Check out the top five teams at IEM Cologne and how far they can possibly make it.
For many years, IEM Cologne (previously known as ESL One Cologne) has remained one of the most popular events in the CS: GO calendar. The million-dollar event this year, marks the end of the season, one that saw FaZe Clan win its first CS: GO Major. But for many of the IEM Cologne teams, this event is a way to establish their names in the CS: GO scene. Even though FaZe won the CS: GO Major, they are not the overwhelming favorites for IEM Cologne 2022. So who are the contenders? Which teams can potentially lift the trophy in front of the Cologne crowd. Here’s what we think
Heroic: Event without Refrezh
Heroic is one of the few teams that dares to change even when it is a top team. The Danish core has made changes when it was at the top before and it has worked out for them. This time, Heroic comes into this event replacing Refrezh with Jabbi from Copenhagen Flames.
Jabbi’s performance on CPHF has been impressive even though the players struggled to find a new home. Ultimately, we have seen the players now move on to different rosters. Jabbi joined Heroic while there are reports of Hooxie joining Team Liquid as they also try to reinvent their Cs: go presence.
Heroic comes into this tournament as an unknown. Their performance in the play-in stage looked impressive. A 16-3 start to the tournament and a 2-1 victory over MOUZ, Heroic cruised through the Play-IN stage. They will face NiP in Group A, which also includes Navi, G2 and ENCE amongst others.
For Heroic, finding the right synergy on the roster will be crucial. The players are still adjusting to each other and even though the swap is supposed to be a near 1:1 player swap in terms of role, it is the firepower that will enable Heroic to level up its game.
As we head into this event, Heroic has its task cut out. The roster change is a risk, a chance that the management was willing to take to reach the top. There’s only two way this can go now, either they’ll become a top 2 team or they falter and probably lower towards just outside of the top 10. Only time will tell how Heroic steps up, however, we do expect Heroic to reach the playoffs. After that, it’s one game at a time.
Natus Vincere: Another change for another top tier team
Another team that was forced to make a roster change is Navi. One of the best teams in the world, Navi’s roster change was an undesired one. Due to personal reasons and reputational risks to the org, Boombi4 was benched. The team has brought on sdy from MAD LIons on trial and hope to put up a strong performance.
Navi’s strength has been its team synergy along with the firepower. With a new player, sdy, coming into the roster, it will be interesting to see how far Navi can go in this tournament. So far, however, Navi looked good. Their previous outing, the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, Navi just dominated everyone in the playoffs.
This tournament was with sdy, saw S1mple dominate opponents ending the tournament with a 1.37 rating. His teammate, B1t also finished the tournament with a 1.20 rating, much higher than players from other teams. With two of the team’s stars putting up big numbers, it was no surprise to see Navi win the event with ease. Whether they can replicate the same form at IEM Cologne is still an open question.
Cloud9: The Dark horse that everyone's taking seriously
Cloud9 come into this tournament as one of the favorites. Their recent performance, the victory at IEM Dallas has certainly made them a strong contestant for this event. At IEM Cologne 2022, Cloud9 is one of the teams that can surprise everyone, even though they are already a strong team. It seems the hype surrounding the team is much lower than some of the other favorites for this event.
The team finished 3-4th at the Roobet cup, however that is an event that many of the IEM Cologne teams have considered to be a ‘warm-up’ event. After a win at IEM Dallas, Cloud9 looks strong and ready to challenge the best at IEM Cologne 2022.
FaZe Clan: Leading the hype amongst IEM Cologne teams
For FaZe Clan, it seems they are the favorites in everyone’s mind. But they are not the favorites are they. There are IEM Cologne teams such as Cloud9, Heroic and Navi, all of whom have the potential and and possibly stronger contenders for the trophy.
FaZe Clan’s performance after PGL Stockholm Major has been underwhelming. Going off our article on the top team’s performance, the CSPPA changed the 2023 player break dates. The player break will now take place before the Major in 2023, despite some disgruntled professional players who were not informed about this decision.
FaZe Clan’s form however, has not recovered so far. They are still struggling to find the right rhythm and start winning trophies. As we get deeper into the tournament, there is a chance that FaZe members will find form, but they are by no means, the overwhelming favorites to win IEM Cologne 2022.