Counter Strike: Global Offensive

IEM Cologne team list finalized: 12 highest-ranked squads in competition

mousesports and Spirit were the two last teams to advance from the IEM Cologne Play-In on Wednesday, completing the 16-team list of competitors for the main stage of the $1,000,000 tournament.

NIP, BIG, Complexity, and Vitality are some of the name that also qualified throught the play-in, joining the likes of Gambit, Natus Vincere, and G2 who were invited directly to the main stage. With that, 14 of the 15 best-ranked teams in the world are at IEM Cologne, with only OG missing out after an upset loss to Renegades.

Gambit play the first game of the main stage vs. mouz

Unlike the Play-In, the group stage of IEM Cologne won’t feature BO1 matches, with the action starting off with Gambitmousesports and LiquidNIP clashing in BO3 series on Thursday. Alongside them, four more teams are in group A:, BIG, G2, and Complexity.

Read more: Back to LAN: five key storylines of IEM Cologne

The biggest surprise of Cologne, scrappy underdogs Renegades (ranked No. 50) will face Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev and co. in their first match, while Lucas “⁠honda⁠” Cano will have his LAN debut against Mathieu “⁠ZywOo⁠” Herbaut‘s Vitality. The two Danish sides, Astralis and Heroic, will play their first matches on Friday, against FaZe and Spirit, respectively.

The group bracket draw is as follows:

Group A