Dust2.us predicts the Americas RMR

Do we know ball?

With the Americas RMR coming up extremely soon, starting on March 1st, we went around the proverbial office and asked our writers what they believe will happen at the upcoming event. Likely the most important event of the year for North and South American teams, we took a stab at predicting the outcome of the Major-qualifying tournament.


5 to advance: Complexity, MIBR, Liquid, FURIA, Nouns

I went with a pretty basic five. I strongly believe that Liquid, Complexity, MIBR, and FURIA are miles ahead of the rest of the teams in Monterrey. Specifically, I'm placing Complexity and MIBR in the 3-0 slots, with Liquid's unstable start making my faith waver in the all-star lineup.

Complexity has undoubtedly looked weaker as of late, but I think the months of EU practice will serve them very well in their RMR campaign. The firepower should be too much for most teams to handle. FURIA is in a similar boat for me. Their recent underperformance has been shocking to say the least, but I cannot look at the names on this team and imagine them anywhere other than Copenhagen come May.

I believe Nouns are a good shout for that elusive fifth spot. Firepower upgrades Jeorge "jeorge" Endicott and Paytyn "junior" Johnson are nothing to scoff at, and while these additions have yet to bear immense fruit for the team, I think in a crucial 2-1 match when the going gets tough, it'll be the experience of these two that puts them ahead in the end. More on MIBR in the Hot Takes section, but I think with FURIA taking a beating recently, they have all it takes to snatch the Brazilian crown.

Hot Takes: MIBR the best Brazilian team, paiN to crumble

Make no mistake, MIBR are the future of Brazil, which is a lot to say for a team whose core were all dropped by FURIA for not being good enough. I like what I see in them, but most of all, I love what I see in Felipe "insani" Yuji. With Imperial and FURIA both in Brazil to play qualifiers, MIBR are getting the best practice of their lives in the EU right now. They have players who all know LAN pressure, they have the reps, and I genuinely see them making the Major.

paiN crumbling is less searing of a take. The team has looked utterly hapless since the post-Paris roster shuffle. While they still have fragging IGL Rodrigo "biguzera" Bittencourt on the table, most of what made them potent back at the previous RMR is gone. The supportive element was the first to leave, but star AWPer Romeu "zevy" Rocco was picked up in Fluxo's rebuild and anchor Felipe "skullz" Medeiros has moved up to the big leagues on Liquid. The firepower and tenure is simply not there to guarantee a good result at the RMR.


5 to advance: Complexity, Liquid, FURIA, Wildcard, BESTIA

Everyone knows the RMR events are bound to feature upsets, but for Liquid and Complexity, it should be a smooth ride to Copenhagen, even if they have to face the top seeds, in Liquid's case. Yes, Complexity has been struggling as of late, but with one entire month to relax and prepare for the most important event before the Major, it won't come as a surprise if the Cowboys annihilate everyone.

Wildcard and BESTIA will have a tough road ahead of them but if there are two teams that can keep going when things don't go right are the Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz-led Wildcard and Nicolás "Noktse" Dávila-led BESTIA, two very experienced players who are surrounded by incredible young (and not-so-young) talent. Coincidentally, both squads have the same age average, 24.4.

As for FURIA, the team has had a very poor start of 2024, never being able to get things going in tournaments, even after disappearing for an entire month to prepare for IEM Katowice, which FURIA exited with zero wins. That being said, I do believe they will be able to qualify for the Major, albeit with some struggles, because, and let's be real, the talent is there to even take a 3-0 spot.

Hot Takes: Noktse makes the Major for the first time, NRG 0-2

One of the best Argentinian players to ever touch Counter-Strike will finally reach the biggest stage possible. BESTIA are known for being a pain in the ass for Brazilian teams, even though they rarely win events in South America. Adding to their recent 53.5% win rate in the BR jungle, BESTIA also have Latino blood running in their veins, something that can be a huge buff when it comes to crucial rounds and games in a LAN environment.

If we are being completely logical, NRG going 0-2 is not a hot take, because, well, they didn't even manage to qualify for the event. Despite this, the feeling around the North American community is that NRG will be able to contest one of the five Major spots, which is completely delusional. Individually, the players have been delivering, some more consistently than others, but only Damian "daps" Steele has a rating lower than 1.10. Despite this fact, NRG have lost seven (!!!) qualifiers in a row, which to me, shows they can't handle the big games. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see NRG getting a single win during the Americas RMR.


5 to advance: Complexity, MIBR, M80, Liquid, FURIA

As the on-paper favorites for the group, Complexity should be expected to have an exemplary showing against the likes of their NA compatriots and their SA rivals. Though they stumbled clumsily out of BLAST Spring Groups and didn't fare much better in Katowice, the majority of those losses came at the hands of teams that are already qualified for PGL Major Copenhagen from EU (NIP and Falcons excluded), demonstrating that they are high quality losses at the very least. Their last domestic competition in the CQ featured a 13-1 stomping of Fluffy Aimers, a gritty multi-OT win over NRG, and an emphatic 2-0 sweep of Party Astronauts that featured a 13-0 win on Anubis. Anything less than 3-0 would be worrisome for COL here.

