Blast Premiere Playoffs – June 7, 2020

     The final day of the Blast Premiere Spring Showdown presents us with two European semi-finals matches, as well as a North American 3rd/4th place decider. Both of the European semi matches should be battles and will provide plenty of entertainment for your Sunday morning/afternoon. The North American match between Gen.G and Evil Geniuses should also be competitive. 

     We had a great day on Saturday, although we finished with a 3-3 record, we profited 1.33 units. We had Mousesports for the first match of the day, so their blowout loss started us on the wrong path. We came right back cashing on the Vitality money line. Furia followed that up with a 2-0 win over Gen.G, which cashed the money line, but we missed the half unit play on the exact score. We smashed a short dog in MiBR to close out the day on a three map duel over Evil Geniuses. We look to carry that momentum into a stacked slate today.

Blast Premiere Playoff Record: 5-6-1 (+0.08u)


Mad Lions (-130) vs Ence (+100) – 6:30am EST

     The first European semi-finals is between Mad Lions and Ence. Neither of these teams have lost a match since the start of Blast Premiere. I recapped Ence’s group play in the article previous to this one. Mad Lions finished group play with a 3-0-1 record. Their only tie came against Mousesports on Train. They had convincing wins against Dignitas, Virtus.Pro and Fnatic. Their strong group play earned them the one seed and a bye to the semi-finals, so this will be their first best of three series in the event. Ence earned their spot in the semi’s after beating Mousesports 2-0 in the quarter finals. Mouse couldn’t get anything going against Ence as they lost 16-6 and 16-9. We should be in for a good match to start the day.

     Ence will get things started out by banning Vertigo. Mad Lions will follow that by banning Inferno. I would expect Ence to continue to use their first pick on Train, although both teams are comfortable playing there. Mad Lions will most likely go back to picking Nuke. They used Nuke as their map pick at Flashpoint and went 6-1 there during the event. Ence will most likely use their second ban on Overpass, which will force Mad Lions to pick between Mirage or Dust2 for the tie breaker. Mad Lions would most likely pick Mirage in that situation. There’s a chance Ence decide to ban Mirage and force Mad Lions to play Dust2, considering Mad Lions rarely play Overpass. Mad Lions would still be comfortable on Dust2 as they were 5-2 on Dust2 at Flashpoint.

     These two teams have only met once before, back in January. Mad Lions took that meeting by winning 16-10 on Mirage and 16-7 on Overpass. Ence has since added Jamppi to the roster, but I don’t know if that will be enough to get them this win. Mad Lions looked extremely impressive during group play and just won Flashpoint in their prior event. I also haven’t been all too impressed with Ence. They tend to either dominate or get blown out, there’s a lack of consistency and they rely too heavily on their dueling abilities. If Mad Lions can play cohesive counter strike, like they have all event, then I believe they will get this win. The whole Mad Lions team out played their three month average HLTV rating during this event. That is insane because their Flashpoint win came within those three months. I expected this line to come out around Mad Lions -150, so getting them at -130 certainly has value.

Miner’s Money Pick: Mad Lions (-130) *1.3u*


Vitality (-190) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas (+150) – 10:30am EST

     We have a banger for the second semi-final game of the day. Ninjas in Pyjamas will be taking on Vitality. This will be the fifth best of three series that these teams met for in less than three months. The last time they met in the playoffs was at Road to Rio and that series ended up having 107 total rounds of Counter Strike. Every map went in to over time. Since then, NiP switched up their in game leader from Lekro to Hampus. There was a tough transition period, but they’ve seemed to find their form as they haven’t lost in their last five matches. NiP finished the group play as the one seed, while Vitality finished as the three seed. NiP earned a bye to the semi’s with their group play placement. Vitality had to play their way through the bracket, finding wins against Dignitas and Fnatic on their way to the semi’s.

     Vitality will be making the first move to shape the map pool. They will start things by banning Train. NiP will then in turn ban Dust2, which hurts Vitality as they use Dust2 as their first pick 33% of the time. Vitality should default to their secondary pick of Nuke. NiP will use their first pick on either Overpass or Vertigo. They use each map as their first pick just about 40% of the time, but Vitality has a 5-0 record on Vertigo over the past three months. Vitality is just 2-3 during the same time span on Overpass, so I expect that to be NiP’s map pick. Vitality would be smart to use their second ban on Overpass/Vertigo, depending on NiPs pick. This would leave NiP with the choice of picking between Inferno or Mirage. I would imagine they pick Inferno. There is always the possibility that we see Vertigo as the decider if NiP uses their pick on Overpass and Vitality chose to eliminate Mirage with their second ban.

     This is a line that absolutely took me back when I saw it. I don’t think there is any reason for Vitality to be up around the -200 range. Vitality won the most recent best of three meeting in blowout fashion, but it came as NiP’s first game after the roster change. That game shouldn’t count for anything considering NiP clearly wasn’t themself,  but I feel this line reflects that beating. These teams met in a best of one on Inferno since that match, and they tied. NiP should have won, but admittedly played scared, blowing a 15-12 lead. NiP is finally starting to get a feel for their new in game leader and have gotten back to playing the Counter Strike we saw at Road to Rio. I expect a match similar to that three game overtime series, so having NiP at a good plus money price offers great value. I expected to see Vitality closer to the -130/140 range. I will be playing a max bet on NiP at +150.

Miner’s Money Pick: NiP (+150) *2 units*


Evil Geniuses (-150) vs. Gen.G (+120) – 1:30pm EST

The final match of the day is an American loser go home showdown. The winner will proceed to claim the last spot to the Blast Premiere Americas Finals event. This will be the third series that Gen.G and Evil Geniuses meet for since the start of May. Gen.G won both of those series on the third map. At Blast Premiere, both of these teams haven’t looked great. Evil Geniuses have been too reliant on Cerq and keep finding themself in matches that come down to the wire. They’ve been on the right side of a lot of those matches, but with just a couple rounds going the other way, they would have lost. Gen.G shows signs of their play from Road to Rio, but are just 3-3 in series since the conclusion of Road to Rio. They haven’t had the same level of consistency we saw at Rio.

      Gen.G should start things out by banning Overpass, which will be followed with EG banning Mirage. Gen.G should use their first pick on Train. These teams have split their last two meetings on Train and each win was a blowout. Evil Geniuses will most likely pick Nuke. Gen.G should use their second ban on Vertigo, which will force EG to pick between Inferno or Dust2 for the final map. I would expect to see Inferno.

     My play for this match comes strictly from the eye test. This map pool is pretty neutral for both teams. All three maps should be competitive, but something has just looked off for Gen.G. These teams met back on May 27th for DreamHack and I cashed a Gen.G +130 ticket. At the time they were in better form, but EG has looked much better since then. Cerq has been playing out of his mind and EG has been able to rally against adversity. I’ll be looking to avoid the -150 juice, so I’ll be using Complexity (-300) against c0ntact, in the Home Sweet Home Cup as a parlay piece. The Complexity game should get started around 12:00pm EST, so you’ll have a good idea of the result by the time EG is supposed to start.

Miner’s Money Pick: 2 team parlay – Evil Geniuses & Complexity (+120)

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