ESL One: Road to Rio – North America is entering its 2nd week today and the results of the first week were pretty much the ones we had expected. Week 2 will have many more matches and numerous CS:GO betting opportunities. In this article I will take a close look at those opportunities and provide a summary of the results from week 1.
ESL One: Road to Rio – North America Summary (Week 1)
This is what happened so far in both groups of ESL One: Road to Rio – North America.
- 1st place: Gen.G Esports: 3 W – 0 L: +29 rounds
- 2nd place: Triumph: 2 W – 1 L: -17 rounds
- 3rd place: 100 Thieves: 2 W – 1 L: +4 rounds
- 4th place: Evil Geniuses: 1 W – 1 L: -3 rounds
- 5th place: Cloud9: 1 W – 1 L: +0 rounds
- 6th place: Orgless: 0 W – 5 L: -13 rounds
In Group A, Gen.G Esports had a much better performance that everyone had predicted, but that beautiful 3 W – 0 L score is not as impressive as it looks. At a close analysis of the situation reveals one victory obtained through a forfeit by Orgless and another one obtained against one of the weakest teams at this tournament, Triumph. The only solid win of Gen.G Esports came against 100 Thieves. The match ended in just two maps, both of them 16 – 10, and given 100 Thieves’ position in the global rankings (10th). Going into week two, it will be interesting to see Gen.G compete against Evil Geniuses and Cloud9. Based on what they’ve shown so far, they should definitely win the match against C9 but I seriously doubt their chances against EG.
Another key team to watch in the second week of ESL One: Road to Rio – North America is Evil Geniuses. This competitor is currently ranked 7th and has had a stable roster for a long time. This usually results in consistently good results at tournaments like this, where the region-based format pretty much guarantees that you’ll be encountering only teams that you know everything about. No doubt, later in the tournament EG will be smashed to bits by Liquid if they encounter each other. But in Group A, the only real opponent should be 100 Thieves. Interestingly enough, this opponent has already faced and defeated EG at this event. But the expectation is that in its next 3 matches, the team will get 3 victories. There’s absolutely no excuse for them if they can’t do it, because every single rival they will face will be almost a full division below them in terms of skill and achievements.
- 1st place: FURIA Esports: 2 W – 0 L: +27 rounds
- 2nd place: Team Liquid: 2 W – 0 L: +9 rounds
- 3rd place: Team Envy: 1 W – 1 L: +13 rounds
- 4th place: MIBR: 1 W – 1 L: +8 rounds
- 5th place: Bad News Bears: 0 W – 2 L: -14 rounds
- 6th place: Yeah Gaming: 0 W – 2 L: -43 rounds
In Group B, FURIA has been playing well, just as expected. The Brazilian squad has an exceptional round score (+27) and only lost 1 map so far, against Envy. But even that defeat was narrow (20 – 22), which proves that FURIA is not easily defeated. The teams’ roster has recently signed long-term contracts with the organization, signaling a desire to continue to improve as a cohesive unit and start winning big trophies at some point. Given their dedication, this team could well end up being in the top 5 again, where they were around a year ago.
Another great team to watch in Group B is Team Liquid. Stewie2K and his squad are clearly having fun in this group, even though they lost one map to BNB. For me, the match against MIBR was decisive and Liquid passed the test with flying colors. The other big derby of the group, in which they’ll have to confront FURIA for a place in the Semifinals, will likely be the best match of the entire Group Stage.
One last team to follow in Group B of ESL One: Road to Rio – North America is MIBR. The once number 1 team in the world has had some good results recently, in spite of all the odds. Normally, you’d think that after losing their coach (zews) and bringing in a player from outside Brazil (a move that FalleN had tried before without too much success), MIBR would truly lose its way and drop even lower in the global rankings (currently sitting at number 15). But in fact, they’ve been doing well lately, beating just about everyone in North America except for the several big names: Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and FURIA Esports. MIBR’s best result in 2020 came at Flashpoint Season 1, where they finished 2nd.
Match Previews for Week 2
The second week of ESL One: Road to Rio – North America will have one big match in Group A and two of them in Group B.
Gen.G vs. Evil Geniuses
Gen.G, in case you don’t know who they are, have joined the big leagues of CS:GO at the end of 2019. The name will probably sound familiar if you follow League of Legends, but in CS:GO they’re relatively new. Nevertheless, this organization managed to put together a solid roster made up of a former TYLOO superstar (BnTeT), a former NRG player (daps), and a former Cloud9 player (autimatic). These three players make up the core of the team and individually, they are highly skilled. Their synergy also seems to be working well. Otherwise I don’t see how they could have beaten a top 10 team (100 Thieves) during the first week of the tournament.
Evil Geniuses is another relatively new name to CS:GO, but the team’s roster was actually acquired from NRG. And that was 7 months ago. So in total, this roster has a lot of competitive experience and is now coached by the former coach of MIBR and Liquid, zews. These factors weigh quite heavily in the calculation and turn EG into one of the best teams in North America. Apart from Liquid, everyone else will struggle against them. Even the likes of FURIA, 100 Thieves and MIBR.
Going into this match, I have high expectations from EG. Gen.G could pose some problems and walk away with one of the maps, but it’s almost unthinkable that they will manage to beat this opponent. Just look at some of their players: tarik, Brehze, and stanislaw have all been around for many years and are regarded as some of the best players in the region.
Liquid vs. FURIA
If Liquid wants to win this tournament and prove that they’re the best team in the race, then they must beat FURIA. For sure, the Brazilian squad will enter this match as the underdog. But keep in mind: in the last 3 matches between these two competitors, FURIA actually won twice. One of these wins was the very last match they played against LIQUID. Overall, FURIA has won 4 out of their last 5 matches and everything about this roster screams professionalism. These guys are in for the long run and you can see them getting stronger and stronger with every event.
As the strongest team in North America and the winner of the recent ESL Pro League Season 11, Liquid has been doing well lately, winning 5 matches in a row. So when it comes to recent performance, FURIA will have nothing to take advantage of. Liquid’s game and morale are probably high right now. The only question is: which one of these teams can outgame the other? No doubt, both of them are heavily preparing for the big derby of Group B, which will take place on May 1st. My expectation is that Liquid will emerge victorious.
MIBR vs. FURIA
And finally, the 3rd match you should watch this week is MIBR vs. FURIA. This is the Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona of Brazil’s CS:GO. It’s important not just for the fans, but for the North American region as well. If MIBR can beat FURIA, that will mark the beginning of a new era for FalleN and his roster. But it’s more than likely that FURIA will beat them in a dominant fashion.
Check out our Preview for Week 2 of ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe