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Top 5 Plays of the IEM Rio Major Playoffs

Zakaria Almughrabi

The IEM Rio Major was full of unexpected upsets. No one could have predicted Outsiders going from barely qualifying for the Major at all to winning the entire thing. The Champions Stage played host to massive, game defining plays that defied logic and made our jaws drop. Here are the top five plays from the IEM Rio Major Playoffs.

IEM Rio Major

Image Copyright ESL | Adela Sznajder

5. sjuush Silences the Crowd – 1v3 Clutch vs FURIA

The semifinal matchup between Heroic and FURIA Esports was one of the biggest nail-biters of the IEM Rio Major Playoffs. After winning Heroic’s Inferno pick, FURIA just narrowly missed out on pulling off the biggest comeback of the tournament on Ancient. Now on Nuke, only one team would make it to the Major final.

A crucial round four would determine the entire trajectory of the map. FURIA were looking to assert themselves on the CT side and had a 3v1 scenario to do it. Unfortunately for the home team, Rasmus “sjuush” Beck had the bomb, an AK-47, a Smoke Grenade, and the perfect answer. Off the back of this clutch, Heroic went on to dominate Nuke and claim their first ever Major finals appearance.

4. Jame Puts the Game on Ice – AWP 1v3 vs MOUZ

The other semifinal between Outsiders and MOUZ also went the distance with an equally crazy storyline through two maps. Outsiders turned MOUZ’s Ancient pick on them, stealing map one. MOUZ then pulled off an improbable comeback on Overpass to tie the series up. Inferno was the last stop on the way to the biggest stage in CS:GO.

After an average first half, Outsiders turned on the jets for their T side. They had already won the pistol round and follow-up rounds. MOUZ had a few shots to break their opponents’ momentum, one of them coming in a round 22 post-plant scenario. After trading his last teammate for the plant, Dzhami “Jame” Ali played the Smoke bait perfectly with just 15 HP, taking down the final two players with flawless positioning.

3. Qikert Does it All – 4k on Inferno B vs Fnatic

The first match at the IEM Rio Major Playoffs was between Outsiders and Fnatic. Both of these teams were huge underdogs coming into the tournament as a whole, so expectations were all over the place. Map one of Inferno was getting extremely close, with Fnatic’s CT side closing in on a tied scoreline.

That was until Alexey “Qikert” Golubev took matters into his own hands. With surgical precision, Qikert stormed the B site and cleared out both Fnatic defenders. After his teammate Jame couldn’t find his kill in the 2v2 retake, Qikert played the bait position to a T, taking down the last two players. His 4K in round 26 helped Outsiders secure the map and move on to the semifinals.

2. cadiaN: Perfect Aim, Perfect Game Sense – AWP 1v3 Clutch vs Team Spirit

Heroic’s quarterfinal matchup was against Team Spirit. After confidently dispelling the CIS squad on their Vertigo pick, Heroic’s Overpass was up next. Starting on the T side, Heroic racked up eight rounds quickly. Spirit managed to break that streak in round 13. With only one full buy left in their bank, Heroic risked losing out the half if they couldn’t battle back.

Their main B attack fell flat, leaving Casper “cadiaN” Moller in a 1v3 on A. He then proceeded to pick off every member of Spirit with clean AWP flicks and a split-second decision to run all the way to B for the plant. With this round win, Heroic finished the half up 10-5. Every round did end up mattering, as Spirit’s comeback on the map fell just short in a 16-14 finish.

1. Jame Redefines Jame Time – Impossible AWP 1v3 Clutch vs MOUZ

The best mechanical highlight of the IEM Rio Major Playoffs goes to Jame. The AWPer and in-game leader for Outsiders had the tournament of his life on the way to the Major title. His magnum opus happened in the semifinals against MOUZ. Stuck in a 1v3 with no idea where any enemies were, Jame pulled off the best play of the Major.

Flawless movement, aim, and raw instinct allowed Jame to take down every last player with quickscope kills. While Outsiders didn’t end up winning Overpass, they were strictly the better team on the Inferno tiebreaker map. After taking the semifinals 2-1, Outsiders went on to claim their Major title against Heroic in the finals.