No upsets in first round of IEM Cologne 2021 play-in stage

NiP vs. mousesports has everything to be the best match of IEM Cologne's play-in second round.

Photo via ESL

The first round of the IEM Cologne 2021 play-in stage, the first CS:GO LAN tournament since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, featured eight matches in total and finished with no upsets.

Given that ESL used the best-of-one format for the opening round, it was expected that at least one underdog would take advantage of that and surprise a favored team. The biggest underdog of the tournament, ViCi Gaming, let a 6-3 lead slip away against Complexity. MIBR were close to beating Team Spirit, both in regulation and the first overtime, but wasted seven map points and let Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov¬†and crew run away with the game in the second overtime.

Now that the first round of the IEM Cologne play-in stage is done, the tournament will use the best-of-three format for the rest of the matches. It’s a double-elimination bracket, so four teams will be sent home after the first round of the lower bracket is concluded. Eight of the 16 teams attending this stage will advance to the main event, which will kick off on Thursday, July 8.

Here are the results of the first round of the IEM Cologne play-in stage and the next matchups.


  • NiP 16-6 LDLC
  • mousesports 16-7 Bad News Bears
  • Spirit 22-18 MIBR
  • BIG 16-8 Sprout
  • Vitality 16-6 Renegades
  • Complexity 16-10 ViCi
  • OG 16-6 Team oNe
  • FaZe 16-12 Evil Geniuses

Upper bracket matchups

Tuesday, July 6

  • 9:55am CT: NiP vs. mousesports
  • 10am CT: Vitality vs. Spirit
  • 12:45pm CT: Complexity vs. FaZe
  • 1:25pm CT: OG vs. BIG

Lower bracket matchups

Tuesday, July 6

  • 10am CT: LDLC vs. Bad News Bears
  • 1:25pm CT: MIBR vs. Renegades

Wednesday, July 7

  • 6:30am CT: Sprout vs. Team oNe
  • 6:30am CT: Evil Geniuses vs. ViCi
About the author
Leonardo Biazzi

Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.