Esports News

IEM Cologne 2022 Play-In Favorites and Opening Match Predictions

We are only one week away from the historic Lanxess-Arena in Cologne and the best teams clashing for yet another IEM trophy. The Play-In stage will decide the final 8 Group Stage participants, and 16 teams are contending. To make things more interesting, we are not simply seeing an elimination bracket, but instead a double elimination two phase bracket with four participants from Winners/Losers portions advancing.

Out of the eight opening duels, four are ideal for CSGO betting offering a decent selection of betting markets to choose from.

We break them down below.

Spirit vs Complexity

The first bout of the IEM Cologne 2022 Play-in stage features Team Spirit. who are looking better than ever. Their opponent, Complexity lost seven straight games and they are nowhere to be found. From our point of view, Complexity has no synergy nor team play. Complete disband or serious roster changes are very likely after this tournament. Another thing that is not favoring them at all in this match is map veto and here is why.

Since this match is played in the best-of-one format, teams will start with two bans each. The only two maps where Complexity stands a chance are Inferno and Overpass. Spirit never plays these two and they are for sure getting removed straight away.

All in all, Complexity has nothing to offer in this match. They will for sure compete on a map that they do not prefer and this should be more than enough for Spirit to claim a victory. The best part about this bet is that the odds on Spirit are really solid and this is one of the best IEM Cologne 2022 Play-in stage picks.

Prediction: Spirit to win
Odds: 1.40
Betting Site: GG.BET

Heroic vs Sprout

In our books, this is going to be a straightforward match. Heroic are on fire right now. They won 5 straight and it is a joy to watch them compete in recent weeks. Contrary to that, Sprout only has one victory in the last six they played and that is a worrisome sign.

Map veto is favoring Heroic in this one. By removing Dust 2 and Ancient, they will set themselves up for success. Mirage, Inferno, and Overpass are the maps where they should have it their way easily.

To summarize. Heroic is a much better team once compared to Sprout. They have better individuals, and their team play is a couple of steps above Sprout. Sadly, odds represent what we are saying right now. Nonetheless, this is going to provide a nice odds boost to your accumulators.

Prediction: Heroic to win
Odds: 1.25
Betting Site: LOOT.bet

Outsiders vs Imperial

Whoever thought that the old SK Gaming line-up is back was wrong. Imperial is looking awful right now, especially individually. They racked up six straight defeats and it is going to be interesting to see how long will they last as a team.

The former Virtus.pro roster will look to capitalize on this match. Even though they are not playing to their best potential either, we can’t deny the fact that Outsiders bring much more to the table than Imperial.

We do not think that map veto will play a key role in this match as the Brazilian CSGO roster is simply not on the level that is needed to beat Outsiders.

Prediction: Outsiders to win
Odds: 1.40
Betting Site: Bet365

TYLOO vs Vitality

Let’s conclude our set of IEM Cologne 2022 picks with another solid bet. TYLOO is currently competing in the Asian region. Usually, they dominate the entire scene in Asia, and they do not achieve much on the big stage against top talent.

This time around, they are not even able to beat regional teams and that says a lot about the state they are in. Vitality, however, bounced back from the poor form as they defeated both G2 and ENCE not so long ago.

By removing Overpass, Vitality are setting themselves up for success in this best-of-one match. The fact is, anything but a massive win for Vitality would be a shock for us.

Prediction: Vitality(-5,5) Round Handicap
Odds: 1.61
Betting Site: GG.BET


I see at least Astralis, Heroic, MOUZ and Imperial as safe locks to make it further. BIG and Movistar heavily depend on “day performance” and may entirely fumble their deciders. The rest of the teams are all equal “underdogs”. Yes mibr included.

Mario Juric

[Staff Writer] Mario just got his law degree, but he found his true passion in esports. He’s been an active member of CSGO community for a while now and he also had a dream of going pro. Mario works hard to bring you all the latest esports news, previews & betting predictions.

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