After a ton of non-stop action, day one of the IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage has come to a close. We had one massive upset and a few close calls to speak of – let’s discuss what went down on the server.
Astralis Collapse To G2
After Astralis took the opening map against G2, you’d be forgiven for thinking the second map was a formality. However, G2 showed a mental resilience we haven’t seen in a long time from this roster, completing the fightback across three maps. Young AWPer m0NESY delivered one of the best aces we’ve seen in a very long time, evoking memories of Happy’s legendary Deagle play on Inferno.
Meanwhile, Astralis will feel this one got away from them a little bit. There was the consistent brilliance of dev1ce, but that’s to be expected. Still, there’s a lot of hope that Astralis can pull through the Lower Bracket, with the loser of FaZe vs NIP up next.
New-Look Cloud9 Debut To Disappointment
Admit it – you didn’t see this coming. Neither did we. Our IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage preview had Cloud9 as favorites in Group A. However, it’s the Lower Bracket for them. Take nothing away from Fnatic. They looked fantastic, and the afro acquisition is looking better every single day. With Fnatic facing ENCE up next, they’ll fancy themselves to go all the way.
Prior to the match, you’d have gotten incredible odds over at GG.Bet for Fnatic to take the series – they were clear underdogs here. Don’t miss out for the rest of the tournament. GG.Bet is offering deposit bonuses tailored toward IEM Cologne 2023, and teams like Fnatic are exactly where you want to be placing your money. The underappreciated underdogs will probably remain undervalued going up against ENCE, but you’d be crazy to count them out.
Heroic Avoid Disaster Against The MongolZ
Heroic were pushed to their limits against The MongolZ, scraping by in a nail-biting 2:1 victory. Make no mistake though – this could (and probably should) have been a 2:0 for The MongolZ. IGL cadiaN won’t be too impressed with Heroic’s debut in the IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage, and clearly, there’s a lot to work on.
Still, a win is a win. Heroic shouldn’t get too bogged down in the details here, and focus should swiftly move to an impressive Monte side looking to make their mark on IEM Cologne 2023.
As for The MongolZ – they’re looking better every single time they play. Facing Heroic up first was an unfortunate draw, but GamerLegion represents a chance for The MongolZ to make amends. One thing’s for sure. The IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage is a more interesting place with The MongolZ in it.
Youthful MOUZ Dispatch NAVI
What a way for MOUZ to announce themselves, by putting NAVI’s new roster to the sword. We had MOUZ down as one of the big IEM Cologne 2023 underdogs, and they delivered massively. With the oldest player on MOUZ just 21, it would have been easy to allow inexperience to take over, but every single player played with maturity beyond their years.
For those who like the look of MOUZ, you can head over to GG.Bet, where you’ll get amazing odds on the young team. After all, they remain underdogs of Group B, and will likely face Vitality in the Upper Bracket.
With IGL siuhy continuing to impress at the helm, anything is possible, meaning they’re great value for bettors of IEM Cologne 2023. Even if they fall to the Lower Bracket, we’ve seen enough to suggest they could still progress.