Though MIBR's results were not as decisive as COL's in the NA CQ, it should be noted that they too did not drop a single map in Closed Qualifier play below the Equator. A recent head-to-head loss to Imperial in Ace South American Masters is perhaps concerning to some, but if we're going to continue to gas Complexity up for their result at IEM Sydney then we would be remiss to fail to mention MIBR's win at ESL Challenger Jonkoping over Virtus.pro, who are heading to Copenhagen as the 3-0 victors of EU RMR A alongside G2, who were the marquis win from COL's Sydney run. This is a team that doesn't win in blowout fashion, but certainly finds ways to win more often than not.

This M80 pick likely comes as a surprise to many, considering the need for Rory "dephh" Jackson's services as a substitute. However, dephh's presence and experience may serve as a useful anchor for a squad that is full of some of NA's brightest upcoming stars that have been waiting for this exact moment to recognize their potential. If M80 takes care of ODDIK in the first round and Legacy can upset paiN, that could set up a favorable second round matchup like RED Canids that gives M80 two cracks at qualification in a 3-1 spot.

I believe it would be naïve to list Liquid as a 3-0 qualifier with the inconsistency that has plagued this new iteration of the squad for the two very short months that they have been operating as a unit. BESTIA is a tough first round draw, however, with the exception of a three-map loss to Nouns last week they're starting to heat up at the exact right time. They remain more of a wild card for North America than Wildcard is, fans wouldn't be surprised to see them in the playoffs, nor would they be surprised to see them fail to qualify.

Finally, unless FURIA dig themselves into a hole early, they should find a way through. They have some crucial head-to-head wins against RMR foes in the past few months that certainly inspire confidence heading into Monterrey and have quality wins over international opponents that have made their way to the Major already, MOUZ and Apeks. With the old MIBR core scattered around the many rosters playing for a spot in Copenhagen, this side feels like the one with the strongest new generation of players to back up the experience.

Hot take: BOSS will fall short of qualification, but will pick up at least one win.

In what is no doubt an emotional time for the NA scene, BOSS are in uncharted territory after being granted an emergency substitution exemption to account for the tragic passing of David "cynic" Polster, a member of their active roster. This is a team that is solidly in contention for the top of the Tier 2 scene in North America, with Nouns and Wildcard, and should not be underestimated. Given recent events, they certainly have something to play for and I don't think there's a fan in NA that wouldn't love to see them find success in some form down in Monterrey.


5 to advance: Complexity, MIBR, Liquid, FURIA, Imperial

Not attempting to reinvent the wheel here, I chose Complexity, MIBR, Liquid, FURIA, and Imperial to advance, which is fairly conservative in my mind. Overall, I expect NA to have a poor RMR, with only two of our region's teams making it through, owing to an overall lack of LAN experience and multiple teams playing with stand-ins.

Complexity as my first pick is extremely blasé, because honestly if they don't make a 3-0 run at the RMR, or god forbid, make the Major at all, that'd be extremely embarrassing and probably grounds for the ouster of multiple players. While BO1's are hard to predict on the best of days, the path I have Complexity following sees them have a fairly easy run, with their largest challenge being against either FURIA or Liquid in round three. Considering Complexity has bested these squads before, it really should be smooth sailing.

As for MIBR, I feel like the squad has been underrated since leaving North America. While the team hasn't claimed any big trophies, their results abroad have been quite strong. Additionally, their decision to invest in young players rather than going down the road of geriatric former stars seems to have worked out well. I see MIBR taking down BOSS quite easily in their opening match and then having an easy run consisting of South American matchups they are more than equipped to deal with.

Next up, the first team for me in the 3-1 pool is Liquid, who would also have eternal shame if they did not make this Major. With a mix of strong NA and EU talent, I see them winning their first match against BESTIA, losing to Complexity, and then making their way through in Round 4. They may drop a map in one of the BO3, but this team having a "Chokquid" moment is just so unbelievable for this caliber of players I cannot entertain the thought.

I know I was just complaining about geriatric Brazilian stars earlier, but I still have to admit I think FURIA will make it through. I really don't like this team and think Andrei "arT" Piovezan has overstayed his welcome, but as the de jure best Brazilian squad, being bested by the "also rans" of their scene just seems highly unlikely. The only concern for me here is if Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato has a stinker of a tournament I really don't know if the team can step up to fill the gap. However, that seems exceedingly unlikely. The only consideration here is that if Nouns come to play and win the opening BO1, FURIA may just implode in the 0-1 matches.

