The IEM Cologne tournament entered the Play-In phase, and today the main event of the contest organized by ESL officially began. On the first day of the qualifier, teams such as Movistar Riders, Outsiders, Spirit, and Heroic confirmed their presence in Germany, at least for a few more days. On the second day, the other four qualifiers like Astralis, Team Vitality, MOUZ, and 00Nation also managed to secure a place in the main event.
For these two days, we have seen what we expected from the qualifying teams. However, two teams surprised us by their performance. Let’s talk about them in more detail.
Movistar Riders Continues to Make History in the CS:GO Scene
Movistar Riders, four days after winning the ESL Challenger Valencia, confirmed their presence in the main event of IEM Cologne after beating MIBR and Team Vitality in the Play-In. All detailed info and statistics about these matches and others can be found at the https://cover.gg/ website. Also, if you are interested to know how the Spanish organization managed to pass the qualifier, read the text below.
MIBR Stumbled Twice Against the Spaniards
The hangover from the ESL DreamHack in Valencia has not harmed the Spaniards at any time. Movistar Riders defeated MIBR in the first game of the Play-In with a tight 16-13 score on Ancient. The players managed to create the initial 11-4 advantage over the Brazilians with an almost perfect CT side. Alejandro “mopoz” Fernández led the riders to victory with outstanding statistics and play of a 1.37 rating.
Movistar Riders overwhelmed the French organization
Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia’s performance, which ended with a 1.57 rating and a 46-20 KD, was essential to overcome the first map of the qualifier.
Achieving victory in Vertigo was not easy. Team Vitality started very strong on the CT side, but the riders managed to cut distances to 6-9. After the change of the side, the riders demonstrated defensive strength, chaining six consecutive rounds and closing the map by 16-13.
The third map was Overpass, where MRS overwhelmed the French team from the beginning mainly thanks to the performances of “SunPayus” and “DeathZz”. Both players planted the defensive wall to avoid any rival offense and put the 12-3 in the first half. In the second half, the Spanish team closed on the fast track avoiding any hope of a French comeback with the 16-4. This well-deserved victory gave Movistar Riders a place in the main event of IEM Cologne along with the best teams in the world.
BIG Got Knocked Out From the Hometown Tournament
The BIG organization debuted with a resounding 16-7 victory over ORDER in the opening round of Play-In. However, the German success was short-lived as they lost two qualifying matches against Outsiders and Astralis, discarding the chance to play in this tournament in front of the German fans. Below, you can see why the Danes took them down in an elimination match.
A Comeback That Came on BIG’s Favorite Map
On Nuke, the Danish organization managed to take down BIG with 14-16 on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, the next up was Dust2, the Germans’ favorite map, in which they had a 74.3% win rate for the last 14 matches played. So, it created a challenge for Astralis to close the match on the second map.
The Danes started the first half decently with a 9-6 score in its favor as the terrorist. Also, they found themselves in a good shape after the change of sides by adding four consecutive rounds and having 13-9 on the scoreboard halfway through the second half. However, “syrsoN” woke up and scored seven rounds in a row, helping his team to finally secure the map.
All-or-Nothing Matchup on Overpass
The third and decisive map was Overpass. Like in Nuke, the Danish team managed to score 9 rounds in the first half from the T side. “blameF”, who had a very discreet Overpass, showed once again that he is a top player saving a 1vs3.
But with the second half started, the CT side for Astralis was not so easy, and BIG managed to come back, putting 11-11 halfway through the second half. Despite this, and didn’t allow its German rival to score any round, closing the series with the adjusted 16-11. With this victory, the Danish organization secured a place for the main phase of IEM Cologne and left BIG with no opportunity to stay in this tournament for longer.