CSGO IEM Road to Rio RMR Overview and Analysis

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CSGO IEM Road to Rio RMR Overview and Analysis

Taking a look at the RMR and what the results mean for the upcoming Major

There was plenty of CSGO action across the world over the last five days as part of the Road to Rio Regional Major Rankings — a prelude to the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major. As is usual for a tournament of this magnitude, there were plenty of surprises, upsets, stomps and Overtime romps. 

A total of 24 teams qualified for the Major from four different RMRs, with 16 teams from Europe, 6 from the Americas, and two from the Asia-Pacific regions. If you haven’t been following the games, this is the perfect chance for you to catch up with the matches and their results, and if you’re looking forward to the Major, you’ll have a better idea of how the teams are shaping up.

European RMR A 

The alphabetically senior of the two European RMRs had arguably the greatest share of surprises and upsets. Two teams that would normally have been expected to reach the Legends if not the Championship Stage of the Major — Astralis and G2 — were knocked out. Additionally, there were a few surprise additions to both the Challenger and Legend stages. 

Qualified Teams

The teams qualifying out of this group were FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Sprout, Team Spirit, Cloud9, Bad News Eagles, Team GamerLegion and Fnatic. The first four will be entering the Legends Stage (Spirit by way of having reached the semifinals of the last Major), while the rest will have to make their way up through the Challengers Stage. 

Despite going through a whopping 7 Overtimes, FaZe topped the group with three straight wins against GamerLegion, Fnatic, and Sprout. They look like a shadow of their former Major-winning selves, but still showed flashes of the brilliance and resilience that put them at the top of the world rankings.

Meanwhile, NIP had the exact same results, but they couldn’t take the top spot due to an inferior Buchholz Score. They beat regional neighbors Astralis with ease, thrashed Bad News Eagles, and edged out ESL Pro League 16 semifinalists Cloud9 in a close 3-map affair. Of their three opponents, only Astralis failed to qualify.


Sprout were a real surprise in third. Granted, they faced what most people would consider a relatively easy draw, but they gave FaZe a real run for their money, so no one will be taking them lightly at the Major. They beat forZe, Spirit, and B8 to book their spot.

Team Spirit and Cloud9 were tied in fourth place, but the clash between CIS players was surprisingly won by Spirit who beat 1win, GL, and BNE and only lost to Sprout. C9, meanwhile, took out B8, G2, and 1win, but lost to NIP. 

BNE, GL, and Fnatic were the last 3 teams to qualify, both doing so with a 3-2 scoreline. BNE performed admirably as they beat Eternal Fire, Astralis, and forZe, losing to a dominant NIP and resurgent Spirit. GL lost to FaZe and Spirit, but won against Aurora Gaming before shocking the world by knocking G2 out of the tournament — proceeding to cement their Major slot by dashing B8’s hopes. Lastly, Fnatic just about squeezed in after triumphing over Aurora, EF, and 1win, albeit suffering losses to FaZe and B8 enroute.

European RMR B 

The only surprises offered by the second European RMR came in the way of slight changes in the expected order of things — all the teams everyone expected to make it through still did so. In fact, not a single team from the bottom 8 beat one from the top half of the table. The only team that some people may have favored to make it in that didn’t was Team Falcons, which showed some promise but fell short when the going got tough. 

Qualified Teams

From this group, Natus Vincere, ENCE, Spirit, and Heroic will be entering the Legends Stage, with the last one being helped on by their results in the previous Major. Meanwhile, OG, Team Vitality, BIG, MOUZ, and Outsiders will enter the tournament as Challengers.

Despite a relatively poor showing at EPL16, Na’ Vi, to absolutely no one’s surprise, breezed through 3-0 with wins against Illuminar, MOUZ, and Outsiders, two of whom were in the playoffs of the recent Pro League with them. 

ENCE had an even more terrible Pro League than Na’ Vi, but made up with a straight run into the Legends stage, beating HEET, Falcons, and BIG in style. They will be a side to watch at the Major. 

