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The IEM Rio Legends Stage starts on Saturday
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Esports: CS:GO IEM Rio Saturday matches

The Challengers Stage of Counter Strike: Global Offensive's IEM Rio came to an end on Thursday and there is only a one-day break before the competition's Legends Stage starts on Saturday.

Eight giants of the Esport - FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, Ninjas In Pyjamas, ENCE, Sprout, Heroic, Team Spirit and Team Liquid - had already qualified for the IEM Rio Legends stage and will be joined by the top eight teams from the Challengers Stage.

The Legends Stage works in the same way as the tournament's previous phase with the 16 teams competing in a Swiss System Format with the top eight set to advance to the Champions Stage, which is played in a straight knockout format.

At the end of that stage, one team will take home $500,000 in prize money and be assured of a place at both the IEM Katowice 2023 and the BLAST Premier Final 2022.

Top Challengers MOUZ could run Liquid close

WhatTeam Liquid vs MOUZ
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When14.00, Saturday 5th November 2022
How to watchCS:GO Twitch & Youtube channels
OddsTeam Liquid 8/13, MOUZ 6/5

The first batch of matches in the IEM Rio Legends Stage pits each of the Challengers teams against each of the teams who qualified automatically for the Legends Stage but the clash between Team Liquid and MOUZ looks to be one of the closest match-ups.

Both sides are in the top ten in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings with Team Liquid rated third and MOUZ 10th and the latter looked particularly comfortable during the tournament's Challengers phase.

MOUZ won all three of their matches to top the Challengers standings, finished with a round differential of +24, and they recently made the quarter-finals of season 16 of the ESL Pro League.

It was Team Liquid who beat MOUZ in the quarter-finals before going on to finish runners-up in the event but given that MOUZ have been in action more recently and are in good form, it could be a closer contest this time around.

A bet on over 27.5 rounds on the first and only map between the sides could represent value at 1/1, while MOUZ are also worth a bet at +2.5 on the rounds handicap.

Bad News Eagles could spring a surprise

WhatTeam Spirit vs Bad News Eagles
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When14.00, Saturday 5th November 2022
How to watchCS:GO Twitch & Youtube channels
OddsTeam Spirit 8/13, Bad News Eagles 6/5

Another team fresh from a perfect showing in the IEM Rio Challengers stage are Bad News Eagles, who also posted a 3-0 record to advance to the Legends Stage.

Their round differential of +34 was the best in the stage and they could represent value at 6/5 to get the better of Team Spirit.

Spirit have of course qualified automatically for the Legends Stage but only just, having done so by virtue of victory in a fourth-place tiebreaker in the IEM Road to Rio European RMR A.

And in season 16 of the ESL Pro League in September, they failed to make it out of their group with three defeats from five matches.

They are hardly a team in electrifying form and Bad News Eagles can take advantage. Back them to come out on top at a shade of odds-against.

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Cloud9 can put up a fight against big guns

WhatFaZe Clan vs Cloud9
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When15.15, Saturday 5th November 2022
How to watchCS:GO Twitch & Youtube channels
OddsFaZe Clan 8/13, Cloud9 6/5

Cloud9 were unfortunate not to make the Legends Stage of the IEM Rio automatically, having placed fifth in the IEM Road to Rio European RMR A only to lose to Team Spirit in the fourth-placed tiebreaker.

That knocked them into the Challengers Stage and it was far from plain sailing as they only just scraped into the top eight with a 3-2 win-loss record.

They did, however, have a differential of +25 and are simply a strong side who have had a poor run of luck.

It does not get much tougher than FaZe Clan, who are top of the HLTV world CS:GO rankings, and Cloud9 will be anticipating defeat but they are a better side than their recent run suggests, having won the IEM Dallas only in June.

They can put up a fight and are worth a bet at +2.5 on the rounds handicap at 5/6.

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