ESL vastly expand Rio Major
With the RMRs under a month away, ESL have announced changes to their upcoming Major, which kicks off in Rio de Janeiro on October 31st. The announcement lists several different features, such as a fan festival, more available seats in the arena, and the introduction of a live audience for the Challengers and Legends stages, which have previously been played in studio environments.
The IEM Fan Fest is set to take place on on November 10-13 next to the Jeunesse Arena, which is hosting the Champions stage on those same dates. The festival is being hosted by Brazilian streamer Alexandre “Gaules” Borba, with the some of the activities listed including viewing of the matches, meet & greets, and cheering on their idols as they arrive at the Jeunesse Arena.
The second part of the announcement relates to more available seats during the arena phase of the tournament. In order to do accommodate more spectators, ESL have stated that "by adjusting the layout inside the arena and adding a center stage to an ESL CS:GO event for the very first time, this creates a live viewing experience unlike any other." These adjustment of the venue in the Jeunesse Arena comes following an initial outpouring from the community for a bigger venue back in May after tickets for the event were sold out in under three hours.
The final, and most monumental, aspect of the ESL announcement pertains to the introduction of fans at the Challengers and Legends phases of the Major. ESL states that the live Challengers Stage and Legends Stage will be played out at the Riocentro exhibition center, with tickets going on sale for these two stages on Wednesday at 02:00PM. Before making it to the live crowds in Rio for the Challengers stage, prospective teams will have to qualify from the RMR's which take place on October 4th-9th.