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24-team lineup announced for IEM Cologne event

Nolan Starkey, a senior at Rossville High School, plays Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Monday, April 15, 2019, in Rossville. Starkey signed his letter of intent Wednesday to play esports at Trine University in Angola, Ind.Rossville High School Senior Signs With Trine University To Play Esports
Credit: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier

A who’s who of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams will be on hand next month when play begins at the $1 million IEM Cologne event.

Organizers on Tuesday announced the 24 teams that were invited based on ESL Pro Tour rankings and other qualifiers. The play-in stage begins July 5, and the event will conclude with the grand finals inside the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne, Germany, on July 17.

The top six European teams and top two North American teams will begin play in the group stage, awaiting the eight teams that will emerge from the 16-team play-in stage.

Advancing straight to the group stage are FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, G2 Esports, Cloud9, Ninjas in Pyjamas, ENCE, FURIA Esports and Team Liquid.

The 16 teams in the play-in stage feature lower-ranked European and North American teams, plus teams from Asia, South America and the Oceania regions.

Those teams are Complexity Gaming, MIBR, ORDER, TYLOO, BIG, Astralis, Team Spirit and Imperial Esports. Also in are Heroic, Team Vitality, Outsiders, GODSENT, Movistar Riders, paiN Gaming, MOUZ and Sprout.

The play-in stage and group stages are double elimination with best-of-three matches. The playoffs are single elimination with the grand finals a best-of-five competition.

–Field Level Media