Heroic would have been upset to only have made fourth place in the RMR, but their previous results propelled them into Legend status anyway. To be fair, they only dropped one map in a Bo1 against Outsiders, winning against SAW, Sangal Esports, and BIG. 

OG have recently experienced a resurgence with the addition of two new players, and although one could argue that they were lucky to get the opponents they did, they did still defeat Outsiders apart from Illuminar and Falcons.

Vitality were the last team to have a 3-1 scoreline, surprisingly losing to BIG but beating FANTASY, Monte, and MOUZ. That being said, they haven’t looked in nearly as good form as they were during the early stages of the last big tournament. 

BIG, MOUZ, and Outsiders, who all scraped through, did so under very different circumstances. BIG slayed the giant that is Vitality, but lost games to ENCE and Heroic and dropped a map to K23. MOUZ, on the other hand, beat only OG out of all the teams they faced that qualified, with their other victims being K23 and Sangal. Finally, Outsiders were looking good with wins over Monte and Heroic, but lost to Na’ Vi and OG before clean sweeping Falcons to ensure qualification.

American RMR 

With only one slot in the Legends stage, the American RMR was always going to be a scramble between multiple teams. In the end, it went to the most deserving side, although not without some struggle. There were a couple of extremely disappointing results, however. The first of these was the failure of Complexity Gaming, who would have fancied their chances after a strong run at EPL16. The 1-3 crashing out of MIBR is the other mishap, although to be fair, not many would have had high hopes for them.

Qualified Teams

Of the six teams who qualified from the region, EG topped the charts by way of the Buchholz Score, but were equalled in terms of points by Liquid. They were followed by 9z, 00 Nation, and FURIA, with Imperial taking the final spot through tiebreakers despite finishing lower than Complexity on the table. 


EG are experiencing something of a revival in recent times, and although they failed to qualify to the playoffs of EPL16, they nevertheless played well at the toe end of the tournament. They also fought tooth and nail with Liquid for the top spot — contrary to what the 2-0 scoreline might suggest — with their arch rivals taking it by way of four Overtimes in total. They beat nouns, FURIA, and 9z to reach the top spot. 

Liquid beat oNe Esports before taking out MIBR and Complexity, only dropping a map to COL in a hard-fought match. As mentioned before, they then proceeded to reach Legend status by taking out EG. Following in the wake of their heartbreaking loss in the final of EPL16, this will bring them some much-needed hope.

9z, 00 Nation, and FURIA all put up decent performances, with 00Nation taking losses from 9z and the other two from EG. Beating 00 Nation, Imperial, and ATK, 9z showed some real mettle to make it through, but 00 Nation’s run through Isurus, Imperial, and COL was also commendable. FURIA will be disappointed upon missing out on a higher seed though, as they only lost to EG by the barest of margins and dominated Infinity, O Plano, and paiN Gaming.

Asia-Pacific RMR

The Asia-Pacific RMR is very different from the others in that it only features four teams in a Double Elimination Bracket system. After TYLOO missed out on this Major’s RMR, it was between Mongolian side IHC Esports, Middle Eastern Qualifier winner JijieHao International, Chinese side Rare Atom, and Australian team Grayhound Gaming.

Qualified Teams

Both IHC and Grayhound qualified for the Major, with Chinese-sponsored Middle Eastern side JiJieHao, which has three Israeli and two Russian players, coming fruitlessly in third. Rare Atom, unfortunately, couldn’t win a single match.

IHC’s run was far from easy, though, as they were taken to their limits by JiJieHao in the first map and Grayhound even took them to an Overtime on the second map between the two. Meanwhile, the Australian outfit proceeded to take out JiJieHao in the Lower Bracket to confirm their qualification.

With all 24 teams set, it’s only a matter of time before the Major begins. Keep an eye on our site for prediction articles, team and player analyses and CS:GO betting tips over the weeks leading up to the tournament.

CSGO IEM Road to Rio RMR Overview and Analysis
The Old One
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