IEM Cologne 2023 Play-In Betting Tips - Wednesday, July 26
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IEM Cologne 2023 Play-In Betting Tips – Wednesday, July 26

Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 kicks off on Wednesday, July 26, with the first round of the Play-In stage, where 16 teams will fight for a ticket for the Group Stage.

All opening matches will be played as best-of-one (Bo1), which opens up plenty of opportunities for upsets and a handful of interesting esports betting opportunities to explore.

Fnatic vs Complexity Betting Preview

When: Wednesday, July 26, 15:45 CEST

Complexity acquired a solid upgrade during the summer break when they took Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski from Team Liquid. He’s a great upgrade for the roster, and while he won’t make Complexity a tier-1 team, the North American squad should do at least a bit better with the new roster.

Complexity already got a chance to warm up ahead of IEM Cologne 2023, BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023, where they defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas (2-1) but lost the next three games against Vitality (0-2), NiP (1-2), and Astralis (0-2), who eliminated Complexity from the Play-In stage. Not the best outcome for the new-look roster, but it was Complexity’s first tournament after the break, so they deserve some slack.

Fnatic decided to rebuild its lineup with Christopher “dexter” Nong joining as the new in-game leader and Aurélien “afro” Drapier, who previously played for LDLC. Will this project work out is anyone’s guess, and perhaps Fnatic will find more success by swapping out the players, but I don’t see why they should be priced as the favourites against Complexity.

Perhaps Fnatic look stronger on paper, but IEM Cologne 2023 is their first tournament with a new roster, so I would tame my expectations.

  • Prediction: Complexity to win – 2.02 at GG.Bet

OG vs 9INE Betting Preview

When: Wednesday, July 26, 15:45 CEST

9INE did not make any roster changes during the summer break, and they’ve recently won Gamers8 2023 Europe Open Qualifier 2 without a single loss. Obviously, Gamers8 2023 qualifier can’t be compared to IEM Cologne 2023 in terms of the opponent’s quality, but at least 9INE are not ring rusty as most other teams travelling to Germany.

OG exited the summer break with a couple of new faces. Iulian “regali” Harjău, Nils “k1to” Gruhne, and Dion “FASHR” Derksen all joined the team, while Nemanja “nexa” Isaković got re-instated as the team’s in-game leader. Do these changes make sense?

Seeing nexa joining the lineup is a good move, and I can’t complain about OG acquiring regali, but I have no faith in k1to and FASHR. With this lineup, OG have no future, and we already got to see how weak OG are at BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023, where they lost against FaZe Clan (0-2), G2 Esports (0-2), and BIG (1-2).

OG have the brand value, but 9INE are the most likely victors in this match. They have a pre-established synergy, are a solid team online, and look poised to start their IEM Cologne 2023 campaign with a win.

  • Prediction: 9INE -1.5 rounds – 2.03 at GG.Bet

Astralis vs Team Liquid Betting Preview

When: Wednesday, July 26, 17:00 CEST

Team Liquid decided to make a couple of roster changes during the summer break. They sold Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski to Complexity and added Aleks “Rainwaker” Petrov and Robert “Patsi” Isyanov. The roster swaps also see Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis take over as the in-game leader.

I don’t know how to feel about those changes, but it does seem like Liquid could’ve done better as they don’t have the tools to compete at the highest level. In their defence, Team Liquid looked decent at BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023, where they defeated G2 Esports (2-1) and FaZe Clan (2-1), but that was the first tournament after the summer break, so it doesn’t carry much weight.

Astralis haven’t accomplished much over the last two years, and I don’t believe they’ll go very deep at IEM Cologne 2023, either. But I’m optimistic about what this squad can accomplish.

They had a good run at BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023, where they started slow with defeats against Natus Vincere (1-2) and BIG (1-2) but bounced back with wins against Complexity (2-0) and Team Liquid (2-0). Again, those results don’t mean much, as all teams were rusty, but Astralis didn’t play badly.

Since the opening games of IEM Cologne 2023 are best-of-one (Bo1), this does look closer to a coin toss, but I much prefer Astralis. They’ve beaten Liquid not long ago and arguably have a higher ceiling.

  • Prediction: Astralis to win – 1.88 at GG.Bet

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