ESL One: The Road to Rio is paved by underdogs
ESL One: Road to Rio (ESL RTR) is entering Day 18 of competition. Only two Regions are yet to crown their Champions, while the rest of the world awaits the next round of point opportunities. Across the regions new teams are claiming trophies as established favorites are falling in the new online environment.
New Champions everywhere
The first two tournaments (apart from South America) to crown Champions were the Asian and Oceanic events.
Nothing changes in Oceania as Renegades are once more the best team in the region. They beat ORDER 2-1 to claim the first batch of ESL RTR points. However, the Oceanic region divides points in a silly way so Renegades got 1600 points while ORDER 1500. No substantial advantage is gained after the first event, meaning the one OCE representative at ESL Rio will be decided probably late in summer.
One would think names like EHOME, ViCi or Tyloo would be the natural favorite, but the Road to Rio is surprising us every step of the way. TIGER the “famous” Mongolian team are the new Asian kings after they disposed of Tyloo 2-1, and causing my CSGO bets to become void.
Gen.G claim Road to Rio North America
One of the biggest surprises in one of the main regions comes from Gen.G. In a region that hosts Team Liquid, Cloud9, mibr, 100T, Evil Geniuses and a very angry FURIA, it was Gen.G who claimed the trophy.
The Gen.G roster lost only 1 match during their entire run to their former team C9. They did however bounce back against them in the semifinals securing their finals spot. The final match also ended FURIA’s undefeated streak at ESL One RTR North America.
With Gen.G entering the spotlight, NA has 7 teams in contention for the 5 North American slots.
How the mighty have fallen
The biggest surprises so far come from Europe and the CIS regions.
IEM Katowice champions NaVi have been eliminated from RTR CIS after a lukewarm performance in groups. The number #1 ranked team by ESL managed to drop games to Syman, Hard Legion and Virtus.pro and eliminate themselves from the competition in 8th. forZe another global top #20 has been eliminated as well. This means the CIS region has lost two of its best ranked teams in the Group Stages of the competition. VP is the highest rated team left in the competition and the likely winner in CIS. We’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out.
Europe has gone down a similar path. The current #2 Fnatic and #3 mousesports in the global standings have been eliminated from groups. Atleast EU still has Astralis and FaZe Clan and G2 fighting for a shot at the finals. Europe has the highest rated teams out of all the regions, so losing a few early is not a big deal.
Big kudos for the squads of Heretics, GODSENT and North for defying all expectations and pushing their way to playoffs.
By Sunday all six regional champions and the point distribution will be complete. Both the ESL One RTR European and CIS finals will be played on Sunday. For those keen on wagering, this is the perfect day for favorable odds and, especially since predicting the CSGO betting odds for a CIS final is a nightmare for any bookmaker.
Read next: TSM claims PUBG DreamHack Spring Showdown