Finally, we come to Imperial, who realized doing a discount Immortals version of the Last Dance was idiotic and decided to invest in young talent like MIBR. With Kaiky "noway" Santos and Lucas "decenty" Bacelar looking very capable I expect Imperial to best NRG in their opening match and then move on only being afraid of matchups against Liquid, Complexity, MIBR, or FURIA, everything else should be a formality.

Hot Take: Wildcard have a fantastic path to the Major and could go 3-0, here's how

I did not pick Wildcard to make the Major as one of my five picks as I feel it's more likely than not that the relatively new squad will run into a hurdle they cannot overcome and then face elimination at the very end of the RMR. However, of all of the NA squads that are not Liquid and Complexity I believe they have the best chance of making the Major. Looking at the squad, Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz and Matt "Warden" Dickens are probably the most experienced duo a tier two NA team can get at the moment. Additionally, the rifling core of Gage "Infinite" Green, Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek, and Josh "JBa" Barutt is super solid at the moment, something some of the other NA squads is lacking due to stand-ins and other issues.

As for how Wildcard's run could materialize into qualification, beating RED Canids should serve as a litmus test for whether or not the squad is here to play. I believe that they are likely to win that match and will then have to face Complexity, and honestly, winning a BO1 against Complexity seems very manageable for Wildcard at the moment. Should they do that, their path to qualification would see them have to dodge any other huge teams and just have to beat a team like MIBR or Imperial in a BO3. Everything here is very circumstantial, but of all of the things that could happen at RMR that are unexpected, Wildcard making the Major is the one I am going to have my eye on in Mexico.


5 to advance: Liquid, Complexity, Wildcard, Nouns, M80

Look, I don't think that Brazil has the juice this year. I just don't see it happening. Is this prediction a little non-sensical? Sure, of course. The Buchholz system can make the seeding pretty wonky, and surely a team that none of us expect to make it through does. Last year it was Fluxo when they barely had to scratch their nose when they beat yur, BESTIA, and Paqueta to make it through. Not a single tough team and the squad raked in that glorious sticker money.

Here's my reasoning as it's a pretty glaring omission that FURIA is not in my five - I don't think this team is strong at all compared to the FURIA of old. I am genuinely scared that this team does not have the means to make it out of the RMR. The squad has superstars in Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato and Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, but the direction and power of the team is clearly missing. The squad went to Europe and floundered. They do not scare opponents like they used to. They don't have the same swagger, the same crucial execution, and they do not seem like a team that knows like they are going to win. They will likely make it through to the Major, but I would not be surprised to see this team fail down in Mexico.

As for Wildcard, Nouns, and M80, these are dark horse contenders that I genuinely feel comfortable seeing through to Copenhagen. Wildcard has both experience and exciting youth that drives this team forward to being one of the best in America. Josh "JBa" Barret is an incredibly exciting prospect that can turn entire games on their head and Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz has reinvented himself in North America, becoming a shepherd of this team. It's Wildcard's time to go forward.

Nouns is another pick that I believe should surprise people. The team only got stronger upon adding Jeorge "jeorge" Endicott and Paytyn "junior" Johnson, with the AWPer slowly coming back from failed stints at Complexity and FURIA. This is his time to make a stand and doing so on a solid core that contains Edgar "MarKE" Maldonado and IGL Carson "nosraC" O'Reilly makes picking Nouns to go through an easy decision.

Finally, M80. Yes, they are playing with their coach, but after so long, I don't think that matters. This isn't Rory "dephh" Jackson coming in at the last second to replace their IGL - he's been with the team now on the front lines for over a month. He has long history in both CS:GO and VALORANT. He proved that he can hang when they played at IEM Katowice, they had a bootcamp with everyone, and he is still better than a majority of his colleagues in the region. I don't think M80 is going to be overly hampered by his inclusion in the squad, and the star-studded North Americans should confidently qualify.

Now, why do I hate Brazil? I don't, but given how FURIA went down to South America for the IEM Dallas Qualifiers and seemingly disposed of everyone after they had a horrific showing in European competition does not give me a lot of confidence in the ability of those squads. I think that I will probably only have 3/5 of my predictions correct and it will likely come down to seeding as to why Brazilian teams make it through. I fear that both North America and South America are equally skilled, but remain considerably behind our European opponents. It'll be another tough Major and I desperately hope that our region can come away with another spot for the Shanghai Major.

Dust2.us Discord

5 to advance: Complexity, Liquid, Nouns, MIBR, FURIA

Last but certainly not least, we asked the Dust2.us Discord what they thought the results of the Americas RMR would be. They chose a pretty bog-standard five, with Nouns making the Major and Complexity and Liquid both going through undefeated. No hot takes to be found here! Join the Discord to enter predictions like this in the future!

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