ESL One Cologne is the sixth edition of the CSGO tournament held in the city known as the ‘Cathedral of Counter-Strike’. The main event will kick off on the 5th until 7th July at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne which means a whole weekend of Counter-Strike action. The best sixteen CS teams will compete for their winning share from a prize pool of $300K. ESL One Cologne is a premier tournament worth following, with intense CS competition, signing sessions and other fun activities.
Year on year, ESL One Cologne has proven to be one of the most awaited CSGO tournaments in July, becoming a favourite esports destination for ESL Organisers. For three consecutive years, ESL One Cologne tickets sold out with over 15K spectators at the peak of the main events. 2018 was the year of incredible records. The premier CS event will stream live in 23 different languages across 75 countries all at the same time, which is why ESL One Cologne is one of the highlights in the competitive CSGO scene.
History of ESL One Cologne
At ESL One Cologne 2018, the top favourites to win were Astralis and Faze Clan, however, nerves turned the competition around. In the Semifinals, NaVi beat Astralis while BIG defeated Faze Clan to become the unexpected finalists, a surprise no one could predict. The Ukrainian players of Natus Vincere took the title to overcome the German players of BIG with a winning score of 3-1.
At ESL One Cologne 2017, over 15K of CSGO fans witnessed their favourite teams compete. The top esports units predicted to reach the finals were SK Gaming, Faze Clan and G2 Esports. Kicking off the CSGO Major, the French team lost too soon in the quarterfinals against NaVi. Meanwhile, SK beat Optic and Faze Clan overcame Team Liquid to advance on to the Semifinals to face off each other. The Brazilians seemed unstoppable over Faze, taking over the match with a record 2-0. The grand final featured SK Gaming and their American rivals, Cloud 9. A quick CS game saw the might of the Brazilians seal the winning fate with an unbeatable score 3-0 to become the second time ESL One Cologne champions of 2017.
ESL One Cologne Tournament Format
For CSGO teams to show off their skills in the main event, they will need to survive the group stage held between the 2nd until 4th July. Sixteen teams will be divided into two groups of eight and challenge each other in a double-elimination format. The second and third placing squads of the group stages advance to the Quarterfinals in a best-of-three. Who wins will advance to the semifinals against the strong teams that placed first in the group stages in best-of-three games. The two of the best CSGO squads end the tournament to face off each other in the grand final in a best-of-5 match. The winner of ESL One Cologne will walk away with the highest prize, and a chance to rank among the top four teams in the Intel Grand Slam will get a chance to win the ultimate $1 million prize.
Who will participate at the ESL One Cologne 2019?
There will be sixteen participating teams at the CSGO major, ESL One Cologne 2019. The invited eleven CS teams include Astralis, BIG, Ence, Faze Clan, Fnatic, MIBR, Mousesports, Navi, Ninjas in Pyjamas, NRG Esports and Renegades. Four teams got through to earn their place competing in the regional qualifiers. Hailing from the European region are Team Vitality and Heroic; the North American qualifier is Furia Esports as well as for the Asian region is MVP PK. One more spot has yet to be filled by the best team that wins the GG.bet Cologne Invitational, for the main event.
Top CSGO Teams You Should Watch
Berlin International Gaming
The German home team, BIG was the finalist favourites at ESL One Cologne 2018. The greatest achievement in 2018, when the Germans beat Faze Clan in the Semis, reaching the grand finals, however, they lost to Natus Vincere to place second. A few other notable accomplishments were finishing sixth at the FACEIT Major London and third place at the CS_Summit 3, ESL Pro League Season 8 – Europe, SuperNova Malta 2018 and at the Eleague CSGO Invitational 2019. In the upcoming CSGO Major, this team will get all the support they need to fight on and maybe reach again the grand finals.
The fanatic swedes have achieved several esports wins to receive an invitation to the ESL One Cologne 2019. Some of the Fnatic notable wins include 1st place at the IEM Katowice 2018 beating Faze Clan and PLG Grand Slam Season 1 defeating G2 Esports. As for second place rankings, FNC has also managed to reach the finals of IEM Sydney 2019 as well as the StarSeries i-League CSGO Season 7. Other latest accomplishments for Fnatic was finishing in semifinals of the World Electronic Sports Games 2018 and the iBUYPOWER Masters IV. These results show that this CS squad have what it takes to be among the top and take the title when they want to win.
The French Vitality Team have made quite a Counter-Strike presence over the past nine months. Ahead of the ESL One Cologne 2019, Team Vitality is among the top five in the Counter-Strike World Ranking according to eslgaming.com. They earned their place in the esports premier event winning the European qualifiers of ESL One Cologne. The French squad have recently made a name for themselves winning CSGO Majors and premier games like Esports Championship Series Season 7 – Finals, CS Summit 4, Charleroi Esports 2019 and DreamHack Open Atlanta 2018. Team Vitality’s other incredible achievements were at the ECS Season 7 – Europe and European Minor Championship – Katowice 2019 finishing second on both tournaments. In less than a year, Vitality has managed to place among the world’s top CSGO teams and are one of the favourites at the CS Major.
The Danes of Astralis have been winning tournaments over the past year and are still among the top five CSGO teams in the world according to HLTV and ESL Gaming. Although they have not been their best in every CS event, never underestimate Astralis. In general, keeping up great performances over time can be a struggle at times. Meanwhile, other top tier teams are quickly catching up, learning their winning strategies, watching the replays of past CSGO Majors. The star players have the potential to win more matches and perhaps losing games is just a trick so as not to give away all their winning tactics.
The Finnish CSGO favourites, Ence have made quite a presence and a name for themselves over the past several months. Some of their positive achievements was finishing in second at the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 and the IEM Katowice 2019. On top of this, their significant accomplishments were at the Blast Pro Series Madrid winning over Astralis as well as at DreamHack Winter defeating Bravado Gaming with an unbeatable score 2-0. Ence Esports have yet to prove their might being one of the favourites at ESL One Cologne.