ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS Betting Preview

ESL One 2019 Head Image

ESL One: Rio 2020 will be by far the biggest event of this CS:GO season. Scheduled to take place in November, the tournament features the strongest teams in the world and offers a total prize pool of 2 million dollars. We still have a long way to go until then, but the qualification events have already begun. The CIS region will have its own dedicated competition and in this article, I will take a close look at its details, participants and CS:GO betting opportunities.

ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS: Details

ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS will involve just the teams from the CIS region, which is something we don’t see that often these days. Usually, CIS teams compete alongside European ones to determine who goes to an important LAN event. But this time it’s different, so we will finally get to see Na’Vi shine (or not!) among its regional rivals.


ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS is scheduled to take place between April 30th and May 17th. With 12 participants in the race and round-robin groups, a lot of matches will be played. That translates into a lot of esports betting opportunities, but more on that later.

Participants

With only a few exceptions, the competitors are all well-known teams from the region.

  • Natus Vincere
  • pro
  • Winstrike Team
  • Gambit Youngsters
  • Syman Gaming
  • Team Spirit
  • ESPADA
  • Hard Legion Esports
  • Team Unique
  • forZe
  • Nemiga Gaming
  • pro100

Competitive Format

ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS takes place in two stages: Groups and Playoffs. For the Group Stage, the teams will be divided into 2 groups of 6. All matches are Bo3, each competitor plays against each of the other teams in its group. The group winner advances to the Semifinals. The 2nd and 3rd place teams go to the Quarterfinals. In the Playoffs, the single-elimination format is used. Once again, all matches are Bo3.

Prizes

A total of $50,000 will be offered in prizes. The money will be divided among the top 10 participants in the following way:

  • 1st place: $15,000
  • 2nd place: $10,000
  • 3rd place: $6,000
  • 4th place: $5,000
  • 5th place: $4,500
  • 6th place: $3,500
  • 7th – 8th place: $2,000
  • 9th – 10th place: $1,000

Groups

The groups have been revealed.

Group A:

  • forZe
  • Gambit Youngsters
  • Nemiga Gaming
  • Team Spirit
  • Team Unique
  • Winstrike Team

Group B:

  • ESPADA
  • Hard Legion Esports
  • Natus Vincere
  • pro100
  • Syman Gaming
  • pro

It’s strange to see Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere in the same group, but that’s what CIS Counter-Strike has come to these days. The groups are fairly well balanced, although I still believe that Group B will be slightly tougher. If Na’Vi plays its usual game, nobody should be able to beat them. The skill difference between the other competitors and themselves is enormous.

In Group A, the big favorites are forZe and Team Spirit. In Group B, Na’Vi should finish 1st but it’s a bit harder to tell who will join them in the Playoffs. In principle, it should be Virtus.pro and probably Hard Legion. But we’ll need to wait and see.

Favorites to Bet on

These are the teams that you should keep an eye on if you intend to bet on CS:GO during this tournament.

Natus Vincere

Very recently, Na’Vi achieved its goal of reaching the number 1 spot in the global rankings. And even though it only lasted for around 6 weeks, this was the first time when the team was ranked as the best in the world. They had occupied the 2nd position before for months in a row, but never the 1st. Right now, they’re sitting at number 2 again.

The reason why Na’Vi is so good in its current format, apart from having the best player in the world in its roster (s1mple), is the synergy between the players and their desire to win. This is a very youthful team, with flamie being the oldest (23). So as you might imagine, these players have all the time in the world to play CS:GO and enjoy the time of their lives. A career in this esport is highly profitable right now and I’m sure that nobody wants to prematurely exit one of the best rosters in the world. That kind of situation is guaranteed to keep everyone focused at all times. And if they don’t stay focused on their own, s1mple will probably start screaming at them.

Na’Vi recently won the title at two tournaments: BLAST Premier: Spring 2020 and IEM Masters XIV World Championship. After that, they finished 4th at ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe. These are all signs of strength. When you contrast the quality of the players, their results, their recent form and their hunger to win with the other CIS teams, the difference is enormous. That’s why I’m very confident that Na’Vi will win this tournament. It would take a long series of mistakes on their part to lose the title here.

Virtus.pro

In the middle of December last year, Virtus.pro all of a sudden decided to change its entire roster and acquire AVANGAR’s team. For the now defunct organization, this was a unique opportunity to exit the professional scene with their bank accounts at near breaking point. Because AVANGAR had just finished 2nd at a CS:GO Major, catching everyone by surprise. But, as these things sometimes go, the roster did not perform as expected after moving to VP. In fact, they didn’t even maintain the level they had had prior to their Major performance. But in spite of all this, the team is still highly experienced and in the top 20. That’s significant at this competitive level, because their regional rivals aren’t any better, with the exception of Na’Vi. Based on this fact, I expect Virtus.pro to qualify for the Playoffs and almost certainly reach the top 4. If they can’t do that at this level, then we’re likely to see some big roster changes at the end of ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS.

forZe

ForZe will probably be the runner-up in Group A. Only Team Spirit is stronger than them and their performance during the last few weeks has been good: 8 wins in 12 matches. Two of the losses came against Spirit, which is why I’m pretty certain that they’ll fall to them at ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS as well. But other than that, forZe seems fully capable of qualifying for the Playoffs. I don’t see two other opponents that can beat them in their current form, so you should definitely look for opportunities to bet on this team at every step of the way. In the global rankings, forZe is sitting at number 17. Most of their opponents in Group A are 30-40 positions below them.

Team Spirit

Team Spirit is the most likely competitor to win Group A. It is currently ranked 19th and has won 7 out of its last 10 matches. Just several weeks ago, Spirit finished 2nd at HomeSweetHome: Week 1, an online league that featured many of the teams present at ESL One: Road to Rio – CIS. Examples include Syman, Virtus.pro, forZe and Gambit Youngsters. Team Spirit proved to be better than all of them, so you should respect what they can do and try not to bet against them. If anything, you should be betting on them.

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