IEM Cologne 2022: NAVI dominates Group A

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Teams have already started battling it out in Cologne to clinch their spot at the playoff stage. One of the teams that continues its outstanding performance from Blast Premier: Spring Finals is NAVI. The CIS powerhouse made a shattering entrance to the group stage, securing two consecutive wins over MOUZ and NIP. ENCE, on the other hand, got eliminated from IEM Cologne 2022 after they lost to G2 Esports in the lower bracket. Surprisingly, maybe the most consistent team in the world returned home much earlier than expected.

The first two days of the group stage have come and gone with underdog teams silently taking down big fishes to match each other in the lower bracket. Movistar Riders defeated G2 Esports and Vitality to take on NAVI in the semifinals, while Astralis sent FURIA to the loser’s bracket with a clean 2-0 first-round win. G2, on the flip side, found themselves struggling against ENCE not to be knocked out from the tournament without making it at least to the playoffs.

It has been clearly understood that NAVI got in shape as of the first two days to take their crown back. After overcoming MOUZ in the first round, NAVI annihilated NIP with a phenomenal performance on Overpass and Nuke. Speaking of the series, NAVI kicked off the day with three of their superstars taking a +15 score on NIP’s choice Overpass. Several clutch rounds from hampus were not enough to bring NIP back to the game.

electroNic leads the team

NAVI got the chance to end the series on Nuke, having secured an easy win on the opening map. This time hampus and Plopski had something to say, but electroNic shut them up by leading his team in the macro game, completing the map with an astonishing 1.72 rating score and %82.6 KAST. NAVI will now face off Movistar Riders on their weekend match-up to be the first team that proceed to the playoffs.

The results in group B for the opening round were not surprising at all. FaZe, Team Spirit, Cloud9, and Astralis captured wins to be matched in the second round, while Team Liquid, FURIA, Outsiders, and 00 Nation will square off each other to survive in hell. FaZe Clan will go up against FURIA after making quick work on 00 Nation, while Cloud9 and Astralis will clash to get one step closer to the playoffs.

IEM Cologne 2022 is well underway, with the best teams across the world setting their eyes on the title, where the winner will be determined on July 17 at the end of an intense five-game series. In case you missed it, you can take a quick look at the format, prize pool, and other details on the tournament from here. You can also head to the official ESL Twitch channel to watch the matches you missed.

Berat Ozkan
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