BLAST Premier Fall moves to LAN as Team Liquid, 100 Thieves withdraw
After months of regional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, BLAST Premier's Fall Series will once again feature teams from around the world in a live, LAN setting.
As Europe begins a return to live esports, BLAST Premier has announced that it won't hold separate regional competitions for its signature tournament circuit but will host a LAN event featuring most of the world's top teams. The return to a LAN environment comes alongside news that North America's Evil Geniuses will make the trip to Europe. BLAST's autumn event has a who's who of CSGO esports ready to take part.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- G2 Esports
- Natus Vincere
- FaZe Clan
- Evil Geniuses
But two top North American teams won't be making the trip, each for their own reasons.
100 Thieves founder Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag announced on October 12 that he was disbanding the organization's CSGO division, meaning that 100T won't be making the move to EU at all. It's unclear whether the team will be transferred to another organization or be dissolved entirely.
On the other hand, Team Liquid released a statement saying that it wanted to avoid putting its players at risk by traveling internationally. While some of that is likely true, it also doesn't tell the whole story. Team Liquid has agreed to be seeded directly into the BLAST Fall Showdown, which will put Liquid in position to challenge for a spot in the BLAST Fall Final.
Team Liquid declines, but FURIA's explosive potential deserves BLAST spot
While 100 Thieves is largely a known commodity that has been underwhelming for months now, it's a bit disappointing to not see the retooled Team Liquid in action.
After dropping veteran in-game leader Nick "nitr0" Cannella and adding young Triumph star Michael "Grim" Wince, Team Liquid has had mixed results. This has put Jake "Stewie2k" Yip front-and-center for Liquid and the results have been decent, but not overwhelmingly great. A 2-0 win over Chaos Esports Club at IEM New York Online looks solid, but it breaks down into a 16-12 and 16-14 win. For a team of Liquid's caliber, even the surging Chaos shouldn't have been able to do that well.
That makes it easy to wonder if Liquid might be looking to avoid a shot to the ego that might come with a harsh loss in BLAST's Fall Series. In a tournament where arguably every team is deadly, every group is "the group of death." While BLAST hasn't announced the remade groups after the two teams' withdrawals, all of them will be tough.
Taking Liquid's spot is a fast-rising Furia Esports. Even Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander has noticed, with the Astralis IGL taking to Twitter to beg for a matchup against them on Twitter after FURIA's win at ESL Pro League's Season 12 regional competition.
gla1ve might just get his chance. His mention of FURIA's Andrei "arT" Piovezan is warranted, too.
Andrei "arT" Piovezan Entry and Opening duel statistics
- CT-side opening duel attempts: 36.5% of all rounds
- CT-side success rate: 46.2% of all attempts
- T-side opening duel attempts: 43.% of all rounds
- T-side success rate: 46.2% of all attempts
If this were any other sport, arT would be a clear candidate for its hall of fame. The stats are incredible and are even more impressive when the majority of arT's duels are done while wielding an AWP, not a rifle. In other words, no one is safe from arT.
BLAST is set to release the updated groups sometime before October 20, so fans should be able to get a nice picture of the first CSGO tournament since IEM Katowice 2020 to take place at LAN. With months of online competition now seemingly over, Counter-Strike will now be played as it was meant to be played. Face to face.
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