The Saviors of NACS fall to Mouz in IEM Cologne 2021 opener cover image

The Saviors of NACS fall to Mouz in IEM Cologne 2021 opener

Bad News Bears take an early loss to Mouz, who are poised to face NIP in the Upper Bracket next

IEM Cologne 2021, the first LAN event since March 2020 kicked off today - bringing fans a long-awaited taste of offline CSGO competition. The opening match saw Bad News Bears face off against Mousesports. While the EU titans took down BnB in the end, the Saviors of NACS put on one hell of a fight.

The Bears Go Down Swinging

The veto ended with the teams both agreeing on Nuke, with the BnB squad starting on the CT Side - historically the better side of the map.

The Peter "ptr" Gurney led squad did not squander this advantage, and came out of the gate strong. They picked up the pistol round, and managed to convert the next two rounds as well. By the time full buy came out though, Mousesports managed to turn the tables responding with three of their own. From that point, Mouz looked in control of the half, keeping their economy strong and halting Bears from winning any consecutive rounds. With the CT-sided economy punishing them regularly, the NA representatives were unable to secure a lead in the half. Despite this, they still ended with a respectable 5-10 half against the No.7 team in the world.

In the second half, Robin "Ropz" Kool and co. conceded the pistol round again. This time though, Mouz were able to immediately respond by winning the subsequent force buy round. This set their economy up for success, and they quickly reached match point after taking five rounds in a row. BnB managed to win one round, but by then it was too little too late. Mousesports closed the game out 16-7, and move into the Upper Bracket. With this loss, the Bears have been knocked down to the Lower Bracket, where they will face LDLC.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, the NA team can be satisfied with their performance. Managing to stay competitive versus one of EU's hottest side is no small feat after all. Despite being massive underdogs, they showed flashes of promise, which bodes well for them moving forward. Fans of the team and NACS alike will hope that the Bears can bounce back, and make it to the main stage of IEM Cologn 2021.

Match 2 of IEM Cologne 2021 - NIP easily defeat LDLC

NIP Defeat LDLC in IEM Cologne 2021 Opener
NIP Defeat LDLC in IEM Cologne 2021 Opener

On the other side of the play-ins, Ninjas In Pyjamas took out LDLC to open their IEM Cologne 2021. Their match saw the latest addition to the map pool, Ancient, making it's debut on LAN. Lambert "Lambert" Prigent's troops were able to win the knife round, and picked the CT side as their start. Despite this, they were unable to fend off NIP's attack as the Swedes dominated their opponents throughout. From the get-go, NIP was in control of the game, winning the pistol round and four rounds after that. LDLC managed to respond with a force-buy victory, and converted into a three round set. From there, Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz and co. didn't let the Frenchmen get any other rounds, as they comfortable took the half 12-3.

The second half saw a better start for the French team as they won the pistol round, converting that into another three round set. With NIP's first-half lead though, they could afford to concede a few rounds to build their economy. Once the guns came out, the Ninjas were able to easily close out the game 16-6. Despite a similar score-line to the BnB-Mouz game, LDLC showed very few positives. They will have to massively improve if they want to defeat their upcoming NA opponents in the Lower Bracket. If they fail to do so, it will spell bad news: a last place and quick exit from IEM Cologne 2021 for LDLC.

IEM Cologne 2021 has just begun

Next, we'll see Mousesports take on NIP in the Upper Bracket. The winner of that match will directly qualify for the main stage of the event. In the Lower Bracket though, Bad News Bears will face LDLC for their tournament lives.

Catch the games live on ESL's Twitch Channel.

Stay tuned to for more CSGO news and IEM Cologne 2021 coverage. You can check out our preview of the event, with odds presented by Midnite here.

Feature image courtesy of Bad News Bear's Twitter.