It has been a while since Counter-Strike fans last watched an event part of BLAST’s Premier circuit, but this changes soon. This Wednesday, the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown will be kicking off, and it will be one of the final tournaments before the PGL Major Antwerp kicks off in a couple of weeks. It’s clear that the focus is on the event taking place in Belgium but doing well here could not only guarantee a spot in one of the biggest events in the year, but also build momentum before Antwerp.

Hence, we can expect teams like ENCE, FURIA and Heroic to take this tournament seriously, but still having in mind the upcoming Major. In the other hands, teams like GODSENT and Movistar Riders which aren’t going to play in Antwerp in May will be giving the Showdown their full attention. This creates a very interesting scenario where the stakes are high, but underdogs should be able to find more openings than usual.

Nonetheless, the Spring Showdown will be starting shortly, so let’s take this quick break to review the tournament details. Besides that, as always, we’ll also include a preview for the teams we think you should keep an eye on. With squads like Evil Geniuses around, there’s plenty of storylines going on here.


Differently than last year’s Showdown events, this Spring Showdown will be divided in two events. One for the Europe region, and one for the Americas. Both events will be starting at the same day – the 27th. The first tournament to start will be the European Showdown, which will see it’s first match, Copenhagen Flames v ENCE, at 14:30 UTC. After two matches, the European event will close and the North American edition will start with Evil Geniuses v GODSENT, which starts at 20:30 UTC.

The rest of the details are similar between for the two regions. Both events feature eight teams and will be running a single-elimination bracket with all matches being best-of-three series. The winner of each region will qualify for the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, while every team taking part in the event will take home a share of the prize pool as well as circuit points.

Finally, let’s look at the bracket below, and shortly after a look at the storylines to keep an eye on.

EVIL GENIUSES: one step forward, two steps backwards

After failing to qualify for PGL Major Antwerp, Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip’s Evil Geniuses is in a dire situation. The team has failed to develop themselves to a point where they can be considered a cohesive project. Instead, every match we see EG playing, it seems that they show new issues, while barely fixing already existing ones. To make matters worse, with the Geniuses failing to qualify for the Major, it seems even less likely that we’ll see any significant improvements happening now.

In any case, Evil Geniuses is coming to the Showdown and with the potential of this being the last time we see this exact roster together, it’s understandable why they end up being one of our picks to watch. We have seen in the past teams facing similar situations, and with the negativity around this roster higher than ever, maybe this team will push back instead of getting thrown from a cliff’s edge.


Now, when I say, “push back”, I don’t mean that Evil Geniuses must win the North American Showdown. That would be too much. Instead, all fans can ask for this team right now is for them to show something good. Defeat GODSENT convincingly. Take a map off FURIA. On a more individual level, let us see Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov putting the AWP to good use. Have Stewie2K making some more impactful calls and work on their EG’s CT-sides and make their T-sides more aggressive.

Or maybe the same Evil Geniuses we saw at ESL Pro League XV, the Americas RMR and most recently, the IEM Dallas qualifiers, shows up once again. After all, there are some teams that just won’t work together, and EG is a perfect candidate for this possibility. Perhaps Stewie2K simply isn’t fit to be a leader. Maybe CeRq needs to go back to Europe to get his confidence back.

Nonetheless, Evil Geniuses will give it’s first steps at the Showdown this Wednesday. From their first round against GODSENT until the last, their future is up to them.

MOVISTAR RIDERS: making the most out of the no-Major club

After an impressive showing at ESL Pro League Season XV, Movistar Riders’ fans were left with a bad taste in their mouth as they knew their now promising team was going to miss the Major. Unfortunately, the Riders had a slow start in 2022, and they ultimately failed to qualify for the RMRs.

Nonetheless, Movistar is looking good. The Spaniards won the RTP Arena Spring Cup and finished in 5 – 8th place at the latest EPL season. Alejandro “ALEX” Masanet made the most of the wake-up call he received earlier in the year, and brought back the promising Movistar we had seen last year. They failed to qualify for Antwerp, but he made all the right choices his team needed.

Now, Movistar is heading to another challenge in the Spring Showdown. While they will have some heavyweight challenges ahead of them, including Astralis right off the bat, Movistar has one advantage over them. They can fully focus on this tournament and show everything in their books to their opponents. There are only two teams who won’t be attending the Major at the European Showdown after all and being one of them while looking this good could be everything the Spaniards need to surprise.

FURIA: haven’t stopped then, won’t stop now

FURIA, the best team from Brazil is clearly one of the best CSGO teams in the entire world. In their most recent performances, we saw FURIA dominating the Americas RMR, and even pushing FaZe Clan at ESL Pro League. It has been a minute since a Brazilian team looked this good, but Andrei “arT” Piovezan is showing that not only this roster can be better than previous iterations of the team, but also could establish new highs for their region.

For that reason, we can’t help but have FURIA as our favorites at the American Showdown. Still, FURIA is an incredibly entertaining team to watch. Since Rafael “saffee” Costa adjusted himself to the squad, this team keeps getting better with no ceiling in sight. Their in-game leader, arT, seems to be freer to do his shockingly aggressive plays. Yuri “yuurih” Boian has also been positively impacted by the AWPer and seems to be back at his usual performance.

