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The excitement is building ahead of LPL Spring 2023
  1. Esports

Esports: CS:GO BLAST Premier Fall Friday matches

BLAST Premier Fall is one of the final big tournaments of the 2022 season, with a spot in December's year-ending BLAST Premier World Final 2022 up for grabs for the winning team if they are yet to qualify.

We reach the quarter-final stage on Friday, with G2 taking on Heroic to kick off the day and Ninjas In Pyjamas and Natus Vincere closing out a stellar card of Counter Strike: Global Offensive action.

Heroic expected to see off G2

No matter what roster changes they make, G2 seems to be unable to make progress. The additions of new in-game leader HooXi and jks promised to bring G2 back to the top of CS:GO, but after falling in the semi-final of the ESL Pro League playoffs, the squad failed to qualify for the IEM Rio Major.

That was a hammer blow and an opening defeat to Liquid at this tournament suggested their struggles were far from over. Beating Fluxo 2-0 to make the quarter-final far from suggests they are back to their best and it is no surprise to see Heroic favoured at -150.

The Danes have enjoyed a productive season and unlike their opponents, they have been solid across the board. They went flawless in the Road to Rio RMR qualifier and did not drop a map on their way to qualifying for this tournament either.

They were denied their first major tournament in agonising fashion in Rio earlier this month, losing out 2-0 to Outsiders in a final where they simply failed to show up.

After losing the first map against Ninjas In Pyjamas to kick off this tournament, they bounced back empathically to record a 2-1 success but fears of a major hangover could be lodged after a disappointing 2-0 defeat to FaZe.

Despite this, it is obvious that Heroic are the form team in this match. G2 arrived having disappointed at recent tournaments and the addition of HooXi has failed to make the difference they were hoping for.

They do have the x-factor of NiKo and m0NESY, who could feasibly show up to devastating effect and win the game single handedly for G2. That has not been the case lately, however, and a 2-1 victory for Heroic at +240 could be the way to go in this match.

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Natus Vincere to put Ninjas to bed

Another team in questionable form is Ninjas In Pyjamas, who have a mammoth task on their hands as they take on -275 Natus Vincere.

The Scandinavian roster looked to have bounced back from an ESL Pro League flop by going flawless in the Road to Rio qualifier, but their major performance was well below expectations.

They failed to win a map in defeats to fnatic, Outsiders and Sprout, which saw them exit the tournament in last place. Although they did manage to win the opening map against Heroic to kick off this tournament, they won just ten rounds in the next two maps in a crushing 2-1 defeat.

hampus, es3tag and REZ combined in devastating fashion as they defeated OG in their most recent match, but that form is questionable given OG’s recent struggles, which includes an early exit from the IEM Rio Major.

Rather surprisingly, Natus Vincere also arrived on the back of some disappointing performances. They finished just 5-8th at ESL Pro League and although they went flawless to qualify for the major, exiting in the quarter-final has to go down as below-par.

The same comments apply to their most recent match against Liquid, where they were picked apart in the final map of a 2-1 defeat. The Ukrainians looked to run out of steam late on and that will give Ninjas In Pyjamas some impetus to cause an upset.

In all likelihood, Natus Vincere are likely to bounce back to their best here, but can they be trusted to do so at such skinny odds? Interestingly, Ninjas In Pyjamas won when these sides last met at ESL Pro League and are +400 to win this game 2-1.

Both sides have their fragilities, but the Ninjas could be the value to cause that mammoth upset previously described.

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