BLAST Premier – BIG loses, FaZe convincing, NaVi with close win

BLAST Premier – BIG loses, FaZe convincing, NaVi with close win

15. July 2023 by Andrew Williams

BIG clearly lost their debut with the new line-up at BLAST Premier Fall 2023 against Heroic. FaZe had little problems with OG, who now have Nils ‘k1to’ Gruhne playing for them and who otherwise have a completely new team. NaVi, with its three new players, was on shaky ground at first, but then caught itself and beat Astralis 2-1 in the end.

At the BLAST Premier Fall, we are seeing a lot of organizations with completely new, or partially new squads. The first test runs in an actually quite important tournament are of course mega interesting for all those who deal with CS:GO and yesterday two German representatives went directly into the race: BIG and their ex-player k1to with his new team, OG.

BIG loses clearly against Heroic

The super young team of BIG, who have with David ‘prosus’ Hesse, Elias ‘s1n’ Stein and Karim ‘Krimbo’ Moussa directly three players from the Academy, or ex-Academy in the team and wanted to strengthen themselves with the newcomer Mateusz ‘mantuu’ Wilczewski, did not have a good debut.

Heroic was, as expected, too strong an opponent for the completely new team. The Danes are also one of the few organizations that didn’t make any changes in the player break, why should they, their guys consistently performed well. This was also reflected on the server.

On the Mappick of BIG Heroic started already with a 10:5 lead as CT, although BIG could win the Pistol not much went after that. The second round was already given away by the Germans and cadiaN and Co. pulled away. The final score was a sobering 16:7 with BIG failing to win more than two rounds in a row.

After the first map went so easily, Heroic went straight on like that, grabbing 8 rounds on Inferno, only interrupted in places by BIG not getting in on the CT side. But at the end of the half time there was a ray of hope: tabseN and his boys took 4 rounds in a row, maybe this could be a comeback?

But the hope of the fans was quickly shattered again when Heroic not only won the Pistol in the 2nd half, but directly 6 rounds without an answer from BIG. In the end, the Berliners managed to score even once on the T-side. Heroic walked off the server with a 16:8 score.

NaVi’s test run against Astralis

The Ukrainian organization made big roster moves in the player break , among others IGL electronic and perfecto left the team. The question was whether the new mix could work at all. While Astralis also made two changes, they were left with more of the core team and therefore everyone expected an exciting match.

The first map started disastrously for Natus Vincere, Benjamin ‘blameF’ Bremer was in a good mood and delivered mega, although he is now the in-game leader of Astralis. Due to the strong T-side on which they got 10 of the last 11 rounds, the Danes secured a great starting position and finished the map as CT with a sovereign 16:8 and that despite the two lost Pistolrounds!

Whether Astralis would now march through to 2-0 was the big question. At least Nuke was the pick of NaVi and so there was the hope to get to the decider. And so it should come, Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev left no doubt about his form and dominated the map. Astralis saw no cuts and was swept 16:6 from the server. So it went to the 3rd map, Overpass!

Here both teams were on the same level and you could see that both teams suffered from lack of preparation on the previous maps. At first it looked like a clear cut game as NaVi marched straight to a massive 12-3 half time score as T’s, normally on Overpass that should mean a quick end to the opposition. Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz and blameF had other plans though and put in a mighty effort, unfortunately it still wasn’t quite enough for overtime as after 7 rounds without an intermission Natus Vincere regained control and ended the game 16:12.

Especially the youngsters from Astralis had problems to get into the game and both Christian ‘Buzz’ Andersen and Johannes ‘b0RUP’ Borup didn’t get more than 36 kills in the whole BO3, something that definitely has to change in the future.

FaZe against new OG

The completely new OG had to play directly against FaZe, who had no departures except for their coach. Similar to the match between BIG and Heroic, the balance of power was clear.

Nevertheless, OG could make a really good figure on the first map and lets hope for the future, they brought Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen and his people quite a sweat. OG went into halftime with a 9-6 lead, certainly something the Danish in-game leader of FaZe was anything but happy about. Fortunately, he and his team managed to play an even more dominant T-side and they took the map 16-14. Victory is victory.

Things were a little different on Mirage. FaZe started well, then briefly let go of the reins on the T-side and allowed a mini-comeback on the part of OG to the 8:7 intermediate score. After the change of ends FaZe took control of the match and OG could only win two more rounds, the final score of 16:9 was ungrateful for OG, but calmed the minds of the FaZe fans.

So now it’s do or die for BIG and OG, if they lose another match they are out of the BLAST Premier Fall Groupstage! They play again on Sunday, 16.07.23 at about 18:30 for BIG and on Monday at 18:30 for OG. Today it continues with G2 vs Liquid and the next games from group A, Vitality vs Complexity and EG vs NiP.