ESL One Rio will require teams to requalify for November CSGO major

Nick J. April 2, 2020

Valve has announced the procedure for teams to requalify for the ESL One Rio Major. Rio was rescheduled following the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19, and will now take place in November.

A post on the official Counter-Strike blog outlined how teams will earn a spot in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's ultimate competition. According to the post every team will have to requalify, even those that would normally have been ushered into the major as a reward for their placements at the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019.

Teams will now compete in what Valve is calling "Regional Major Competitions." As of now, there are two RMC events planned and Valve extended an invitation for other tournament organizers to submit their events to be registered as additional tournaments that will add to the team's regional rankings. The first RMC will be held in May.

These tournaments award points that count towards both a region's ranking, as well as the individual ranking of each team. According to Valve, those teams that finished in Challenger or Legend positions in Berlin will start with at least some regional major ranking points for their efforts.

Tournaments have to adhere to specific rules in order to be considered. It must invite the top-ranked teams in a region in addition to holding open qualifiers for the remaining teams. Interestingly, Valve gave organizers freedom in regards to format, prize pool, length, and whether it is held online or offline.

Regional Major invites based on region's Berlin Major performances

A total of 24 teams will attend the Rio Major from six regions. Despite Berlin's Legend and Challenger teams losing their slots, those slots are still up for grabs via Valve's new ranking format. 

There are eight Legend, eight Challenger, and eight "Contender" slots available for the major. Surprisingly, invites will be handed out based on each regions performance at StarLadder Berlin, with the region that performed the best receiving the lion's share of the invites. The number of invite for each region break down as follows:

  • Legends: 3 North America, 3 Europe, 2 CIS
  • Challengers: 5 Europe, 2 North America, 1 CIS
  • Contenders: 2 Europe and CIS, 1 North America, South America, Oceania, and Asia

ESL will host the initial Regional Major competition in May, and all teams that had qualified or already held spots in the moved Major are invited to attend. Additionally, there will be no Minors for CSGO's November Rio Major.

Valve will fund both the May and Fall RMCs with a total prize pool of $255,000 to be split between the regions. As far as who can compete where, Valve added that due to the ongoing viral outbreak, teams may compete in whichever region they are currently in.

ESL One: Road to Rio is CSGO's first regional Major tournament

ESL will host the first RMC in May as an online regional tournament featuring a massive 56 total teams across the world. All teams that had already qualified for either the Rio Major or its minors are automatically invited.

The best-of-three, round-robin tournament is set to start on April 22 and run through May 17 following the schedule and prize pool distribution below:

April 22

  • Europe
    • 16 teams 
    • $105,000 prize pool
  • North America
    • 12 teams
    • $70,000 prize pool
  • South America
    • Four Teams 
    • $10,000 prize pool
  • Asia
    • Two teams from Greater China
    • Three teams from SEA
    • One team from the Middle East
    • $10,000 prize pool

April 23

  • Oceania
  • Four teams
  • $10,000 prize pool

April 30

  • CIS
    • 12 teams
    • $50,000 prize pool

After its rescheduling, ESL One Rio is now set to begin on November 9 and run until its prestigious grand final on November 22.

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