IEM Rio CSGO Major sets new viewership record on day 1

ESL

The IEM Rio Major is shaping up to be one of the biggest events in CS:GO history. Just day one into the tournament, it has already shattered one viewership record in Valve-sponsored competitions.

The opening day of the IEM Rio Major peaked at 745,304 viewers, setting a new viewership record during the Challengers Stage of a Major, according to statistics website Esports Charts. The previous record during this stage, set during PGL Major Antwerp, was just over 707,000 concurrent viewers.

Day one of the IEM Rio CS:GO Major was rough for the local teams, but the Brazilian fans turned up in droves, on-site and online, to celebrate this historical moment and support their favorite players.

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IEM Rio is only the second CS:GO Major to feature a live audience during all days of the competition. The StarLadder Major, held in Berlin in 2019, had a small audience at the Verti Music Hall during the first two stages of the event, but nothing compared to the size of the crowd that will fill the stands of the Riocentro Hall.

The peak viewership is believed to have occurred sometime during the opening round match between Vitality, the current world No.2 team, and local favorites Imperial, home to Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo and Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga, two of the players who made history for Brazilian Counter-Strike by winning back-to-back Majors in 2016. (Lincoln ‘fnx’ Lau, who was also part of that Major-winning team, is coaching Imperial.)

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Imperial and 00 Nation are both on the brink of elimination after a rough first day that also saw FURIA slip up in the first round. Dubbed ‘The Last Dance’, Imperial face a tough battle for survival against Cloud9, the biggest disappointment of the first day, in the headline match of the second day. The last time these two teams faced each other was in May, in the Legends Stage of the Antwerp Major. The Brazilian team ran out 2-1 winners in a high-octane series, knocking the Russians out of the event.

João Ferreira/Dexerto
PGL Major Stockholm still holds the CSGO record for most concurrent viewers

Popular teams like NAVI, FaZe and Liquid will only enter the fray in the Legends Stage, featuring the top 16 teams of the Major. Even though ESL calls this “the biggest Major of all time”, it will be hard for it to surpass the game’s current peak viewership record of just under 2.75 million, set during the grand final of PGL Major Stockholm 2021 between NAVI and G2 Esports.

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