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There is a big semi-final clash taking place on Christmas Day
  1. Esports

Esports: CS:GO IEM Rio semi-final previews

After a Challengers Stage, a Legends Stage and a batch of quarter-finals, only four teams remain in the Counter Strike: Global Offensive IEM Rio Major in Brazil.

It has been a major championship full of shock twists and turns and it is fair to say the semi-final line-up does not look how many would have expected.

MOUZ defied expectations to win their quarter-final against Cloud9 and they set up a semi-final tussle with Outsiders, who got the better of Fnatic 2-0 in their quarter-final.

The other semi-final in Rio de Janeiro pits in-form Heroic, who swept aside Team Spirit, against FURIA, the only remaining Brazilian team in the tournament, who will have the backing of all neutrals watching the competition.

By the end of Saturday we will know which two teams will be locking horns in the CS:GO IEM Rio Major final and be in contention for $500,000 in prize money as well as berths in the IEM Katowice 2023 and the BLAST Premier Final 2022.

Outsiders could have edge over expectation-defying MOUZ

WhatOutsiders vs MOUZ, CS:GO IEM Rio semi-finals
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When17.00, Saturday 12th November
How to watchESL CS:GO Twitch & Youtube channel, bet365 live streaming
OddsOutsiders 8/15, MOUZ 11/8

With the exception of Dreamhack, Outsiders have not been able to win a major tournament in 2022 but they have a terrific shot at glory in Brazil.

Having cruised past Fnatic 2-0 thanks to wins on Inferno and Mirage, they have been drawn against MOUZ in the last four and can be backed at 8/15 to prevail.

Both of these teams have had similar tournaments, firstly having to come through the Challengers Stage and both posting positive records in the Legends Stage.

And they have already met a couple of times in this tournament alone.

MOUZ firstly had the edge when they locked horns in the Challengers Stage, prevailing 16-6, before Outsiders came out on top in their Legends Stage meeting, winning 2-0 courtesy of 16-10 wins on both Overpass and Inferno.

The win from Outsiders was arguably more impressive and they have looked the more consistent of the two throughout the tournament, winning three of their four matches in the Legends Stage.

MOUZ, meanwhile, have perhaps been a little too over-reliant on David "frozen2" Cernansky, whereas it has been a full roster effort from Outsiders.

But this is a major championship semi-final and nerves will play their part, so do not anticipate a whitewash from Outsiders. Instead, it could be worth backing Outsiders to win this one 2-1 at 9/4.

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Heroic and FURIA tough to separate in blockbuster

WhatHeroic vs FURIA, CS:GO IEM Rio semi-final
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When20.30, Saturday 12th November
How to watchESL CS:GO Twitch & Youtube channel, bet365 live streaming
OddsHeroic 1/1, FURIA 8/11

While both Outsiders and MOUZ are through to the semi-finals of the CS:GO IEM Rio Major on merit, this is the semi-final that will get people talking.

Heroic continue to go from strength to strength on the biggest stage and were ruthless in their 2-0 dismantling of Team Spirit in the tournament's quarter-finals, while FURIA have fully capitalised on playing in front of home crowds in Brazil and have captured the hearts of neutral spectators.

It makes for a blockbuster semi-final clash in Rio with FURIA slightly fancied at 8/11 to come out on top.

Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato and Andrei "arT" Piovezan have both been exceptional for FURIA and they way the team edged Natus Vincere - one of the biggest names in the Esport - in the quarter-finals emphasised just how determined they are to win this tournament.

At the same time, though, Heroic have been a joy to watch in Brazil, themselves carving apart the likes of Fnatic, Team Liquid and Team Spirit.

Their performances have proven they made the right call drafting in  Jakob "Jabbi" Nygaard and dropping Ismail "refrezh" Ali and they will also not go down without a fight.

The prices should perhaps be a touch closer with this a very tricky match to call and the better betting angle could be to go for over 2.5 maps at 5/6.

Given the way these sides have been playing, neither will go down easily and one thing is for sure - it should be a gripping contest.

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