Three of the top teams in CS:GO have been invited to join the already deep field at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.
FURIA, Heroic, and the IEM Katowice champion Gambit Esports will fill the three invite slots for the 16-team single-elimination bracket.
They join an already stacked group of teams that finished in the lower half of their respective groups during BLAST Spring 2021. That group consists of Astralis, G2, Team Liquid, OG, Team Vitality, and MIBR. Seven more teams are set to join, each qualifying via one of seven regional BLAST qualifiers.
Gambit are coming off of their tremendous run at IEM Katowice in February, which saw them go from play-in stage to champions while only dropping one series. They handed losses to mousesports, Heroic, and G before running a playoff gauntlet of their own CIS region adversaries: Na’Vi, Team Spirit, and finally Virtus Pro.
Heroic and FURIA both had excellent 2020 campaigns in which they claimed numerous pieces of hardware over the year. But they’ve both had slow starts to 2021 and the quality of teams in this single-elimination event will be a tough hurdle to overcome while trying to get back on track.
FURIA have barely gotten to use the AWPer they signed in early January, Paytyn “junior” Johnson. This will be only their third tournament with junior after acquiring him from Triumph. Heroic also recently swapped out two members of its starting lineup.
The teams that make up the rest of the field so far are dangerous in their own right. Liquid have looked great overall—their BLAST Spring performance is their only dud since adding FalleN. G2 look improved so far at the ESL Pro League since benching kennyS, adding JACKZ, and moving NiKo to a hybrid AWPer/rifler. Astralis and Vitality are always considered a threat in any circumstance, even if their recent results aren’t up to their standards.
The BLAST Spring Showdown begins on April 13. Only two teams will survive the single-elimination bracket to earn the spots in the Spring Finals.