Credit: ESL

We may have already said that we think Team Liquid is the favorite for the IEM Rio 2022, but what else do we think will happen?

The prediction of Liquid taking home the crown might already be too outlandish for some of you out there, but here at Jaxon, that’s pretty much what we do. So let’s see what else our crystal ball comes up with to put your minds on a spin cycle.

Vitality will disappoint… big time.

Let’s say it right off the bat here: it’s a travesty that Vitality is the team ranked first in the world heading into this event. Sure, the ranking works by rating recent events, and FaZe’s last tournament win is now out of the rankings, but do we really think this Vitality team would actually beat them?

We don’t care if they won Pro League, nor do we really care how much Lotan “Spinx” Giladi may have improved them either. Let us tell you why:

It’s simple really, Vitality still lacks firepower. It doesn’t matter that Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut is the second-best player in the world, nor does it matter that Spinx is also a bonafide superstar, that counts for little when you’d find it impossible to name Vitality’s third star.

Think about it, FaZe has four nailed-in stars, NAVI has three, and so too does Cloud9. Hell, even G2 has three definite stars, their problems just lie at the bottom of the ocean with their Danish anchor. Until the same can be said about VItality, they’re never going to truly be an elite team. We expect quarter-finals at best.

Magisk Dupreeh Vitality Pgl

GamerLegion will run out of steam

Okay, this one might not be as ‘out there’ as the others, but it needed to be said. Listen, we love GamerLegion. Not only do we love Kamil “siuhy” Szkadarek, but they also dumped G2 out of RMR contention. A Major without G2 is just too funny.

That being said, it can’t go on much longer. siuhy is destined for greatness, and Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand might catapult himself back to the top because of this team, but the talent does run relatively dry after those two. There’s nothing wrong with the other members of the team, but there’s also nothing particularly great, or even good, about them either.

It would be great to see GamerLegion continue its run, but we just don’t think it’s happening.

Gamerlegion Rio

A Brazilian team will make the playoffs

This might not seem that much of a hot take on face value considering the existence of FURIA, but you’d be wrong in thinking that. That’s because the Brazilian team that makes playoffs won’t be FURIA.

That leaves us with 00NATION and Imperial, the two teams made up of the legends that formerly won Majors together. Unfortunately, we have no idea which one of the two teams it will be. The success of either team largely rests on their most dormant stars, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo for Imperial, and Marcelo “coldzera” David for 00NATION.

If either one of these players can find even a fraction of their former selves, the home fans will be in for a real treat. So will their respective teams’ chances too. Considering the magic it took to get Imperial to get to the event in the first place, we don’t think their miracle-working is done just yet.

FaZe FalleN

Sam McKenzie covers a variety of competitive first-person shooters, with an emphasis on Valorant and Counter-Strike esports. He also has a passion for football in both the real and virtual worlds, and contributes his expertise in FIFA esports.