Valve abandons invitations for ESL One Rio Major, introduces new system

Current Legends and Challengers will have to earn a spot through the Regional Major Rankings.

Image via Valve

All 24 participants for the ESL One Rio CS:GO Major will be determined by Regional Major Rankings, ESL and Valve announced today.

The first Regional Major Ranking series will be played later this month from April 22 to May 22. It’s called ESL One: Road to Rio and will feature 56 of the world’s best CS:GO teams across Europe, North America, CIS, South America, Oceania, and Asia. The ESL One: Road to Rio will offer a $255,000 prize pool in total.

This announcement comes after ESL and Valve postponed the Rio Major from May to November last month due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’ll be the only CS:GO Major of 2020 and will offer a $2 million prize pool to compensate for the schedule change. Valve will replace all of the direct invitations with the Regional Major Rankings.

“To ensure that the Rio Major features the top teams in the world, we will require that current Legends and Challengers demonstrate that they are still in top form,” Valve said.

The list of teams includes the squads who recently qualified for the Regional Minors. Every team will be competing for ranking points that will establish a qualification order for the Rio CS:GO Major in November.

Valve wants to create more tournaments in 2020 to provide additional opportunities for every team to qualify. These tournaments will be open to all teams, including the ones that are out of the ESL One: Road to Rio.

Every region will receive a number of slots related to their performance in the last CS:GO Major. Europe will have the most slots (10), North America comes next with six, and CIS will have five. South America, Oceania, and Asia will gain one slot each.

You can check out all of the ESL One: Road to Rio teams on ESL’s website.