Can South America start the Major with a Victory?
The history of CSGO in South America has been written mainly by Brazilian teams and this is especially the case when it comes to Major events. Even before Luminosity’s victory at MLG Columbus 2016, Brazil was the center of the region, producing the best players and getting better positions in international events compared to countries like Argentina and Chile.
While there is a long way to go for the winds to change direction, 9z has already started the process of putting other Latin American countries on the map by reaching its second Valve sponsored event. 9z made history at the PGL Antwerp Major earlier this year when Maximiliano “max” Gonzalez and Franco “dgt” Garcia became the first Uruguayan players to attend a Major event, Luca “Luken” Nadotti and Martin “rox” Molina the first Argentines, and David “dav1deuS” Tapia Maldonado the first Chilean.
These milestones were the result of an incredible run at the RMR of the Americas in April, in which they came back from a 0-2 deficit to win five straight best-of-three matches to claim sixth place and the final qualifying spot. Now, Luken and rox are no longer part of the team, replaced by youngsters Lucas “nqz” Soares and Nicolas “buda” Kramer in the summer. This new iteration of 9z is a different beast from the one that took the stage in Antwerp.
Max’s men comfortably placed third at the Road to Rio of the Americas in Stockholm, showing unexpected resilience in such a young squad against opponents far more experienced than they are. Ultimately, 9z are more than capable of toppling their European counterparts, but to do so, both dgt and nqz must be on point, and that is a condition that must remain constant not only in the opening draw, but throughout the Swiss leg.
GamerLegion denied G2’s Rio entrance
During August, with the RMR fast approaching, GamerLegion took a gamble on three new players after months of inactivity. Prior to the RMR playoffs, GL had not completed an event since May. They brought in Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand from the MOUZ bench, Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek from the MOUZ academy team, and Nicolas “Keoz” Dgus from the Team Falcons bench to join longtime roster members Mihai “iM” Ivan and Isak Fahlén.
During the open qualifiers, the new trio was not even officially signed, and only played as substitutes on a team that only hoped to make it to the RMR. After the successful qualification, GL decided to officially sign the three players, and the moves paid off during the RMR itself.
For acoR, this is a return to form for the AWPer who failed to live up to expectations after his move from MAD Lions to MOUZ in early 2021. He posted a 1.21 player rating on HLTV at EU RMR A, and he and iM totaled 56 kills in G2 on their closing map on Inferno. The team as a whole skyrocketed up the HLTV rankings, moving from 60th to 29th after securing their trip to IEM Rio Major.
GamerLegion is one of three teams making their major tournament debuts, along with OG and 00Nation. And while GL’s qualifying show may have been the most shocking, one can’t help but think that if this beat down G2, how far can they go? We’re about to find out soon enough.
9z vs GamerLegion Match Information
- Date: Monday, October 31
- Time: 9:00am ET
- 9z vs GamerLegion Live Stream: Twitch.tv
9z vs GamerLegion Prediction
I’ll start off by saying that this 9z team reminds me of Movistar Riders, the one that just made us dream that everything is possible in the world of CSGO. They are a team that have a lot to show on stage, yet they have nothing to lose due to nobody having high expectations for them.
On the other hand we have GamerLegion, a team that recently took down one of the most iconic CSGO teams in history. I feel like this might put a bit of pressure on this recently-revamped European team, which is why I don’t think they will start the tournament on a positive note. Let’s not forget that the tournament is just getting started, which means that we’ll have a few Best-of-1 matches and that (more often than not) benefits the underdogs.
The IEM Rio Major is about to kick off, so make sure to stay tuned as we’ll be sharing our esports picks with you! Don’t forget to bet on esports at BetUS Sportsbook & Casino. We’ve plenty of CSGO odds for you to consider.