Heroic, Spirit win IEM Cologne Play-In openers with new signings; MOUZ outgun paiN in OT
The season’s closing event in Germany is underway with the first three best-of-one opening matches done and dusted.
IEM Cologne has kicked off with the first six teams in the play-in split between the upper and lower brackets. The sixteen team double-elimination preamble to the tournament's group stage will end up with half of the field advancing and the other half eliminated.
Two of the opening matches had the added interest of being two teams that made Major playoffs in Antwerp debuting their new signings, Heroic with their new rifler Jakob "jabbi" Nygaard and Spirit with Igor "w0nderful" Zhdanov taking over the big green, and both of the teams went on to take victories. Meanwhile, MOUZ came back from the brink, down 13-15, to overtake paiN in overtime and remain in the upper bracket.
Heroic and MOUZ will now play a best-of-three series for a spot in the group stage at 14:45 , while Spirit will play the winner of 00NATION vs. Astralis at 16:00 and the loser of the bout between Brazilians and Danes will face Complexity for survival at 19:45 , not long after the loser bracket series pitting Sprout and paiN. Before that, however, best-of-ones will decide the fates of the rest of teams in the opening round.
jabbi’s christening could have not gone better as he was one of the big performers alongside Rasmus "sjuush" Beck in their opener on Overpass, the latter with 20 frags by the end of the first half, in a one-sided Heroic victory over Sprout which ended 16-3. The European mixture struggled to get on their feet in the series just days after flying from Valencia, Spain, where they were knocked out of the ESL Challenger tournament by winners Movistar Riders on Sunday after defeating FURIA and 00NATION in the group stage.
Rodrigo "biguzera" Bittencourt downed four in the fourth round for paiN to go 4-0 in their match against MOUZ on Nuke, but the Europeans finally got on the board in the fifth before scoring five more in a row to take the lead on the CT side. paiN struck back with five of their own to go 10-5 at the half, however, as the Brazilians kept ahead on the defense, hitting match point in the 28th round. MOUZ then pushed back and got it to overtime in-extremis before finally taking control with two rounds per half in extra innings to close out proceedings.
In the clash between Spirit and Complexity the North Americans were instantly overwhelmed, starting on the CT side of Ancient but unable to put up enough resistance as Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov and his men flew to a 10-5 lead before tallying the first five on their own defense to hit match point. w0nderful’s first map with his new team was a quiet one, a discreet 1.00 rating, but the rest of Spirit didn’t falter to keep their American rivals at bay, closing the map out 16-11, despite Paytyn "junior" Johnson's best efforts.
|Heroic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|24 - 7||+17||116.6||1.97|
|13 - 8||+5||91.6||1.52|
|17 - 12||+5||86.1||1.41|
|14 - 9||+5||71.5||1.40|
|9 - 8||+1||56.2||1.13|
|Sprout||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|11 - 14||-3||65.5||0.88|
|8 - 13||-5||56.4||0.69|
|8 - 16||-8||52.2||0.55|
|7 - 18||-11||43.1||0.44|
|8 - 16||-8||43.2||0.43|
|MOUZ||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|28 - 19||+9||73.9||1.15|
|26 - 20||+6||73.7||1.15|
|30 - 26||+4||90.1||1.11|
|19 - 25||-6||70.3||1.02|
|19 - 25||-6||68.7||0.89|
|paiN||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|27 - 22||+5||80.9||1.14|
|23 - 26||-3||72.0||1.03|
|26 - 25||+1||62.2||1.01|
|19 - 27||-8||81.7||1.01|
|19 - 24||-5||59.9||0.88|
|Spirit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|26 - 16||+10||86.5||1.36|
|23 - 15||+8||90.7||1.30|
|20 - 20||0||88.4||1.28|
|17 - 18||-1||69.7||1.03|
|14 - 13||+1||57.4||1.00|