Two teams will advance directly to the semifinals.

With just two weeks to go for one of the most popular events in the CS: GO calendar, ESL has revealed the format for the IEM Cologne 2022 play-in stage. The tournament organizer has unveiled the eight opening matchups for the million-dollar event; these matchups will set the course for the rest of the tournament. 

IEM Cologne takes place from July 4-18, and will feature the best CS: GO teams from all over the world. The event which is one of the most prestigious events in the CS: GO esports circuit is popular as the Cathedral of Counter-strike. 

IEM Cologne format

The tournament features 24 teams with sixteen starting in the play-in stage. Only half of these play-in teams will advance to the group stage where they will face eight new teams. 

IEM Cologne 2022 Play-In stage - Opening matchups
The eight opening matchups of IEM Cologne are as follows:

  • Heroic vs Sprout
  • MOUZ vs PaiN
  • Team Spirit vs Complexity
  • 00Nation vs Astralis
  • BIG vs ORDER
  • Outsiders vs Imperial
  • MIBR vs Movistar Riders
  • TYLOO vs Vitality
IEM Cologne 2022 Play-In stage
Final Play-in Matches and timings

IEM Cologne Group stage

Eight teams from the play-in stage will join the big names in the group stage. The group stage teams include:

  • Natus Vincere (Group A)
  • NIP (Group A)
  • G2 (Group A)
  • ENCE (Group A)
  • FaZe (Group B)
  • Liquid (Group B)
  • Cloud9 (Group B)
  • FURIA (Group B)
IEM Cologne 2022 Group Stage
Navi, NIP, G2 esports and ENCE will compete in Group A.
IEM Cologne 2022 Group Stage
FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, Cloud9 and FURIA will compete in Group B at IEM cologne 2022.

The best team in each group will advance directly to the semifinals. Two more teams from each group will play it out in the quarterfinals.

Navi recently announced sdy will play for the team at IEM Cologne 2022. The youngster was pivotal in the team’s recent LAN victory.  The Russia-Ukraine war has affected the team’s performance since February. However, despite the adversities and the recent roster change where they lost their IGL, Navi still managed to win BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022 after a 2-0 victory over Vitality.

What is the prize pool distribution?

The winner of the tournament will get a massive $400,000 in prize winnings. The second-best team will get $180,000. There’s something for everyone as the last-placed teams will receive $2,500 reach. 

  • 1st: $400,000
  • 2nd: $180,000
  • 3rd-4th: $80,000
  • 5-6th: $40,000
  • 7-8th: $24,000
  • 9-12th: $16,000
  • 13-16th: $10,000
  • 17-20th: $4,500
  • 21-24th: $2,500 will bring you continued coverage for IEM Cologne with exclusive interviews and match coverage.

Stay tuned to for the latest CS: GO news and updates.

Rohan - Content Editor


Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)