Nick J. December 11, 2019
Tournament organizer ESL announced the first ESL One Rio Major tournament this morning in an official press release.
ESL revealed the rumored ESL One Rio Major this morning in an official press release and through a teaser trailer for the tournament on Twitter. ESL One Rio will be the first CSGO Major of 2020. According to the press release, the LAN portion of the event will take place from May 21 to May 24 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As with previous Majors, the tournament includes a $1 million prize pool in addition to counting towards the ongoing third season of the Intel Grand Slam. While Brazil has hosted large CSGO tournaments before, this is the first Major held in the country. It is the 16th Major in CSGO history.
For the first time, CSGO players are now being shown an announcement of the new tournament within the actual game client, showing an increased effort by developer Valve to market CSGO's biggest events of the year.
ESL's senior vice president of product at ESL Ulrich Schulze discussed the passion of Brazillian Counter-Strike fans in the release.
“We are extremely excited and proud to host the next Major in Brazil. Our aim is to bring pure esports moments to the most passionate fans around the world and reward them by creating a unique experience on all levels. With teams from all over the world having a chance to qualify and making their way to the final, we expect the matches to be incredible and the crowd to be the loudest we have ever seen,” Schulze said.
ESL One Rio is also part of the ESL Pro Tour, a revised tournament circuit that combines both ESL and DreamHack events into tournaments within tournaments. Teams that win the most points when competing in these events qualify for two of ESL's largest events of the year, ESL One Katowice 2020 and ESL One Cologne 2020.
Tickets for the event go on sale at 6:00 AM EST on Thursday, December 12.
Brazil provides first Major with great CSGO teams and rabid fans
The country has been home to several world class organizations and teams over the years, including Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo's team MIBR, consistent competitors INTZ eSports and FURIA, as well as recent upstarts Sharks Esports.
Brazillian fans are also known for their passion for sports, and CSGO is no exception. Rio's affiliation with sporting events like the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics means that the city is well prepared for the influx of Counter-Strike fans that will attend the Major.
Unfortunately for Brazillian fans, they will have to watch their home teams fight to even get to the Jenusse Arena. No Brazillian teams made it to the Legends stage of the most recent Major, StarLadder Berlin.
They will be among many teams that will participate in the open and closed qualifiers for ESL One Rio to determine the Major's "Challengers," those teams that did not make the top-eight at the previous Major.
The current teams that hold Legend status are Astralis, AVANGAR, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, ENCE, Team Vitality Natus Vincere, and Team Liquid.