Blast Premiere Spring Finals – June 16, 2020

     The Blast Premiere Finals continue on Tuesday with another three game slate. We have two European matches, as well as the start of the North American region. We had a great start to the event on Monday, going 3-1 for a gain of 1.37 units. Monday started off with a perfect prediction as well as a double winner on NiP and the over. We then cashed tickets on Vitality against G2. G2 came out  slow like expected, and got blown out the first map. Vitality won the second map in overtime. Sadly the day ended with an Ence loss to FaZe. They had a good chance of taking both Dust2 and Mirage, but ended up splitting before getting crushed on the tie breaker. We were so close to the 4-0 sweep. All in all, it was a great day and we should continue to build on that success Tuesday.

Blast Premiere Spring Finals Record: 3-1 (+1.37u)

 

Natus Vincere (-150) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas (+120) – 10:30am EST

     The first match of the day presents us two teams that seem to be heading in the opposite direction. NaVi has been struggling since the switch from LAN to Online. It started at Road to Rio in the CIS region and hasn’t seemed to get any better. NaVi’s in game leader has even spoken out about how troubling their lack of success has been for the team. NiP, on the other hand, has been playing great since the switch to online play. They hit a rough patch due to a roster change after Road to Rio, but have been gaining form with their new teammate. They beat Mad Lions in a map series to earn a spot in this match. NiP looked great on Mirage and Train, but their T-sided struggles continued on Nuke. After putting up 8 CT round wins on Nuke, they went on to lose 16-10. The winner of this match will move on to face the winner of Complexity versus OG.

     NiP will begin shaping the map pool by banning Dust2. NaVi will then use their first ban on Vertigo. Interestingly enough, each of the teams auto ban is their opponents regular first pick. NiP will instead use their first pick on Overpass. NiP has split their matches on Overpass 2-2 since the roster change. One of their two losses came against NaVi. NaVi should use their first pick on Nuke. They have an extremely deep play book for Nuke and NiP has won just 3 out of 11 games over the past three months. NiP will most likely use their second ban on Mirage, forcing NaVi to pick between Train or Inferno for the tie breaker. They would pick Train.

     This is an extremely difficult match to make a pick on. NaVi has been one of the most inconsistent teams in Counter Strike over the past couple months, but when they show up they’re unstoppable. This map pool also favors NaVi heavily. NiP doesn’t stand a chance on Nuke, and Overpass has been NaVi’s most consistent map in this inconsistent time. They won their last three appearances by an average of eight rounds and all of those games were played over the past couple weeks. The wins came against NiP, Vitality and Mad Lions. NiP has been playing great as a team and will be competitive against just about anyone, but this is a tough spot for them. NaVi is hungry for a win and has had an extra day to prepare. NaVi stands their best chance to win on the first two maps, as I’m a little concerned about the Train tie breaker. They’ve lost four straight on Train and NiP has been playing well there. This makes me think the best play is NaVi to win 2-0.

Miner’s Money Pick: Natus Vincere -1.5 (+200)

 

Complexity (-160) vs OG (+130) – 2:00pm EST

     The mid day matchup between Complexity and OG presents us with a couple of teams that I don’t usually get the chance to do write ups for. I covered Complexity during their stints at Road to Rio and Dreamhack, but each of those events were short lived for the team. I haven’t watched much of OG since the conclusion of ESL Pro League, so I’m excited to see two teams square off for the first time. Although these teams haven’t been in the major events I cover, they’ve still been playing a lot of Counter Strike. Complexity has been running absolute train on everybody in the Home Sweet Home Cups and OG just completed an ESL qualifier. OG finished the qualifier in 9th after losing to Forze and Havu. I’m curious to see if they’ll be able to regain their form against a scorching hot Complexity.

     OG will get things started by banning Vertigo. Complexity will then use their first ban on Overpass. Neither of these teams tend to play either of those maps, so the ban doesn’t give either team much of an edge. OG use their first map pick on Mirage most of the time. This could spell disaster, as Mirage is Complexity’s regular first pick. OG could try to pick Inferno or Train in hopes to get Mirage anyway, but I think Complexity will use their first map pick on Nuke. They’re 15-5 on Nuke over the past three months, while OG is just 4-4. I don’t think OG will take Dust2 off the board, so I imagine we will see that or Mirage as the tie breaking map, dependent on OG’s first map pick.

     I have to back Complexity in this match and I think the price is extremely fair. OG is coming off back to back losses against inferior teams. I don’t see things getting any easier for them against Complexity, who has used the Home Sweet Home Cup to become a machine. They’ve played a ton of Counter Strike over the past three months and their form continues to get better. I think this map pool also favors them. They’ll be an extremely heavy favorite on their map pick of Nuke and a slight favorite on OG’s pick of Mirage/Train. If it makes it to a third map they should yet again be a heavy favorite on Dust2. Complexity even had a rare day off before this match, so I expect their best efforts on a bigger stage than HSH. If Nuke is indeed Complexity’s pick, I’ll also be laying -2.5 rounds at +100 for that map.

Miner’s Money Pick: Complexity (-160) *1.6u* & Complexity on Nuke -2.5 rounds (+100)

 

Furia (-220) vs MiBR (+180) – 5:30pm

    The North American region will begin play today with a match between MiBR and Furia. These teams are no strangers, as they’re playing in their fifth best of three series since the start of 2020. Furia has dominated those series, winning the past three meetings without dropping a map. It is worth noting that MiBR was able to beat Furia in a best of one during the Blast Premiere group stage. After suffering that loss, Furia has rattled off seven wins in a row, including a 3-0 DreamHack Grand Final win over team Liquid.

     MiBR will get things started by banning Furia’s only bad map, Nuke. Furia will then ban MiBR’s best map, Dust2. The bans certainly favor Furia in that sense. MiBR’s map pick should be Train, but they may pick Inferno instead, considering they beat Furia there during that best of one. Furia should continue to use their map pick on Vertigo. MiBR has struggled on Vertigo winning less than 50% of their matches over the last three months. Furia also has a 12 map win streak on Mirage so there’s a chance they opt to use that as their map pick. MiBR would certainly use their second ban on Vertigo if its not picked, so I think trying to get Mirage as the tie breaker would be better for Furia. Theres plenty of question marks around this map pool, but as we’ve seen from these teams prior meetings, the maps heavily favor Furia.

     This is another tough one to make a pick for. There are plenty of ways this game could go. I think we could see a third map, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Furia 2-0 MiBR for the fourth time in a row. That keeps me away from the over, but I also don’t want to play the Furia spread based on how familiar MiBR should be with Furia’s game plan. By the process of elimination, the only play that I feel safe about is Furia money line. The price for it is gross, so I will only be playing to win a half unit pregame, but will be looking to get a live line in the Furia +100 to -150 range if they come out a little slow on MiBR’s map pick. *Update: Furia currently sits at -260, which would not be worth the play. Look for it live if you missed the value at -220.*

Miner’s Money Pick: Furia (-220) *1.1u* 

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