ESL One to host a 56-team Road to Rio online CSGO tournament
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ESL will host a global competition to qualify for ESL’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) major in November. Originally scheduled for May 2020, the major was rescheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 19 – 22, and the prize pool has doubled to $2 million. Valve has redesigned the qualification structure for majors to accommodate changes, and squads are now required to play through the Road to Rio tournament.

To qualify for the major, teams earn as many points as possible through competitions that count towards the Regional Major Rankings (RMR). Then, depending on their ranking, teams are divided into subgroups: Legends, Challengers, and Contenders (formerly known as New Challengers). The first of the qualifying competitions is ESL One: Road to Rio. Valve has confirmed additional RMR tournaments for the near future.

ESL One: Road to Rio overview

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive CSGO ESL One Road to Rio 56 teams

The top 56 teams from Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), North America, South America, Oceania, and Asia will compete in Road to Rio. Teams already qualified for the Rio Major after finishing in the top 14 at the StarLadder Major will compete to show they’re still in good form. Likewise, teams that qualified for the Rio Minor via closed qualifiers are set to compete. The online tournament features a $255,000 prize pool and grants RMR points. Road to Rio is scheduled to take place between April 22 and May 17. The regional distribution of prize pool and teams is as follows:


  • Teams: 16
    • Astralis
    • Vitality
    • G2
    • North
    • Complexity
    • NiP
    • Copenhagen Flames
    • Dignitas
    • ENCE
    • FaZe
    • fnatic
    • Heretics
    • Movistar Riders
    • TBD
  • Prize Pool: $105,000


  • Teams: 12
    • Winstrike
    • Spirit
    • Espada
    • Unique
    • Natus Vincere
    • Gambit Youngsters
    • Syman
    • Hard Legion
    • forZe
    • TBD
  • Prize Pool: $50,000

North America

  • Teams: 12
    • Evil Geniuses
    • 100 Thieves
    • c0ntact
    • Bad News Bears
    • Cloud9
    • Envy
    • Liquid
    • MIBR
    • FURIA
    • Gen.G
    • Triumph
    • TBD
  • Prize Pool: $70,000

South America

  • Teams: 4
    • RED Candids
    • BOOM
    • Others TBD
  • Prize Pool: $10,000


  • Teams: 4
    • Renegades
    • ORDER
    • Others TBD
  • Prize Pool: $10,000


  • Teams: 8 (Greater China:2, SEA:3, Middle East: 1)
    • TYLOO
    • Mazaalai
    • Lucid Dream
    • ViCi
    • TIGER
    • Others TBD
  • Prize Pool: $10,000

Format and schedule

All regions will play in a round-robin group stage between April 22 and May 17. After the group stage, the tournament transitions into playoffs and concludes with a grand final. All series are best-of-three. The start dates for ESL One: Road to Rio are April 22 in most regions, but April 23 for Oceania and April 30 for CIS.

Minna Adel Rubio is an esports journalist with an interest in first-person-shooter games. She specializes in class-based, arena, and tactical shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, Overwatch, and Team Fortress 2. Additionally, Minna is a senior CS:GO guides writer at Dignitas and a graduate student. Catch her on Twitter for memes and more content!