One of the many teams making up the extremely dense middle of the field, which is made up of teams ranging from the top to the lowest six or seven in our power ranking, is Outsiders. Due to the extremely lengthy ESL Pro League schedule, there haven’t been many tournaments played since the break, making it difficult to gauge where Outsiders and comparable teams stand.
This creates the ideal conditions for upsets. This would make IEM Rio the ideal environment for a squad that is known for its notoriously difficult-to-play-against approach, which slows and muddies rounds, to succeed.
Building the Chemistry
Since their last adjustments in May, the outsiders have fluctuated wildly, finishing second at the ESL Challenger Valencia, 13–16th at IEM Cologne, quarterfinalists at the ESL Pro League, edging over the European RMR in a 2-2 pool for a seat at the Major, and winning the ESL Challenger Rotterdam.
Jame and company have played more than 50 maps across all LAN events since June, which is a respectable number for everyone to get on the same page. They did not get to play as many maps against elite competition, however, as ESL Pro League ate up over a month of the calendar since the return of play after the break.
Since the May changes, there has been a noticeable improvement as evidenced by their dominant performances against lower-level competition and significant series victories over elite competition, such as their victories over FURIA in Pro League after losing to them at IEM Cologne or ENCE in the grand final of the ESL Challenger Rotterdam by a score of 2-0.
The in-game leader’s knowledge of the game and the sluggish tempo he instills in the team are major factors in this transitional era. Jame has the biggest intellect, so at first it was a little difficult for me to comprehend him, but now it’s simple, according to n0rb3r7 for HLTV. It has to do with the deliberate play and match preparation.
One of the team’s unique qualities is that all players have ratings of 1.00 or higher, which is remarkable given that the Outsiders lost both a star entry in the form of YEKINDAR and a reliable rifler in Buster. With ratings of 1.02 and 1.10, respectively, n0rb3r7 and fame give the team a depth of individual talent that is rarely seen.
Goals for IEM Rio Major
Outsiders are not among the top competitors in the world, but participating in a lot of tournaments and doing well at ESL Challenger-level competitions while some teams struggle to stay active propelled them to seventh place in the world ranking, a sharp jump of 10 places from where they began at the start of the summer when they made roster changes.
Due to the structure of the points earned at smaller events, HLTV’s power ranking prior to the Major places them a considerable distance behind, at 13th, but Outsiders have proven they have sting against teams of their quality and are close to delivering against tougher competition.
Although IEM Rio may turn out to be a surprise-fest, it is difficult to argue that Outsiders may upset their way to a title run or even a crazy run to the grand final like Jame and Qikert did at StarLadder Berlin.
It would be equally reckless to assert that they can’t put up a fight to advance to the Legends Stage or even the playoffs, as they did at the ESL Pro League, where they fell to Vitality, the tournament’s champions and current No. 1 team in the world rankings, in two nail-biting quarterfinal maps (one in overtime).