Outsider emerge from one of the craziest majors ever as the IEM Rio Champions

IEM Rio was a major flipped on its head by early upsets of potential champions like Vitality and FaZe. But when all looked lost, when fans were ready to give up on the major, our saviour returned. Jame rose up to the challenge and led his boys to the trophy in Rio. Outsiders become the 18th Major Champions.

Berlin to Brazil: Jame Returns to Major Finals

The biggest storyline at the Berlin Major was the fall of Team Liquid. But the cause of that fall was an upset in the legends stage. The loss to NRG can be accepted, but out of nowhere came Avangar who rocked Liquid on their stronghold of Overpass.

Team Liquid's New Legends Stage record at Starladder Berlin
Team Liquid's New Legends Stage record at Starladder Berlin

At the helm of that ship was Jame. And AWPing IGL with a style that had never been seen in CSGO before. A style that prioritised owning the AWP above all else. For more recent fans that may not be that surprising as players like Sh1ro have used that style to great success. But Jame is unique in that he will sacrifice his teammates in the interest of that AWP. But when he is pushed into tough situations he can use that very AWP to win the hardest of rounds.

That style carried them to the finals of Starladder Berlin, where they faced the legendary Astralis. At the time Jame was simply not ready. He hadn't gained the experience he needed to lead a major winning roster. And Avangar were completely destroyed by Astralis in one of the most one-sided major finals ever.

Another Danish Opposition in Heroic

Much like Berlin, upsets led us to this point, where Jame had to face off against another Danish rival. Now it isn't the legendary Astralis that rule the Danes, but the youngsters of Heroic, who themselves are looking to make their legacy. But this time Jame and his trusty wingman Qikert were ready. Ready with a fresh batch of stars to take over the server and cement their names in the history of Counter-Strike.

For anyone following this major, Outsiders looked like they had found their footing exactly when they needed. Their newest pickups, Fame and n0rb3r7 were both performing well, and the eternal Jame was topping the charts. As Cloud9 and NaVi lost their playoff games, they stepped up and made quick work of Fnatic and MOUZ.

Image via Stephanie Lindgren/ESL Gaming/ESPAT
Image via Stephanie Lindgren/ESL Gaming/ESPAT

On the other side of the bracket, Heroic had their own time to perform. Their perennial demon NaVi had been eliminated by Furia, so Heroic's fight was against themselves. Despite the initial choke versus Furia on Inferno, they eventually broke through the mental barrier to annihilate Brazil's hopes on Nuke. This set us up perfectly for a good game of CS in the major finals, with both teams peaking at the right time.

Outsiders Exceed Expectations to Emerge Victorious at IEM Rio

Mirage - A stellar T-side from Outsiders

That promise of a great game of CS was broken as we began Mirage. In the current CT-sided meta, Outsider's T side was very strong. And with Jame's AWP being ever-present, no round was an easy victory for the side of Heroic. With an 8-7 half favouring Dastan's troops, they were in a comfortable position to take the map.

cadiaN's knife kill won the pistol round for Heroic, but Outsiders pulled out a win with a force buy that gave them the momentum of the economy, allowing them to run ahead to 13 rounds before Heroic could answer. A short burst of 3 rounds followed from the attackers, but the Outsiders closed the game out 16-12.

Overpass - Outsiders dominate Heroic to become IEM Rio Champions

Heroic's map pick of Overpass started with a lead for them in the initial skirmish. A weak economy from the Danes however allows the Outsiders to take the lead at 4-3. From there they just went on a stomp streak. Hitting every shot, and reading every strat, they were ready to lock in their major title. The attack of Heroic failed round after round and gave the CIS squad a 9-round lead going into the final half of the major.

A successful pistol retake from Heroic gave them some hope, but once the guns came out for Outsiders, it was all over for Heroic as they could not get a hold of the economy while Outsiders rode the momentum provided by FL1T to a major victory.

Jame awarded the MVP of IEM Rio

Furia's KSCERATO was leading the MVP race prior to his elimination from the Major, but Jame's consistent performance finally overtook the Brazilian's sheer impact. With a 1.30 rating this event and an amazingly low Deaths-Per-Round at 0.46, there was no doubt that this IGL-AWPer was the driving force behind every game they played.

With this victory, the Outsiders cement their name in the history of Counter-Strike. They also guarantee a spot at the BLAST World Finals. Finally, they will be receiving a special Champions-only Sticker Capsule in the game.

The IEM Rio Champions are:

  • Dzhami "Jame" Ali
  • Aleksei "Qikert" Golubev
  • Pyotr "fame" Bolyshev
  • Evgeniy "FL1T" Lebedev
  • David "n0rb3r7" Daniyelyan
  • Dastan "dastan" Aqbaev

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