Vitality are One of Rio’s Favorites
Although many teams look quite strong before the tournament starts, Vitality comes to the IEM Rio Major as one of the favorites, along with FaZe and NaVi. They are third in most power rankings, behind the two 2022 giants so far. For dupreeh and zonic, Rio represents the opportunity to enter five Majors, one more than their former teammates Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, and device, and become the most decorated player and coach of all time.
A French player hasn’t tasted Major glory since 2015, when apEX and Envy did it. And, it is ZywOo who will have to carry the weight of the region on his shoulders. Despite all the individual accolades and accolades, it’s safe to say that ZywOo has yet to realize his full potential. He will always be compared to s1mple, the other alien in the game, and after the trophy explosion of Natus Vincere at the end of 2021 it’s a comparison in which ZywOo falls short.
However, the scarcity of Majors also makes each one even more important. With Vitality in good shape, and FaZe and Natus Vincere seemingly not, it’s as good a time as any for ZywOo to claim the s1mple crown. Although it should be noted that Vitality hasn’t faced FaZe, the best team in 2022 so far, since their addition of Spinx. Their hold on the number one spot is tenuous, and Zonic admits that they “don’t feel like the number one team in the world.”
In January, Vitality owner Fabien “Neo” Devide said that “although the start will be tough, there is no pressure here. We are clear about what we want to do and for sure when this team starts winning, we will win for a long, long time.” In the ESL Pro League, Vitality started off winning. In Rio, we’ll see if they can continue to do so.
Imperial Didn’t Have an Easy Way Into Rio
The events in which Imperial took on after the creation of the team were not exactly a cakewalk, in fact, the Brazilians often had to fight against higher-ranked opponents. At the PGL Major in Antwerp, the Brazilians showed a good level, but immediately ran into problems in the following events.
Imperial was forced to drop out after failing to get a single win in their next LAN event, the Dallas IEM, and continued to lose in the early stages of the following tournaments. FalleN and company’s last competition before the summer break was the Cologne IEM Play-In, where they missed out on a spot in the main tournament after losing to fellow Brazilian 00 NATION.
The rejuvenated Imperial team finished second at the ESL Challenger Melbourne, giving the Brazilians considerable momentum ahead of the Americas qualifier for Rio. The Brazilians were the first to win their first match, against Isurus, but quickly fell behind after successive losses to 9z and 00NATION. The situation was not favorable for Imperial, but that did not discourage them one bit.
Four best-of-three wins came between Imperial and IEM Rio, and against all odds they found themselves in the match for sixth place against Complexity. The first map went the way of the Brazilians, but JT’s men hit back in the second and forced an all-or-nothing duel in Overpass. After two overtimes, a 40-bomb from Chelo and more individual brilliance from FalleN, the Brazilians took home a 2-1 win over Complexity and achieved their goal of securing a spot in their local tournament.
Vitality vs Imperial Game Information
- Date: Monday, October 31
- Time: 12:45pm ET
- Vitality vs Imperial Live Stream: ESL_CSGO – Twitch
Vitality vs Imperial Predictions
FalleN and fer, the two-time Major winners, will be looking to put their experience to good use in their first match of the tournament. However, if there is one thing to take away from their campaign in Antwerp, it is that you should never discount the heart and determination of the Brazilians to succeed against any opponent.
After the ESL Pro League victory, Vitality arrives at IEM Rio with the best chance at a Major since they entered CSGO at the end of 2018. While it’s more than obvious that they’ll make it to the next stage, I don’t think we’ll see them roll over the competition from the start. I think that this will be a much closer match than expected, although I see Vitality as the winner.
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.