ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe is about to enter its 2nd competitive week and the results so far have been quite spectacular. Competitors that few people would have expected to lead are leading the race in both groups. Going into week 2, the tournament has a lot more matches in store and most of them provide excellent esports betting opportunities for all those who want to bet on CS:GO.
ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe Summary (Week 1)
Before we dive right in, let’s do a short recap of what happened during the first week of ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe.
- 1st place: Ninjas in Pyjamas: 2 W – 0 L: +33 rounds
- 2nd place: Team Heretics: 2 W – 0 L: +25 rounds
- 3rd place: Astralis: 1 W – 1 L: +6 rounds
- 4th place: ENCE: 1 W – 1 L: -16 rounds
- 5th place: Team Vitality: 1 W – 1 L: +4 rounds
- 6th place: Fnatic: 1 W – 1 L: +3 rounds
- 7th place: Complexity Gaming: 0 W – 2 L: -32 rounds
- 8th place: Dignitas: 0 W – 2 L: -23 rounds
As you can see, Ninjas in Pyjamas has had a great tournament so far, defeating both Dignitas and Vitality with relative ease. But if they’re a big surprise, just take a look at Heretics. This team managed to beat ENCE and Dignitas, even though it started the race as the least likely competitor to succeed.
Over this next competitive week, we will get a much better idea of what the true pecking order is. But in principle, NiP, Astralis, Vitality, and Fnatic should come out on top.
In Group B, things went just as wild as they did in Group A. This resulted in spectacular CS:GO betting opportunities for those who left that something is off with mousesports and figured out just how strong FaZe Clan and Riders were.
- 1st place: FaZe Clan: 2 W – 0 L: +13 rounds
- 2nd place: Movistar Riders: 2 W – 0 L: +3 rounds
- 3rd place: Copenhagen Flames: 1 W – 0 L: +11 rounds
- 4th place: North: 1 W – 1 L: -1 rounds
- 5th place: G2 Esports: 1 W – 1 L: +8 rounds
- 6th place: c0ntact Gaming: 0 W – 2 L: -8 rounds
- 7th place: GODSENT: 0 W – 1 L: -14 rounds
- 8th place: mousesports: 0 W – 2 L: -12 rounds
By far, the biggest surprises in this group were mousesports and Riders. It’s not yet clear what happened to karrigan’s team after ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe, where they finished 2nd. It’s only been two weeks and mousesports is looking like a totally different team. Are the players depressed in isolation? Have they abandoned their usual training routines. If anything, for a gamer this pandemic should be an opportunity to train even harder, because there are no more distractions. But it looks like not everyone can find the motivation to do that.
The other big surprise in Group B, this time a positive one, was Riders. This team is outperforming by a lot right now. Ahead of the event, Riders was known only from its performance in Champions Cup Finals in 2019, where they finished 5th – 6th, and their recent performance at Cyber.Bet Cup, where they finished 2nd. However, in spite of looking like a great result in theory, Cyber.Bet Cup was just a tier 3 tournament. So a 2nd place there was hardly a strong predictor for success at an event like ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe.
These are the key matches to watch this week.
Riders vs. FaZe
Riders will be heavily tested in this match against FaZe Clan. Arguably, mousesports was completely out of shape and c0ntact is far from being a tier 1 competitor. But FaZe is ranked 8th globally and has a roster full of superstars and former players of the year. If olofmeister or coldzera gets a good match, victory is guaranteed. Ironically, the player who has carried the team in recent weeks has been broky. The 19 year old prodigy is clearly trying his best to secure his spot on the team and a long career. He’s probably training like 60+ hours a week right now and his performances for FaZe have been on point. When a roster has the right mixture of veterans and young talent, results are only a matter of time. FaZe looks like it hit the right combination this time, after several failed attempts.
Riders looked like a potential dark horse during the first competitive week and you could even say that they are. But this will be their first real test and I fully expect them to fail it. There’s just no way to beat one of the strongest rosters in the world with a team of mostly no-names from Spain. Seriously, when was the last time you’ve heard about Spain in CS:GO?
Copenhagen Flames vs. G2
Copenhagen Flames looks like a strong tier 2 team that’s trying to break into the tier 1 division. But for that they will need solid performances in the upcoming matches. And just like in Riders’ case, I don’t think they have the right ingredients to beat G2. The French are very strong right now and even though they lost one of their first two matches, that defeat came against FaZe Clan and both maps went to extra time: 22 – 20 and 19 – 15 were the final scores. Based on that, as well as G2’s victory against GODSENT (an easy 2 – 0), we can deduce that this team will be very hard to beat.
Keep in mind that G2 played in 3 Grand Finals in the last 4 months, winning one title at Champions Cup Finals, another one at BLAST Premier: Spring 2020, and the 2nd place at IEM XIV World Championship. Overall, G2 is ranked 5th and is playing its best Counter-Strike in years.
c0ntact vs. mousesports
In principle, after the last several days of pause, training and reassessment, mousesports should come back much stronger and show everybody that what happened during week 1 was a fluke. Most likely, they went into the tournament unprepared, feeling that they could easily beat the likes of Riders and North. But now, after seeing the results of that approach, mousesports will likely take things seriously and start to try-hard again. If they do that, the skill difference will do the rest. Because that difference is astronomical in this case.
Karrigan is one of the most accomplished captains in CS:GO and mousesports is a top 5 team (currently ranked 4th). By contrast, c0ntact is ranked 32nd and has lost its first two matches of the tournament. If they lost against Riders and Copenhagen Flames, imagine what mousesports will do to them.
North vs. GODSENT
This match will be interesting to watch, as it represents MSL’s consistency test. North has clearly looked like a strong competitor recently, beating mousesports 2 – 0 and stealing one map from FaZe Clan. In other words, against two world-class opponents, North either won or posed serious challenges. What this team needs to do right now is prove that its strategies are consistent. And that its versatility is good enough to allow them to create sufficient variation in their game to avoid being read like a book. Because after several days of pause, you can be certain that GODSENT will start the match fully prepared, having watched North’s replays from every angle.