BOOM Esports, Isurus and Imperial e-Sports have earned their spot at ESL One: Road to Rio South America playoffs, where they will duke it out for the largest slice of 350 ESL Pro Tour points and US $10,000 in the prize pool.
ESL One: Road to Rio South America began on Wednesday, April 22, with four South American CS:GO teams in attendance, including Isurus, BOOM Esports, Imperial e-Sports and RED Canids. The teams competed in a single-round robin format group, meaning all teams play each other once, with all games played as best-of-three. The format awarded each team with three points for a win and no points for a loss, with top three teams advancing into the playoffs, while the top seed got a direct bye into the grand finals.
In the end, it was BOOM Esports who topped their group with a perfect 3-0 record and equally impressive 106-69 round record, followed by Isurus with 2-1 series and 108-113 map record and Imperial e-Sports at third with 1-2 record and 75-101 round record. RED Canids failed to win a single match, however, were quite unlucky, seeing how they put up some very solid performances.
The tournament began with a clash between BOOM Esports and RED Canids in what proved a to be a thrilling bout, which seemed like it can end either way. Although BOOM Esports completely decimated their Brazilian adversaries on Nuke (16-9), RED Canids hit right back with an equally impressive performance on Overpass (16-7), to tie the series at 1-1. The third and final map was Mirage, where the two sides went back and forth, yet it was BOOM who ended the first half 8-7 up. The second half looked like it would end in RED Canids' favour, however, they were unable to close the deal. BOOM retaliated and forced overtime, where they outclassed Canids (4-1), to seal the series at 19-16.
At the same time, Isurus produced a remarkable reverse-sweep against Imperial who edged out a win on Train (16-14), only to fall flat on Nuke (13-16) and Inferno (9-16). Much of Isurus' success came down to an excellent display from Nicolás "Noktse" Dávila, who ended the series with a 1.25 rating. Although Nokste failed to carry over his momentum into Isurus' second match against RED Canids on day two, Isurus still managed to pull ahead with an extremely close match. The game began with RED Canids wining Dust2 with 16-7, but they failed to deliver on Mirage (14-16) and Nuke (13-16), which was a hard pill to swallow, seeing how Canids held onto a 14-13 lead on Mirage, but dropped the ball and let Isurus pick up three rounds in quick succession to seal the series.
While RED Canids and Isurus fought a close match, BOOM Esports made easy work of Imperial in their second match of the tournament. The fixture was as one-sided as it gets, seeing how BOOM picked up a 16-2 win on Inferno and 16-3 on Vertigo, with all players ending the series with +1.23 rating. João "felps" Vasconcellos, however, shone the brightest with 1.65 rating and 110.7 ADR.
Unlike the first two days, the third and final day of ESL One: Road to Rio South America did not see such close matches. Isurus kneeled down to BOOM Esports with 9-16 on Inferno and 14-16 on Mirage, while Imperial managed to bounce back following their humiliating defeat and took down RED Canids 16-12 on Dust2 and 16-11 on Train.
With that, we got our final standings, with BOOM Esports sitting at the top, followed by Isurus and Imperial at third. RED Canids, however, failed to jump over the hurdle, and will now pack their bags and head home.
Interestingly, RED Canids ended their venture through ESL One: Road to Rio South America as a team with the second-highest rating (1.04), which is lower than BOOM (1.21), yet still quite a bit higher compared to Isurus (0.99) and Imperial (0.95). All five members of BOOM are also the top-five in the rating leaderboard, with Gustavo "yel" Knittel at the helm with 1.31, followed by felps with 1.21, Ricardo "boltz" Prass and Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes tied at third with 1.19 and Bruno "shz" Martinelli at fifth with 1.13.
The ESL One: Road to Rio South America semi-final match between Isurus and Imperial e-Sports is slated for Saturday, April 25, followed by the grand finals between the winner of the said bout and BOOM Esports. The champion will take home US $6,000 in tournament winnings and 150 ESL Pro Tour points.