BLAST Premier: BIG surprises Astralis, Heroic defeats NaVi

BLAST Premier: BIG surprises Astralis, Heroic defeats NaVi

17. July 2023 by Andrew Williams

The excitement in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023 continues. Heroic, the current #1 player in the world according to the HLTV World Rankings, has qualified for the Group B Grand Final after a stunning 2-0 victory over NaVi.

There is no doubt that this was one of the most anticipated matches of this tournament as it was the true test for NaVi’s new line-up. However, all indications are that the team’s synergy and team play are not solid at the moment, as they were beaten down in every aspect.

In the other group match, BIG prevailed over Astralis to remain in the lower bracket of Group B. On the other hand, Astralis is the second team to be eliminated from the tournament. Let’s take a look at what happened on the last day of BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023.

Heroic defeats NaVi and qualifies for group finals

There is no doubt that Heroic proves their high level of play in top tournaments every time they can. This time it was NaVi’s turn to suffer the consequences of a team with Martin “stavn” Lund in top form.

The match started on Mirage, the map picked by NaVi, where Casper “cadiaN” Mรธller showed all his talent and led his team to victory. Heroic started very strong in the first half, winning 9-6, and everything seemed to indicate that NaVi would be able to stop Heroic’s onslaught, which is why they chose this map to play. But cadiaN overcame each of NaVi’s defensive approaches and led Heroic to a 16-9 victory.

Then on the second map, Inferno, stavn became the hero for Heroic as he had impressive stats of 124.5 ADR and a 1.70 rating. In the first half and on the T-side, Heroic made a big sweep and got a partial win with 11-4. Then NaVi tried to wake up with six rounds won at the change of sides, but it was not enough and they eventually lost 10-16.

BIG does a reverse sweep against Astralis

The second match of the day was a fierce battle between BIG and Astralis, ending with a reverse sweep by the Germans to stay in the tournament. The BO3 started on Anubis, the map picked by BIG, where the Danish team Astralis, led by Johannes “b0RUP” Borup, showed an impressive level of play. In the first half, Astralis was very strong, stopping the German attacks and taking a 9-6 halftime lead. After the change of sides, they gave BIG a hard time and won with a comfortable 16-8.

On the second map, Ancient, things changed radically, as BIG managed to get the win and even the series 1-1. After a tight first half that ended 8-7 in favor of BIG, Astralis showed many weaknesses on their CT side and was defeated by the Germans. In the end, BIG won 16:10 and stays alive in the series.

On the last and decisive map, Overpass, we finally got to experience a game full of intensity and emotions. But once again we could see that the teams on the T-side of Overpass are very well prepared, which was not the case before. In the first half, BIG managed to record a narrow victory (on the T-side) with 8:7. Then at the change of sides Astralis showed that their offensive side is also very strong, but BIG’s defense was able to stop them well, so in the end they won 16:14.