Will Heroic Beat Sprout in the Play-in Stage at IEM Cologne?

Will the Danes avoid problems in the first match of IEM Cologne?

IEM Cologne Play-In kicks off today, and Sprout will face Heroic in the first match. The match is essential for both teams, as a victory will significantly increase the chances of qualifying for the Play-In stage, and a defeat will leave the club one step away from relegation. So who will win this confrontation?

Will Heroic be able to outplay the underdog?
Will Heroic be able to outplay the underdog?

Maps

The BO1 series is waiting for us, so the maps veto stage will consist only of bans. Teams are most likely to play Inferno. However, Overpass can also be played. The map veto is definitely in Heroic's favor, as both possible maps have Danish winrates of 80% or more. The only thing that can save Sprout from a map veto is preparing a map that the team usually doesn't play. Then Sprout can surprise Heroic with an unusual ban on one of the most likely maps and outplay the Danes for another veto. But the chances of this tend to be zero.

The Form

The Danes did not play official matches for more than three weeks, but they showed excellent performance before the break, winning five games in a row and earning the Pinnacle Cup 2022 championship title. It gets even foggier.

Sprout has a chance to show himself
Sprout has a chance to show himself

Everything is more obvious with the Sprout form. The German-Danish-Belgian team is a tier-2 solid team, alternating victories, and defeats. Sprout took 3rd-4th place At ESL Valencia, which is an excellent result, considering that the team lost to the tournament champion in the semi-finals. However, will this form be enough to defeat Heroic? Hardly, but Sprout's recent restructuring of the Danish roster, as well as the lack of tournament practice, can help.

Outcome

The favorite of this confrontation, of course, is Heroic. However, many factors indicate that this match will not be easy for the Danes. You can view detailed pre-match statistics here.