The group stage of the Intel Extreme Masters XVII - Cologne ended yesterday with six teams advancing to the playoffs. After the games of the group stage, some of the big names from the CS:GO arena have been eliminated: ENCE, Heroic, G2 Esports, Team Vitality, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Outsiders, Cloud9 and FURIA Esports are out of the competition.
Who made it to the playoffs? Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan won their groups to secure their place in the semi-finals. Movistar Riders made it into the playoffs against all odds, as did Astralis, MOUZ and Team Liquid. Before the playoffs start on Thursday, let's take a look at the results of the group stage.
IEM Cologne Group A results
Ninjas in Pyjamas looked confident in their first game against Heroic, defeating their opponents with two 16-13 wins with hampus leading the team with 52/35 K/D. The surprising result was Movistar Riders' 2-0 win over G2 Esports, 16-12 on Vertigo and 16-9 on Inferno. The Spaniard SunPayus was 42/21 while defeating the Bosnian brothers at G2 Esports.
Team Vitality then took on ENCE. After a 16-10 start on Nuke, ENCE evened the series with a 16-12 win on Dust II. However, ZywOo's side closed it on Mirage after a commanding 16-7 win. NAVI vs MOUZ was similar, with NAVI starting 16-12 on Nuke and MOUZ answering with a close 16-14 win on Mirage. electroNic was 28/11 while NAVI won Inferno 16-6.
The lower bracket saw MOUZ eliminate Heroic quickly after a 2-0 win. Heroic had a 12-3 advantage on Vertigo which they squandered and thereafter they could not get back in the series. G2 ended their disappointing run and defeated ENCE 16-13 and 16-8 to move into the next round.
NAVI's opponent in the upper bracket was NIP. In the two matches, NIP could not get more than ten rounds in total with NAVI recording an easy win. Movistar Riders kept the fairytale alive against Team Vitality. After a 16-4 win on Mirage, Vitality managed an even better result on Vertigo, 16-3. However, Riders looked confident on Nuke to secure the playoffs and send Vitality to the lower bracket.
Vitality suffered their second shock in the lower bracket against MOUZ. After starting with a strong performance on Inferno, Vitality blew a 9-6 lead on Overpass. MOUZ also won Nuke 16-12 to move to the lower final. A similar shock occurred in G2 versus NIP, where G2 started with a 16-11 win on Ancient. NIP started 13-2 on Nuke, and although G2 won 11 rounds in the second half, it was not enough to stop NIP from leveling the series. Ninjas played even better on Inferno and moved to the lower final.
Thanks to a good performance by Brollan, Ninjas in Pyjamas started well against MOUZ on Vertigo. After losing 16-9, MOUZ decided to turn the tide on Inferno, coming back from a 9-6 deficit to win the map 16-12. The decider was Mirage, where NIP was annihilated by MOUZ. hampus and Brollan were completely outplayed with MOUZ securing a 16-3 win and thus entering the playoffs.
NAVI and Riders were playing for a semi-final ticket as both secured playoffs by making it to the upper final. Riders stopped a 25/18 s1mple to win their pick, Inferno 16-9, but NAVI proved to be too strong on Mirage, where s1mple had 26 kills, and pulled the plug on Overpass with a 16-10 victory.
After these results, NAVI, Movistar Riders and MOUZ have entered the playoffs. The playoffs start on July 15,and we will cover the schedule for you on Luckbox just before. If you want to watch the games live, you can find them on Luckbox and to get your 100% bonus before placing your bets.
IEM Cologne Group B results
There were "fewer" tournament favourites in Group B, but the competition was still fierce. Astralis played two fast maps against FURIA, 16-8 on Nuke and 16-13 on Mirage to secure a 2-0 win. FaZe Clan also took on 00Nation with ease, defeating them 16-13 on Ancient and 16-10 on Inferno without any comeback threats.
Cloud9 sent Outsiders to the lower bracket after winning Dust II 16-6 and saving Ancient after Outsiders started 11-4. Team Spirit vs Team Liquid turned into one of the closest series of the tournament so far, with Liquid winning Dust II 16-8 and Spirit answering on Overpass 16-9. Ancient went into overtime twice, which Spirit eventually won 22-20.
Team Liquid destroyed 00Nation's playoff hopes at IEM Cologne: Overpass went to overtime three times and 00Nation started with a 25-22 win, but TL won Mirage 19-17 after another overtime and finished the job on Ancient 16-8. FURIA Esports had a comfortable series against Outsiders, winning 16-13 and 16-8 to go 2-0.
FaZe Clan's opponent was Team Spirit in the upper bracket and they put in a strong performance to secure their playoff spot. FaZe advanced to the upper final after a 16-10 win on Ancient and 16-13 on Nuke. Astralis defeated Cloud9 just as soundly, 16-11 on Inferno and 16-8 on Mirage. Cloud9 was unable to gain an advantage at any point in the match, with Astralis leading throughout the series.
Cloud9 was also shocked by Team Liquid in the lower bracket. The IEM Dallas champions were crushed by TL 16-11 and 16-9 and exited the tournament pretty early. FURIA vs Spirit was close but KSCERATO made the difference with his 59/45 K/D. Nuke went 16-12 in favour of Spirit while FURIA replied with 16-14 on Mirage and 16-10 on Overpass.
The lower final was Team Liquid against FURIA Esports, and it ended quicker than we thought. After two 8-7 halves, TL secured a 16-14 victory on Ancient to start with a lead. They also took an 11-4 lead on Mirage, but FURIA managed to equalise in the second half to take the game to overtime. After two 2-1 halves, TL finished the game 19-17 and entered the playoffs.
FaZe Clan vs Astralis, the upper final, was even faster. FaZe started 12-3 and won Overpass 16-13, although they struggled in the second half. On Inferno, the first half was close with 8-7 but FaZe eventually made it 16-11 and won the final with ease. ropz's 43/26 and karrigan's 40/28 performance deserve a mention.
FaZe Clan will start in the semi-finals of the playoffs, while Astralis and Team Liquid will start in the quarter-finals. There will be fierce competition for the IEM Cologne championship just before the player break, and you should watch the matches live. Visit Luckbox to find live streams of the games and to get your 100% bonus before placing your bets.