The first day of the European IEM Road to Rio 2022 RMR Qualifiers went pretty much as expected. Most of the favorites overcame their first matches with relative ease. FaZe Clan was the only established team that went through a scare, but ultimately came out on top 28-25 against Team GamerLegion in a match that went to quadruple overtime. Apart from FaZe, G2 is another team that managed to turn a lot of heads with their 16-0 dismantling of the Danish side of ECSTATIC.
Heading into the second day of the IEM Road to Rio 2022 RMR qualifiers, we’ve got quite a few more even matchups, and the CS:GO betting odds reflect that. While no noteworthy upsets happened during the inaugural day of the group stage, it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll see at least one or two today.
With more than a dozen matches to be played on the second day of the IEM Road to Rio European Qualifiers, let’s dive right into our picks & predictions.
Natus Vincere vs. MOUZ
Although Na’Vi is entering the series as the heavy favorites, the truth is that the team is currently going through a bit of a slump. MOUZ is definitely a team that has the quality to capitalize on that and pull off an upset. S1mple’s performance will be a key factor in deciding the course of the match, but it should be noted that electroNic had the match of his life with 41 kills against Illuminar yesterday. MOUZ on the other hand will be turning towards frozen who has emerged as a perennial superstar in the last couple of months.
Looking at the map preferences, MOUZ banning Dust 2 and Na’Vi removing Vertigo are almost guaranteed to be the first bans. Overpass, Nuke, and Ancient are looking most likely to be among the bans, which tells us that the series is most likely to be played on either Mirage or Inferno.
Taking into account s1mple’s streaky form as of late, and the fact that both of these teams are quite proficient at Mirage and Inferno, the matchup seems much closer than the odds would suggest. While it’s still not a coin flip, we’re leaning towards MOUZ as a great value bet in this matchup.
Eternal Fire vs. Astralis
Heading over to IEM Road to Rio 2022 Group A we’ve got two evenly matched teams that have had their fair share of ups and downs over the last couple of months. The odds between Eternal Fire and Astralis are so close you can view this matchup as a pick ’em. Both teams lost their opening matches on the first day, with Astralis dropping a close series against NiP and Eternal Fire losing their nail-biter against Bad News Eagles. While Astralis is the more talented and experienced side, its new lineup still hasn’t completely gelled together. Eternal Fire on the other hand will be looking towards its two-headed monster of woxic and XANTERS to lead them to victory.
As far as the possible map pick is concerned, Astralis has shown us that they are deathly allergic to Vertigo, a map Eternal Fire has thrived on so far. Another map Astralis could be looking to avoid will most likely be Nuke. Eternal Fire on the other hand is almost guaranteed to remove both Ancient and Mirage. From the rest of the maps available, both teams could be looking to avoid Dust 2 and Overpass. Inferno is looking like the likely battleground for these two teams, and it could truly go both ways.
Expect a hard-fought series between these two teams, with both teams being in the double-digits as far as the total number of rounds is concerned. We are slightly leaning towards an Astralis victory in this scenario.
Monte vs. SAW
In our last pick of the day, we’ve got a matchup between Monte’s relatively new international roster and the rejuvenated Portuguese side of SAW. Both teams lost their opening matches of the IEM Road to Rio 2022 Qualifiers. While Monte did manage to put up a good fight against the heavily favored Outsiders, SAW looked way out of their depth in their match against Heroic. But if we measure up these two teams against one another, SAW is certainly looking like the better team based on recent results. None of the two teams has a standout star they will be looking to lead them, which makes us somewhat lean towards SAW because of their experience and past accolades.
Looking at the possible map picks, Monte has a tendency to avoid Anicent, a map that SAW is quite proficient at. On the other hand, SAW will certainly remove Mirage from the table for Monte. With the team’s main maps out of the way, Monte will most likely look to avoid fighting on both Dust 2 and Inferno, while SAW is looking likely to ban Overpass and Nuke. Chances are that we’re going to see this series happen on Vertigo, but we won’t be surprised if the teams decide to play it on either Dust 2 or Nuke.
All things considered, SAW is looking like the better team heading into the matchup. They are looking like the stronger side on any one of the maps that will most likely be left for the series. While the odds do favor Monte, SAW has just looked like the more cohesive unit between the two.