It was 4 am but these fans stuck through the long days

Broken printers, 19-hour days, and delays upon delays; GET Rio's disastrous weekend

From the creators of Dreamhack Rio 2019, Brazil received GET Rio as one of the worst-run events in recent history.

With the event being delayed on four different occasions, public funds allegedly being misused, a totally different format from what was initially promised, loads of tech problems during the event, a finalist almost quitting before the grand final, and trouble with contractor payments, Global Esports Tour Rio received constant negative headlines this weekend. With that, it has been compared unfavorably to Gamers Paradise and the iBUYPOWER Masters IV as one of the worst-run events in recent history.

The off-server events distracted from the games played between some of the best teams in Brazil as paiN, a team invited to the event to replace Preasy in a controversial manner, came away with the event win.

Thanks to Dust2 Brasil and the strenuous work of its writers, what happened in GET Rio will forever be documented and remembered. Here's a chronological report of what happened in the lead-up to the event, during the event, and its aftermath.

Summer 2023 to Spring 2024

Starting off on the troubled timeline of GET Rio, the event was originally supposed to happen between July 27th and 30th, 2023. The Brazilian Confederation of Games and Esports (CBGE) moved the dates to November 16th through the 20th of the same year with permission from the overseeing body of Sports of the Rio de Janeiro State (SUDERJ), a department of the local Rio de Janeiro government and a main sponsor of the event.

Ten days before the start of GET Rio 2023, the dates of the event changed once again. This time was as the Global Esports Federation (GEF) asked CBGE to ask SUDERJ to accommodate the event at a later date in order for foreign squads to be able to attend the tournament. Later, CBGE would ask to move the dates again, with no justification sent to SUDERJ. After an ultimatum that would see CBGE obligated to give back nearly $870,000 to the state of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian federation would claim that the dengue epidemic made them change the dates for the fourth time, and finally settled for April 18th to April 20th as the dates for the event to be run.

Counter-Strike wasn't supposed to be played

GET Rio 2023, and 2024 for that matter, was supposed to feature three titles only, Fortnite, Honor of King, and VALORANT. Counter-Strike was only mentioned after the third change of dates, asked by the GEF with the intent of having a CS2 tournament with international squads. At this point, GET Rio would feature four different titles, but that changed with the fourth date change, as Fortnite would be replaced by CS2 and the remaining titles would be played online and not on LAN as was initially proposed.

Preasy's Disinvitation and Liquid's Rejection

Before the event began, GET Rio was courting several international teams to attend. One of those teams was Liquid, which was reportedly particularly close to playing. However, with the Esports World Qualifier dates announced to be running simultaneously, the organization opted instead to focus on those hoping to make it to Saudi Arabia this summer.

One of the other international teams expected to play in the event was Preasy, or rather, ex-Preasy. Preasy announced that their lineup was to be release due to financial concerns and they would promote their academy lineup instead. ex-Preasy believed they were still attending the GET Rio event, but that would not be the case. Preasy attempted to use their academy lineup for the Brazilian event to the objection of GET Rio, who invited paiN as the replacement team. Coach Daniel "vorborg" Vorborg was blindsided by the news as he was never informed of the situation.

The Printer Incident

This one isn't as problematic as nearly losing $870,000 in public funds, but in the world of Counter-Strike, the long list of strategies a team is supposed to remember is more reliable to be printed in paper than to be saved in the brain. Unfortunately for MIBR and OG, the printers that CBGE made available for the attending teams weren't configured and the machines demanded a Wi-Fi connection to be used, which a low signal prevented from happening.

While OG had to rely on the tournament organizer to fix the printer and print the tactics, someone from the MIBR camp did it themselves and the Brazilians also managed to get their pages. Fans had to wait a bit longer to see the teams take the stage, something that would set a precedent for the whole event.

Delays due to delays

With all the date changes the CBGE had overlooked the the Esports World Cup qualifiers which were set to run at the same time. MIBR, paiN, and Imperial all participated in the Closed Qualifier for the EWC and in GET Rio which resulted in several delays throughout the weekend. Thanks to technical issues during the first day of GET Rio, MIBR and paiN were rescheduled to face off on the stage at a later hour, but the teams had to face off for the EWC qualifiers almost at the same time. This resulted in the GET Rio BO1 match being rescheduled, again, to the next day. Due to the delays in the LAN event, OG and Monte had their BO3 delayed to the second day of the tournament when it should have been played during the first.

MIBR and paiN ended up playing both their BO3 EWC qualifier series and the BO1 GET Rio match online, with the latter being played before fans could even enter the arena.

The second day continued to be plagued by delays, and the lower-bracket semifinals series had to be rescheduled to the day after, Saturday. Friday started at 10:00 AM local time for the Brazilian fans attending the event, and what a long day ahead of them they had. The first series of the day, which had a duration of four hours, started 45 minutes late. What followed was 14 more hours of nonstop Counter-Strike, with the day ending at 4:30 AM local time after 19 hours of play. Even with all that CS being played, the lower-bracket semifinals had to be moved to the day after for obvious reasons.

The delays and tension eventually came to a head as Imperial, who had already qualified for the grand final after beating paiN in a game that ended after 4:00 AM, were considering missing the final game of the event, as it would make the team miss its flight to Malta to participate in the ESL Pro League Season 19. If Imperial missed that flight and were late to their opening match, it was entirely possible that ESL could disqualify the Brazilians from the event. ESL managed to change Imperial's flight and allowed the team to arrive later in Malta. This allowed them to play the grand final against paiN, where they eventually lost.

To add insult to injury for GET Rio, there were complaints from residents of the area regarding the noise after the fans left the arena. Oh boy.

Even ESL Impact was affected

It wasn't just the men's teams who suffered from GET Rio's and CBGE's incompetence. The organizer also hosted the Copa Rio, a women's-only CS2 tournament featuring Fluxo Demons, FURIA fe, MIBR fe, and W7M fe which went smoothly. Problems arose, though, regarding ESL Impact. MIBR fe, through its captain Julieta "khizha" Grillia, announced on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the team would have to forfeit its ESL Impact match against GENKID4M4 because they had to leave the pracc room for FURIA's men's roster to prepare its match against MIBR.

Up until then, while the MIBR fe roster was using the practice room, the FURIA squad was preparing for the series sitting on the floor of the arena.

Delayed payments, of course, the usual

Copa Rio, also organized by CBGE, started late due to delayed payments. According to Dust2 Brasil, workers involved in the lighting, audio, internet, power, and stage departments refused to work before the Brazilian federation paid the remaining fees, which they had agreed on.

The stage, which was also used during GET Rio, was only mounted on Wednesday, a day before the start of the main event when it was planned to have been mounted on the previous Sunday, due to striking workers.

The event eventually went ahead after a small delay.

And that was GET Rio. paiN ended up winning GET Rio and the $100,000 prize money for first place, with Imperial falling in a three map grand final. Fluxo Demons beat FURIA fe on Copa Rio and claimed the $5,000 prize money for first place, as much as Metizport and Monte won after ending GET Rio in last place, a noticeably significant and disproportionate pay disparity.

For more coverage on GET Rio and other Brazilian Counter-Strike topics, we recommend you visit Dust2 Brasil.

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