IEM Rio Major: Day 8 ends with NAVI moving on to the Champions stage
Along with MOUZ and Team Spirit, they filled in the final three spots in the playoff stage of Rio Major.
Miracles can and do happen as the Legends Stage of the IEM Rio Major comes to a close on day 8 of the tournament. The last three matches of the Legend Stage saw six big names compete against each other to see which three teams will be heading to the Champions Stage.
The first of the Round 5 matches saw MOUZ go head-to-head against ENCE. The two European teams were evenly matched in the three maps that were played, but MOUZ had a tiny bit more advantage that propelled them to victory. On Ancient, MOUZ dominated the map in totality that ENCE has no chance to catch up, leading to a 16-5 win for MOUZ. On Nuke, the tables were turned where it was ENCE’s time to dominate the match. A token of resistance was made by MOUZ but ENCE’s run in the first half ensured that they ended the map with a win, 16-8.
Mirage saw the two teams strategizing to keep themselves in the competition. Both teams played well in the first half, with ENCE leading by a single point. However, the match took a turn in the second half of the map where MOUZ demolished ENCE’s defences and ran away with back-to-back wins that the match ended by round 25. MOUZ won 16-9, and the series 2-1.
BIG meanwhile was matched with NAVI, one of the strongest teams in the world right now. Both teams were running a mediocre run thus far in the Legends Stage, but here, NAVI has risen again to be in the running for Champions.
Mirage saw BIG leading by the end of the first half, but NAVI stole the show when they bulldozed BIG over in the second half for a 16-12 win. On Dust II, both teams were neck-and-neck in the first half, but NAVI again led the way in the second half, ending the match by round 27 to win 16-11, and also win the series 2-0.
Team Liquid went into their match against Team Spirit, carrying the last hope of North American CS:GO. In the first map, Vertigo, Team Spirit easily led the narrative in the first half with a substantial 5-point lead. Team Liquid tried to catch up in the second half but Team Spirit’s lead from the first half was too large to overcome, thus giving the win to Team Spirit. Mirage is where the tables turned as Liquid immediately went on the offensive in the first half, leading by five points. They then just needed a quick stroll by round 28 to win the match 16-12.
Ancient was a tense game from the get-go. Both teams played essentially to a draw before the swap, and in the second half, Team Spirit was at the top of their game, easily countering every move that Team Liquid made. They tied by round 26, and from then on just pushed on to overcome Team Liquid. Defusing the bomb on round 29 sealed the deal; Team Spirit won the map 16-13 and the series 2-1.
MOUZ, NAVI and Team Spirit take up the remaining Champions Stage seats and will be playing at the Jeunesse Arena in front of a live audience. Unfortunately, ENCE, BIG and Team Liquid have been eliminated from the competition.