BLAST Premier is one of the most notable CS:GO tournament series. Although BLAST has been organising CS:GO events since 2017, the company decided to adopt a partner programme in late 2019, starting with the 2020 season.
Currently, the BLAST Premier league has 12 partnered teams, with the lineup including some of the most notable CS:GO organisations in the world. Since the start of the partner programme, two teams have left; MIBR and 100 Thieves.
The 12 partner teams participate in Spring and Fall BLAST Premier tournaments, and are joined by non-partner teams for the Spring and Fall Showdowns, meaning that non-partner teams can theoretically win Spring or Fall Finals, as well as the World Final. That, however, has not happened to date.
But who are the 12 partner teams? This article will provide a background of each organisation competing in the BLAST Premier tournaments. Featuring the likes of Astralis, Team Liquid, NAVI and others.
Astralis is one of the most successful CS:GO teams in history, founded by Danish players from the former Team SoloMid and Team Questionmark rosters. The team’s most successful era was between 2018 and 2020, when it won four CS:GO Majors and numerous other tournaments.
Since becoming a BLAST Premier partner team, Astralis is yet to win one of BLAST’s tournaments. Most recently, the team finished fourth place at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, and placed second at the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown 2022, losing to Heroic in the final.
Astralis’ best placement to date are second finishes in four different BLAST Premier tournaments, losing to NAVI, ENCE, Heroic and Team Vitality.
Berlin International Gaming is most famous for its CS:GO team, and is one of the most successful German organisations ever. BIG has featured in all BLAST Premier tournaments that included European teams, and was the most successful organisation at Spring Groups in 2021.
BIG replaced North American organisation 100 Thieves as a BLAST Premier partner team in 2020 after 100 Thieves decided closed its CS:GO operations.
In 2023, BIG played in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups but finished seventh. Still, the team did manage to achieve a second place finish at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2023 Europe, losing to Cloud9 in the finals.
An organisation with a very rich history, Complexity first created a competitive CS team in 2004. Since then, the organisation has had success in several iterations of the game and in two separate decades. The organisation was owned by the Dallas Cowboys from 2017 to 2021, but is now owned by GameSquare Esports.
The organisation has been relatively successful in BLAST events, notably winning the online edition of the BLAST Premier Spring 2020 European Finals. Complexity has yet to replicate its success since, finishing mostly in the bottom half of the table for most BLAST Premier tournaments.
The team did, however, qualify for the upcoming BLAST.tv Paris Major by placing fourth in the Americas RMR, behind FURIA, paiN Gaming and Team Liquid.
Evil Geniuses, or EG, is a well-known North American esports organisations that fields teams in a variety of games, including League of Legends and Dota 2 and VALORANT. The company returned to competitive CS:GO in 2019 after pausing CS:GO operations in 2012.
Since its return to competitive CS:GO, the organisation garnered early success at large-scale events , finishing first at the BLAST Premier Spring 2020 American Finals and the StarSeries Season 8. In the years that followed, however, EG has struggled to keep the tempo.
Similar to its regional rivals Complexity, EG is still trying to find success in the BLAST Premier groups and other tournaments.
One of the most recognisable esports brands in history, FaZe is also one of the most successful CS:GO teams in recent time. The organisation competes in a large number of esports games ranging from CS:GO to Raibow Six, VALORANT, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros and multiple others. FaZe is also known for its high profile partnerships with the likes of Disney and DraftKings.
The company is also publicly traded, although its stock has seen a steady decline since the summer of 2023.
FaZe Clan is the reigning champion of the ESL Pro League and the winner of PGL Major Antwerp 2022.
When it comes to BLAST events, FaZe won the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 and 2022, and placed first at the BLAST Premier World Leaderboard in 2022. FaZe finished third at the BLAST Premier World Final in 2022.
Arguably Europe’s most popular esports organisation,G2 Esports is notable for its steady competitive success in League of Legends, Rainbow Six and CS:GO. The company also fields rosters in multiple other games, and bases its operations in Berlin, Germany.
G2 Esports has one of the most successful League of Legends teams in Europe which competes in the LEC.
In CS:GO, G2 has found its most successful era in recent years, with a second place finish at the PGL Major Stockholm 2021 and IEM Katowice 2022. G2 Esports won IEM Katowice in 2023 right after winning the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023. Its biggest success in BLAST events was winning the BLAST Premier World Final 2022.
Heroic is the newest BLAST Premier partner team, having replaced MIBR in early 2022. Its CS:GO division had a lot of success in 2022, getting very close to winning both the IEM Rio Major and the IEM Katowice 2023. Heroic’s overal esports expansion also see the organisation embark into the world of sim racing.
The Scandinavian team saw success since joining the BLAST Premier partner team roster. Heroic won the BLAST Premier Fall European Showdown in 2022, beating Danish powerhouse Astralis, and went on to win the BLAST Premier Fall Finals 2022 against FaZe Clan.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Perhaps the most-known Counter Strike team of all time, NIP is also one of the most-popular esports companies in the world. Apart from its success in CS, the company also operates a League of Legends team in China, and holds roster in numerous other esports titles such as Rainbow Six, Fortnite, Rocket League and FIFA.
Most known for its incredible success in 2012 and 2013, NIP still holds the record of most LAN map wins in CS:GO history with 87 maps won.
Recently, NIP has been a steady performer but is still trying to replicate its “glory days” from a decade ago. Its biggest success at BLAST events was winning the BLAST Premier Fall Groups in 2021.
NAVI are the most successful BLAST Premier partner team. The Eastern European organisation won back to back World Finals in 2020 and 2021, beating Astralis in 2020 and Gambit (now Cloud 9) in 2021. NAVI is also the winner of Spring Finals 2022 and the Fall Groups 2022.
The team has fallen behind a bit since then, recording solid results for the rest of 2022 and early 2023, and qualifying for the upcoming BLAST.tv Paris Major by winning the European RMR A.
OG is a Danish organisation perhaps more known for its major success in Dota 2 than CS:GO. The company is behind a roster that won The International in 2018 and 2019. In CS:GO, OG is also successfull, regularly recording good placement in top tournaments and events.
The team notably placed at the top of the BLAST Premier Spring and Fall Groups in 2022, and Fall 2020 Regular Season. OG also finished top four at both the BLAST Premier World Final 2022, the ESL Pro League Season 14 and the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022.
Team Liquid is an organisation considered to be both European and North American. Its headquarters in Europe are often the home of its CS:GO team, which is one of the most successful teams in recent years.
Liquid’s best year was, without doubt, 2019, when its CS:GO roster won the Intel Grand Slam and numerous other events. Interestingly, even during its peak the Liquid CS:GO team was second-best to a dominating Astralis lineup.
Team Liquid won the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown in 2021, and the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022 and came very close to winning the 2019 BLAST Global Final.
Team Vitality is the largest esports organisation in France, and one of the fastest growing esports brands in Europe. The company is known for its CS:GO and League of Legends rosters that feature notable names from both games.
Still, one could argue that Vitality’s CS:GO roster could be even more successful than it is are right now. Team Vitality won the BLAST Premier Fall 2020, the Fall 2020 regular season and the Spring 2020 European Showdown. The team also saw success at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2021 and the latest Spring Groups 2023.