IEM Rio Major Legends Stage Kicks Off On Saturday

IEM Rio Major Legends Stage Kicks Off On Saturday

The long-awaited Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major is already in full swing, with the tournament's first stage behind us.

The long-awaited Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major is already in full swing, with the tournament’s first stage behind us. And while the Challengers Stage had produced many exciting affairs, the main part of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament has yet to begin.

Challenger Stage Wasn’t Kind To Brazilian Teams

The IEM Rio Major started on October 31, welcoming 24 CS:GO teams who traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to compete for the lion’s share of the $1,250,000 prize pool and the coveted title of Major champions. But while the event started with 24 teams, only 16 remain in the race for the Major Championship title.

The tournament started with the Challengers Stage, which welcomed 16 CS:GO teams who founded in a 16-team Swiss system format for eight spots in the main stage. Besides the elimination and advancement bouts, all matches were played as best-of-one (BO1), which has led to some interesting and unexpected results.

Many of the top teams who qualified for the Major crashed out of the Challengers Stage, with the biggest shock being the underwhelming showings from the home squads.

Despite being played in Brazil, IEM Rio Major was not kind to the Brazilian CS:GO squads, mainly Imperial Esports and 00Nation, who exited the tournament with a 0-3 record. Imperial, who many expected to make it to the second stage, suffered losses against Vitality, 9z Esports, and Cloud9, whereas 00Nation flattered against Bad News Eagles, FURIA, and IHC Esports.

On a more positive note, the region’s top team, FURIA Esports, made it out alive, with a very solid 3-1 record. The home crowd’s favorites lost just one series (against BIG) but easily took down 00Nation, OG, and GamerLegion to qualify for the Legends Stage and keep their dream of winning the home Major alive.

16 Teams Remain

Besides FURIA Esports, seven other CS:GO teams advanced from the Challengers Stage, including MOUZ, Bad News Eagles, Outsiders, BIG, Fnatic, Team Vitality, and Cloud9, who will join the eight top-seeded teams in the main event.

The eight teams will now compete against some of the world’s top CS:GO teams in FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, ENCE, Sprout, Heroic, Team Spirit, and Team Liquid, who all directly qualified for the Legends Stage via their respective RMR events.

The tournament organizers also revealed the Round 1 schedule, which has produced an interesting set of matches in:

  • Team Liquid vs MOUZ
  • Team Spirit vs Bad News Eagles
  • FaZe Clan vs Cloud9
  • Sprout vs BIG
  • Natus Vincere vs Team Vitality
  • Heroic vs Outsiders
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Fnatic

The first round of IEM Rio Major Legends Stage will feature a handful of very intriguing matches, kicking off with a clash with the defending champions FaZe Clan and Cloud9. As a match that should end in FaZe’s favor, it will also offer Cloud9 a chance to redeem themselves for poor display in the Challengers Stage.

Another big match to look forward to is a regional derby between Sprout and BIG as the only two German CS:GO teams in the Major. The day will continue with a meeting between the current no.4 and no.2 teams in the world in Natus Vincere and Team Vitality, who have already met in many big event finals, including BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2022 and BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022.

And lastly, we have a Scandinavian derby between two rival organizations in, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic, who will close out the first day of IEM Rio Major Legends Stage.

IEM Rio Major Legends Stage begins on Saturday, November 5, at 11:00 BRT.