First South American teams qualify to the RMR
The bloodbath of the first South American open qualifier for the IEM Rio RMR has drawn to a close after three days of action. The three squads left standing after this grueling affair are paiN, MIBR, and 00 Nation, three of the qualifier's heaviest favorites.
While paiN has previously gone through North American qualifiers for a number of events, including the PGL Antwerp Major, paiN chose to go through the South American qualifier this time around, and they have been graciously rewarded for this decision. paiN encountered very little trouble en route to qualification, besting Isurus and ODDIK with 16-5 and 16-4 scorelines respectively.
Even when faced with the daunting opponent of 00 Nation, paiN hardly even broke a sweat as they bested Epitacio "TACO" de Melo's men 2-0 to secure their spot in the RMR. paiN are surely pleased with this result as, in addition to qualifying for the RMR, the debuts of Romeu "zevy" Rocco and Felipe "skullz" Medieros have been resoundingly successful, with the two averaging 1.27 and 1.21 ratings respectively throughout the qualifier. This is even more promising when considering that, according to Vinicios "PKL" Coelho, the team only had three days of practice, not even having played Overpass prior to the series against 00 Nation.
MIBR, a squad similar to paiN who have spent considerable amounts of time in North America, also qualified for the IEM Rio RMR, although with more difficulties than paiN. MIBR had no problems moving past B4 and The Union, but the qualifying match against João "felps" Vasconcellos' Fluxo proved to be a hassle.
The first map, Fluxo's pick of Vertigo, went to four overtimes before Fluxo locked down their pick, putting MIBR's backs to the wall. MIBR recovered on Dust2 with a 16-11 win, leading into the decider of Ancient. MIBR managed a flying start on Ancient, locking down a 12-3 CT-side on the map, but things began slipping away on the offense as Fluxo clawed their way back into the game. In the end, MIBR closed out the game 16-13 to be the second team to qualify for the IEM Rio RMR through the South American qualifiers. New addition Henrique "HEN1" Teles led his squad throughout the qualifier, finishing with the fifth-highest average rating of the event with a 1.23 rating.
00 Nation were the final team from this qualifier to reach the IEM Rio RMR. TACO and Marcelo "coldzera" David's project had the most trouble of the three qualifying sides, with the squad nearly having their run end early at the hands of Sharks, only narrowly overcoming their countrymen 16-14. 00 Nation recovered nicely in their next game against Meta BR with a 16-9 scoreline to move them on to a qualifying match against paiN.
As mentioned previously, paiN were in good form this match, sending 00 Nation packing to the third-place decider match against Fluxo, giving 00 Nation another shot at qualification. At first 00 Nation found themselves in a good spot, leading the first half on their opponent's pick of Vertigo, but the map quickly fell out of their grasp as Fluxo posted a dominant defense to secure their pick 16-13. Fluxo kept up the momentum on 00 Nation's pick of Ancient, leading in the first half before 00 Nation rallied back in the second half to force a decider. Now on the third map of Nuke, 00 Nation looked unstoppable as they accrued an 11-4 lead on the defense. Despite being five rounds from elimination, Fluxo persisted, keeping themselves alive with a phenomenal defense of their own. After bringing the scoreline to 15-13, 00 Nation was finally able to close out the game to secure their tickets to the RMR.
paiN, MIBR, and 00 Nation will be joining five other squads who have already secured a place in the RMR; FURIA, Liquid, Imperial, Complexity, and Gaimin Gladiators. These eight will be joined by the winners of two more rounds of qualifiers in both North and South America, with the next North American qualifier set to start on August 31st while the South American one kicks off in a matter of days, on August 20th.