Spirit, Nemiga, Winstrike open strong at Road to Rio – CIS

Team Spirit, Nemiga Gaming and Winstrike Team each swept their opening matches on Thursday as the Road to Rio – Commonwealth of Independent States region got underway with Group A action.

Spirit handled Gambit Youngsters, Nemiga dispatched forZe and Winstrike dominated Team Unique, with all victories by a 2-0 margin.

The 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 April 22, with the Asia and Oceania regions are scheduled to kick 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 CIS event has 12 teams divided into two groups for round-robin play consisting of best-of-three matches. The winner of each group advances to the semifinals of the single-elimination playoffs, with the second- and third-place finishers advancing to the quarterfinals. All playoff matches are best-of-three.

The CIS champion will receive 350 Pro Tour points and $15,000 of the $50,000 prize pool. The runner-up will receive 200 Pro Tour points and $10,000.

Spirit opened play Thursday by taking Overpass 16-8 and Dust II 16-9 to beat Gambit Youngsters.

Nemiga followed against forZe, taking Overpass 16-9 — winning all 10 rounds after halftime — and Mirage 16-11.

Winstrike cruised by Unique with a perfect first map, winning Nuke 16-0, then took Vertigo 16-7 to close it out.

The groups will play on alternating days through May 10, aside from a total day off on Monday. Group B gets underway with three matches on Friday:
Natus Vincere vs. ESPADA
Syman Gaming vs. Hard Legion Esports
Virtus.pro vs. pro100

ESL One: Road to Rio – Commonwealth of Independent States standings, with win-loss record and map differential:
Group A
T1. Winstrike Team, 1-0, +25
T1. Team Spirit, 1-0, +15
T1. Nemiga Gaming, 1-0, +12
T4. forZe, 0-1, -12
T4. Gambit Youngsters, 0-1, -15
T4. Team Unique, 0-1, -25
Group B
T1. ESPADA, 0-0, even
T1. Hard Legion Esports, 0-0, even
T1. Natus Vincere, 0-0, even
T1. pro100, 0-0, even
T1. Syman Gaming, 0-0, even
T1. Virtus.pro, 0-0, even

–Field Level Media

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