Don’t let the impact brought by saffee steal all the attention in this roster, though. Besides him, André “drop” Abreu has also been proving to be worth of his place in this team. The support player joined FURIA last year, and back then, he was a questionable decision. With Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo leaving the roster, though, drop found his place and is consistently improving, becoming a much important pillar for FURIA’s aggressive style.

FURIA storyline as the favorites might not be as interesting as some others, but this squad is incredibly entertaining to watch. Furthermore, FURIA might be focused on preparing for the Major, but their style will still allow them to give fans a show worth watching comes Thursday. You won’t want to blink.

NiP: warming up to the new guy

Last week, NiP went to the PGL Major Antwerp: Europe RMRs with their new player for the first time. It was, in a certain way, a risky move. Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin replaced NiP’s AWPer Love “phzy” Smidebrant after all, and there’s always some risk in doing roster changes ahead of such an important event. That wasn’t the case with NiP this time around as we now know, and Brollan impressed in his debut.

Now, it’s clear that as with any player, NiP will still need sometime to fully adapt to their new player. As solid as the team looked last week, Hampus “hampus” Poser certainly knows that this team potential with Hampus is off the charts. From this point onwards, NiP will need time to fully realize this talent. And what better place to get some experience before the Major than the Showdown?

To set the record straight, even with a new player, I’m expecting great things from NiP. They were one of the best teams in the world with phzy, and Brollan is a major firepower upgrade, even though the roles in this team aren’t quite as defined as one would like. NiP will do well here unless they massively underperform, and we don’t see any team in their side of the bracket stopping them from reaching the finals. Heroic could be the ones to stop the Swedes, but nothing is set in stone when these two teams face off.

Overall, keeping an eye on NiP as Brollan finds his proper place in this roster will be very compelling. This roster is bound to greatness, and these are their first steps in that road. NiP first match at the European Showdown will see them facing Bad News Eagles, which also qualified for the Major but are considered underdogs.

TEAM LIQUID: work in progress

Team Liquid are our second favorites coming to the American Showdown. However, when we see which teams are taking part in the event, second best isn’t quite that great of a title right? Even though Liquid is certainly a gap away from the third best and the remaining teams in the region, an organization like Liquid is far from content being second at anything.

Yet, as much as Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella improves his own individual level and improves his calling, there’s only so much that he and other players in the roster can do. At the end of the day this project needs time and experience to grow, and events like the Spring Showdown are the perfect tournament for Team Liquid to show their improvements since last time as well as get some feedback to keep the refinements coming.

Now, at this point of the team, Liquid can’t show up at an event and just hope for the best. This roster, differently than Evil Geniuses, has shown to be able to work together and be successful. Which means that Liquid is going through a phase where they need to get better results progressively. Team Liquid might not beat FURIA this time around. Yet, it’s important that they take a map, and complicate the match for their opponents.

As you might’ve noticed, we haven’t even considered the other opponents Liquid will face in their road to the finals. That’s because no other team should be giving Liquid trouble at this point. Their first adversary, paiN, for one, should see a dominant performance from Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski and his teammates. Their next opponents, whether it’s Complexity or MiBR, will be harder, but still should face a dominant TL. These guys can’t fail themselves now.

ENCE: striking while it’s hot

Watching ENCE at EPL Season XV was magic if you followed this roster for some time. ENCE then became the team they were supposed to be once every piece of Marco.Snappi” Pfeiffer’s puzzle fit as they should. After finishing in second place at one of the biggest events of the year, only falling to FaZe Clan, ENCE is now seen differently.

Most importantly, though, ENCE kept their momentum going after that. The European squad went to one of the most important events in their schedule this past week. ENCE fought for a spot in the PGL Major Antwerp, and they kept the results coming. While they had a small hiccup in their game against Astralis, but other than that, ENCE looked dominant.

Despite that, it’s important to not get ahead of ourselves as to how great ENCE is right now. They did impress at ESL Pro League XV, but their game against Astralis gave us some yellow signs about this roster. They struggled during their T-side and failed to stop Astralis’ stars from demolishing them as Aleksander “hades” Miskiewicz disappeared from the server. What’s more, this isn’t an isolated situation for ENCE, as their players are still working on their consistency.

At the end of the day, ENCE has a solid chance of winning this event, but it won’t be easy for them. Yet, having ENCE facing Copenhagen Flames right off the bat and then Heroic (probably) will allow us to properly judge what ENCE can do. This team is still trying to find their place in the world rankings, after all. Events like these will help the community figure how good this squad is.

The BLAST Premier Spring Showdown starts shortly

This week, make sure to tune up at BLAST’s channels on Twitch and. YouTube to not miss a bit of the Spring Showdown. While it’s not going to be a long event, it’ll be a valuable opportunity for us. We’ll be able to take a final look at various teams before the PGL Major Antwerp starts. If you want to keep up with us, then make sure to follow us here, by the way!

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I'm a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

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