9z and FURIA lock in IEM Rio Major spots
Only two more Major spots are left up for grabs in the Americas region.
9z and FURIA are the two latest teams who secured a spot at the IEM Rio Major. Securing a 3-1 record in the Americas Regional Major Ranking event, the two teams will begin their Major campaign from the Challengers Stage, starting on October 30.
FURIA are no strangers to the Majors, having made it to the playoffs at the previous two in Antwerp and Stockholm. Brazil's best squad did not defend their Legends status after a narrow loss to Evil Geniuses sent them to the 1-1 pool earlier in the Americas RMR, but they recovered in the end following a comfortable affair with O PLANO and a 2-0 series win against paiN in the deciding match.
9z will make their second consecutive Challengers Stage appearance after making it to PGL Major Antwerp in the last cycle, their passion helping them garner some fandom when they made it through the qualifiers nearly six months ago.
The core of that team has remained the same, but they have since been bolstered by the additions of two youngsters in Lucas "nqz" Soares and Nicolás "buda" Kramer. The 17-year-old Brazilian AWPer in particular was key in 9z's inspiring campaign in the Americas RMR this week, leading the way in the first of two big comebacks the team pulled off on the way to a spot in Rio, from a 7-14 deficit against 00NATION.
9z's resilience was once again on display in their second victory against Imperial, where they turned it around from a 2-13 start on Nuke to win in double overtime. A close loss to Evil Geniuses then sent the South Americans to the 2-1 pool, where they swept ATK aside in comfortable fashion to clinch their place at IEM Rio.
Eight teams are now qualified for IEM Rio Major:
The current standings at the Americas RMR stand as follows, with Complexity set to play 00NATION for another spot in Rio, and seven more teams still in play for the sixth and final spot in the region.