IEM Cologne Play-in bracket and groups set
The Cathedral of Counter-Strike, IEM Cologne, is a mere two weeks away.
ESL has revealed the fate of the 24 teams set to compete for a $1 million prizepool at the concluding event of the first part of the 2022 season, IEM Cologne, from July 4-18, announcing the opening matchups of the Play-in bracket and the distribution of the teams who have already earned a berth in the group stage.
Featuring 16 teams, the Play-in will have eight spots in the group stage on offer in a double-elimination bracket.
Among the most high-profile participants of the first phase are recent BLAST Premier runners-up Vitality, Major semi-finalists Spirit playing their first event with Igor "w0nderful" Zhdanov, and Heroic, who recently replaced Ismail "refrezh" Ali with Jakob "jabbi" Nygaard.
Another interesting name that appears on the list and who will be coming into the event fresh off changes is 00NATION, which all but confirms the widely reported move of the core of Epitacio "TACO" de Melo, Eduardo "dumau" Wolkmer, and Bruno "latto" Rebelatto from GODSENT, who had originally earned the spot in Cologne.
Below you can see the full bracket order and opening matchups of the Play-in phase:
Most of the big names await in the group stage, which boasts seven out of the current top-eight teams, with Natus Vincere headlining Group A and FaZe seeded in Group B as the current top-two teams in the world according to the HLTV.org ranking.
The Ukrainian-Russian side recently revealed that Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev will keep playing with them at the Cologne event, where they will be joined by NIP, G2, and ENCE in their group, along with four play-in teams. On the other side it's Liquid, FURIA, and Cloud9 who will be battling against a FaZe team looking to rediscover their Major-winning form: