BLAST Premier Spring Groups has opened the 2023 CS:GO season in a stunning fashion, with some of the best teams in the world competing from January 19 until January 29.
BLAST Premier Spring Groups: January 21 Group A schedule and betting odds
And things are only just beginning - January 21 marks the third day of the tournament, where we have a total of three matches to look forward to across Groups A and C.
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|Team Vitality||Team Liquid||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
|Evil Geniuses||Complexity Gaming||BIG|
As a refresher, the 12 teams competing in this week's tournament have been split into three Groups - A, B and C, and will be competing for an invitation to the Spring Final, alongside a share of the $177,498 prize pool.
We're moving onto the next stage for Group A, after they had the honour of being the first to take the stage on January 19. With the opening matches now out of the way, the 4 teams in Group A have been separated into the upper bracket final and the lower bracket semifinal.
Evil Geniuses may look like the underdogs here, but you'd be wise not to write them off entirely. The team pulled off a shock upset in their opening match against Heroic, which they were widely expected to lose. The team's newest player, Jerric "wiz" Jiang, did his part to help Evil Geniuses claim their unexpected 2-1 win - with the former EG Black player helped turn the tide after Heroic dominated the early stages of the match. If Evil Geniuses have it in them to defeat the BLAST Fall Finals Champions, they may yet surprise us again.
Team Vitality have their own success to brag about, of course. They debuted at this year's Spring Groups with a comfortable 2-0 win over Astralis. The team claimed victory by taking Overpass 16-12, before pulling off a stunning comeback from 7-13 to win Vertigo in overtime. It wasn't quite the stunning upset that we saw with Evil Geniuses, as Team Vitality had been favoured to win against Astralis anyway - But it's a promising start to the tournament nonetheless.
The odds are in Team Vitality's favour here, at 1.15 against Evil Geniuses 4.80.
Once the Group A winners are out of the way, we're heading to the lower bracket semifinal, where we'll see Heroic competing against Astralis at 5:30 PM GMT on January 21.
Heroic will have a lot to make up for after their truly disappointing performance against Evil Geniuses. Expectations were high for the team coming into this year's Spring Groups, after they closed out the year with a stunning win at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. The match initially looked good for Heroic when they took Inferno through a comfortable 16-7 win - thereby ending their long-standing losing streak on the map. Things started to slip for Heroic from then, however, with Evil Geniuses turning things around to take Ancient 16-14, before claiming victory on Overpass through another 16-14 win. It's a disappointing start for Heroic, though they certainly have the talent to turn their fortunes around.
Astralis meanwhile are still far from their glory days, despite the return of Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz to the active roster. Team Vitality claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory, taking Overpass with a score of 16-12, and Vertigo with a score of 19-15. Still, there's some good news for Astralis here - The long-awaited return of dev1ce may not have been as dramatic as they hoped, but he already looked comfortable in his LAN debut. The player secured a 1.14 rating in his first LAN match since returning to Astralis, according to HLTV.
The odds are in Heroic's favour here, at 1.48 against Astralis' 2.50 - but we've seen bigger upsets in this tournament already, so we'd not overlook Astralis here.
Which Group A team are you supporting? Whoever has your backing, you can show your support to your favourite team through a free 100% bonus - just sign up now to claim that!