IEM Cologne 2021: viewer's guide

One million dollar IEM Cologne 2021 tournament will be held from July 6-18 in Cologne. The group stage begins on July 8, and will be preceded by a two-day Play-In qualifying stage.

Sixteen teams will participate in the Play-In, which will compete for eight spots in the group stage. The qualifiers will be held in Double Elimination format, with the opening matches to one victory and all the subsequent games to three victories. It should be noted that the organizers will share $28,000 of the prize pool for the eight teams that won't qualify for the main part of the tournament.

The list of participants of the Play-In stage:

 NIP (device, REZ, hampus, Plopski, LNZ)
 LDLC (SIXER, Lambert, hAdji, Maka, Keoz)
 Bad News Bears (ptr, Jonji, Spongey, Shakezullah, Swisher)
 mousesports (dexter, frozen, acoR, ropz, Bymas)
 Team Spirit (chopper, mir, sdy, degster, magixx)
 MIBR (boltz, yel, chelo, exit, shz)
 Renegades (Sico, aliStair, INS, Hatz, malta)
 Vitality (shox, apEX, ZywOo, misutaaa, Kyojin)
 OG (valde, Aleksib, niko, mantuu, flameZ)
 TeamOne (Maluk3, prt, malbsMd, pesadelo, xns)
 Sprout (Spiidi, denis, kressy, faveN, slaxz-)
 BIG (tabseN, tiziaN, syrsoN, XANTARES, k1to)
 Evil Geniuses (MICHU, stanislaw, Brehze, CeRq, oBo)
 FaZe (karrigan, olofmeister, rain, Twistzz, broky)
 Complexity (jks, RUSH, k0nfig, poizon, blameF)
 ViCi (advent, zhokiNg, aumaN, Kaze, JamYoung)

Brackets seeding

In the group stage, which will take place from July 8 to 11, the sixteen participants will be split  into two groups, where they will play in Double Elimination (GSL) format with BO3 matches. Three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, with the first team advancing to the semifinals, the second to the high seeded quarterfinals and the third to the low seeded quarterfinals.

The playoffs will be held July 16-18 in a Single Elimination format. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played to two victories, while the grand final will be played to three victories.

Direct invites in the Group Stage:

Group A

 Gambit (Hobbit, interz, Ax1Le, sh1ro, nafany)
 Liquid (FalleN, NAF, EliGE, Stewie2K, Grim) (SANJI, buster, Qikert, Jame, YEKINDAR)
 G2 (JaCkz, NiKo, huNter-, AmaNEk, nexa)

Group B

 NAVI (s1mple, electronic, Boombl4, Perfecto, B1T)
 FURIA (arT, yuurih, VINI, KSCERATO, honda)
 Astralis (Xyp9x, dupreeh, gla1ve, Magisk, Bubzkji)
 Heroic (cadiaN, refrezh, stavn, TeSeS, sjuush)

Prize fund distribution:

1. $400,000
2. $180,000
3-4. $80,000
5-6. $40,000
7-8. $24,000
9-12. $16,000
13-16. $10,000
17-20. $4,5,000
21-24. $2,5,000