Two top NA teams might miss first Rio Open Qualifier
Two of North America's top teams are set to miss the first open qualifier for the IEM Rio Americas RMR. The open qualifier, which is set to run from August 15th to 17th, will directly conflict with travel for BLAST Fall Groups, which is set to begin on August 18th. As a result, Complexity and Evil Geniuses will lose one of three opportunities to try and make their way to the IEM Rio Major. However, due to Evil Geniuses' Blueprint project, it is possible for the organization to send one team to BLAST while another team participates in the first open qualifier.
While both teams will have two more opportunities to qualify for the Americas RMR, Complexity and Evil Geniuses would likely appreciate every opportunity to clinch a spot in the Americas RMR after poor starts to the year. This is exacerbated by the fact that both teams will likely be debuting new rosters post-player break.
It is broadly understood that Jake "Stewie2K" Yip will be out of Evil Geniuses, while recent reports have also pointed to William "RUSH" Wierzba being sidelined as well. Additionally, Tiaan "T.c" Coertzen said in an interview at Cologne that there was a "good chance we'll see some changes" within the team.
A potential solution could be for ESL to reschedule the first qualifier, however there is precious little space for the qualifier to occupy. ESL Pro League Season 16 essentially covers the entirety of September while Fragadelphia 17 is set to run during the first weekend of September.
While the consequences of missing the first qualifier will likely be minimal for Complexity and Evil Geniuses, having two of North America's marquee brands miss the Major would be a catastrophe especially as they have made strong investments into rebuilding NA this year.