Only 6 Players Can Be Major Champions Again at IEM Rio

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy, Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi, and Denis “electroNic” Sharipov are the four members of this group who play for Natus Vincere. Nearly a year after winning the PGL Stockholm Major in 2021, the Ukrainian-Russian quartet has the opportunity to win their second Major in Rio. Abai “HObbit” Hasenov of Cloud9 is also vying for his second Major championship, and Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson of Fnatic has a chance to add a third Major trophy to his collection.

None of these teams and players will face each other in the quarterfinals, which will be played between Thursday, Nov. 10, and Friday, Nov. 11. KRIMZ and HObbit, however, can face each other for a spot in the grand finals on Saturday, Nov. 12 should Fnatic beat Outsiders and C9 defeat MOUZ on Thursday. The Major champion quartet of NAVI, on the other hand, can only meet KRIMZ or HObbit in the grand finals.

While NAVI’s Major title is still recent in many fans’ memories, not everyone remembers HObbit won PGL Kraków Major in 2017 under the Gambit banner versus Immortals, in what was the grand finals of two underdogs.

KRIMZ’s titles date back to the early days of CS:GO when Fnatic were dominating the scene with Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer in his prime. Fnatic’s Swedish lineup of KRIMZ, olofmeister, Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist, and Markus “pronax” Wallsten won back-to-back Majors in 2015 (ESL One: Katowice and ESL One: Cologne).

The single-elimination bracket of IEM Rio Major Champions Stage looks as follows:

Bracket A

  • Cloud9 vs. MOUZ
  • Outsiders vs. Fnatic

Bracket B

  • FURIA vs. NAVI
  • Heroic vs. Team Spirit

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