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The BLAST Premier Spring Showdown is nearing its conclusion, with the Semi Finals taking place today. The action kicked off last night with Ninjas in Pyjamas taking on Cloud9 in the first of two EU Semi Final matches. Cloud9 came out on top in this match, booking their spot in the Grand Finals on Sunday. However, it wasn't an easy match as NiP pushed them all the way in this Best of 3, defeating Cloud9 on Overpass 16-10, but Cloud9 remained strong and added onto their map one 16-8 Ancient victory with a 16-7 win on Vertigo to take the series.

BIG vs 9INE (EU)

The second of the EU Semi Finals sees BIG take on 9INE. BIG’s roster of Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz, Karim “Krimbo” Moussa, Josef “faveN” Baumann, Nils “k1to” Gruhne and Marcel “hyped” Köhn has some familiar faces that have been on the roster for a while. However, Hyped has been a great addition to the squad after he joined in February of 2023. Hyped was promoted from BIG Academy, and the 21 year old now has the joint second highest HLTV rating on the BIG roster.

BIG took down Rare Atom to book their spot in this Semi Final matchup. Following a tough 16-7 defeat on Ancient to kick off the series, BIG answered back with a strong 10-5 first half on Vertigo, before closing out the map 16-9.

The same story happened on the final Overpass, with BIG dominating the first half with a 13-2 scoreline, and taking the map victory 16-2. The youngsters are the X factor for BIG here, if Krimbo and Hyped can perform at the top of their game, BIG could find themselves in the Grand Final.

As for 9INE, they took down Fnatic in a match that was a massive upset. 9INE dominated map one with a 16-6 victory on Vertigo – statistically their best map this year. Fnatic fought back with a 16-13 victory on Overpass, but 9INE closed out the series on Nuke with a 16-12 victory. This victory was mainly due to 9INE’s star player, Olek “Hades” Miskiewicz. Alongside teammates of Krzysiek “Goofy” Gorski, Kamil “KEi” Pietkun, Kacper “Kylar” Walukiewicz and Wiktor “mynio” Kruk, Hades has been the dominant force in the lineup. The 23 year old sits with a 1.17 HLTV rating, the highest on 9INE and the highest in this Semi Final matchup.

On paper, this could be anyone’s match. However, the experience of tabseN, faveN and K1to could be enough to pull BIG through against the younger Polish side of 9INE.

paiN vs Liquid (NA)

Another extremely close matchup comes in the first of two NA Semi Finals with paiN taking on Liquid. These teams most recently met in ESL Pro League Season 17, where paiN took a 2-0 victory through a 16-12 Ancient victory, and 16-7 win on Mirage. The Brazilian roster of paiN have a great opportunity to book their spot in the Grand Final in this series. Romeu “zevy” Rocco, Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt, Wesley “hardzao” Lopes, Felipe “Skullz” Medeiros and Gabriel “NEKIZ” Schenato took down a strong MIBR roster in their previous match, and surprised many. This victory could be all the momentum they need heading into this Semi Final, and if zevy can remain at the top of his game, paiN have a great opportunity to surprise.

However, Liquid are one of the most storied teams in all of Counter-Strike, and they won't go down without a fight. Liquid dominated Nouns in their previous match, taking a 2-0 victory and limiting Nouns to just 14 rounds in the entire series. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, Keith “NAF” Markovic, Josh “oSee” Ohm, Nick “nitr0” Canella and Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis are names that everyone knows in CS:GO, and the veterans such as EliGE and NAF continue to perform at the highest level.

Imperial vs EG Black (NA)

Imperial vs EG Black is possibly the most exciting match of the day. EG Black features a roster of Paytyn “junior” Johnson, Jadan “HexT” Postma, Willian “RUSH” Wierzba, Colby “Walco” Walsh and Jeorge “Jeorge” Endicott. This is a team of four players aged 19-21, and the 28 year old leader, RUSH. Currently on a three game win streak, EG Black took down Furia to earn their spot in this Semi Final. Junior was incredible in this match as always, ending with a +/- of 32k as he went 72k/36d throughout the 2-1 series win.

This combination of youngsters led by one veteran is something we have seen in plenty of different esports and different rosters, and it just might be clicking at the right time for EG Black.

As for Imperial, these are storied names in CS:GO. Jhonatan “JOTA” Willian, Ricardo “boltz” Prass, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Vinicius “VINI” Figeiredo and Marcelo “chelo” Cespedes. Imperial put on a great showing in their previous match by taking down Complexity 2-1 in three competitive maps. The entire team received a HLTV rating of over 1.10, with JOTA topping the leaderboard with a 1.38 rating. Imperial are by far the favourites in this last NA Semi Final. However, they’ll need to stay locked in and not overlook EG Black, as they could throw some surprises at them, and take a surprise spot in the Grand Final.

BLAST Premier Spring Showdown Semi Finals get underway at 10:30am ET, and you can catch all the action on the BLAST Twitch Channel.