IEM Rio RMR NA Open Qualifiers Preview
The new season is upon us as teams come back from their well-deserved break to compete for a place in the IEM Rio Major taking place from October 31st to November 13th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In order to reach the lands watched over by Christ the Redeemer, the North American teams will have to secure one of the six spots available in the IEM Rio 2022 RMR North America qualifiers. Once those six qualify, they will be joined by FURIA, Imperial, and Liquid in the Americas RMR, and the seven teams from South America. From that bunch, only six teams advance to IEM Rio Major.
The regional qualifiers have shown a lot of potential for upsets during the previous iterations for the PGL Major Antwerp, so, today it shouldn’t be any different.
What’s different is the absence of some Brazilian teams, particularly paiN. During the PGL Antwerp Major, paiN was one of the Brazilian teams based in NA that qualified for the Major, but will now be competing for a spot in the South American qualifier. oNe will try to replicate their performance from the first qualifier for the Antwerp Major by qualifying in their first attempt. Of note, Evil Geniuses will not be attending the first qualifier as the team is going to compete in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022 in Denmark from August 19th to August 28th.
Complexity have aspirations of making it to the Americas RMR and even further. It would be a surprise not to see them qualifying right away, especially with a weakened field. With the addition of Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli, the team has increased its firepower, but one is still yet to see the new-look Complexity team in the servers.
The only top-tier Brazilians in the competition, oNe, are coming into the tournament with the same ambition as Complexity. With the will to make it to their hometown IEM Rio Major Championship, oNe are counting on the returning of Alencar “trk” Rossato and Mario “malbsMd” Samayoa to take the team one step further on this journey.
Gaimin Gladiators have been steadily climbing up the ranks in North America, putting themselves in a prime position to fight for a spot in the Americas RMR. With the recent addition of Danny “cxzi” Strzelczyk, the team is expected to conquer one of the six available spots for the next stage. Still, it wouldn’t be a shock if they don’t qualify after only having played five maps together. However, with yesterday’s Cash Cup win, the group is looking solid and hungry to win.
ATK are definitely one of the favorites to grant themselves a spot in the RMR, but they will not be participating in this event after a contract dispute has forced the organization to withhold flights until new terms are agreed upon. Regardless, the team is one of the most solidified rosters in North America, and certainly has an advantage over the ever-changing lineups of their rivals. The multicultural roster is expected to reach the RMR stage.
After adding two players to their lineup, Strife seems a bit vulnerable, but, despite the loss of their IGL, their coach, and another impactful player, a spot for the RMR competition is still within the team’s reach.
With enormous upset potential comes the underdog narrative. North America is full of these teams, as roster shuffles don’t really settle down, increasing the chances of improbable results happening. This being said, the top teams need to watch out for rosters such as BHOP, who have made significant changes to their lineup, coming back from the dead and being forced to stay in Advanced. Brazen, Mythic, Vendetta, Detonate, and ONET4P are also included on the list of teams that can get a surprise spot.
With the increasing number of opportunities for North American teams, because of the withdrawal of Brazilian teams, Liquid already waiting in the next phase, and Evil Geniuses not playing the first qualifier, there’s a chance there will be a few upset teams making it to the Americas RMR.
Following the lines of the underdog teams, although not quite as strong, there are other notable rosters fighting for a chance at the IEM Rio Major. Teams such as Electrify Steel, Victorum, X13, CLG Red, Infinity, and Limitless have a chance to surprise everyone and make a cinderella run.
Filling out the North American first IEM Road to Rio open qualifier we have prestigious teams such as Los Pollos Hermanos, Frog Boots, Child's Advil, BieberLovers-USA, BigTimeRushTakeover, Christian Hotties, cumbusters, LotionDrinkers23, Pro Lapse, Succtaculous Nut, and widepeepo.
Teams can still register for the first IEM Road to Rio North American open qualifier here, until 05:45PM.