IEM Rio Major Champions Stage Predictions

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IEM Rio Major Champions Stage Predictions

Who’s taking the trophy in Brazil? 

Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major has been nothing short of exhilarating thus far — and the highest level of action hasn’t even begun yet. There have been no less than a veritable plethora of upsets, with many teams expected to go very far crashing out unceremoniously, and some teams people didn’t have high hopes for showing true skill and grit to extend their stay in Rio. 

It’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing too many “surprises” anymore as every team that has made it thus far has earned their spot, but there are still a couple of underdogs who may punch above their supposed weight. Surprises or not, we’re going to try our hand at making predictions for the Playoffs.

Quarterfinals Fixtures

The fixtures for the Quarterfinals are already set, and first up we will get to see American organization Cloud9, manned by CIS players, take on the mixed-bag European squad of MOUZ. After that, the two storied organizations of Fnatic and Outsiders — formerly — will be locking horns for a spot in the Semis. 

In the lower part of the single brackets, Danish powerhouse and Astralis’ rival cum heir apparent Heroic will be battling first-time Major playoff entrants Team Spirit, who will be hoping to imitate the exploits of the Dota 2 squad of their organization at 2021’s The International 10. The final match of the Quarterfinals will undoubtedly hear the loudest cheers from the crowd as local boys FURIA Esports take on fan favorites Natus Vincere. 

Rio Major Champions Stage Predictions

Here are our predictions for the Champions Stage brackets, starting with full assessments of the preset Quarterfinals fixtures.

Cloud9 vs MOUZ

Considering how good their form is, we just don’t see Cloud9 losing to MOUZ. Dmitriy ”sh1ro” Sokolov is in sensational form, and Abay “HObbit” Hasenov isn’t far behind. Sure, their T-side hasn’t been as solid as they’d have liked it to be, but they have been nigh-impenetrable on the CT side, and if they can up their attack they can surely challenge for the title overall. 

MOUZ won’t be an easy opponent, though. Christopher “dexter” Nong has done a fantastic job of training his young teammates, and they are now absolutely beastly. If Ádám “torzsi” Torzsás and David ”frozen” Čerňanský can find form, they can essentially beat any team.

Fnatic vs Outsiders

No longer completely Swedish, Fnatic now features just one Swedish player on their roster in the form of two-time Major winner Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson. However, the most dangerous players on their lineup at the moment are Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjidi, Fredrik “roeJ” Jørgensen and newcomer Dion “FASHR” Derksen. The addition of young blood seems to have done wonders for the previously underperforming team, and we expect them to win this matchup. 

That being said, Outsiders aren’t a team to be scoffed at. If Dzhami “Jame” Ali calls the shots well and Evgeniy “FL1T” Lebedev and Aleksei “Qikert” Golubev can carry their weight, they have every chance of beating Fnatic to take that Semifinal spot — especially if the map veto favors the maps they’re good on. 

Heroic vs Team Spirit

The Danes are pumped up for the Playoffs, and they’re our favorites for this matchup. Team Spirit have come far and are no doubt solid, but Heroic have been superb over the last couple of years and are desperate to prove themselves on LAN. Casper “cadiaN” Møller, Rasmus “sjuush” Beck and René “TeSeS” Madsen will be the players to watch for Heroic.

Spirit’s best bet for this matchup is to simply play their best game and hope their shooting is on point and Heroic’s isn’t on that day. This means Boris “magixx” Vorobyev and Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov will have to be absolutely incisive. Otherwise, we don’t see them beating the Danes in terms of strategy or firepower. 

Natus Vincere vs FURIA Esports

We might receive a lot of hate/shade for this, and it might turn out to be as erroneous as the vast majority of predictions are, but we have FURIA winning this matchup. The crowd goes wild every time they so much as do damage to the opponents, and they seem to absolutely revel in this. On top of that, Yuri “yuurih” Boian, Andrei “arT” Piovezan and Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato have been in stellar form as of late as the team bulldozed their way to the top in the Legends Stage.

You can’t really rule out a team like Na’ Vi either, though. The same crowd-inspired momentum that carries FURIA forward can also turn into a nervous silence and pressure if they lose multiple rounds on the trot. Their players haven’t exactly been at the top of their game, but you can’t rule out pop-offs from the likes of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Denis “electroNic” Sharipov.

Semifinals and Grand Finals Predictions

Between Fnatic and Cloud9, we’re going to go with the latter because they’ve been looking absolutely scintillating. It’s not like their opponents wouldn’t have a chance, but it certainly does seem like C9 are playing some of the best CS of their lives right now. We call a 2-0 to Cloud9.

Heroic vs FURIA will be an explosive affair, but in our opinion, FURIA will take the matchup 2-1. There will be nervous moments for both teams, and the map veto will decide who wins which of the first two maps, but FURIA’s confidence should be enough to topple Heroic.

If it had been a Bo5 Grand Final things may have been different, but we believe Cloud9 will successfully break Brazilian hearts 2-1. The CIS boys have never quite enjoyed much in the way of crowd support, with the team having come into the limelight during the pandemic and no notable tournaments having been held in their home region since them. They don’t care much about crowd support, and have done just fine without it. They have already managed to win two matches of an all-important Bo3 against Brazilian side Imperial to start off their incredible run.

Join us after each day’s play for a recap of the action.

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IEM Rio Major Champions Stage Predictions
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.