To kick off day three of the Challengers Stage of the IEM Rio CS:GO Major today, OG and IHC Esports met in the first elimination match of the day. For one team, it’s the end of the road. But for the other, it means one final chance to reach the Legends Stage.
Both teams entered the series on reverse trajectories. OG won their opening best-of-one against Grayhound but lost the next two to Fnatic and FURIA to end up in the 1-2 poll, the latter of which was a heartbreaking overtime loss in front of a delirious Rio crowd. IHC took the opposite path, losing their first two games but rallying with a comeback, multiple-overtime win against crowd favorites 00 Nation.
But that momentum from the day prior didn’t carry over for IHC in their match against OG. They found themselves playing from behind on their own pick of Inferno, unable to keep pace with another tremendous game coming from OG’s degster. IHC’s kabal did his best, but OG as a team performed better on Inferno. OG notched 18 opening kills against only nine from IHC, leading to a 16-11 win on Inferno.
IHC brought more of a fight to OG’s pick of Ancient, keeping the first half close on their CT side despite great production coming out of NEOFRAG and degster. IHC needed an all-around team effort just to take an 8-7 lead before halftime but looked to be heating up on their T-side, jumping out to an 11-7 lead before OG’s first full buy. IHC grew that lead to 14-9, but OG rallied thanks to some big rounds from nexa and flameZ before degster took over again with his AWP. Neofrag punctuated a two-vs-three retake to give OG a lead, and OG devoured a broken IHC in the final round to cap off a seven-round run and a 16-14 win.
Degster ended the series with another dominant scoreline: 55 kills against only 33 deaths, with nearly a third of those kills coming from the AWP.
For IHC, the victory against 00 Nation in front of the Rio crowd will live with them forever, but so too will the gut-wrenching way they lost to OG. OG, making their Major debut as an organization, now needs only one more series victory to reach the Legends Stage and a potential date with former IGL aleksib.