The European RMRs for IEM Rio Major start on October 4. The two independent tournaments will take place in Malta and Bench Heroes were supposed to be one of the 16 teams that compete in European RMR B. They finished fifth in the fourth Open Qualifier and earned their right to play against the strongest teams in the region for a chance to go to the Major.
But unfortunately for them and their fans, this will not happen because they failed to secure visas for all of their players. Their spot has already been given to Illuminar, a Polish team that’s currently ranked 88th in the world.
This tournament would have been a great opportunity to watch Owen “smooya” Butterfield in action. The AWPer had a great year in 2018 but since then, he hasn’t done anything significant. Back when he was playing at his best, he was very impressive to watch, so CS:GO fans would have probably loved to see him compete in Malta.
Benchedheros will be missing the RMR due to visa issues. After qualifying for the biggest event possible with a complete mix to missing out due to something sadly easily preventable. Crushed is the only word:( thanks for all the support kings and queens. GGs✌️
— Owen Butterfield (@smooyacs) September 29, 2022
The favorite teams of European RMR B are Natus Vincere, Heroic, Team Vitality, MOUZ, Outsiders, BIG, OG, and Falcons. ENCE and HEET also have a realistic chance to qualify.
The battles will be tough for all participants and the Swiss System format is unforgiving. When you start with a defeat in a Bo1, that can demoralize you very quickly. With so much on the line, the participants probably feel desperate to qualify.
In the case of Na’Vi, Heroic, Vitality, and a few others, failure is not an option. Too much was invested into their roster the reputational risks are severe.
Most likely, the majority of the favorites will qualify. Even though the match format is unpleasant (Bo1), the fact that you need to lose three times to get eliminated should offer peace of mind to a lot of IGLs.
Right now, some of the teams mentioned above are competing in the playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 16. Based on what we’ve seen them do in that tournament, is quite obvious that they will survive this qualifier for IEM Rio Major. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but the odds are so high that there’s no point in doubting their chances.
The only real question is this: who will earn the Legend Status and who will be a Challenger? There are three Legend spots available and the benefits of obtaining one are significant. When you start competing only in the second stage of the Major, the odds of qualifying for the playoffs are much bigger.