ESL One Road to Rio – Europe Preview

ESL One: Rio 2020 will be a monumental event, perhaps the most epic CS:GO tournament in recent memory. It’s a Major, but it’s not just a Major. Two Majors have been mixed into one. And this is that one surviving glimmer of hope for ESL. If this fails, ESL itself is in real trouble. The damages to the tournament organizer could potentially be huge. That aside, before ESL One: Rio 2020 can take place, we need to have qualification events in all of the standard regions of the professional circuit. In this article, we will cover ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe.

ESL One Road to Rio - Europe Preview


ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe Details

ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe is scheduled to take place between April 22nd and May 17th. Its prize pool will be just $115,000, but that’s not important. After all, when it comes to qualification events, the real prize is the chance to earn qualification points and take part in the Major, which will have a $2 million prize pool.

Competitive Format

The competitive format of the tournament is quite basic. There will be two round-robin groups of 8 participants, followed by the Playoffs. This second stage will feature just 8 of the initial 16 teams. Half of them will start in the Upper Bracket while the other half in the Lower Bracket. Throughout the event, every match is Bo3, apart from the Grand Final. This last match will be Bo5, but the Upper Bracket team will get one map advantage. This is actually a huge advantage at this competitive level. And I don’t really know why the organizer would want to do such a thing. It practically forces the Lower Bracket challenger to win 3 out of the 4 remaining maps. And that’s not likely to happen.


Right now, the two groups of ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe are already known. You can find them below.


To put it simply, Group A has a better overall balance while Group B has much stronger in the top 4 but weaker competitors at the bottom.

In Group A, the big favorites are Fnatic and Astralis. Five other teams will be competing for the remaining two spots. Basically, everyone except Heretics should be counted in.

In Group B, we’re going to see a rough battle. There are at least 3 teams fighting for the top 2 spots and two others fighting for the other two Playoffs tickets. The favorites are mousesports, G2 Esports, and FaZe Clan, while the remaining two teams that count are North and GODSENT.

It’s going to be a very interesting tournament in my opinion, as both groups offer plenty of high-class action to watch. In particular, it will be interesting to see if Fnatic can repeat their victory against Astralis at this event. And also, if mousesports can beat FaZe Clan, as they did at ESL Pro League Season 11.

Dark Horses

When it comes to dark horses, I think Dignitas is likely to be among them if they should appear. This is GeT_RiGhT’s new team and his former team from many years ago, before he got signed by NiP. The good part is that the entire old guard has reunited under their former flag. But their ability to play together and win games at this point is still in question. However, we shouldn’t underestimate what a legendary lineup can do when it wants to prove a point to the world.


In my opinion, the tournament will be won by either Fnatic, Astralis or mousesports. There’s very little chance that someone from outside the summit of CS:GO can steal the title. In such a case, it would likely happen not because that competitor was exceptional, but because the big participants made huge mistakes.

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