The first group stage for IEM Cologne is over and, to be honest, the striptease wasn’t really worth it — if ESL had invited the highest eight ranked teams on HLTV we’d have nearly got the same result.
With one BIG (heh) exception.
Fielding k1to yet again, Die Mannschaft spitted and spluttered their way to an early exit in Cologne. Which shouldn’t really be a surprise — we warned you their Pinnacle Cup win mattered about as much as a promise from Boris Johnson.
On one hand, losses to Astralis, who had k0nfig back in full spearman mode, and Outsiders shouldn’t be unforgivable offences given the stand-in situation.
On the other, this is the event tiziaN called “more important than a Major”. There’s no brushing this particular disappointment off.
Taking BIG’s place in Cologne’s real group stage are 00NATION and Movistar Riders, with the Spaniards carrying their Valencia form into Cologne with a statement 2:0 win over Vitality. More on them later.
As for 00NATION, a 16:6 win over Astralis was followed by a respectable 2:1 loss to Spirit, leading to a decider match dubbed ‘The Last Classico’ by ESL: TACO and coldzera’s 00NATION vs fer and falleN’s Imperial.
It’s a shit name (SKlassico is way better). But it’s an even shitter narrative: this isn’t TACO and coldzera’s 00NATION, this is dumau, latto, and try’s. coldzera is finally the support player TACO always said he was, and TACO has taken his 10-15 frags a game to the IGL role rather than entrying.
But, it did validate coldzera’s decision to not join The Last Dance. dumau is Brazil’s hottest prospect, who can put up huge numbers while coldzera is waiting for him to die.
Meanwhile, Argentine AWPer try — who we pencilled in for a breakout year in January — has done what Messi did in 2011: cut his hair, and levelled the fuck up. He’s had some huge maps in Cologne: 1.89 against Astralis, and a server-topping 1.30 against Imperial in the decider.
South America needs some good news: FURIA are mid, Imperial’s tiny-ass pan fire has burnt out, and MIBR are so easy to beat the org cashed out on their BLAST spot.
00NATION, by combining two even more mediocre teams than those three, might have cracked the code.