The first top-tier international tournament to be held on LAN since the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic, IEM Cologne, will take place on July 6 – July 18. With the opening match between NIP and LDLC in the Play-in stage just a few days away, users can start creating their Fantasy rosters in hopes of winning prizes provided by our partner Bitskins.
The two-day Play-in tournament sees 16 teams competing for eight places at the main event. With just a couple of matches played by each squad, the initial matchups should influence the team-building process more than in a usual Fantasy game. However, it is worth noting that the BO1 format of the openers is likely to increase variance.
Most of the first headers have clear favorites, with mousesports and Spirit players standing out as they look to breeze past Bad News Bears and MIBR, respectively. Christopher “dexter” Nong ($190,000) and Boris “magixx” Vorobiev ($202,000) could provide immense value.
Players to overlook are members of BIG, who face Sprout in an ever-dangerous domestic derby to start the event, as well as FaZe and Evil Geniuses players, as the two hard-to-judge international squads clash early and the winner is likely to face Complexity next.
The IEM Cologne Play-in HLTV x Bitskins league has the following prizes:
1. Gut Knife | Crimson Web (Field-Tested)
2. AWP | Redline (Field-Tested)
3. AK-47 | Redline (Field-Tested)
The Fantasy game for the group stage is also live, albeit with only eight teams available for selection currently. The remaining eight teams will be added as they advance from the play-in, joining the likes of Gambit, Natus Vincere, and G2.
Those believing that the Danish powerhouse Astralis will make a comeback to greatness on LAN will be spoiled for choice, as all five of their players cost less than $200,000. On the other side of the equation, LAN-unproven Gambit players will break most players’ banks, with the exception of Timofey “interz” Yakushin ($186,000) and Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov ($202,000) – the latter suitable for the Entry Fragger role.
The HLTV x Bitskins league for the group stage will provide the following prizes for the top 3 users:
1. Broken Fang Gloves | Unhinged (Field-Tested)
2. M4A1-S | Dark Water (Field-Tested)
3. USP-S | Dark Water (Field-Tested)
The final IEM Cologne Fantasy game, the one for the playoffs of the tournament, will be opened after the group stage is concluded.
Users must abide by the Fantasy ruleset in order to win prizes. The winners of the official Fantasy leagues will be contacted via the email provided in their HLTV profile, and are required to respond to the email within a month to be eligible to receive their prizes.