ESL One Road to Rio Europe

ESL One: Road to Rio Europe

ESL One Rio was scheduled to be one of this year's total two majors for CS: GO, but as the situation looks now due to the outbreak of the corona virus, it will be the only one for the year. The plan is for the major to take off in Rio de Janeiro from November 9-22. Under the current situation, it is not possible to guarantee that the tournament will be playable, but the qualification for the tournament will be played online, which changes parts of the program. The qualification is divided into six regions (Europe, CIS, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania) and in all regions the law on points will be fought which will later lead to places for the major, which will contain a total of 24 teams from all over the world. These locations will be distributed as follows between the regions:

  • Europe: 10 teams
  • North America: 6 teams
  • CIS: 5 layers
  • South America: 1 team
  • Oceania: 1 team
  • Asia: 1 team

With Europe's dominance and breadth in CS: GO, the region clearly gets the most seats for the major, but with that said, it will still be tough to take one of these. Several of the world's best teams are in Europe and even behind the top, many teams are on the rise in the world rankings. The important thing is not only to be one of the 10 teams that qualify from Europe, as a place among the top three guarantees a start in the Legends stage, which is a huge plus. The two teams that pinch the last places start at the bottom of the so-called Contenders stage. In other words, it is much more at stake than just a place for the tournament itself. A little further down this page, we share our thoughts on which teams should be able to challenge the summit.

Qualified Teams

Group A

  • Astralis
  • Complexity Gaming
  • Dignitas
  • ENCE
  • Fnatic
  • Ninjas in Pajamas
  • Team Heretics
  • Team Vitality

Group B

  • C0ntact Gaming
  • Copenhagen Flames
  • FaZe Clan
  • G2 Esports
  • godsent
  • Mouse Sports
  • Movistar Riders
  • North

Prize Pool

$ 115,000


Group stage

  • Two groups of 8 teams each
  • All teams meet once (Round Robin)
  • All matches are best played by three
  • The top two teams advance to the playoff upper bracket
  • The next two teams advance to the playoffs lower bracket


  • Double elimination
  • The matches are best played by three
  • The finals are best played by five
  • In the final, the team coming from the upper bracket has a 1-0 lead



Astralis is a clear favorite to reach Group A playoffs, though their results in the ESL Pro League left more to be desired as they lost in the semi-final against mouseports. Astralis should not aim to get to ESL One Rio, but to get there directly to the Legends stage, and we guess the Danes will solve it more or less without problems. If there is something this team is doing well, it is to play as best as possible and this is more or less the most important thing for the whole of 2020.

Fnatic has performed incredibly well since the old Robin "flusha" Rönnqvist and Maikil "Golden" Selim returned to the team. The fact that they are in third place on the world rankings is no surprise after their win in the ESL Pro League where the Swedes impressed greatly. The European side of the tournament was full of world teams and the fact that Fnatic went all the way to the dents is proof that they are back where they belong - among the best teams in the world! The fact that Fnatic would tie an end game, or even the top rankings in Road to Rio, is hardly likely given their current form.

FaZe Clan
Recently, the history of FaZe has been the same over and over, as the team plays well and challenges the best teams in the world, but that's not enough all the way. Team stars Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and Marcelo "coldzera" David have played incredibly well lately and for FaZe to go all the way it needs to continue along with the team finding a way to win the last rounds to end matches. The opposition in Group B is still such that FaZe should have no problems getting to an endgame, but there it is doubtful how they stand against big teams like Astralis, Fnatic and mousesports.

Mouse Sports
mousesports made their way all the way to the final of the ESL Pro League where Fnatic was pressed to full five maps, but along the way there were good results mixed with worse ones. Stability still seems to be lacking in mouseports to and from, but their stars Robin “ropz” Kool and Özgür “woxic” Eker perform all that often and in Road to Rio there should be no world where mousesports are not in the playoffs. Once there, the team may as well win everything that goes out directly, but one thing is for sure - mousesports will get to ESL One Rio, we don't doubt that for a second.

G2 Esports
Since an impressive second place in IEM Katowice, things have been up and down for G2. In the ESL Pro League, the team went out in the first round, but that was after getting on the same points as OG and FaZe Clan. A failure, but the game the team showed was still acceptable. In terms of quality among the teams in Group B, G2 should have no problems reaching an endgame, but there it becomes difficult as several of the teams at least for the moment look hotter, although we have to say that Kenny “KennyS” Schrub looks to be in the form of his life.


Team Heretics
Heretics may be unknown to many yet, but this team has gone from clarity lately. Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey is probably a name most people know together with Lucas "Lucky" Chastang and Alexandre "xms" Forté. The team has won series against OG, Heroic, Syman Gaming, Nordavind and SKADE recently. Although that resistance cannot be compared to what they will encounter in Road to Rio, they are good signs for the team and they are in good momentum. In the worst case, they should be able to disrupt the teams in the bottom half of Group A and a playoff spot is not entirely unthinkable.

In the ESL Pro League, GODSENT showed that they can challenge even the best teams in the world, even though it usually ended in losses. In the final stage, the team picked up a few wins against ENCE and Team Spirit, but since then the team has barely played, except for a qualification for DreamHack Masters, which they won after three straight wins against AVEZ, forZe and Team Spirit. This will hardly be an easy journey for GODSENT who will surely see behind mouseports, FaZe and G2, but there is a realistic chance for them to pick the fourth and final playoff spot - it would be a big victory in itself. Young talent Pavle "the food" Bošković is the team's pillar and should GODSENT succeed, he wants to show off his full arsenal.

Complexity Gaming
Complexity was only a haircut from being able to go further in the ESL Pro League and although they won against North and BIG it was not enough. Scarce losses against Natus Vincere and forZe were decisive, but the team fell after all with the flag at the top. In Group A, the team will mainly compete with Ninjas in Pajamas and Team Vitality for the final playoffs, as the first two are most likely to belong to Astralis and Fnatic. When players like Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke, Valentin "poizon" Vasilev and Benjamin "blameF" Bremer get it to click, the team is just as dangerous and it would not surprise us if Complexity is in the playoffs when all is said and done.

There is incredible potential in North, but they have a very hard time getting the whole package to match. However, since Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen joined the team, it has been slow, but certainly looked better and sooner or later it should be released seriously. In the first place, North will fight with GODSENT for fourth place in the group and it can be a real heighter to match the two between. We simply believe that the winner of that match will go to the playoffs and if North can get to it properly for once, maybe they can challenge even more than that.

Where do I watch ESL One: Road to Rio?
ESL One: Road to Rio will be broadcast through ESL's official English channel on Twitch.

Cameron Carr image

Cameron Carr

6 May 2020

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