With the RMRs for the BLAST.tv Paris Major set to kick off in just a few days, we will soon know the teams who will have their chance at eternal glory in the final Major of CS:GO.
Four RMR events will be held, with two in Europe, one in the Americas, and one in the Pacific. The field in each event is strong, but ultimately, there will always be favorites. Read on to see our picks for the favorite at each RMR event.
European RMR A
Arguably the weaker of the two European RMR events, RMR A has two obvious favorites.
Fresh from winning their Intel Grand Slam at ESL Pro League Season 17, FaZe is a shoe-in to make the Major in Paris. Their time in Malta was a display of strength, the likes of which we haven’t seen from the team since IEM Cologne 2022. This FaZe team is made up of one of the greatest combinations of Counter-Strike talents of all time, if they stay in the same form as they were in at Pro League, they might even be favorites to take home the Major trophy in May.
NAVI may look somewhat out of sorts in 2023, but they remain one of the best teams in the world. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev may not be performing at his usual heights, and Andrij "npl" Kukharsjkyj still looks uncomfortable on the team, but considering the experience on the team and some of the opposition they will face, qualification will be comfortable.
Outside of those two teams, you can also expect to see the newly reinstated Virtus.pro team qualify for Paris with relative ease.
European RMR B
As stated earlier, European RMR B has the stronger field. Despite this, favorites still arise.
Going into the event, G2 is the number-one ranked team in the world. A stark contrast to the previous RMR in which they were eliminated by GamerLegion, there are no longer doubts over the lineup including Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen. Hardened by their experiences pre-Rio, G2 no longer makes mistakes. They are a certain fixture of Paris.
Their closest rivals in 2023 thus far, Heroic, will also event RMR B as one of the favorites. A team who has gone from strength to strength in recent memory, they felt heartbreak at IEM Rio 2022 as they lost in their first-ever Major final. Here to stay as one of the best teams in the world, they’ll be determined to go one step further in Paris.
With Dan “apEX” Madesclaire and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut as France’s biggest hopes in their home Major, be sure that they will also ensure their qualification from the RMR.
With teams from the Americas struggling in the previous Major, the Americas RMR has seen one of its qualification spots handed over to the far more successful European region. If the RMR wasn’t a gauntlet before, this change will only exacerbate that fact for the Americas.
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When talking about favorites, no team in the region is as strong as Liquid. Although they might have looked shaky of late, especially when facing regional rivals paiN, Liquid remains one of the best teams in the world. With two of North America’s best-ever players still playing under their banner, their reign at the top of their region's ranking looks assured for the foreseeable future. Despite making two finals appearances, this team is still yet to win a trophy, all the more reason for them to make light work of the teams in Monterrey and book their position in Paris.
FURIA have been the best team in Brazil for years, and while they might have gone off the boil since their semi-final appearance in Rio, that fact remains the same. Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato is the best player in the region since Marcelo “coldzera” David’s time at the top, and he still remains in the same lights-out form he was in towards the end of last year. The team may have struggled recently, but performance in the Major is always a guarantee from them, expect them to get there with ease.
Elsewhere in the Americas RMR, expect Complexity to not make the mistakes they did previously in the RMR for IEM Rio. Also, watch out for paiN who have been in an excellent run of form since Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt took over the reins as IGL.
Previously criticized for only having four slots during qualification for IEM Rio, the Pacific RMR has seen its size double this time around.
The obvious favorite is The Mongolz, who up until recently had been playing as IHC. Despite recent changes that saw Tengis "sk0R" Batjargal depart the team in favor of Chinguun "hasteka" Bayarmaa, The Mongolz remain the best team in the region. Now well accustomed to qualifying from RMR events, they’ll be looking to do the same again to make their third Major on the bounce.
Fresh off a strong performance at Pro League Season 17, you can also expect to see a strong showing from Rare Atom in Ulaanbaatar. The current best Chinese team, Rare Atom has threatened to challenge teams outside of the region for a while. Having just shown the best version of themselves ever on LAN, they might just be feeling like this is their time.
They will have to face off stiff competition from Grayhound, however. Just like The Mongolz, Greyhound are season veterans when it comes to qualifying from RMRs and they’ll be keen to ensure Oceania has representation at the final Major of CS:GO.