And fur of them are playing in the same team.
Out of the 40 players attending IEM Rio Major Champions Stage, there are only six of them that can become Major champions again.
Four of these players are in Natus Vincere: Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy, Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi, and Denis “electroNic” Sharipov. The Ukrainian-Russian quartet can win their second Major in Rio, nearly one year after they won PGL Stockholm Major in 2021. Cloud9’s Abai “HObbit” Hasenov is also after his second Major title, while Fnatic’s veteran Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson could add a third Major trophy to his cabinet.
None of these teams and players will face each other in the quarterfinals, which will be played between Thursday, Nov. 10, and Friday, Nov. 11. KRIMZ and HObbit, however, can face each other for a spot in the grand finals on Saturday, Nov. 12 should Fnatic beat Outsiders and C9 defeat MOUZ on Thursday. The Major champion quartet of NAVI, on the other hand, can only meet KRIMZ or HObbit in the grand finals.
While NAVI’s Major title is still recent in many fans’ memories, not everyone remembers HObbit won PGL Kraków Major in 2017 under the Gambit banner versus Immortals, in what was the grand finals of two underdogs.
KRIMZ’s titles date back to the early days of CS:GO when Fnatic were dominating the scene with Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer in his prime. Fnatic’s Swedish lineup of KRIMZ, olofmeister, Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist, and Markus “pronax” Wallsten won back-to-back Majors in 2015 (ESL One: Katowice and ESL One: Cologne).
The single-elimination bracket of IEM Rio Major Champions Stage looks as follows: