With a prize pool of roughly $177,500, Counter Strike: Global Offensive's BLAST Premier Fall Groups gets underway in Copenhagen later this week.
Starting on Friday, 12 CS:GO teams who are partnered with BLAST will compete in the group phase of the BLAST Premier Fall with the top six teams in the tournament booking their place at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals in Copenhagen in November.
The six teams who do not qualify will move into the October Showdown, in which they will battle it out with ten other sides for the final two spots at the Finals.
Among the biggest names at the event are Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas and FaZe Clan and it is one of the highlights of the CS:GO calendar.
Earlier this year, the BLAST Premier Spring Finals were won by Natus Vincere, otherwise known as NAVI.
BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022, Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Friday August 19th, 2022 - Sunday August 28th, 2022
How to watch
BLAST Twitch & YouTube channels
Team Vitality +225, Astralis +250, Ninjas In Pyjamas +275, OG +300, Group C - FaZe Clan -137, Heroic +175, BIG +550, Evil Geniuses +4000
Arguably the most wide open section at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups is Group A.
At +225, Team Vitality are favourites to come out on top, having finished runners-up at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals earlier this year, while they also placed third at the 2021 BLAST Premier World Final.
But they have not looked as sharp recently, dropping to seventh in the CS:GO world rankings and they crashed out in the group stage of the IEM Cologne last month.
Astralis, meanwhile, are ranked three places higher in fourth spot in the world rankings and reached the semi-finals in Cologne recently and they also placed in the top four at the Roobet Cup and Pinnacle Cup Championship earlier in the summer.
At +250, they look a better value bet to top the section ahead of Ninjas In Pyjamas at +275 and OG at +300.
Punters should hold back betting on Group B at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups for now given the top team in the section Natus Vincere could be missing their star talent for the tournament.
It has been suggested that Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, considered one of the best players in CS:GO history, could be out of the tournament due to personal reasons with junior talent Daniil "headtr1ck" Valitov set to replace him.
That will be a big blow for NAVI, who won the BLAST Premier Spring Finals earlier in the year with victory over Team Vitality in the Grand Final.
They remain one of the strongest teams on the CS:GO circuit, having consistently battled with FaZe Clan for top spot in the world rankings throughout the year. They are joined by Complexity Gaming, G2 Esports and Team Liquid in Group B.
In Group C at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, FaZe Clan are -137 to come out on top and it is easy to see why.
Ranked number one in the world, FaZe Clan have had an immensely successful year, winning the IEM Cologne 2022 in July shortly after finishing as runners-up at the Roobet Cup.
They also showed their class at the highest level when winning the PGL Major Antwerp back in May and they go into the BLAST Premier Fall Groups on a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
FaZe will undoubtedly be tough to stop and although they did not win the BLAST Premier Spring Groups earlier in the year, they managed to come out on top in the groups ahead of Team Vitality and they reached the event's quarter-finals.
Heroic, who are +175 to win Group C, are expected to be FaZe's closest challengers but the Danish side were unconvincing in their most recent major tournament, falling at the group stage in the IEM Cologne.
German side BIG could be a little more interesting at +550 having won the Roobet Cup and finished third in the Pinnacle Cup Championship in June but is is hard to see past FaZe doing what they do best and dominating this group. At +4000 to win the section, Evil Geniuses are expected to make up the numbers.