The last step of IEM Rio Major qualifications will start shortly. As usual, RMR will bring several surprises, especially taking into account the Swiss System format. I will make a sort of bold prediction – which underdogs will surprise us in a good way. And which favorites, in my opinion, won’t make it to the Major.
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European RMR A
High chance to fail – Astralis
For me, Astralis have not been looking promising over the last several months, and in 2022 in general. Sometimes they show a really decent level, sometimes they look dazed and frozen, as if there’s not many options open to them.
Even if so much of their game wasn’t built around AWPer, Asger “Farlig” Jensen; who often underperforms. Despite Farlig looking more stable (and making a lot of good plays) during the EPL16 group stage, I don’t think he will keep that stability for RMR.
Most likely it’s going to be a very hard fight for the Danish team at Malta.
My prediction: Astralis won’t proceed to the Major.
B8 will get the Major spot
B8 is the underdog boasting a very flexible playstyle and smart veto. They were one step away from participating in the previous Antwerp RMR, and this time, they made it work. Having four maps on a decent level (Dust2, Inferno, Nuke, Ancient), they’re a dangerous opponent both in bo1 and bo3.
Additionally, I rate 17-year-old Artem “r1nkle” Moroz as one of the most promising young AWPers in the world. The Ukrainian has 1.18 rating 2.0 HLTV across the last three months, and 1.23 in the last month.
With a peaking confident sniper, B8 must not be underestimated by anyone.
My prediction: B8 will proceed to the Major with a 3-1 or 3-2 score.
European RMR B
High chance to fail – BIG, OG
I would start with BIG here. With recent roster changes and a controversial form, plus taking into account their average performance in the EPL16 Group Stage, and the fact that Elias “s1n” Stein will be replacing Josef “faveN” Baumann at European RMR. Things for BIG are looking… far from perfect. With only 5th seed at RMR and a very prickly opponent in the first round (Sangal), the situation for BIG might be tough after the first day.
Though I think the German team will fight to the end and will reach the 5th round.
Moving on to OG, I just don’t feel much synergy between the coaching staff and the roster in the current iteration. Things for OG have been shaky lately, even though they managed to qualify for BLAST Premier Fall Finals from 1st-3rd place.
Sometimes I have a feeling that the current blurry structure with a lot of freedom for Abdul “degster” Gasanov is not being used to its full potential.
My prediction: BIG will end RMR with a 2-3 or 3-2 score; OG won’t proceed to the Major.
Sangal will get the Major spot
I feel like Sangal isn’t a team many people expected to even see at RMR. But they successfully qualified for the event, closing Entropiq with a 2-0 score in the decisive match.
Sangal have a flexible map pool, a pretty proactive playstyle and… a win streak of 12-matches. The team has been looking really strong over the last 2 months, but the question is if they can keep their form for the upcoming LAN event?
If the answer is yes, stars will align for Sangal.
My prediction: Sangal will proceed to the Major with a 3-1 or 3-2 score.