IEM Cologne 2021 Enters Playoffs

IEM Cologne 2021 Enters Playoffs

IEM Cologne 2021 enters the tournament’s final stages, with only six teams remaining in the race for the prestigious trophy. After an exciting week of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive action, the top-six teams are now set to begin their run through the playoffs, set to kick off on Friday, July 16.

It Began With 24 Teams

The 2021 IEM Cologne began on Tuesday, July 6, with 24 teams ready to compete in the $1 million tournament. Out of 24, only six CS:GO esports teams remain in the race at Hyatt Regency Cologne.

Bad News Bears, MIBR, Team One, and Vici Gaming were the first to get eliminated. Following the four were Team LDLC, OG, Sprout, and Evil Geniuses, who crashed out from the second round of the Play-In stage.

The biggest disappointment of the group were Evil Geniuses, who lost to FaZe Clan (12-16) and mousesports (0-2). Their only win of the tournament came against world no.148, Vici Gaming, who they beat 2-0.

Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, BIG, FaZe Clan, Complexity, Renegades, Team Spirit, and mousesports were the eight teams to survive the Play-in gauntlet. However, out of the eight, only two made it past the first round of the main stage.

Mousesports lost to Gambit Esports and Team Liquid, while Complexity suffered losses to G2 Esports and In Group B, Renegades ended up eliminated after they lost to Natus Vincere and FURIA Esports, with Team Spirit following suit after suffering losses against Heroic and FaZe Clan.

Next to drop out were Team Vitality, FURIA, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Team Liquid. The four teams reached the top-12 yet proved no match for the top-nine sides.

The final round of the IEM Cologne group stage featured a handful of exciting games. Unfortunately, Heroic and BIG both got the short end of the stick and lost to FaZe Clan and, respectively.

Only Six Remain

The race for the IEM Cologne trophy will culminate with the Playoffs, slated to kick off on Friday, July 6.

First on the schedule are two quarter-finals matches, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday, July 17, and the grand finals on Sunday, July 18.

Entering the IEM Cologne as four semi-finalists are, Astralis, FaZe Clan, and Gambit Esports.

Odds for Astralis vs. Match

Odds courtesy of BetOnline Sportsbook:

  • Astralis -141
  • +117
  • Astralis -1.5 Maps +190
  • +1.5 Maps -263
  • Over 2.5 Maps -104
  • Under 2.5 Maps -127

Astralis failed to make it past Natus Vincere (1-2) in the upper bracket of Group B, while fought their way through the lower bracket of Group A to secure a spot in the playoffs. These two teams have met twice before this year, each winning one bout. won their first meeting in February with 2-1 but failed to emulate that success in March (1-2).
Astralis will be Virtus. pro’s most challenging opponents of the tournament. So far, they have met only BIG, Complexity, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

For Astralis, it will be far from the toughest match. The Danes have already faced FaZe Clan, Heroic, and Natus Vincere, beating all but the latter.

Astralis are expected to win and are priced as betting favorites. However, considering how close their last two meetings were, we can expect serious resistance from the Russians.

Odds for Gambit Esports vs. FaZe Clan Match

Odds courtesy of BetOnline Sportsbook:

  • Gambit Esports -250
  • FaZe Clan +204
  • Gambit Esports -1.5 Maps +115
  • FaZe Clan +1.5 Maps -152
  • Over 2.5 Maps +109
  • Under 2.5 Maps -145

The second quarter-finals match will feature the current no.1 in the world rankings Gambit Esports and FaZe Clan. It will mark the first meeting between these two sides.

FaZe Clan have been struggling with their form over the year but looked much improved at IEM Cologne. They made it through the Play-In stage and eliminated Team Spirit (2-1), Team Vitality (2-0), and Heroic (2-1).

On the other side, Gambit Esports played well throughout the tournament but were unable to overcome the final obstacle. They took down mousesports (2-1) and NiP (2-1) but ended up short against G2 Esports (1-2) in the Group A upper bracket finals.

Gambit are the higher-rated team and betting favorites for this clash. While that makes sense considering their form over the year, it would be hard to fade FaZe with the improvement they have been showing on LAN.