source of their fragging ability and their critical round-winning machinery. Without these two, FURIA would fall apart right away.

Realistically, though, what are FURIA’s chances of enjoying a successful BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 campaign? First off, let’s define a successful campaign – it’s the qualification for Spring Finals. Real talk here, FURIA has a decent shot! Assuming they beat their Brazilian brethren from MIBR, they’re likely to go up against Gambit and either Heroic or Vitality in the final round. Long story short, FURIA’s path to the Spring Finals is difficult, but not impossible!

Lastly, ESL Pro League S13 grand finalists, Gambit! I was certain ax1le, and the Gambit boys would clinch the title in the end. But, following two maps lost on overtime, the clutch masters themselves couldn’t clutch the key rounds to swing the match in their favor. This here is a brand-new competition. Gambit could get a sweet taste of revenge sooner than they had expected.

Gambit’s starting roster doesn’t need too much introduction. Ax1le and sh1ro are have been at the forefront of everything good that’s been happening to Gambit since the Youngsters’ promotion. Three solid players back them. Consistency is proving to be their vital strength, alongside superb clutching potential hiding in the duo above.

How many of you would love to see Gambit square off against Heroic in the final round here? I, for one, would love it. If we’re realistic here, it’s likely to happen. Of course, upsets are bound to happen somewhere, meaning nothing is guaranteed.

That’d be all from our BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 preview! Less than 24 hours separate us from the start; fingers crossed we’re in for another spectacular CSGO competition!

As always, thank you for reading!

We hope to see you again soon.

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Zain wins Slippi Champions League S2 week four, first players qualify for Smash Summit 11




The second season of the Slippi Champions League came to a close today, setting the stage for a return to offline Super Smash Bros. Melee competition at Smash Summit 11 in July. 

Zain Naghmi continued his dominant run from SCL Season One, winning two of the four weeks over the likes of Wizzrobe, Mang0, and iBDW, including the final week with a 3-0 bracket reset win over Mang0. 

Over four weeks, there were three different winners for SCL Season Two, with Mang0 winning week one, Wizzrobe took his first SCL division one win during week three, and Zain cleaned things up in weeks two and four. In the context of Smash Summit 11, only week four’s results were taken into account, with the top six players earning a spot at what could be the first big Melee LAN event in over a year. 

In order of placement from SCL season two week four, here are all six players that made the cut for the next Summit.

  • Zain
  • Mang0
  • SFAT
  • iBDW
  • Plup
  • moky

Zain, Mang0, and iBDW were the top three finishers from Smash Summit 10, so it is fitting that they are three of the first to earn a spot in the event. 

Additionally, both Leffen and aMSA received direct invites to Smash Summit 11 as the top players from their respective regions. This will be the first time either player has competed in a major Melee event outside of Europe and Japan respectively since Smash Summit Nine in early 2020. 

The remaining eight players attending the event will be decided in typical Summit fashion, with two qualifying through other events and six invited based on a crowdfunding campaign. 

More details about the crowdfunding contest will be shared soon, but the qualifier spots will be given to the winners of Rollback Rumble: The Big One and the player with the most points from the SAME Circuit, which is an EU event. 

Smash Summit 11 will run from July 15 to 18 at the Beyond The Summit studios in Los Angeles and is currently slated to be an offline competition, though that is still subject to change if anything unexpected happens. The event will be themed after the Olympics and more information will be released in the near future.

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Triumph, TeamOne secure final cs_summit 8 closed qualifier spots




Triumph and TeamOne have claimed victory in the second cs_summit 8 open qualifier, besting Third Impact and Imperial, respectively, to earn the final spots in the closed stage which will run from May-14-18 and offer four spots in the North American Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event.

After easing through the early stages of the bracket, Alan “⁠Shakezullah⁠” Hardeman‘s side faced strong contention from SKDC in the first best-of-three round, managing to narrowly secure a victory in two maps to meet Imperial for a spot in the closed stage.

The Brazilian roster had fallen early on in the previous qualifier, and despite mustering a better run this time around, they were unable to prevail over Triumph, who opened the series strong with a Mirage win before bouncing back from losing their map pick by edging out a 16-13 win on Nuke to advance.

Cooper was the highest-rated player for Triumph against Imperial

TeamOne, who suffered a similar fate to their countrymen in their last qualifier bid, were able to claim redemption for themselves as they fought past Party Astronauts in a three-map series, and wasted little time in securing their closed qualifier spot by trouncing Third Impact 16-5 on Inferno and Nuke in the ensuing round.

Four spots at cs_summit 8 will be up for grabs through the closed qualifier, which will also mark the return of Extra Salt and paiN to North America, as well as GODSENT‘s first appearance in the region after playing in Europe for the first portion of the year.

The complete team list for the closed qualifier consists of:

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What does Rook’s armor do in Rainbow Six Siege?




Rainbow Six Siege features a diverse cast of operators with different abilities and tools to help their team. Some are tedious and tough to master, while others provide excellent support and are easy to use. Rook, one of the original operators in Siege, is a perfect example of the latter. 

Rook’s armor plates provide an excellent boost to teammates that can make a difference in gunfights. But a lot of players aren’t familiar with what the plates actually do.

Rook can place a bag full of armor plates each round that he and his teammates can pick up. Players can only pick up one armor plate at a time and can grab a plate at any point during a round. 

The plates provide a 20-percent armor boost to the user without penalty, which is an incredible boost for a team. The plates also guarantee players will enter the down-but-not-out stage when damaged instead of instantly dying. But a headshot will still instantly kill a player even if they are wearing Rook’s armor. 

If a player is picked up by a teammate, they will lose the armor plate. But they can pick up another plate if there are plates available. Rook’s Armor Pack can be destroyed by enemies, so avoid waiting long to pick it up. Also, avoid shooting it, since friendly fire can also destroy the pack. 

Rook is an excellent choice for new players because he is available by default and his ability is easy to use. Just ping the armor pack to let your teammates know it is available, and they will have a slight advantage for the rest of the round.

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TOTW 33 Predictions FIFA 21: Who’s Getting in?





FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach – Bundesliga | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

TOTW 33 predictions for FIFA 21 are coming in as fans prepare for yet another Wednesday content drop in Ultimate Team.

Team of the Week cards are more or less irrelevant at this point in the year for actual gameplay. Yes, they’re still required in Squad Building Challenges here and there, but fans are more concerned with what those particular SBCs are and which Team of the Season cards they’re working into their teams. Especially considering TOTS cards replaced TOTW items in FUT Champions rewards at the start of the promotion.

Still, expect EA Sports to eventually release a repeatable TOTW upgrade SBC at some point in the rest of the FUT cycle. Perhaps they’ll even make it 84+ overall.

Here are some favorites for TOTW 33 in FIFA 21:

Expect there to be a decent amount of Premier League players in this TOTW considering the PL TOTS squad just left packs. The headliner of the group should more than likely be Robert Lewandowski. Although, if the Bundesliga TOTS squad is next, he will miss out considering he’ll be featured in that promotion and there cannot be two special versions of him in packs at the same time. Same goes for Sancho.

TOTW 33 will be announced and released May 12 at 1 p.m. ET.

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