On June 20, the final stage of the BLAST Premier 2021 spring season ended. The tournament was won by Gambit Esports, which hardly surprises anyone. The team has probably already got the status of the strongest and most stable team of the online era in CS:GO. Esports Charts summarizes the results of the event, analyzes its audience statistics and tells how the best team in the world debunked the myths about its” kryptonite", which Natus Vincere seemed to be for many.
Gambit's dominance knows no boundaries
After BLAST Premier: Spring 2021, it became finally clear: no one on the stage knows how to beat Gambit Esports. The five of Vladislav nafany Gorshkov have become the best team in the world for a long time, but so far not a single rival can get close to them in terms of the level of play. Tournament outcomes are now as predictable as in the era of Fnatic or Astralis domination. And it comes at a huge price.
Gambit won the finals of the BLAST Premier spring season in an incredibly casual way, losing only one map in the entire tournament (in two stages) — in the final of the winners against NAVI. For the Russian organization, this is already the third tournament won in a row, and in total in 2021 the club has already won six trophies and earned more than a million dollars in prize money.
Even before the start of the spring finals, the main intrigue of the tournament was whether Natus Vincere would be able to confirm the status of “kryptonite” for Gambit, after all, it was the team of Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev that caused the Russians the most problems this year. In early May, in the final of the DreamHack Masters Spring 2021, it was NAVI that defeated Gambit with a score of 3:0, and it seems that Russian-speaking analysts first started talking about the fact that Gambit has not yet fully developed the psychology of the winner. And as BLAST Premier: Spring showed, this was a big mistake. During the championship, Gambit played with NAVI twice — and won both times, and the grand final of the tournament was completely dictated by Gambit.
Age is not a hindrance: the 27-year-old Hobbit became the best player of BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2021. Photo: Jennika Ojala / DreamHack
Gambit players also continued to collect MVP awards from HLTV.org. At BLAST Premier: Spring, the main struggle took place between teammates Abai Hobbit Khasenov and Dmitry sh1ro Sokolov (s1mple also claimed the award until the final), and the Kazakh esportsman won with a slight advantage. For him, the individual award was the second this year, in terms of the number of medals he equaled s1mple and teammate Ax1Le.
The main question following the results of the event: will Gambit be able to show the same exorbitant level of play on LAN, which is about to return? In a couple of weeks, IEM Cologne will start in Cologne, Germany, and in mid-August, the 14th season of the ESL Pro League will be held in Malta. In addition, there is not much time left before the start of the BLAST Premier autumn season, the finals of which will be hosted by the Royal Arena in Copenhagen. As the example of Dota 2 shows, a successful online game is not always converted into victories on LAN. Whether this is true for CS: GO, we will find out very soon.
BLAST Premier Audience Statistics: Spring 2021
The finals of the spring season had far from the most impressive performance in terms of viewers. The decisive stage of BLAST Premier: Spring 2021 turned out to be more successful than the Showdown stage (that is where Gambit began its path to the trophy from), but seriously lost to the group stage in terms of peak and average number of viewers.
The average audience of the finals was 160.3K people, which is only 5K more than the BLAST Premier Spring 2021 Showdown. The final stage of the spring season got 393.2K PV, that is how many people simultaneously watched the decisive match of the lower bracket, where NAVI played with G2 Esports.
The records of the spring season belonged to the group stage of the tournament. Recall that the average audience of the tournament in February exceeded 198.5K people, and the peak was as much as 543.8K viewers: it was reached during the game FaZe vs NAVI.
If we compare only the decisive stages of BLAST Premier in the last two years, the spring season of 2021 showed not the most impressive indicators on viewers. In terms of the average audience, it was inferior to all other seasons, and in terms of peak viewers, it was ahead only of the European finals of spring 2020, where 317.4K people watched the NAVI vs Vitality game.
As the dominance of Gambit is indisputable, the status of Natus Vincere as the most popular CS:GO team in the world is also indisputable. At the spring finals, only NAVI games were included in the top 5 matches of the tournament. In addition to the meeting with G2, two games with Gambit and one each with FaZe and BIG are in the top. At the same time, three out of five games have overcome the mark of 300K people online.
NAVI was ahead of all rivals by a large margin in terms of the average audience: more than 245K people regularly watched NAVI matches, which is 1.23 times more than matches of Gambit, which became the second, were watched. At the same time, NAVI had an almost two-fold advantage in viewership over BIG, which took the fifth place according to this metric.
In the context of languages, it is necessary to note the significant contribution of the Russian-language broadcast to the total hours watched of the tournament — more than 25%. Remarkably, that during the grand final, more than 151.7K people watched the Russian-language stream at the peak, which is only 33K less than the peak of the official English-language broadcast.
Thanks to the victory in the spring season, Gambit earned a slot at BLAST Premier 2021 world Finals. The Russian club became the second participant of the championship (the first was Heroic, who won the 13th season of the ESL Pro League), which will be held in mid-December.
The next stage of BLAST Premier is the autumn season. The group stage starts on September 16, and the tournament's partner teams, including Natus Vincere, will traditionally perform there: this means that the series can count on new records in terms of viewers.