Ninjas in Pyjamas became the first team to two wins in the in ESL One: Road to Rio — Europe, sweeping Dignitas on Friday to take a commanding early lead in Group A.
Movistar Riders and Copenhagen Flames also won Friday as Group B completed its first round of round-robin play.
ESL One: Rio Major, a $2 million Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event, was originally scheduled to be held May 11-24 in Rio de Janeiro, but it was pushed back to Nov. 9-22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The regional qualifying events for Europe, North America and South America started Wednesday. Play in the Commonwealth of Independent States region will begin April 30, with the Asia and Oceania regions kicking off May 6.
The teams are competing for a total of $255,000 in the online tournaments, as well as for Regional Major Ranking points to be applied toward berths at the ESL One: Rio Major.
The European event has 16 teams divided into two groups for round-robin play consisting of best-of-three matches. The top two finishers from each group advance to the upper bracket of a double-elimination playoff, with the third- and fourth-place finishers advancing to the playoff’s lower bracket.
All playoff matches are best-of-three prior to the grand final. The title match will be best-of-five, with the team emerging from the upper bracket starting with a one-map advantage.
The European champion will receive 500 Pro Tour points and 1,600 Regional Major Rankings points, plus an as-yet-unannounced share of the $115,000 prize pool. The runner-up will get 350 Pro Tour points and 1,500 RMR points.
On Friday, Ninjas beat Dignitas 16-9 on Train, then dominated on Vertigo, 16-4, giving them a dominant plus-33 map differential.
In Group B, Copenhagen Flames dropped Nuke 16-12 to c0ntact Gaming but bounced back with a 19-17 win on Inferno and 16-3 drubbing on Train. Movistar Riders had a little easier time in their opener, beating mousesports 16-12 on Inferno and 19-17 on Train.
Saturday will be the tournament’s busiest day yet, with three matches scheduled in each group.
ESL One: Road to Rio — Europe standings, with win-loss record and map differential:
1. Ninjas in Pyjamas, 2-0, +33
T2. Astralis, 1-0, +14
T2. ENCE, 1-0, +5
T2. Team Heretics, 1-0, +4
T5. Fnatic, 0-1, -5
T5. Complexity Gaming, 0-1, -14
T5. Team Vitality, 0-1, -14
8. Dignitas, 0-2, -23
T1. G2 Esports, 1-0, +14
T1. Copenhagen Flames, 1-0, +11
T1. FaZe Clan, 1-0, +7
T1. Movistar Riders, 1-0, +6
T5. mousesports, 0-1, -6
T5. North, 0-1, -7
T5. c0ntact Gaming, 0-1, -11
T5. GODSENT, 0-1, -14
–Field Level Media