Halloween marks the beginning of the next major event in the Counter Strike: Global Offensive calendar and the first to be held in Brazil - the IEM Rio.
With a prize pool of $1,250,000, the Major Championship event begins on Monday with the first of three stages.
The event begins with the Challengers Stage, which runs for four days and features 16 teams playing in a Swiss System Format, which essentially means matches are determined using a seeding system.
At the end of the Challengers Stage, the teams will have been ranked and, while the bottom eight are eliminated, the top eight progress to the Legends Stage of the tournament.
Those eight teams join another eight teams who directly qualified for the Legends Stage as the best sides in the competition. They play in exactly the same format as the Challengers Stage and the top eight teams in those standings then advance to the Champions Stage.
This part of the tournament is much simpler as the remaining eight teams left in contention play in a straight knockout event with quarter-finals, semi-finals and a Grand Final.
With the Challengers Stage soon to get underway, here is a look at how the tournament could pan out.
|What||CS:GO IEM Rio|
|Where||Rio de Janeiro|
|When||Monday 31st October 2022 - Sunday 13th November 2022|
|How to watch||ESL CS:GO Twitch & Youtube channels|
|Odds||Natus Vincere 4/1, FaZe Clan 9/2, Team Vitality 6/1, Cloud9 7/1, Heroic 8/1|
Unsurprisingly the head of the outright betting is dominated by teams who will join the IEM Rio at the Legends Stage - the second part of the event - with Natus Vincere 4/1 to come out on top and FaZe Clan 9/2 to prevail.
Anyone who has followed CS:GO this year will know exactly why.
Natus Vincere, otherwise known as NAVI, may have dropped to fourth in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings but they have long been among the big hitters in the Esport, winning last December's BLAST Premier World Final and more recently winning the BLAST Premier Spring Final earlier this year.
In Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, they have arguably the best CS:GO player in the world and they will most definitely be in contention.
But FaZe Clan could be the wiser bet in the initial outright betting.
They are currently second in the HLTV world rankings, having enjoyed a sensational 2022 campaign in which they have won the IEM Katowice, season 15 of the ESL Pro League, the PGL Major Antwerp, the IEM Cologne and the SteelSeries Nova Invitational.
They themselves have a top talent in Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and arguably outperformed NAVI in the latest season of the ESL Pro League given their better performance in the group phase.
Remarkably, though, neither NAVI nor FaZe Clan made it beyond the quarter-finals of season 16 of the ESL Pro League - the most recent major CS:GO event - with Team Vitality having instead come out on top.
Vitality eased past Outsiders and G2 Esports in the playoffs of the latest ESL Pro League before beating Team Liquid 3-2 in the final.
But the knockout nature of these tournaments means such shocks are always a possibility and punters should look to swerve Vitality at 6/1 in the outright betting and opt for the more consistent FaZe Clan, who have performed at the top level the entire season.
Vitality will of course be competitive but they have the added pressure of having to play through the initial Challengers Stage and could be up against it.
Cloud9, who are 7/1 to win the event, are also involved in the Challengers Stage, while Team Liquid and Heroic, who are 8/1 respectively in the outright betting, are joining at the Legends Stage with NAVI and FaZe Clan.
With the Challengers Stage beginning on Monday, some punters may look at the 'to qualify' markets for a bit of value and they could do worse than back the Brazilian teams to excel on home soil.
They are 27th in the HLTV CS:GO rankings but they were recently semi-finalists at the BLAST Premier Fall American Showdown and picked up impressive wins over Complexity and Imperial at the recent IEM Road to Rio 2022 Americas RMR.