It’s finally time for the regions to once again collide in the expected monumental and theatrical climax of a year spent with online matches that had teams region locked and playing the same team’s ad infinitum with results often repeating themselves as everyone began wondering if time was actually passing.
Now all of that is going to the wayside, however temporarily, as BLAST Premier has taken the monumental steps of figuring out the logistics and safety of players to compete within the same region: it’s currently unclear if the matches are going to be in an online or offline format.
Evil Geniuses and MIBR both have already committed to the journey into Europe for the matches; 100 Thieves, on the back of their exit from professional Counter-Strike, have been replaced by FURIA (GS#4). Team Liquid will also be attending the match, yet BLAST states that they are doing so from North America out of concern for the health of the players and staff.
With those four NA teams come eight European teams: Astralis, NaVi, Vitality, OG, FaZe, G2, Complexity, and NiP.
Blast Premier has just stated that the groups for play are going to be announced tomorrow, but an OG versus EG clash could occur once again to reignite the rivalry of the two; the current grouping on HLTV, in light of their comment, seems erroneous at the moment.
THE EU VS NA RIVALRIES ARE FINALLY BACK!😍
We are thrilled to welcome the NA teams to Europe and once again settle the score on which continent holds the best CS:GO team 💪
— BLAST Premier (@BLASTPremier) October 14, 2020
This is all relatively good news, overshadowing the frustrations that the community has been dealing with lately as controversies and scandals paint the scene a particularly gratuitous shade of black.
While Liquid will be competing with a higher ping (which frankly bodes poorly) it still isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they manage an upset or three within the group stage; they’ve done better in arguably worse situations.
The BLAST Premieris scheduled to run from October 26 until November 4 in Europe, so expect a few wonky match times for United States fans that want to tune in. Winners of the Fall Series can ultimately qualify for the Global Final and will join Evil Geniuses, Complexity, and Team Vitality in the series currently scheduled for January.
Bear in mind, however, that BLAST Premier will ultimately run until early December (for those that qualify for the Fall Final) meaning that some teams could be getting comfortable abroad, which hints that it could interrupt other activities such as streaming schedules and lend to a greater chance of burn-out.
We’ll know a bit more about the series as BLAST continues to clarify on additional events, but it’s already looking to be a fantastic match-up of some of the best players in the world.