Heroic, Team Spirit, Outsiders and Movistar Riders all won two matches on the first day of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII in Cologne, Germany, to book their trips to the Group Stage.
The opening Play-In Stage will conclude Wednesday and decide the remaining four teams to reach group play.Twenty-four teams are competing in the $1 million IEM Cologne event, with eight teams automatically advancing to the Group Stage and the other 16 battling it out in the Play-In Stage for eight more spots. From there, six teams will qualify for the Playoff Stage with the grand final set for July 17.
Opening matches in the double-elimination Play-In Stage were best-of-one, and all remaining matches in the stage will be best-of-three.
Heroic kicked off the tournament with a 16-3 blowout of Sprout on Overpass, then beat MOUZ 2-1 to advance to the next stage. Heroic started with a 16-5 win on Ancient, dropped a 16-11 decision on Inferno and secured a 16-7 victory on Nuke. Martin "stavn" Lund of Denmark led all players with 68 kills and a plus-25 kills-to-deaths differential against MOUZ.
Team Spirit edged out Complexity Gaming 16-11 on Ancient before their 2-1 victory over 00 Nation in the second round. Spirit won 16-5 on Vertigo, lost a close one 16-14 on Dust II and recovered to take a 16-13 victory on Ancient. Russia's Robert "Patsi" Isyanov had 64 kills to lead Spirit.
Outsiders trounced Imperial Esports 16-6 on Inferno, then swept BIG 2-0. Outsiders clinched a pair of 16-13 decisions on Inferno and Dust II to advance. They were led by Evgenii "FL1T" Lebedev of Russia (47 kills, plus-14 K-D).
Movistar Riders beat MIBR 16-13 on Ancient before sweeping Team Vitality 2-0. Riders won 16-13 on Vertigo and 16-4 on Overpass. Spain's Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia posted 46 kills on a plus-26 to pace the winners.
In the lower bracket, Sprout edged paiN Gaming 2-1 and Astralis beat Complexity 2-0, eliminating the losing teams from the competition. Sprout won 16-10 on Ancient, lost 16-12 on Dust II and triumphed 16-10 on Vertigo to stay alive.
Astralis notched wins of 16-10 on Overpass and 16-9 on Nuke.
The competition will continue Wednesday with six matches to wrap up the Play-In Stage:
--ORDER vs. Imperial Esports (lower bracket Round 1)
--MIBR vs. TYLOO (lower bracket Round 1)
--Team Vitality vs. Sprout (lower bracket Round 2)
--BIG vs. Astralis (lower bracket Round 2)
--00 Nation vs. ORDER or Imperial Esports (lower bracket Round 2)
--MOUZ vs. MIBR or TYLOO (lower bracket Round 2)
Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII - Cologne prize pool and points distribution
1. $400,000, 3,200 BLAST Premier points
2. $180,000, 1,600 BLAST Premier points
3-4. $80,000, 1,000 BLAST Premier points
5-6. $40,000, 300 BLAST Premier points
7-8. $24,000, 300 BLAST Premier points
9-12. $16,000, no BLAST Premier points
13-16. $10,000, no BLAST Premier points
17-20. $4,500, no BLAST Premier points
21-24. $2,500, no BLAST Premier points -- paiN Gaming, Complexity Gaming, TBD
--Field Level Media