BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021

In the middle of February the tournament operator BLAST revealed details of the elimination competition for Spring Showdown which is planned for April. The matches were held from 19 till 28 March in five regions. Apart from a slot at the championship, the winners got $25,000 each. Spring Showdown is a transitional tournament for 16 teams that will be fighting for $160,000, and two strongest teams will get a ticket to Spring Finals where the prize pool will consist of $425,000. The championship will happen in the middle of April.

Rules and Contestants

Sixteen teams will be fighting at the playoff in the single-elimination format. All matches will be held up to two wins (Bo3). The losing team will have to leave immediately. 9th-16th places will get $3,750 each, 5th-8th — $10,000 (312.5 points), and 3rd and 4th place — $16,250 (625 points). Two strongest teams will gain a reward of $30,000, and also a direct slot to Spring Finals and 1250 points. Six rosters got to the tournament after they got 7th-12th position at the previous event Spring Groups:

Three more teams got direct invitations: FURIA, Gambit, Heroic. The other seven participants got to the tournament through regional qualifiers. There is Endpoint, Dignitas, SAW, Team Spirit, Extra Salt, 9z Team, and NASR among them. Such strong teams as Natus Vincere or Complexity Gaming will not participate in the tournament as they have already made it to the main event Spring Finals.

Who Will Win Spring Showdown?

The participants in the tournament are both clear favourites and underdogs that are capable of surprising them with their performance at the playoff. For starters, let us take a look at the teams that got their slots thanks to Spring Groups. Despite the fact that Astralis is in Top-5 Teams according to HLTV 2021, the team does not seem such a dangerous opponent. They are favourites for sure but the players can lose a battle with BIG who have already beaten them this year.

Among those who got direct invitations, we should take a closer look to Gambit Esports. The Russian team has greatly improved lately. At ESL Pro League Season 13 the players defeated “Born to Win” and finished the group stage without a single loss. On 8 April, they are going to meet with Astralis. Experts lean towards the Danish team, the odds say the same. This is their first battle this year, the match is definitely going to be interesting, and the winner is likely to be known at the very last moment.

The teams that gained slots at the regional qualifiers fade in contrast to the other reputable rosters. But one of them deserves special attention — this is the Russian roster Team Spirit. At the moment the players hold seventh place in the HLTV rating. The statistics of matches in 2021 is close to 100% winrate, they were beaten twice only by Gambit. Their success at the start depends on the first opponent in the playoff. If it is not a strong team, Team Spirit will be able to advance to Top-5. Astralis or Gambit Esports can be their problems on their way to the desired cup.

Conclusion

All participants in the tournament have already been announced, now we only have to wait for a draft that will define the opponents and give us a picture of the first results. The event is to be held online, so the audience will not see the teams on stage. The operators are still afraid to gather everyone together in one place due to the coronavirus risks. But the game is already afoot in another esports discipline. The first Dota 2 major is happening in the LAN format, even though not with the best circumstances. In the future we should expect more offline CS:GO tournaments too.