With the main IEM Cologne 2022 event just around the corner, things are moving quickly in order to find out what teams will qualify for the main event. When Heroic and MOUZ locked horns we would, by the end of the Bo3-series, already have found our first qualifying team for IEM Cologne 2022. After a dominant victory against Sprout, securing a great start to the IEM campaign for the Danes, Heroic were the favorites going into the brawl against MOUZ. It was also the Danes who came out on top. A confident victory on Ancient, as well as a victory on the third map of Nuke, was enough for "cadiaN" and his troops to claim victory and rightfully earn a ticket to the main IEM Cologne event, starting in just three days.
The first map of the Bo3-series was picked MOUZ and saw the brawl kick off on Ancient. Having won 90% of their matches on Ancient in the past three months (10 maps), it was expected that MOUZ wanted to play Ancient against a Heroic side that very rarely finds themselves in the deep jungle of Ancient. Despite being the choice of MOUZ, however, it didn't show once the two rosters had entered the server and begun their battle. Starting on the arguably favored CT-side, the Danes took control of Ancient from start to finish. With "stavn" playing an incredible first half of Ancient and the rest of his team following suit, there was little left for the offense of MOUZ to do. At the crushing scoreline of 14-1, the two teams switched sides. MOUZ would have to do the impossible to come back on Ancient and it never happened. At 16-5, it was Heroic to close out Ancient and take home the first map of the Bo3-series.
The second map of the brawl between MOUZ and Heroic was, of course, picked by the Danes and saw the battle continue on Inferno. This time, the numbers heavily favored Heroic, and after a whitewash on Ancient, things looked grim for "dexter" and his troops at least until Inferno got underway. Just as MOUZ on Ancient, Heroic had difficulty on their T-side. Before they even got the ball rolling, the Danes were starring down a defeat on their own map pick. At the scoreline of 12-3, favoring MOUZ, Heroic seemed stun-locked. An incredible comeback had to be put up by the Danes for them to stand a chance on Inferno. Whilst Heroic came close it was ultimately too late and at the scoreline of 16-11, MOUZ forced a third and final map in the Bo3-series.
The final map of the battle between the two sides took place on the concrete of Nuke. Being a strong map for both MOUZ and Heroic it seemed the perfect place to end a thrilling brawl between two great teams. Starting on the CT-side it was Heroic to continue the momentum from their comeback attempt on Inferno. With "stavn" continuing to reign terror upon MOUZ, the Danes secured a comfortable 10-5 lead before switching sides with MOUZ. The second half, although now on the arguably more difficult side of Nuke, saw Heroic carry on their cohesive teamwork and creative plays. Failing to stop the Danish offense, MOUZ had to see themselves bested as Heroic claimed victory on Nuke at 16-7, won the Bo3-series against MOUZ and earned their ticket to the main IEM Cologne 2022 event.
Heroic - MOUZ 1-0 | IEM Cologne Play-In 2022
16-5 (Ancient) | stavn - 2.07 Rating / 28-7 K-D / 108.7 ADR
11-16 (Inferno) | torzsi - 1.34 Rating / 23-16 K-D / 81.3 ADR
16-7 (Nuke) | stavn - 1.70 Rating / 22-13 K-D / 108.0 ADR
MVP: Martin "stavn" Lund - 1.52 Rating / 68-43 K-D / 97.8 ADR
IEM Cologne Play-In overview
Spirit - 00NATION 2-1
Both Spirit and 00NATION found themselves in a position where they could secure a ticket to the IEM Cologne Group Stage by beating the other team. On paper, Spirit were the favorites, however, 00NATION had just taken down Astralis comfortably and looked incredible. It was a close battle between the two rosters, however, ultimately it was Team Spirit to come out on top. They have now secured their ticket to the IEM Cologne 2022 main event.
Sprout - paiN 2-1
In another battle, this time for survival at the event, Sprout and paiN locked horns in a Bo3-series. Both teams lost their opening match and so therefore another loss would mean elimination from the event. Despite a tough defeat in the first Bo1-series of the day, Sprout managed to defeat the Brazilians of paiN and are now still alive at the IEM Cologne Play-in. They will continue to fight for a ticket to the next stage of the main event tomorrow.