The BLAST.tv Paris Major RMRs are just around the corner, with teams across the world coming together to compete for a chance to participate in the upcoming Paris Major. One such team with Paris Major ambitions are UK team Viperio - and their team captain Tom "arTisT" Clarke recently sat down for an exclusive chat with Luckbox to discuss the squad's chances.
BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023: European RMR - Viperio vs Fnatic schedule and betting odds
Matches in the European RMRs will take place in a Swiss System Format, where all matches will be best-of-one, with the exception of the best-of-three Elimination and Advancement matches. Out of the 16 teams competing, the top eight will qualify for the BLAST.tv Paris Major, while the teams ranked in 9th-11th place, will proceed to the European RMR Decider on April 15. The remaining teams will be eliminated, and will not qualify for the Paris Major.
And Viperio are facing some tough odds if they're hoping to make it to Paris, with the squad due to go up against Fnatic in their RMR debut match on April 6.
Viperio will be heading into their face-off against Fnatic as the underdogs. Fnatic have repeatedly proven themselves in international tournaments, having just recently competed in the likes of IEM Katowice - ranking in a respectable 9th - 12th place. And with a spectacular win at Elisa Masters Espoo 2022 in recent memory, Fnatic are sure to pose a real challenge to the UK team.
And that's an assessment arTisT agrees with, who remains optimistic about their Pairs Major chances, but is well aware of the strength of his rival teams at the RMR.
"We're going to do our best to qualify," says arTisT, "it's obviously going to be very difficult as the field of opponents can't really get much stronger than it is. But anything can happen in the b01 stage, if we play to our potential and maybe with a bit of luck we can qualify."
And their debut match against Fnatic will be a best-of-one match, meaning that Viperio could entirely possibly pull off a spectacular upset win - a prospect that seems to excite arTisT.
"We're looking forward to our duel with Fnatic," he adds, "it's a big organisation with a great livery and history - especially within CS:GO. So it's a real privilege to have the opportunity to beat them on the biggest stage."
Still, Viperio will need to bring out their A-game if they want to emerge victorious here - relying on the team's greatest strength, which arTisT claims is the "bond the teammates share with each other on the team, it's a priority for us on the team to have that environment."
That bond has been forged over years of playing together, with the majority of the Viperio lineup has been together since 2019, when they were part of the Chrome Gaming lineup. In fact, Viperio recently re-united with their former teammate Matas "Extinct" Strumila, who signed with the team in February this year. Re-integrating Extinct proved to be an easy process, as arTisT explains:
"Reintroducing Extinct into the roster has been easier than it might've been with another player who doesn't have the familiarity and experience with the members on the roster already."
Of course, every team, no matter how experienced, has its share of weaknesses. Viperio keeps a constant eye on their team's performances, looking to learn from their former successes and losses on a match-by-match basis.
"The opportunities for improvement are in every game we play," says arTisT. "We can improve from game to game with the correct analysis and application."
Viperio will need to hope that the analysis so far will pay off, as the team stands a chance of qualifying for the last-ever CS:GO Major, before the launch of Counter-Strike 2 later this year.
"We would love to qualify for the major in Paris. It would be a dream to compete in the last one for CS:GO, it's kind of hard to believe we're in the last RMR for it too."
CS:GO's time in the spotlight may be coming to an end, but Counter-Strike 2 is set to revolutionise the Counter-Strike esports scene. With the game's full release just months away, arTisT shared his hopes for what the future of Counter-Strike esports could look like.
"I'm really excited for CS2. I think it will bring a lot of eyes to the scene and hopefully we can see more development within the UK and Ireland for people who want to compete at the highest level as a result of the new or renewed attention."
And you'll be able to follow along with Viperio's journey through the European RMRs right here on Luckbox. Just click here to see the upcoming CS:GO match schedule, and your free 100% bonus is waiting for you. Come and claim it, for a chance to win big through your CS:GO betting experience!