ESL One: Road to Rio (North America) Preview

High tier CS:GO is back with ESL One: Road to Rio. In this article, we will break down the North American portion of the event.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
22nd Apr, 20·☕️ 4 min read

High tier CS:GO is back with ESL One: Road to Rio. In this article, we will break down the North American portion of the event.

Competition Information

ESL One: Road to Rio will be the first tournament series to award ranking points for the recently announced Regional Major Rankings - a ranking system developed by Valve to ensure that only the world’s top teams make it to the Major. ESL One: Road to Rio will feature six regional tournaments with a grand total of $255,000 in prizes, starting with Europe and North America on April 22nd.

The format does have some slight differences compared to the European counter-part. The group stage will run from April 22 to May 3 and will feature two best-of-three, round-robin groups. The winner of each group will advance straight to the semi-finals, while the teams finishing in second and third place will start their playoff journey in the quarter-finals.

The playoffs will feature a single-elimination bracket and all matches are best-of-three, including the finals.

The groups for ESL One: Road to Rio (North America) looks as follows:

Group A

  • 🇦🇺 100 Thieves
  • 🇺🇸 Cloud9
  • 🇺🇸 Evil Geniuses
  • 🇺🇸 Gen.G
  • 🇺🇸 Orgless
  • 🇺🇸 Triumph

Group B

  • 🇺🇸 Bad News Bears
  • 🇺🇸 Envy
  • 🇧🇷 FURIA
  • 🇺🇸 Liquid
  • 🇧🇷 MIBR
  • 🇧🇷 Yeah

The Current Season

Teams to Watch:

Evil Geniuses


Evil Geniuses
Record: 18 / 0 / 19
Most Played Map: Inferno (66.7%)
Best Map: Mirage (0.0%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (60.0%)

Evil Geniuses have had their struggles in the past few months, which eventually forced a change in personnel. The team has opted to let go of their long-time coach, Chet ‘ImAPet’ Singh, and instead chose to pick up the former MIBR and Liquid coach, Zews. This will be their first event together with their new coach, and it will be interesting to see how they have evolved under the new leadership.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid
Record: 19 / 0 / 14
Most Played Map: Dust2 (37.5%)
Best Map: Nuke (75.0%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (37.5%)

Team Liquid ended up winning ESL Pro League North America after beating domestic rivals, Evil Geniuses, in the finals. Liquid looked very comfortable in the finals, and they will look to add another trophy to their repertoire with a win at ESL One: Road to Rio. NAF has looked brilliant for Team Liquid so far, and if he carries that form going, Liquid will have a great chance of doing so.


Record: 38 / 0 / 31
Most Played Map: Inferno (60.0%)
Best Map: Train (61.5%)
Worst Map: Nuke (33.3%)

MIBR completely dropped the ball in the finals of FLASHPOINT, as MAD Lions came back from a 12–1 deficit to win 16–13 on the deciding map of the tournament. It is hard to call how strong MIBR are right now, as the competition at FLASHPOINT was not particularly strong overall, but they have started looking a bit better overall. FalleN in particular has looked very solid for MIBR, and they will be heading into this tournament hoping to bounce back from what was a very disappointing finish to their run at FLASHPOINT.

100 Thieves

100 Thieves
Record: 11 / 0 / 18
Most Played Map: Inferno (28.6%)
Best Map: Vertigo (60.0%)
Worst Map: Mirage (0.0%)

100 Thieves had a strong start to the ESL Pro League season, beating both Swole Patrol and Evil Geniuses. However, they fizzled out from there, losing to Liquid, MIBR and FURIA. Regardless, the boys will have a solid chance at making playoffs here as long as jks and jkaem show the type of form that they did at IEM Katowice earlier this year.

Betting Tips

Check out our daily betting tips for ESL One: Road to Rio here.


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