Nick J. June 5, 2020
Days after WePlay! Clutch Island was announced as the CIS region's summer Regional Ranking tournament, WePlay! has announced the full list of teams that will participate in the tournament.
Five teams have earned a spot in the tournament through its closed qualifiers, include Nemiga Gaming, Syman Gaming, ESPADA, Gambit Youngsters, and forZe. These five teams will compete against three other squads that will have fought their way through the tournament's open qualifiers. The first matches of Clutch Island's open qualifiers start on Monday, June 8.
Per Valve's updated rules surrounding qualification for November's ESL One Rio Major, the top five teams after the spring RMT, ESL's Road to Rio were directly invited to Clutch Island. By finishing in the top five, these teams will skip the qualifying stages for the tournament by virtue of their performances at Road to Rio. Team Spirit took the top spot at that tournament, defeating Winstrike Team for the first-place prize and its accompanying Regional Major Ranking points. Hard Legion and Virtus.pro took fourth and fifth respectively, while a struggling Natus Vincere finished seventh but was invited thanks to the points awarded for their previous finish in 2019's StarLadder Berlin Major.
WePlay! Clutch Island CIS RMR start times, how to watch
The WePlay! Clutch Island tournament officially starts on June 16 and runs through June 28 after the conclusion of the open qualifiers. Those open qualifiers will run over three days, starting on June 8 and ending on June 10. The top three teams from the tournament's open qualifiers will then move on to the next stage.
As for WePlay!, the tournament organizer has moved into the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive space at a raid pace. WePlay!'s head of esports, Eugene "Hitras" Shepelev, said this is the first of several larger WePlay! tournaments in the pipeline.
"WePlay! Clutch Island is the first of many Counter-Strike tournaments in the near future. I’m sure many fans have been waiting for the return of our studio’s talents to the big CS:GO stage," Shepelev said.
In addition to a $50,000 prize pool, teams will really be competing for one of the five spots in the ESL One Rio CSGO Major available to the region. The point totals available at Clutch Island are increased from Valve's initial Road to Rio tournament, making the tournament even more important than the Road to Rio when it comes to teams jockeying for position heading into the final Regional Ranking tournament before CSGO's only Major of 2020.
Fans can catch all the action over on WePlay!'s official Twitch channel.