Wednesday marks day three of the IEM Rio Major 2022 and it is the feature event of the day.
There is plenty of other Counter Strike: Global Offensive on offer throughout the day, however, and there could be value lurking elsewhere in places like the ESL Challenger League and MistGames tournament.
There is also action in the world of VALORANT, where the Crossfire Cup continues on Wednesday and Thursday. The semifinals promise to be close affairs and all of the key information can be found below.
This contest will be a best-of-five which means there is a real chance for both sides to grow into the game. Heretics blitzed their way through the lower-bracket of the group stage with 13-5 and 13-9 victories and they kicked off their playoff run with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over KPI Gaming.
A monstrous performance across the five maps by keloqz helped them across the line but all of their other individuals also posted consistent results in the series.
Formerly of G2, keloqz has been excelling since he joined Heretics earlier this year, as proven by his 264.5 ACS on Jett and 258.3 ACS on Chamber. If keloqz has a strong game, Heretics are a difficult team to beat.
Similar comments apply to KOI’s Famsii, who posted a +21 K/D ratio when KOI defeated Giants Gaming to reach the semifinal. Their prior group stage run was similarly strong to their opponents and they will hope to rely on Famsii for a game-changing performance.
These sides met in the semifinals of Red Bull Home Ground #3 in October and it was KOI who ran out 2-0 winners. keloqz had a very quiet game on that occasion and it would be a surprise if the same was the case here.
A best-of-five gives Heretics the safety net of being able to utilise the entire map pool but, despite this, KOI are 1/3 and Heretics are the outsiders. However, this should be far more competitive than the betting suggests, with Heretics having real upset potential.
The second semifinal sees Arroz taking on Rebels Gaming and both sides advanced on the back of destructive performances in the quarterfinals.
Arroz defeated KOI to kick off the group stage and a close 13-11 success over UCAM Tokiers gave them the quickest path to the playoffs.
The Portuguese roster are seemingly trying to speedrun the entire tournament judging by their quarterfinal performance, where they defeated Movistar Riders in 3-0 fashion.
It was not a close game either, with 13-4 (Bind), 13-4 (Haven) and 16-14 (Fracture) map victories in a stomp. DaviH and Zino put up big numbers, but it was tomaszy who proved a class apart in that particular game.
It can be of little surprise, given that his performances in the last two months have been monstrous. He has posted a remarkable ACS of 334 and 330 on Neon and Raze respectively, making him very difficult to contain.
As a whole, Arroz have won their last 15 maps in a row and, given that fact, they are difficult to oppose no matter who they are playing.
Rebels Gaming arrive after winning their last seven maps on the bounce too, but that was against lesser opposition than Arroz and, when faced with the likes of Heretics and ALTERNATE aTTaX, they were beaten.
They were utterly dominant against their quarterfinal opponents 4Real last week, however, winning the maps 13-3 (Ascent), 13-2 (Icebox) and 13-4 (Haven), but they now need to prove they can back that performance up.
Vo0kashu, Addicted, jannyXD, GatsH and Fizzy all played their part that day and it is unlikely that all five will be able to put up such jaw-dropping numbers against an in-form side like Arroz.
Despite Arroz’s recent form, they are the narrow 1/1 outsiders in this match. Rebels Gaming are and there could be significant value in playing the outsiders in this match.