ESL has revealed today the eight initial matches of the play-in stage as well as the group stage distribution. The $1 million CS:GO tournament will begin on July 5 and once again feature a total of 24 teams.
Sixteen of these teams will start the tournament in the play-in stage and face each other in a double-elimination bracket where the opening round will consist of the best-of-one series and the rest will be best-of-three series. The eight best teams will then progress to the IEM Cologne group stage, where eight of the world''s top CS:GO teams, such as FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, and Cloud9, will attend.
#IEM Cologne starts with 24 teams but only one will lift the trophy 16 teams in the Play-In Stage 8 advance to groups8 more teams wait for them in Groups6 playoff teams battle it out in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike on July 15-17! Here are the first brackets! pic.twitter.com/fvSX32ryS9
The play-in stage also features some heavy-hitters in Heroic, Team Spirit, BIG, and Vitality. ESL even revealed that 00 Nation will compete in the slot that was relevant to GODSENT, implying that reports of 00 Nation being acquired the GODSENT trio of Epitacio TACO de Melo, Eduardo Dumau Wolkmer, and Bruno latto Rebelatto may be correct. None of the organizations have confirmed the deal at the time of this writing.
Natus Vincere stars in IEM Colognes Group A, while FaZe leads Group B. The play-in stage will run from July 5 to 6 and 16 teams will compete in the group stage starting on July 7. The prestigious CS:GO event will take place on July 17 and the winner will pay $400,000.
IEM Colognes play-in stage bracket
IEM Cologne group stage distribution
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Team Liquid