IEM Cologne: 9INE, NiP and TheMongolz dominate

IEM Cologne: 9INE, NiP and TheMongolz dominate

29. July 2023 by Andrew Williams

There were a few matches at IEM Cologne with rather unforeseen results. While Ninjas in Pyjamas won against Imperial, OG defeated Apeks. The surprise banger, however, was TheMongolz, who surprisingly beat FURIA (again!). 9INE knocked Team Liquid out of the way.

NIP vs. Imperial

The Ninjas in Pyjamas qualified for the group stage of IEM Cologne after completing the play-in stage with a 2-1 win (Overpass 13-16, Ancient 16-6, Nuke 19-15) over Imperial. Imperial was thus eliminated from the tournament. k0nfig showed a great performance in the deciding series.

The Brazilians really stepped it up on the first map, Overpass and managed to win it narrowly. The Ninjas in Pyjamas then won Ancient and the game ended in an exciting decider on Nuke. The final rounds of the match were back and forth and emotions ran high until Daniil “headtr1ck” Valitov pushed his team with a 1v2 clutch. The match went into overtime, where the Ninjas in Pyjamas then won the game and secured a spot in the group stage.


OG defeated Apeks 2-0 (16-6 Mirage, 16-10 Inferno). OG qualified as the second to last team for the main event with 16 teams. Nils “k1to” Gruhne is the only German still in the running at the IEM Cologne.

The match started with OG’s map pick, Mirage. At first it was rather shallow, but then OG suddenly woke up. The team led by Nemanja “nexa” Isaković won every round of the first half after that and they managed a 16-6 to win Mirage. The second map was Inferno. It was also dominated by OG, who looked extremely strong by halftime and led 12-3. Although their T-side wasn’t entirely convincing, their victory was only a matter of time as they eventually finished Inferno 16-10.

9INE vs. Liquid

After Liquid failed to advance in the BLAST Premier Fall Group last week, they were eliminated early in Germany. With a 2-1 win (Ancient 10-16, Vertigo 16-6, Overpass 16-12) over Liquid, 9INE advanced to the group stage of IEM Cologne and eliminated Liquid from the tournament. The match went as expected for 9INE as they lost Ancient, a map they just didn’t have a lot of success on, but won Vertigo.

To secure their place in the group stage, they battled back from a difficult start on Overpass after trailing 6-2 early on. It was a similar story in the second half as they trailed 8-12 before dominating Liquid in the final eight rounds.

TheMongolz vs. FURIA

TheMongolz dominated FURIA, defeating the newly formed Brazilian team by a clear 2-0 score (Inferno 19-15, Overpass 16-8). The game started on Inferno. FURIA first took the lead, but then sank into chaos and the Mongols quickly took control in overtime. There FURIA completely collapsed and lost four rounds in a row. TheMongolz won by a score of 19-15.

On Overpass, the Mongols dominated again and didn’t let the Brazilians breathe, finishing the map 16-8. The Mongolian team thus also qualified for the group stage of the tournament.