CS:GO’s Qualification Path To Majors Will Change Next Year
It’s been about a couple of days since Outsiders emerged victorious at the IEM Rio Majors, the last Valve-sponsored tournaments of the year. The qualification system of the Majors is in for an overhaul next year, confirmed by a blog post from the CS:GO devs.
The changes are expected to come into effect with the Paris Major in 2023, which will be organized by BLAST. Valve says they are going to “change the way we invite teams to the RMRs”, and it looks like the system will mimic one that has already been tried previously.
Direct Invites For Teams That “Consistently Perform Well”
The Road to Rio Regional Major Rankings (RMRs) conducted this year decided which teams would make the cut for the final tournament. There are 16 teams invited from Europe in total through Europe A and Europe B RMRs, 12 from the Americas and four from the Asia-Pacific region. The teams that made the cut to the RMRs were decided through a series of both open and closed qualifiers.
“Previously, teams entered the RMRs by direct invitation, or through a series of open qualifiers,” read the post from Valve. From now on, some of the teams that aren’t directly invited to the Majors will get to skip the open qualifiers. These teams will be the ones that show consistent levels of performance in Valve as well as third-party events, and they’ll be directly invited to a closed qualifier. There, they’ll compete against the teams that enter through an open qualifier.
This year, entry into the two Majors – IEM Rio and PGL Antwerp – was possible only through the RMRs. This hasn’t always been the case though, because previous Majors have issued direct invites to teams or allowed qualification through other tournaments. For instance, the top 14 teams from IEM Katowice in 2019 were invited to the StarLadder Berlin Major later in the year. The Minor Championship acted as play-ins, with eight teams that qualified through closed qualifiers competing for four spots at the StarLadder Major.
To summarize, from what we can tell so far these changes sound pretty much like a return to the qualification system that was in effect pre-2020. Valve has promised further updates in the coming weeks, and to delve into more detail about the new Regional Standings process.
Ideally, these changes should see some of the better CS:GO teams rewarded for their consistency. Astralis, Complexity Gaming, G2 Esports were some of the notable absentees from the Brazil Major after they failed to qualify in the RMRs. Since they generally play at a high level, hopefully this will mean more major appearances for them.
IEM Rio 2022 Saw Wide Acceptance
The blogpost also announced the launch of a champions autograph capsule. Members of Outsiders – FL1T, fame, Jame, n0rb3r7, and Qikert – the latest team to win a CS:GO Major, will all have their names will all have their signatures made in glitter, holo, and gold stickers, which can be placed on CS:GO weapons in-game.
Outsiders, who were considered the underdogs heading into the Major, pulled off an incredible heist to seal their first ever Major title. They defeated Heroic, one of the tournament favorites, 2-0 in the Grand Final, taking Mirage 16-12 and Overpass 16-5 to seal their first ever Major title.
With that they climbed up to number six on the CS:GO world rankings from eight place, while Heroic slipped down three places to number ten. This tournament saw the usual suspects – Faze, Team Liquid, Team Vitality – all eliminated before the playoffs, opening up a path of possibility for the underdogs. Apart from Outsiders, teams like MOUZ, Fnatic, and Furia Esports all surpassed expectations as well by making it to the top eight.
This was the first time a CS:GO tournament of this scale was organized in Brazil, and it was a grand success – so much so the Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced on the day of the Grand Final that the IEM will return to the country in 2023. The Paris Major next year will become the first Valve-sponsored tournament to be organized by BLAST.