Nick J. June 3, 2020
Valve has announced the next Regional Ranking Tournament for the CIS region as WePlay!'s Clutch Island. The tournament offers a $50,000 grand prize, but participants will most likely be more focused on the qualification points available for the upcoming ESL One Rio Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major.
The tournament will play out over three stages that begin on June 8 with the tournament's open qualifiers allowing three teams to move forward to Clutch Island's closed qualifier, alongside five other teams selected by regional ranking. Those five teams include Nemiga, Syman, Gambit Youngsters, forZe, and ESPADA. After a double-elimination bracket in the closed qualifiers, the remaining three teams will move forward to Clutch Island's group stage. There, the three teams from the closed qualifiers will meet the regional ranking leaders in the CIS region: Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro, Hard Legion, Spirit, and Winstrike.
Spirit impressed during the CIS edition of ESL's Road to Rio, defeating everyone in their path to a win at the tournament and skyrocketing to a top-20 world ranking for their efforts. CIS stalwart Natus Vincere, led by Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, struggled during the event. Their seventh-place finish was the worst finish for the team in 2020.
CSGO's transfer to an online format for most tournaments in early 2020 has been a boon for semi-pro teams who are able to leverage their greater comfort playing online to take down those higher ranked teams who might be more comfortable on LAN. Each of the top five teams from CIS's Road to Rio defeated Natus Vincere on their way to the top.
WePlay!'s Clutch Island will continue to follow CSGO's transition to online play, potentially spelling trouble for Na`Vi. The team has consistently struggled since the online switch was implemented. That said, teams like Spirit, Hard Legion, and Winstrike have a fantastic opportunity to gain regional ranking points heading into the final regional ranking tournament. These points are essential for teams looking to nail down one of the CIS region's five spots at the upcoming ESL One Rio Major, set to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Valve has allocated spots at CSGO's only Major of 2020 by how many teams participated in 2019's StarLadder Berlin.
From this scattering of spots, the CIS region currently owns five slots in the event: two Legend spots, one Challenger spot, and two Contender spots.
WePlay!'s Clutch island is set to begin on June 8 and will run until the 28th. Clutch Island has the following breakdown of RMR points up for grabs:
- 2000 RMR points;
- 1875 points;
- 1750 points;
- 1625 points;
- 1500 points;
- 1375 points;
- 1250 points;
- 1125 points;
- 1000 points;
- 875 points.