Now that the IEM Cologne Play-In stage has been concluded, the 16 best CSGO teams are gearing up and preparing to fight for their share of $1,000,000 in prize money. In this piece, we are going to bring you closer to this event by providing a brief overview, and the best picks for the opening matches from the group stage.
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IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage Format
- The group stage will commence on July 29th and end on August 1st.
- Two double-elimination GSL groups will each consist of eight teams.
- Every match played in the group stage is contested in the best-of-three format.
Group Stage Qualifications to the Playoffs Stage
- The group stage winners will advance straight to the semifinals.
- The runner-ups will book themselves a ticket for the quarterfinals where they are ranked as high seeds.
- Last but not least, third-played teams will also advance to the quarterfinals, but only as low seeds.
Regarding the playoffs, a single-elimination bracket has been put in place. This means that there are no second chances for anyone at this point in the event. Both quarterfinals and semifinals are played in the best-of-three format, while the grand final is going to be contested in the best-of-five series.
The best CSGO betting sites are favoring four teams to go all the way and lift the IEM Cologne 2023 trophy: Heroic, Team Vitality, FaZe Clan, and G2.
Group A Upper Bracket (Image: ESL)
Cloud9 vs Fnatic
This should be a great match for betting and here is why. Cloud9 is coming to this event in a bad state as they only won one match out of the last five played. Keep in mind that they had a 7-week long break to sort things out, and we believe that they did just that.
On the other hand, fnatic has been on a tear right now as they won six straight matches in order to qualify for the main stage. To be honest, they were pushed to the very limit in some of those matches, and in our books, the games could have easily gone the other way around.
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At the time of writing, Cloud9 is labeled as a solid favorite to win this match by all bookmakers. The fact is, we agree with that. After bringing in electroNic and Perfecto, we believe that Cloud9 will show the world what they are made of.
- Prediction: Cloud9 to win
- Odds: 1.45
- Betting Site: BC.Game
Group B Upper Bracket (Image: ESL)
Natus Vincere vs MOUZ
To be fair, ever since Natus Vincere made roster changes, they had their share of ups and downs. To be fair, they only played against top opponents in recent weeks such as G2, Heroic, and Vitality.
Contrary to that, MOUZ stayed active due to the fact that they had to compete in the Play-In stage first where they defeated mediocre teams in tense battles as they qualified for the main event.
When it comes to IEM Cologne betting, we all know that Natus Vincere should never be underestimated as s1mple can pop off at any moment and win the game singlehandedly. Overall, we like what Na’Vi is bringing to the table in this one, especially because this match is played over the course of three maps which leaves room for error. The odds are more than rewarding and this is a solid value bet.
- Prediction: Natus Vincere to win
- Odds: 1.65
- Betting Site: BC.Game
Most Played Map Bet
Here is quick information we found for anyone who is interested in this type of bet. During the Play-In stage, Ancient was the most played map in the event. At the time of writing, the odds on Ancient being the most played map in the IEM Cologne main event are set to 10.00. With a small bet, you can get a massive return on this one.