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Esports: CS:GO IEM Rio Sunday matches

The Legends Stage of this year's CS:GO IEM Rio is up and running and already it is becoming clear which teams could progress to the Champions Stage and which are on the brink of an exit.

The Challengers Stage concluded earlier in the week with eight teams progressing to the Legends Stage, joining another eight teams who bypassed the first round. 

The Legends Stage is played in a 16-team Swiss System Format with rounds seeded using the Buchholz system and at the end of it, we will know which teams will be in the Champions Stage - a straight knockout competition in which the winners take home $500,000 and secure their spot at the IEM Katowice 2023 and this year's BLAST Premier Final. 

In-form Heroic can edge tight tussle with Cloud9

WhatHeroic vs Cloud9, CS:GO IEM Rio
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When11.30 ET, Sunday November 6th
How to watchESL CS:GO Twitch / Youtube channel
OddsHeroic -120, Cloud9 -120

Little separates Heroic and Cloud9 in the IEM Rio Legends Stage with both sides having won each of their opening contests to move into contention for a place in the Champions Stage. 

But upon closer inspection, Heroic have arguably been the more impressive of the two sides, posting a round differential of +21 to go top compared to Cloud9's +4. 

Heroic have also been the more consistent outfit recently, qualifying directly for the Legends Stage via the European RMR B, whereas Cloud9 had to go through the Challengers Stage and nearly did not make it out. 

Heroic, who are seventh in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings only two places below Cloud9, also enjoyed a superb BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Europe campaign, beating Astralis in the final. The teams look tough to separate as far as the prices are concerned but Heroic represent the better value at -120

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Home hopes FURIA could be pushed close by BIG

WhatFURIA vs BIG, CS:GO IEM Rio
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When15.00, Sunday November 6th
How to watchESL CS:GO Twitch / Youtube channel
OddsFURIA -225, BIG +162

Following the exits of Imperial and 00NATION, FURIA are the only Brazilian team left in this year's CS:GO IEM Rio and they have done the nation proud in the Legends Stage so far. 

They have a 2-0 record and a round differential of +13 already, having cruised past ENCE and edged Team Spirit in their opening two contests. Next up for them is a BIG team who have also won both of their opening matches but FURIA are fancied to make the most of home advantage once again and can be backed at -225 to win this contest. 

BIG had to battle through the Challengers Stage to get this far in the competition and their four matches featured a total of 138 rounds. This is a best-of-three contest and it could well go the distance, so a bet on over 68.5 rounds across the entire match at -110 could be worth a bet. 

Ninjas In Pyjamas can get on comeback trail

WhatSprout vs Ninjas In Pyjamas, CS:GO IEM Rio
WhereRio de Janeiro, Brazil
When15.00, Sunday November 6th
How to watchESL CS:GO Twitch / Youtube channel
OddsSprout +250, Ninjas In Pyjamas -350

At the other end of the standings, Sprout and Ninjas In Pyjamas have lost both of their opening games in the IEM Rio Legends Stage and it is a case of now or never when they square up on Sunday. 

For Sprout, they knew they would be among the outsiders going into this event given they are 30th in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings but more was expected from Ninjas In Pyjamas. Their round differential is still only -7 despite their wobbly start and they had tough opening contests against Fnatic and Outsiders. 

It is also worth noting they came into the IEM Rio in decent form, having just won the Svenska Cupen 2022 after placing second in the IEM Road to Rio 2022 Europe RMR A. 

Given that neither of these sides progressed from the Challengers Stage, it is fair to say both are underperforming but Ninjas more so and they can get back to winning ways in this contest. 

At -350 there is little value in backing them to win the match, so punters should instead look to back the Swedes to win 2-0 at +110.

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