Intel Extreme Masters XVI Cologne is the first offline CS:GO event we’re about to see. After a year and a half of messy-bedroom-as-a-background events, we’re finally back to a local, lag-free experience.
This iteration of IEM Cologne will host 24 teams in the Hyatt Regency Cologne, but the audience will be missing.
Before we jump into the format, overview and in-depth predictions, let’s see the quick tournament facts.
- Total teams: 24
- Date: 6th – 23rd July
- Location: Cologne
- Prize Pool: $1,000,000 USD
- Live watch: https://www.twitch.tv/ESL_CSGO
- Outright favorites: Gambit, NaVi
✍️🔥 Leading into the Play-Ins of #IEM Cologne 2021 tomorrow, have a skim of the storylines for the 24 competing teams beginning their crusade to Masters Championship title!
It is looking S T A C K E D
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) July 5, 2021
Also, IEM XVI Cologne will serve as an excellent introductory event for the upcoming PGL Major Stockholm 2021. This event scheduled for October/November is about to break CS:GO records, as this is expected to be the biggest CS:GO Major in history.
As the best-supporting evidence, they revealed the extraordinary prize pool of $2,000,000. Plus, this will be the first CS:GO major in 4K resolution. So, make sure to follow the scene during the next few months, and prepare for the autumn’s spectacle.
IEM XVI Cologne 2021 Overview and Format
With a total of 24 teams, the event is separated into three segments.
The first one is Play-In followed by the Group Stage, and in the end, we’ll see the Playoffs.
Most of the matches will be played in the Bo3 format, except for the opening matches with Bo1 and the Grand Final with Bo5.
1. Play-In: July 6th – 7th, 2021
- Opening matches are Best of 1
- Remaining matches are Best of 3
- The format is a double-elimination bracket
- The best eight teams proceed to the following, Group Stage
2. Group Stage: July 8th – 11th, 2021
- The group stage starts with two double-elimination format groups with 8 teams each
- Matches are Best of 3
- The best three teams proceed to the Playoffs
- 1st team has a direct placement to Semifinals
- 2nd team proceed to the Quarterfinals as the high seed
- 3rd team advances to the Quarterfinals as well, but as the low seed
3. Playoffs: July 16th – 18th, 2021
- Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Best of 3
- The Grand Final is Best of 5
- The format is a single-elimination bracket
The prize pool of $1,000,000 will be divided among the qualifying participants in the following order:
- 1st $400,000
- 2nd $180,000
- 3rd – 4th $80,000
- 5th – 6th $40,000
- 7th – 8th $24,000
- 9th – 12th $16,000
- 13th – 16th $10,000
- 17th – 20th $4,500
- 21st – 24th $2,500
IEM XVI Cologne 2021 Live Watch
Right down below, you can watch IEM XVI Cologne 2021 live from the ESL’s official Twitch channel. The streaming has already started, so you can see what’s going on anytime.
IEM XVI Cologne 2021 Betting Predictions
According to what we’ve seen during the past few months, our outright betting prediction goes to Gambit – the first place and NaVi – the second. They rolled out this season stronger than ever, and we’re anticipating seeing those two giants in the Grand Finals.
But that, of course, must be backed up by supporting evidence, right?
Sure, let’s see how we pick the winners.
Gambit is, by far, the best CS:GO team at this moment. They are no.1 on the HLTV official world ranking, with almost twice more points than the second-placed NaVi. However, none of these rankings are the reasons why we picked Gambit for the outright favorites.
We picked them based solely on their performance in the previous eSports events, where they literally humiliated their opponents. Sh1ro, Ax1le and the rest of the crew don’t have any mercy and there’s hardly anyone that can stop their charge.
To win the IEM XVI Cologne, all they have to do is to show their A-game, just like they demonstrated in the past. There is strong competition going on, however, if they stay sharp and focused, there shouldn’t be any bigger problems whatsoever.
2. Natus Vincere
The entire CIS region was a blast this spring. We’ve seen an outstanding performance from NaVi, that ended up first in the regional rankings, just above the Team Spirit and previously mentioned Gambit Esports.
Logically, they are quite a strong rooster at this moment. However, their strategy is somewhat lacking. They have s1mple, the world’s best fragger in their rooster, which should give a sense of security.
However, unfortunately for the Natus Vincere, s1mple is their “hard carry” player and the one that’s mostly pushing all by himself. Next to s1mple, there are electronics and B1T, yet they are still not fierce enough to challenge a well-balanced rooster such as Gambit.