The Winners and Losers of BLAST Spring Groups 2023
The BLAST Spring Groups 2023 have finally concluded, bringing to an end ten days of incredible CS:GO. The 2023 season got off to an explosive start, with teams looking to establish themselves as the team to beat this year.
Pre-tournament, we looked at what players can expect from the BLAST Spring Groups. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we can look at who were the winners and losers of the first CS:GO tournament of the year.
Late drama pre-tournament meant that FaZe had to play with stand-in es3tag on 24 hours’ notice, currently benched by Ninjas in Pyjamas. Three straight wins saw karrigan’s stand-in buff rear its head once again, with es3tag essential to FaZe’s success. No individual at the tournament raised their stock more than the Dane, and don’t be surprised to see him back in Tier 1 CS:GO sooner rather than later.
If the CS:GO tournaments at the end of 2022 didn’t make you a believer, this should. HooXi’s G2 are the real deal. NiKo looks like the best rifler in the world, jks and huNter- remain extremely consistent, and m0NESY is every bit the star AWPer he was touted to be throughout last year. It’s going to be some year for G2, who in current form look truly unbeatable. Expect trophies galore for the roster this year.
How many players get a pistol ace in their first round of competitive CS:GO? Because Buzz did. Question marks over Astralis’ new 19-year old recruit lingered pre-tournament, as they aimed to become amongst the best CS:GO teams once again. While it wasn’t a perfect showing from the team, Buzz did more than enough to show he can be a real problem for enemy teams with more experience. He remains one to watch for the future.
Oh, NAVI. This was supposed to be a comeback for the Ukrainian outfit, who looked lost every time they entered the server. With s1mple still struggling, and new young-gun npl failing to make his mark, it’s hard to think of positives for NAVI at the moment. They scraped by to the BLAST Spring Final 2023, with a skin-of-your-teeth victory over Complexity. It’s a match they would have won comfortably in the last few years, and they need to improve fast.
There’s no tiptoeing around it – Liquid were TERRIBLE. Losing to a poor OG twice. Beaten comprehensively by BIG. An unconvincing victory over Complexity. It was an embarrassing performance from Liquid, a team with a desire for trophies. Simply showing up and giving a good account of themselves isn’t enough for this roster, but they couldn’t even manage that. Only NAF can return with any pride, and the team will be wondering how long this roster can remain stagnant.
Ninjas In Pyjamas
NIP struggled here. With hampus going on medical leave mid-tournament, the team struggled to recover. In its current form, this roster should be performing better. There are positives the team can take, however, with headtr1ck looking like a solid AWPer and k0nfig an exciting signing going forward.
IEM Katowice is due to start on February 4th, so it won’t be long before competitive CS:GO is back in the news once again.