In the next few days, starting October 4th – 9th, we’ll be witnessing 52 professional CS: GO teams fighting for a chance to participate in Intel Extreme Masters Rio, which starts on October 31st. Only 24 best ones–16 teams from Europe, six from America, and two from Asia–will be chosen to compete in Brazil in front of a huge audience.
Europe’s teams for IEM Road to Rio are divided into two groups: A and B, both with 16 teams. America also has 16, while Asia offers four teams to give their best in this tournament. For Europe, the top 8 teams are going to the Masters, and the other eight are disqualified.
All three regions will compete in different locations. The European teams are playing in Malta on the 4th of October, and American teams are gathering in Sweden to avoid visa application and every complication and delay that this process brings. Their first match is scheduled for October the 5th. As for the Asian teams, the competition will be in Australia on October 7th.
Visa Problems for Russian Competitors
Unfortunately, many teams had complications with obtaining visas for traveling to Malta. Since the stricter visa processing for Russian citizens, the competitors for IEM Road to Rio who didn’t obtain a visa earlier failed to do it now. Due to this issue, one team, Benched Heroes, had to be disqualified, and the next–placed team took their place. Even though one player can be replaced, according to ESL rules, Benched Heroes had another problem and couldn’t attend the competition either way, so Illuminar is jumping in instead of them.
IEM Rio Major 2022
For the first time ever, the CS: GO Major Championship will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from October 31st to November 13th. Almost all tickets have been sold already—in the first 60 minutes, in fact! This is going to be an amazing experience for everyone in the audience, not just the competitors. On October 31st – November 3rd, the stage is the Challengers’, and the Legends are taking over on November 5th – 8th.
There will also be a huge stage layout: the 360-degree center stage, which is double that of before. In front of the arena, thousands of fans will be able to watch the matches on the big screen–if they manage to buy the ticket in time.
The winners of this Championship are getting big prizes: the total of $1,250,000 will be split between the teams; of which the 1st place gets $500,000, the 2nd gets $170,000, the 3rd and 4th both get $80,000, etc.
Teams and Matches
Alongside well-known teams, such as Astralis, FaZe Clan, Team Vitalis, and the like, there are some “new” aspirants that fought and won their place in Road to Rio ’22. Thanks to CS: GO’s open circuit, any team can clash against some of the (proven) best squads. That secures them a chance to play and win the biggest championship in this game.
Probably half of the qualified teams for the IEM Road to Rio are famous and have dozens of won matches in their history. However, there is this other half that we don’t know about very well. And yet, they are here and ready to fight!
IEM Road to Rio 2022: “Upcoming” Team Highlights
- Illuminar – not a young team, but we’ll list them here since they changed their roster in late August. Their first match will be against Natus Vincere, and it certainly won’t be easy to win.
- Monte – their squad has been in this formation for about two months and has some great results. Outsiders will be their opponent on October 4th.
- Fantasy – they put up the team specially for this qualification, and even though the expectations for this squad are not high, they still have claimed the slot in Road to Rio. Still, the first game they’re playing will be against Vitality. They’ll surely do their best to beat the EPL S16 Champions!
- B8 – young Ukrainian team, the expectations are low because of a lack of experience, and they are the lowest-ranked on the RMR. But let’s not assume they won’t rank higher on the Road to Rio! Their next match is against Cloud9.
- GamerLegion – new team, but not new teammates. The team was put together right before the Major qualifications started. They will also have a big test on October 4th: the match against FaZe.
- Aurora – another great team signed for the qualifications just before the competition started. They have a player with great experience. Despite that, it’s hard to guess their rank on the Road to Rio. Their first opponent will be fnatic on the 4th of October.
There are more excellent teams to list, and it will be even more fun and exciting to watch them do their best on the IEM Road to Rio.
Here is the schedule of upcoming matches.
Europe RMR A
- Bad News Eagles VS Eternal Fire – 4th October at 11:00
- Sprout VS forZe – 4th October at 11:00
- G2 VS ECSTATIC – 4th October at 12:15
- Cloud9 VS B8 – 4th October at 12:15
- FaZe VS GamerLegion – 4th October at 13:30
- Spirit VS 1WIN – 4th October at 13:30
- Ninjas in Pyjamas VS Astralis – 4th October at 13:45
- Aurora VS fnatic – 4th October at 13:45
Europe RMR B
- Team Vitality VS Fantasy – 4th October at 16:00
- Outsiders VS Monte – 4th October at 16:00
- Heroic VS Saw – 4th October at 17:15
- Team Falcons VS K23 – 4th October at 17:15
- ENCE VS HEET – 4th October at 18:30
- MOUZ VS OG – 4th October at 18:30
- NAVI VS Illuminar Gaming – 4th October at 19:45
- BIG VS Sangal Esports – 4th October at 19:45
EPL S16 Champions to Compete in IEM Road to Rio
Team Vitality has won the 16th Season of ESL Pro League. This qualifies them for BLAST World Final 2022 and IEM Katowice 2023. Their player, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, has received an award for being “The most valuable player of ESL Pro League Season 16.” That is his 13th individual award. The deciding match in Pro League was against Team Liquid, while 3rd and 4th places went to Cloud9 and G2Esports. However, we’ll be watching most of the 24 teams that participated on IEM Road to Rio.