After just shy of two weeks of action, the Counter Strike: Global Offensive IEM Rio Major is about to reach its conclusion.
The event began with a Challengers Stage then moved to the Legends Stage and has finished with the Champions Stage, which has been a straight knockout tournament.
Outsiders will meet Heroic of Denmark in the grand final in Rio de Janeiro and it is a game not to be missed.
Outsiders qualified for the final after a tight 2-1 win over MOUZ, before Heroic edged a humdinger with home favourites FURIA by the same scoreline to advance.
Neither team is in the top five spots in the HLTV CS:GO rankings, but both have gone from strength to strength in Brazil.
And there is a lot at stake going into the best-of-three final with the winners set to get $500,000 dollars in prize money, while the eventual champions will also secure spots in both the BLAST Premier Final this year and next year's IEM Katowice.
|What||Outsiders vs Heroic, CS:GO IEM Rio final|
|Where||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|When||18.00, Sunday 13th November|
|How to watch||ESL CS:GO Twitch & Youtube channel,|
|Odds||Outsiders 11/10, Heroic 4/6|
It has not been the most memorable of years for Outsiders, who are without a major title in CS:GO this season.
They showed a glimpse of promise in season 16 of the ESL Pro League, sneaking through their group with a 3-2 win-loss record, but they were consequently swept aside by Team Vitality in the quarter-finals.
They came into the IEM Rio having just come out on top in the ESL Challenger Rotterdam but still had plenty of work to do in Brazil as they began the competition in the initial Challengers Stage.
But they took everything in their stride, finishing the Challengers Stage with a 3-1 record and then matching that in the Legends Stage to ensure they would qualify for the playoffs.
Their Champions Stage began with a 2-0 defeat of Fnatic in the quarter-finals and, although MOUZ put up some resistance, Outsiders were also the better team in their semi-final, putting in good shifts on Ancient and Inferno.
They are on a seven-game winning streak in the tournament but their last defeat came against - yes you guessed it - their final opponents Heroic.
For many, Heroic have exceeded expectations at the IEM Rio Major this year but the warning signs have been there from the Danes.
Only them, Natus Vincere and FURIA have reached the playoffs in all three of the most recent CS:GO majors and they made it to the semi-finals of the PGL Major Stockholm around this time last year.
They also warmed up for the IEM Rio Major with victory in the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown 2022 Europe and they have shown no signs of slowing down in Brazil.
Heroic entered the event in the Legends Stage and immediately made their mark with three wins from their four matches.
They then breezed past Team Spirit in the quarter-finals of the Champions Stage but it was their performance last time out which suggested they could be champions.
Nearly everyone inside the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro was supporting home favourites FURIA in their semi-final encounter and after losing the opening map - Inferno - 16-6, it would have been no surprise to see Heroic fold.
But they fought back with a battling 19-17 win on Ancient and then a 16-5 thrashing on Nuke to send FURIA packing and book their place in the final.
The feeling is if Heroic managed to come through that, they can come through anything and that victory should have done their confidence wonders.
They will not have to compete with the crowd as much in the final and have already beaten Outsiders once in this tournament, so look a value selection to come out on top at 4/6.
While Heroic look the best match bet, this is still a major CS:GO final and it could well go the distance.
Both of the semi-finals hit three maps, while their meeting in the Legends Stage of the event finished 16-9 in favour of Heroic.
For those not wanting to go for a match bet in the final of the IEM Rio Major, over 2.5 maps is definitely worth consideration at 5/6.