Imperial are heavy favorites at Thunderpick World Cup SA Qualifiers

Published: May 10, 2024

Team Imperial are the most popular name in the bracket at the South American Thunderpick World Cup Closed Qualifier. Let’s dissect the competition and figure out which team can cause them the most trouble.

Sixteen teams are fighting for a single spot in October’s main event group stage. This will be the first of two South American qualifiers for the competition, with the second event taking place in July later this year.

Imperial Esports
Image: Imperial Esports

It’s Imperial’s Event to Lose

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who the favorites are in this tournament. Along with paiN and MIBR, Imperial are in the upper echelon of Brazilian teams, capable of going toe-to-toe with European competition on a regular basis.

They have a great mix of youth and experience that coupled with a solid coach and a lot of game time was bound to bring results and it did. It’s hard to forget their dominant run in the Americas RMR, where they completely dismantled NRG, M80, and paiN, losing only 14 rounds over the four maps played.

Although Imperial bombed out of ESL Pro League Season 19 in last place, losing to FaZe, Eternal Fire, and SAW, their PGL CS2 Major Copenhagen performance is enough evidence that they should run through this qualifier bracket with relative ease.

9z and Fluxo Biggest Competition

While Imperial should have the Thunderpick WC qualification in the bag, there are two teams that have a realistic chance of upsetting the favorites and making the main event group stage – 9z and Fluxo.

9z are the second-highest-ranked team in the competition and are on the opposite side of the bracket to Imperial, which means they can only meet in the final. The South Americans’ record against local competition is very impressive, with the squad dominating most games, besides matches against the regional cream of the crop, particularly Imperial.

Much like 9z, Fluxo, more often than not end up on top in regional bouts against fellow South American teams, but struggle against the very best. However, the one advantage they have is that they are the only team from the SA Thunderpick WC Qualifier #1 field to have beaten Imperial in the last three months, and they’ve done it twice.

That being said, this qualifier is still Imperial’s to lose, and it would be a real shame to see them crumble under the pressure and miss the Thunderpick World Cup main event in October.

Bruno Sobieraj

Since: September 16, 2023

My name is Bruno and my love for Counter-Strike was sparked when the Polish Virtus.pro was plowing through opponents from 2014 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of working in esports and here I am.

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