ESL One: Road to Rio 2020 is by far the most important CS:GO tournament of the year. Because the first Major of the season got cancelled, this event is practically the equivalent of two Majors mixed into one, having a $2 million prize pool and bringing together the best of the best. But in order to make an objective selection of the teams, qualifiers need to be played. And that’s where ESL One Road to Rio: Europe and North America comes in. Scheduled to take place between April 22nd – May 17th, those competitions are two of the 6 qualifiers that aim to give each region the chance to pick its best teams and send them to the big event, which will take place in November. Of course, everyone’s hope is that the COVID-19 crisis will be over by then. Otherwise, ESL is in big trouble, financially speaking.
ESL One: Road to Rio EU Participants
In the European region, the participants are both numerous and strong (in most cases anyway). Europe is known as the region with the highest number of great CS:GO teams, so the battle will certainly be fierce. Here’s a list of all the participants:
Big Favorites to Win the Tournament
There are at least 4 teams in the race that could realistically win the event.
Fnatic will enter the race as the number one favourite. Fnatic just won an important title at ESL Pro League Season 11: Europe, defeating the likes of Astralis, Natus Vincere, mousesports, and FaZe Clan in the process. Given that the tournament was held online, just like ESL One: Road to Rio Europe, it’s very likely that they will keep their excellent form and get another top placement.
Astralis will look to secure a top 3 result. Astralis is currently sitting at number 2 in the global rankings and will definitely try to get a top 3 finish at this tournament. The team ended up in 3rd place at ESL Pro League Season 11: Europe as well, so they’re expected to do something similar here, because their greatest rivals are present again.
Mousesports has the chance to get revenge. Mousesports almost won the title at ESL Pro League Season 11, but was stopped by Fnatic. The Grand Final ended 3 – 2 in the Swedes’ favour, but mousesports now has a new chance.
FaZe Clan needs to prove its worth. FaZe Clan has a formidable roster but seriously needs to step up its game in order to start winning important titles in the current professional environment. There are many strong teams around and so far they haven’t been able to take the lead or prove themselves able to perform when it matters.
ESL One: Road to Rio NA Participants
ESL One: Road to Rio North America will have 12 participants. Two-thirds of them are well-known teams while the other 4 are competitors you’ve likely never heard of.
Top 5 Favourite Teams
These are the 5 teams that you should watch closely if you enjoy esports betting and intend to bet on CS:GO matches during ESL One: Road to Rio North America.
Team Liquid is by far the strongest team in North America at the moment. EliGE and his squad have recently won the title at ESL Pro League Season 11 NA by defeating Evil Geniuses in the Grand Final without losing a single map. Liquid had a phenomenal season in 2018 and 2019 and is now looking to re-establish itself as one of the best competitors in the game. Regionally, they have little opposition. But overall, at least 5 other teams are as strong as them or even stronger. Going into ESL One: Road to Rio – North America, Liquid is expected to at least play in the Grand Final.
Evil Geniuses is another strong team that’s right below Liquid in the global rankings, sitting at number 7. Apart from finishing 2nd at ESL Pro League Season 11 NA, EG’s first 4 months of this season have been underwhelming. The team did almost nothing notable and is probably going through a rough time. Results are needed soon or we may see them start making roster changes. At this tournament, EG should easily get a top 4 finish.
FURIA has everything to prove and fight for. The team is inching closer and closer to regional dominance and only two competitors are left to be overcome in order to reach the top of the hill. Apart from EG and Liquid, this team can handle anyone at this point. But we’ll have to see how they evolved over the last few weeks. FURIA’s entire roster has signed long-term contracts with the organization, signalling the intention to work hard and stay united until big results are obtained. And this is one of the reasons why people expect them to get stronger and stronger.
100 Thieves is a top 10 team globally and one of the best in North America. This is practically the former Renegades roster and everyone expects them to stay near the top at any regional event. The most likely outcome for them at ESL One: Road to Rio – North America is 3rd – 4th place.
And finally, we have MIBR, a team that has been fighting an uphill battle for the last few years, trying to get back to the top. But with coldzera and zews gone, that’s not likely to happen too soon. Nevertheless, FalleN should secure a top 6 result for his team at this qualifier.