IEM Cologne Betting Tips

The Intel Extreme Masters XVI – Cologne is finally here, and this is one event that should really not be missed. The significance of IEM Cologne is manifold. Not only is this one of the most prestigious esports events in CS:GO, but it’s also the first LAN event to be held since the day the current pandemic started.

While it is a LAN event, there will be no live audience this time. The teams, however, will be participating from the same location, so the general feel of a LAN event should still be present throughout the tournament.


The tournament features three distinct stages – the Play-In, which is currently ongoing, followed by the Group Stage, and finally finishing with the Playoffs. The 24 teams will battle their way through these three stages. Ultimately, only six teams will prevail and enter into the Playoffs, where the $1.000.000 grand prize awaits.

We’ll go over the tournament format, cover the IEM Cologne schedule, and then delve deeper into some IEM Cologne 2021 betting tips for all you CS:GO betting enthusiasts.

IEM Cologne – Tournament Information

IEM Cologne will last for twelve days, starting on July 6th and finishing on July 18th. During this time, three stages will take place. We’ll go over each individual stage and explain the format they use.


The Play-In stage has already started. It uses a double-elimination bracket, with opening matches being best-of-one, and all the rest being played as best-of-three.


There is an Upper Bracket and the Lower Bracket, and four teams from each bracket will make their way into the Group Stage.

Group Stage

The Group Stage continues where the Play-In finished, with the exception of several additional teams who were already seeded according to EPT Rankings and the ESL World Rankings.

This stage also uses a double-elimination format and has two groups. Each of those groups will have 8 teams, and all of the matches will be played as best-of-three. Once the Group Stage concludes, the top three teams from each group will proceed into the Playoffs.


This is the final stage of the event. It uses a single elimination format and matches are best-of-three. The Grand Final match will be played as best-of-five.

IEM Cologne Betting Guide

So now that we know about the tournament format and the number of teams attending this event, the main question remains – which of those teams should we bet on?

Considering that the Play-In stage is quite short and is about to finish, we will focus mainly on the Group Stage and the Playoff stage. This immediately leaves us with some very strong teams with the highest CS:GO odds, and we’re going to list a couple of our favorites down below.

Gambit Esports

The first team in our list, and certainly the squad we view as our favorites in this event, is Gambit Esports.

Moscow’s finest are at the top of the world right now. The current year has barely reached its midpoint, and already the boys from Gambit have won three major events and finished 2nd in ESL Pro League Season 13. Two of those events were Intel Extreme Masters XV – World Championship and Intel Extreme Masters XVI – Summer, which suggests that they’ll be gunning for this one as well.


On top of that, Gambit Esports are one of the eight teams who were directly invited to this event, so they have already secured a front-row seat in Group A.

We see Gambit Esports as a prime candidate for the grand prize, and judging by their recent performance, we believe they’ll claim it without breaking a sweat. If you’re new to live esports betting, or even if you’re a betting veteran, we advise keeping an eye on Gambit Esports. If you wish to maximize your esports odds of winning, this is the team to go for.

Natus Vincere

Being one of the oldest esports teams in CS:GO, Natus Vincere has seen its fair share of victories. However, after every conquest comes another, and Natus Vincere has come to IEM Cologne to conquer.

The Ukranian powerhouse has seen some ups and downs as years went on, but this year has been pretty good to them. They’ve recently won the StarLadder CIS RMR 2021 and DreamHack Masters Spring 2021. Even when they fail to claim the top spot, they usually tend to finish in 2nd place. What’s even more interesting is that it’s usually Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports swapping between the top two spots from tournament to tournament. We believe history will repeat itself and these two teams will once again face in the Grand Final of IEM Cologne.


Natus Vincere finds itself in Group B along with some other big names in CS:GO. Heroic will most likely pose the toughest challenge, provided that both of these teams make it into Upper Bracket Round 3. Still, we believe Natus Vincere will persevere and pass the group stage with flying colors.

The Playoffs should be much more intense, but the potential rewards will also increase. We expect Natus Vincere to climb all the way to the top, along with Gambit Esports, and we anticipate these two to battle it out in the Grand Final.