The time has come for the second and last Masters Championship of the year in the ESL Pro Tour — IEM Cologne 2021. Taking place in the historic Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the Cathedral of Counter-Strike is opening its doors to 24 CS:GO teams from Europe, North America, Asia, South American and Oceania. The world’s elite will clash on the renowned esports stage for a chance to win the lion’s share of the $1,000,000 prize pool, 1,800 EPT points and the ultimate reward — the title of champions.
Join us as we dive into the thick of the action and see which CS:GO teams will make or break their dreams of donning the champions’ crown.
CS:GO IEM COLOGNE 2021 — PLAY-IN RECAP
This year’s Cologne showdown is the 85th instalment of the Intel Extreme Masters, but the first time Cologne joins all ESL Pro Tour Masters tournaments under the IEM banner. The LAN event brings the best teams from the ESL Pro Tour and ESL World Rankings together for a chance to mark their names down in CS:GO history as the first IEM Cologne Champions and snag a Grand Slam contribution along the way.
A total of 24 teams are participating, with eight of them seeded straight into the Group stage, set to begin on 8 July. The top seeds are Heroic, Virtus.pro, Astralis, Natus Vincere, G2 Esports, Furia Esports, Team Liquid and IEM Katowice 2021 winners Gambit Esports.
Those who fell short were seeded into the Play-in stage, which concluded on 7 July. After only two rounds of combat, eight more teams advance to the main event: Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, BIG, FaZe Clan, Complexity, Renegades, Team Spirit and mousesports. With a $400,000 top prize on the line, the stakes are high — and even more so for BIG and mousesports, who are the only teams competing on home turf.
IEM COLOGNE 2021 — GROUPS
➤ All teams are seeded into the Upper Bracket, and the Group stage is split into three rounds; the losers of Round 1 and Round 2 will be relegated into the Lower Bracket. Upper-bracket winners advance to semi-finals, runners-up and third-place teams advance to the quarter-finals as high and low seeds, respectively. Round 1 is split into two days, with the last two matches held on 9 July.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
After a heated Play-in stage, Groups are off to an equally fiery start. Gambit are facing mousesports as we speak, and the Germans are putting up a formidable fight! With a 14-16 on Map 1, we may just see the Katowice champions relegated into the Lower Bracket earlier than expected. Fortunately, Map 2 is Vertigo — a terrain where Gambit are most comfortable and tend to send their opponents spinning!
Simultaneously, Ninjas in Pyjamas are desperately trying to put Team Liquid to sleep, but the 2019 ESL One: Cologne winners are currently in the lead (17-19 Map 1). Even though they don’t need the Grand Slam contribution as much as other teams, namely Astralis and mousesports, Team Liquid must show their best form if they want to topple the Swedes.
CS:GO IEM COLOGNE 2021 FORMAT — MAIN EVENT
- Two groups of eight teams compete in a double-elimination format.
- All matches are Bo3
- Top three teams in each group advance to the play-offs.
- The six remaining teams compete in a single-elimination bracket.
- The quarter and semi-finals are Bo3; the Grand Final is Bo5.
CS:GO IEM COLOGNE 2021 SCHEDULE
Group Stage — 8-11 July
Play-offs — 16-18 June
Grand Final — 18 July
IEM COLOGNE 2021 BETTING
If you’re looking for more CS:GO betting action, we’ve got plenty more in the first round of the Group stage. At the moment, Gambit and Heroic are favourites to advance to the IEM Cologne Grand Final, so be sure to follow the two teams closely until we regroup for the play-offs preview!
To get started on CS:GO match betting, have a look at the LV BET Sportsbook, where you’ll find comprehensive IEM Cologne 2021 betting markets at top CS:GO odds. Counter-Strike betting is fairly straightforward — you can wager on markets like Match Winner, Map Winner, Map Handicaps and Total Rounds.
Make sure to come back for more! We’ll be covering this year’s biggest CS:GO tournaments, match previews and everything else you need to know about the most competitive esports on the scene.
*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.