Extra Salt have booked a ticket to the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown following a 2-1 victory over paiN in the grand final of the VENN Invitational. The North American side narrowly edged out a two-map victory over Triumph in their semi-final match-up, while paiN had little issue dispatching of ChocoCheck to earn their spot in the grand final.
Extra Salt continue to be a source of trouble for Rafael “saffee” Costa‘s side, having now won five series in a row while dropping just two maps. One of those map wins came in the VENN Invitational grand final, where paiN kicked off the series in the lead with a 16-7 win on their pick of Inferno, and put themselves in a strong position to score their first win against Extra Salt as they led 11-4 on the CT side of Train.
Once the sides swapped over however, Extra Salt were on the comeback trail, conceding just two rounds en route to a 16-13 finish to force a Nuke decider. There, an incredible performance from Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek, which saw the South African player boasting a flawless 23-0 K-D thirteen rounds into the match, was the key factor in his team securing a narrow victory, with Edgar “MarKE” Maldonado securing a 1vs3 clutch in round 29 to close out the series.
The win sets Extra Salt up as the final team in attendance at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, where $160,000 and two spots at the Spring Finals will be on offer. The team list for the event consists of:
The former Cloud9 squad now look ahead to a long European campaign as they are also set to attend the FunSpark ULTI Europe Final, DreamHack Masters Spring, and IEM Summer in the coming months, offering them their first true taste of international competition in over a year.