Movistar Riders vs. G2: What Can Surprise the Spaniards?

No easy walk for either team

Today at 1:30 PM, the first pair of matches of the IEM Cologne 2022 group stage will start. One of them will be the confrontation between the unstable G2 and Movistar Riders with eight series winning streak. Yet, neither team can be written off. Why? Let's figure it out.

G2 should not relax in a duel with Movistar Riders
G2 should not relax in a duel with Movistar Riders


Due to instant bans, we will not see Dust 2 and Overpass in this match. Further, G2 will choose Inferno as their most confident map (80% of wins over 20 games), and Movistar Riders, according to this logic, should choose Nuke, but not everything is so simple. At the end of May, the Spaniards already lost on this map to G2 with a rather unpleasant score of 5:16, so it all depends on two months of work on the bugs. The likely choice is Ancient, which NiKo and company are having trouble with, while Movistar Riders will find this card more comfortable.

In the second stage, one should expect banned Vertigo from G2, and Movistar Riders will have the choice to leave either Mirage or the aforementioned Nuke on the deader.

Most Likely Picks




The Shape

Movistar Riders are showing promising results, winning the ESL Challenger Valencia, having a close series with the Outsiders in the grand final, and already in the Play-In of Cologne, they trampled Vitality dry. However, the win streak of 8 matches is misleading, as half of it consists of series against not the strongest teams.

However, the team is now showing peak form, and the rating of any of the players has not fallen below five lately.

Things are not going very smoothly for G2. Almost every match goes with a creak. Confident victories have not been observed for a long time, there were unfortunate defeats from FURIA and Vitality, and these teams have even more problems.

The European mix has drawdowns in the rating, and either JaCkz or Aleksib drop out.


Nikola "NiKo" Kovac's firepower and general experience of playing with top teams should be enough to defeat Movistar Riders. Still, there will likely be three maps with at least 26 rounds each.