After moving the Rio CS:GO Major to the fall due to the coronavirus outbreak, Valve just announced another change to the event, getting rid of the customary automatic invites handed out to the top eight of the previous Major in favor of Regional Major Ranking series.
With over a year between the Berlin Major and the Rio Major based on the current schedule, the developers decided to scrap the direct invites handed out to the teams which made top eight at the previous event. Instead, regional rankings will be used to determine the list of participants, with two Regional Major Ranking series planned between now and Rio. Valve indicated an openness to rebrand existing third-party events as RMR competitions in the post.
In total, 24 invitations will be handed out, with a region-specific distribution to combat current travel difficulties, with teams currently outside of their home legion welcome to participate in the series where they are located at the time. To preserve the existing format of the Major, eight invitations will be handed out directly for the Legends stage (3 EU, 2 CIS, 2 NA), eight for Challengers (5 EU, 1 CIS, 2 NA) and eight for Contenders, formerly known as the New Challengers Stage (2 EU, 2 CIS, 1 NA, 1 SA, 1 Asia, 1 Oceania). This means ten out of the twenty-four total spots will be handed out to European teams.
The official blog post contains the following FAQ section:
How are the Regional Major Rankings calculated?
The Regional Major Rankings will be points-based, and the value of events closer to the Major will be greater than earlier events. However, we won’t have a detailed breakdown before we’ve finalized the RMR events for the year.
Will there be Minors for the November Rio Major?
There will be no Minors ahead of the November Rio Major. Regional Major Rankings will be used to determine all 24 teams participating in the November Rio Major. There will not be a separate path for teams to qualify.
What happens to teams who were invited to the May Minors?
For the first Regional Major Ranking series in May, teams qualified for the May Minors (and/or qualifiers for those Minors) will be invited to participate in their respective region’s competition. For later RMR competitions, participants will be invited based on their regional ranking, with additional slots available to teams determined by qualifiers.
What happens to the Minor prize pool?
Valve will sponsor the May and Fall Regional Major Ranking series. Each of those events will feature a prize pool of $255,000, divided across each region based on the number of Legends and Challengers invitations available for that region. The minimum prize pool in a region will be $10,000.
What determines what region a team competes in?
Given the circumstances, teams’ regions are determined by their current location.
What happens if a team changes region?
Regional Major Rankings only represents a team’s performance relative to other teams in the region. Therefore, any region change by a team will result in a reset of the team’s Major Ranking points.
Can a team change their roster?
Teams can change up to two members of their roster in the lead up to an event at a cost of 20% of the team’s points, per player. They can adjust their roster prior to the roster lock for each Regional Major Ranking competition.