IEM Cologne Playoffs: A Bettor’s Tournament Preview

With a million-dollar prize pool (and a lot of circuit points), the IEM Cologne is one of the biggest CS:GO tournaments of the year. From 24 teams at the beginning of the event, we now only have 6 left, including NaVi, FaZe, MOUZ, Astralis, Team Liquid, and Movistar Riders. Which one will claim the crown and win thousands of points and cash? Read on and learn how to bet on the IEM Cologne.

CS:GO Betting 2022 Favourites: NaVi and FaZe

Again and again and again—everything boils down to two of the finest CS:GO teams we have at the time: NaVi and FaZe. We’ve covered them many times in the first half of this year, and from the looks of it, we’re gonna have to keep covering as we go into the second half. Why are they so good? What’s been up with them recently?

Nothing’s new with NaVi, really. Even before they had Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev in the roster and were playing with Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov, they’ve already proven they’re one of the best CS:GO teams in the scene (if not the best).

This team needs no introduction because their accomplishments speak for themselves. They won the PGL Major Stockholm 2021, BLAST Premiere: World Finals 2021, finished 2nd in PGL Major Antwerp and landed first place again in BLAST Premiere: Spring Finals. They’ve won more before these, and they’re going for more.

When Boombl4 got benched a little over a month ago due to personal conflicts that the organisation believed to be damaging to their reputation, some people immediately jumped to the conclusion that it would heavily affect their performance. The argument is that once you’ve nailed down the perfect team, a simple change could result in devastating consequences.

But NaVi continued to be unstoppable. After borrowing sdy from MAD Lions, the team put on a godlike at BLAST Premiere: Spring Finals Playoffs, where they humiliated FaZe at the Quarterfinals by beating them 16-6 in Dust 2 and 16-1 in Inferno. They breezed through Team Vitality at the Grand Final in the same dominating fashion.

Will they be stopped this time around by even riskier underdogs? If this is what you’re thinking, it’s not a bad idea to start looking for the best betting offers before you finalise your bet slip. Bet on the IEM Cologne with an optimised experience!

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FaZe: Out for Blood

FaZe has had a little bit of a hiccup since they won the PGL Major Antwerp 2022. They fell short in IEM Dallas (5th-6th) and in BLAST Premiere: Spring Finals (also 5th-6th). They even lost to BIG at the Grand Final of the $250,000 tournament Roobet Cup.

Still, no one’s giving them a hard time for these shortcomings. In the Group Stage of the IEM Cologne 2022, it became obvious why. FaZe 2-0ed everyone in the Upper Bracket, including Team Spirit and Astralis, which gave them a direct route to the Playoffs Semifinals. NaVi earned their ticket to the Playoffs too, and soon these two forces will go head-to-head once again.

Expectations are high for FaZe to recover from their huge loss against NaVi. Now that the money on the line is even bigger, will we see them again in their real spirit? The best esports bookmakers sure think so.

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The Underdogs: Everyone Else

Outside NaVi and FaZe, it’s tough to call a team that isn’t an underdog. Astralis, MOUZ, Movistar Riders, and Team Liquid are all great teams, and they’ve shown that by getting to the Playoffs. However, most bookies can’t help but lump them together in the same category when they took a beating from NaVi and FaZe during the Group Stage.

Perhaps the only exception here is Team Liquid, who pulled an upset at the Group B Lower Bracket by knocking off IEM Dallas winners C9 out of the tourney. Still, the betting sites are clear. In the first series, Astralis v MOUZ, bookies like Unibet esports only see a minor difference. The odds for Astralis is 1.72 and 2.00 for MOUZ. For Movistar Riders v Team Liquid, on the other hand, it’s 1.66 and 2.10, respectively.

Unibet

Main Takeaway

Still, no matter what the odds are telling, these underdogs have defeated the likes of G2, Team Vitality, Cloud 9, and Heroic, which should immediately alert you that they’re no slouch at all. Chances are there would be a series of profitable moments if the bookies keep underestimating them, especially once they finally go against NaVi or FaZe. As an opportunistic bettor, you might have your moment to bring home huge winnings by being at the right place at the right time.

Author: Ronald Butler