The first day of IEM Rio exceeded our expectations in every possible way. Everything was just about how good it could have been from the crowd to the games. Day 1 alone saw 16 matches unfold and while some teams failed to impress, others were able to perform better than anyone would have imagined.
For those unaware of the format, the challenger’s stage of the recent majors are played in a Swiss Elimination system, where all the teams are put in the same group and teams sharing the similar results will play against each other. For example, after the first round where all the teams play a single match upon which they are divided in either 1-0 or 0-1 result bracket, and teams sharing the same result will again play with each other and at the end.
Day 1 Recap:
While most of the top teams are already in the Legends stage having qualified without a single loss in the RMR, the Challengers stage also houses some of the favourites whom we saw in action today. Teams like Vitality and Cloud9 failed to meet the expectations and fell in the face of brilliant performances from Gamer Legion and Fnatic.
The team that surprised everyone the most was Bad News Eagles, famously qualified in the last major after playing from a gaming cafe, they made their mark this time around in Rio. BNE secured wins over the likes of 00Nation(16-3) and BIG Clan(16-11) defying the Rio crowd, with just one win between them and qualification.
Mouz shares a similar result with BNE after the conclusion of Day 1 along with Fnatic. Both of the teams went undefeated in their first two matches and pose a real chance to qualify if they secure another win.
The likes of Outsiders, Furia, BIG and Vitality secured a single victory while losing to teams that on their day would have been a victory. Vitality ran over Imperial but fell to an outperforming Gamer Legion side. BIG on the other side secured an impressive victory against Furia after coming back from 15-8 to win in Overtime.
While Cloud9 pulled back from a 10-5 deficit but failed to secure the win in Overtime against Fnatic but major disappointment came against Grayhound, a team that almost every predicted to go 0-3, where the Russians lost in Overtime with the Aussies securing 19-17 win.
Brazilian teams were predicted to perform well Furia was the only team to win a single game. The likes of Imperial and 00NATION are yet to secure a single map after the first day.
Imperial, IHC, Cloud9 and 00NATION are up for a must-win game if they want to go through to the next stage, a 0-3 would mean the end of the run for them in Rio and BNE, GL, Fnatic and Mouz are just 1 win away from making it to the New Legends Stage after the conclusion of Day 1.
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