Credit: StarLadder Igor Bezborodov
IEM Rio will be the second CS:GO Major of 2022 and the first-ever Major tournament to be held in Brazil. The Challenger Stage of the Major will kick off on October 31, with the event's grand final set to be played on November 13. Once the Legends Stage kicks off, a total of 16 teams will be competing for the lion’s share of the $1.250.000 prize pool, with the winner walking away with a Major trophy and $500.000.
Challengers Stage: Oct 31st – Nov 3rd
Legends Stage: Nov 5th – 8th
Champions Stage: Nov 10th – 13th
Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov
Boris “magixx” Vorobiev
Pavel “s1ren” Oglobin
Robert “Patsi” Isyanov
Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov
Qualified as: Legends
Last Major: 3-4th
Odds of winning IEM Rio: 20.5-21
This time, we’re looking at the Team Spirit roster which recently won the FiReLEAGUE 2022 Global Finals title at Camp Nou in Spain. The Russian squad did so by taking down paiN in the grand final with a 2-1 score at an event they weren’t even initially meant to be at. TeamOne qualified for the event through the North American qualifier but were unable to attend which meant the eventual winners got an invite.
Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov and company finished in 4th place in Group A of the RMR, which gained them a spot in the Legends Stage of the IEM Rio Major, bypassing the Challengers Stage. At the last Major, Spirit made it from the open qualifier all the way to the semi-finals, where their Cinderella story ended with a 3-4th place finish. Currently, the squad is filled with confidence as a result of their stellar performances lately, and it’s therefore not a secret that the Russian squad probably will be aiming for at least another semi-final.
Their incredibly skilled 17-year-old Ukrainian AWPer Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov has done excellent so far in replacing Abdul “degster” Gasanov on the roster and has helped Team Spirit hit a strong form heading into the IEM Rio Major. At the Flow FiReLEAGUE 2022 event, w0nderful averaged an impressive 1.52 rating and played a big role in securing the title for his team. The 17-year-old AWPer will be making his Major debut in Rio, where he hopefully will be able to fare amongst the best on the biggest stage Counter-Strike has to offer.
Considering the fact that Spirit is a team full of confidence with a well-structured system of playing, which even the best teams in the world can have a hard time playing against, we at Pley.gg believe that Team Spirit could go on to surprise the world of Counter-Strike. At least, make it out of the Group Play in the Legends Stage.
Pley.gg prediction: Team Spirit to reach quarter-finals
Spirit’s 2022 best results: 1st at Malta Vibes Knockout Series 6, 3-4th at PGL Major Antwerp 2022, 1st at Flow FiReLEAGUE 2022 Global Finals.
World Ranking: #12
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