The first day of Intel Extreme Masters Cologne surprised us with an Open Bracket that was filled with intense games and unexpected results. What was most likely the hardest Open Bracket in our tournament history ended in four lucky players making it into the Group Stage, where even harder matches await.
We started the day off with the first Open Bracket and a match between MC and Revenge. Terran players across the globe had their hopes pinned on Revenge, the only Terran player in the Open Bracket. However the Bosstoss did not hold back, defeating the Terran in a clean 2:0. The second match, in which Revenge had to face yet another Protoss, san, ended in a similar fashion, eliminating all hopes of the 6 Terrans in the group stage adding another to their number.
Both san and MC were favourites to make it through the bracket and into the groups, however a surprising performance from StarDust allowed him to qualify over both of them. The bracket ended in a showdown between san and MC: san couldn't quite handle MC's style, and the Bosstoss qualified along with the mYinsanity player, StarDust.
With viOLet, HyuN, Leenock second bracket of Stage 1 featured world class Zerg players facing off with some of Europe's Protoss powerhouses. Newcomer and Alien Invasion player Patience though prevented what most would have expected: two Zerg players advancing through this bracket. He defeated Grubby, Leenock and HyuN, dropping only a single map through the course of the bracket.
Two of the big favourites in this bracket, viOLet and Leenock, both couldn't make it past New York's Sick Nerd Baller SpiderHyuN, who played an incredibly strong series against Leenock to get through to the group stage.
You can find the final groups below.
All additional information about the tournament can be found on our dedicated tournament page.