Ah, IEM Cologne, where ESL **have the cheek to include TWO group stages. Don't worry though, they're suitably punished by HLTV listing the main events prize pool as an embarrassing $972,000.
And, there’s some good LAN CS between some decent-to-okay teams, too. Ignore the token Aussies.
It's a big event debut for Spirit’s w0nderful, Heroic’s Jabbi, and Outsiders’ fame and n0rb3r7. We even get to see Brazilian starlet dumau get baited by coldzera for the second time this week!
The format is one big GSL bracket, with eight out of sixteen teams advancing to IEM Cologne proper.
Vitality, Heroic, Spirit, BIG, Astralis, Outsiders and MOUZ would be the prime picks if there was a Pick ‘Em, but there are banana peels around every turn — complacency cannot be afforded.
Oh, and Complexity are here too. Set your alarms NA, they're gonna give us two of the worst games of the event, same as usual.
But don't focus on that, sensible reader. Focus on BnTeT, dumau, and biguzera. Focus on Imperial bombing out and making Twitter incredible, or steam coming out of SPUNJ’s ears after Jame saves for the fifth time that half.
It may not be the LANXESS just yet, but that's no excuse for skipping the foreplay. Counter-Strike’s third Major is underway.