Hello, fellow esports enthusiasts! IEM Cologne 2023 Playoffs stage is finally here. The excitement and the euphoria of witnessing six of the best teams in the world fighting for the trophy and the glory in the Lanxess arena are in the air. We have been following this tournament since the Play-in Stage, we saw how Astralis started and now they are one of the teams contending for the title. If you want to know how the tournament has been advancing through the days, I recommend you to check our previous posts. Also, give a check on the predictions we will make for today’s games! Game on!
Which teams qualified for the IEM Cologne 2023 Playoffs Stage?
- Cloud9 will eliminate Vitality.
- It was announced that the missing piece from this superstar roster has arrived in Cologne. Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov was absent during the Group Stage, and the team managed to qualify for the Playoffs Stage with a stand-in. Everyone’s expectations are high for this team, and their first challenge is against Vitality, and it will be really hard for both squads. What we have seen from Vitality so far in Cologne has been great, but some players had inconsistencies and in their only lost game against G2. Vitality has no information about how Cloud9 will play with Ax1Le. I think this for sure will be an intense and close game, but I put my prediction on Cloud9 which will play for the first time with their new roster.
- Astralis will defeat Heroic.
- Call me crazy, but I see this Astralis strong enough to take down Heroic in this Danish derby. The Lanxess arena is in debt with Nicolai “device” Reedtz, a player who has won almost everything but IEM Cologne. I am pretty sure that we will see an insane performance from him, and if the Astralis roster keeps performing as well as they have been doing so far, I forecast a close game in their favor. BlameF has been doing good with his calling, Buzz had the best map of his career in Overpass against NAVI, and the team environment is great. Meanwhile Heroic struggled to close the game against ENCE, being actually close in all 3 maps. If it comes to a situation where Heroic is on the lead and Astralis start to win rounds and snowball Heroic’s economy. The same situation might come across.
Both of the predictions are bold, but I trust my analysis (and my guts) to call them.
Where to watch the games?
You can watch them on ESL’s official channels, or in your favorite Watch Party: