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G2, OG rally for wins at start of BLAST Premier Spring Finals

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A crowd full of Austin FC fans cheered for Austin FC's eMLS player, John Garcia, during the eMLS Cup tournament at the Moody Theater on March 13, 2022. The eMLS Cup is the championship tournament that determines which player is the best FIFA esports player in North America.Aem Sxsw Emls Cup 16
Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

G2 Esports and OG pulled off comeback victories on the opening day of action Wednesday at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals in Lisbon, Portugal.

G2 and OG each lost opening maps before rallying for 2-1 wins. G2 took down Team Vitality in Group A, while OG defeated Natus Vincere in Group B.

In other first-day matches, FaZe Clan breezed past paiN Gaming 2-0 in Group A, and ENCE won a pair of tight maps while sweeping BIG 2-0.

The championship of the $425,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive series is being held at Altice Arena, the largest indoor arena in Portugal and one of the biggest in Europe with a capacity of up to 20,000. The Spring Final champion will earn $200,000 along with 4,000 BLAST Premier points and a spot in the $1 million World Final in December.

Eight teams are separated into two groups in a double-elimination format, with the top three teams from each group advancing to the single-elimination playoff bracket. All matches are best-of-three.

Vitality got the early jump on G2, coming back from a 5-1 deficit to win 16-10 on Dust II. G2 stormed back with wins on Inferno (16-8) and Mirage (16-9) to take the match.

Nikola “NiKo” Kovac of Bosnia scored a match-high 63 kills for G2, and Russian teammate Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov posted a plus-18 kills-to-deaths differential. France’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut led Vitality with 58 kills and a plus-11 K-D differential.

Also in Group A, FaZe blew out paiN with routs on Ancient (16-7) and Inferno (16-6). Latvia’s Helvijs “broky” Saukants filled the scoresheet with 50 kills and a plus-27 K/D ratio for FaZe. Gabriel “nython” Lino had 29 kills for the all-Brazilian paiN crew.

OG was no match for NaVi on Inferno, losing 16-7 after a map-ending 8-0 streak. But OG fought off NaVi for a 16-12 triumph on Mirage and a 16-13 decision on Ancient.

Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar of the Czech Republic topped a balanced OG attack with 60 kills and a plus-8 K-D differential. Russia’s Denis “electroNic” Sharipov had a team-high 58 kills and a plus-4 K-D differential for NaVi.

The other Group B match provided the wildest map of the day. Starting the match on Mirage, ENCE ripped off a 9-0 run to build a 13-2 lead that it blew immediately, as BIG scored the next 12 kills to take a 14-13 lead. ENCE eventually won 19-16 in overtime, then followed by winning 16-13 on Nuke after trailing 9-1.

Pavle “Maden” Boskovic of Montenegro, one of three ENCE starters with 46 kills, posted a plus-8 K-D differential. Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz carried the all-German BIG lineup with 58 kills and a plus-16 K-D differential.

The two-day group stage concludes Thursday with four matches:
FaZe Clan vs. G2 Esports (Group A, winners match)
paiN Gaming vs. Team Vitality (Group A, elimination match)
OG vs. ENCE (Group B, winners match)
Natus Vincere vs. BIG (Group B, elimination match)

BLAST Premier Spring Final 2022 prize pool and points distribution
1. $200,000, World Final berth, 4,000 BLAST Premier points — TBD
2. $85,000, 2,000 BLAST Premier points — TBD
3-4. $40,000, 1,250 BLAST Premier points — TBD
5-6. $20,000, 500 BLAST Premier points — TBD
7-8. $10,000, 250 BLAST Premier points — TBD

–Field Level Media