PGL Americas RMR power ranking: Who will come out on top?
With six spots on the line, the pressure is on for teams in the Americas to qualify for the Antwerp Major.
With the PGL Americas Regional Major Ranking event set to begin, the final stages of qualification for the Antwerp Major are now underway. Being the first of the four RMR events, the Americas region will see the first six teams qualified to the event in Belgium.
Here we'll take you through what to expect from the event: Which teams are the favorites, which will have a hard time making a dent, and which might edge their way to qualification.
The first category contains the teams that are the heaviest favorites to qualify for the Major. These teams were ranked within the top three by each polled HLTV writer. Both FURIA and Liquid just placed in the playoffs of the recently completed ESL Pro League Season 15, both showing new strength by taking down highly ranked European opposition.
The Brazilians nearly blitzed Group B, taking down Virtus.pro, Vitality, and finalists ENCE, following up with a victory over Astralis in the playoffs. While Liquid didn't have the same number of victories, they still decisively beat #5 ranked Heroic in the round of 12.
While Complexity doesn't have the resume to compete with the above two teams, they have showed good signs against international competition and still stand a head over the rest of the Americas. Alongside series wins over HEET and Evil Geniuses, they've taken maps off of the likes of Gambit and Astralis with this lineup.
After the disappointment of failing to qualify for PGL Stockholm, Johnny "JT" Theodosiou and Justin "FaNg" Coakley will look to capitalize on the potential they have shown and make it to the biggest stage.
Next in Line
This category of teams refers to those are strong enough to place in the top half of the tournament, but don't yet have the results to put them on the same level as the biggest favorites. Whether that be strong performances within exclusively North America or limited success in Europe, some of these teams will certainly qualify for the Major — it just won't be easy.
MIBR's 2022 roster has been dominating the sub-top North American scene, with both Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian and Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes emerging as strong carries. Following their outings at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups and IEM Katowice (where they still beat Complexity despite using Breno "brnz4n" Poletto), MIBR have only suffered losses in two matches, one to 9z and one to Orgless. This event will serve as a chance for the Brazilians to test their mettle against the best of the region.
On the other side of the equation, Evil Geniuses have had little domestic play during this roster's time, and instead has played internationally but had no success as of yet. Their only victories in official matches come from the two open qualifiers for this RMR event, only being able to take a single map off any European opposition. While their results are yet to show it, the caliber of the players on the lineup is clear. Qualifying for the Major will be essential to staving off future roster shakeups.
Getting down to this level, things get a bit more murky, with the level between teams becoming less defined. Regardless, each of these teams has highly skilled individuals, but has yet to show it consistently. Due to the nature of the Swiss system, best of ones, and the high pressure environment, one of these teams could make a miracle run, but could just as easily fall flat.
00NATION have been competing in Europe almost exclusively since the formation of this roster, having mixed results overall. While early on they took down some decent squads in Unique and 777, they've also dropped matches to MASONIC, VELOX, and Tricked. Despite this, they still qualified for the Americas RMR quite easily, and stand as one of the most skilled lineups in the tournament.
After having a very hectic February and March, Party Astronauts still come into the Americas RMR as a squad with the chance to deal some damage. Following the debacle with their EU bootcamp and the departure of David "cynic" Polster, the team played ESL Pro League with a stand-in, returned to North America for ESL Challenger League playoffs, and then set off again to Europe for the RMR. While most players are no strangers to playing on LAN, the pressure is higher than it ever has been before.
The final five teams come in as the big underdogs for the Regional Major Ranking tournament, and will find it hard to make it deep in the Swiss group. The best of one stage will be important for them to pick an early upset win, and to get some momentum.
TeamOne and Bad News Bears have been fairly inconsistent within North America recently, with the Brazilian side missing the playoffs of Challenger League, while the majority American side had to fight through Relegation. While both squads made the playoffs of Fragadelphia 16, with TeamOne emerging victorious many of their recent victories have come against opposition who failed to qualify for this event, making it hard to predict them going far.
Likewise, the lineups competing in South America have also been quite inconsistent. Both Isurus and Leviatan showed some promise in the recent Aorus League and FiReLEAGUE Latin Power events, but weren't able to take down the bigger names within the region like Imperial, Case, and Sharks (who interestingly failed to qualify for this event).
The HLTV Writer Power Ranking
Some of the HLTV writers got together and made a ranking for the top eight teams in the event, identifying which teams will likely go the farthest and qualify for the Major as well as a couple who have an outside shot at qualification: