The IEM Rio Major is right around the corner, promising to be the biggest stage and event ever assembled for competitive CS GO. With such high stakes, including a huge prize pool, the heavy favorites will need their superstars to show up at their peak level in order to win the coveted Major trophy.
There are household names still in contention for the highest honor in CS GO’s esports scene, however juggernauts such as G2 and Astralis were eliminated through the qualifiers and will not be attending the Major. Thus we will see exciting new younger talent come through the doors, with of course, a hunger to win and be at the center of the spotlight like never before.
As always we are here to provide some crucial information and highlight the event’s biggest stars. This time around we are going to take a look at North America’s last hope for another Major title, Team Liquid, and one of the heavy favorites to win it all thanks to the greatest player of all time, NAVI.
NAVI’s GOAT S1mple
When it comes to mechanical skill, there’s no one better than Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, the all-time GOAT of the CS GO competitive scene.
Has won several tournaments, taken a plethora of MVP trophies, and as a result, took either 1st or 2nd place in HLTV’s best 20 rankings since 2018. In the last couple of months even after organizational controversy, he continues to be the most feared player by anyone out there.
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What makes S1mple unique is his ability to play under pressure, as he always shows up in big tournaments. In Natus Vincere many final appearances for the past few years, he has been the catalyst to win it all, grabbing incredible stat lines and winning rounds literally by himself.
Team Liquid have been coming back to life after recent underwhelming tournaments, making incredible campaigns in key CS GO events and climbing the rankings of currently the best squads around the world. The catalysts behind this recent success have been Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis and Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski.
The former signed with Team Liquid as a substitute before IEM Cologne 2022 started and quickly promoted himself as a key part of Liquids renaissance. He assisted the squad to adapt their strategy, while also changing his role to entry fragger.
YEKINDAR’s signing also helped EliGE to take a newly found rifler role, which made him look like the old juggernaut he was, proving he is still one of the best NA native talents in CS GO history.
This incredible duo allowed Team Liquid to grab 3rd place in HLTV’s global ranking for the first time since February 2020, and the team have once again become NA’s best chance of winning a Major, with their minds set on the 2022 IEM CS GO Major.
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