ESL One Cologne 2019: prior to the tournament

CS2 / News / 30 June 2019 — 00:31

The games will start on July 2nd!

After a short break, our CS:GO team resumes taking part in major tournaments! From July 2nd to July 7th, the guys await the ESL One Cologne 2019.

Tournament details

Year after year in Cologne the strongest teams of the world gather to compete for one of the most prestigious titles in Counter-Strike. Last year, the trophy was conquered by our top five, the team beat de BIG in the grand final. However, the most important stage on the way to this title was the victory over dk Astralis in the semifinals, where ua NAVI players managed to break the dominance of the Danish team in 2018.

Traditionally, the venue for the competition will be "Lanxess Arena", which seats about 18,000 spectators. Sixteen teams will compete for a prize pool of $ 250,000. The winner, by the way, will get $ 100,000. Note that ten contenders for the champion title, including ua Natus Vincere, were invited by the organizers directly, another five overcame the qualifiers in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, and the last remaining slot went to the winner of GG.BET Cologne.

Another important point — ESL One Cologne 2019 is included in the list of Intel Grand Slam tournaments. Accordingly, the holder of the champion title and the main trophy will be one step closer to the coveted million dollars. Under the terms of this challenge, the team needs to win four times during ten tournaments organized by ESL or DreamHack Masters in order to make really big cash. The closest of all to repeat the success of last year’s dk Astralis was us Team Liquid — the Americans had three wins and there were as many attempts to win the last point.

Traditionally, the LAN-finals of the ESL tournament include two stages: group (July 2-4) and playoffs (July 5-7). At the start, the teams that are divided into two groups will play the standard double elimination bracket, with the initial matches being held in the format of best of 1, and all the rest - best of 3. The strongest team of each group will go straight to the semi-final of the main stage. The teams that took the second and third places will have to start their performance from the quarterfinal. As for the playoffs, the classic single elimination bracket, best of 3, will be played here, with the exception of the grand final, where teams will have to fight it out till three victories.

Opponents in the group stage

When forming groups, the organizers of the competition used their own rating, which can be found . Thus, the favorites in the face of dk Astralis and ua Team Liquid ended up on opposite sides of the barricades. The first rival of the Born to Win is the team eu mousesports, which in the offseason shuffled their lineup, making a bet on young players under the wise leadership of dk karrigan and nl chrisJ.

Right now the team is located on the twelfth place in the HLTV rating. The guys successfully went through to the European Minor StarLadder Berlin Major, got into the top-4 on the ESL Pro League S9, and also won the DreamHack Open Tours. It is evident that the team is gaining shape from month to month and is a serious contender at any stage of the tournament.

Further on two participants should be noted who, in the event of a victory over eu mouz, will become our opponent: us Team Liquid and kr MVP PK. The South Korean team will travel to Cologne thanks to the regional qualifications in Asia, where in the decisive best of 5 they defeated cn TYLOO (3: 1). Before that, the five participated in IEM Sydney and failed to surprise, taking the ninth to twelfth places. In terms of positive results, it is worth noting the successful performance in the closed qualification of StarLadder Berlin Major and the conquering the trip to Asia Minor.

As for the Americans, their status as the best team in the world speaks for themselves. Yes, the guys finally moved Astralis from the throne, taking the place of the dk Danes. The teams could not meet each other, until the recent ESL Pro League S9, dk Astralis and us Team Liquid played out the title of the best team in the world in full-time opposition. It is a shame that such an important event took place not in the grand final, but only in the quarterfinal of the tournament.

In another part of the bracket, group A has also plenty of interesting matches. There will be two promising teams — br FURIA and us NRG. Unexpectedly for many, br FURIA became the best team in Brazil and not br MIBR. In the last month, the guys made a blast in the professional scene, impressing not only with the unusual style of play and passionate desire to win, but also the results.

Recently br FURIA broke into the top 10 of the HLTV rating, successfully overcame the closed qualification of the American Minor, and also stopped a step away from winning the ECS S7 and got into the top 4 of DreamHack Masters Dallas. In Dallas, by the way, under the pressure of the Brazilians, the Danes fell twice — first in a bo1 and then in a bo3. These failures had a negative effect on Astralis' flawless game statistics: for the first time since dk Magisk was in the team, the Danish five failed to advance from the group.

Despite the departure of ca daps, the former captain of us NRG and the rest of the team showed high professionalism by refusing to give up so easily at the Montpellier, as a result of which they entered the top 4 of ESL Pro League S9. As already mentioned, ca daps left the roster of us NRG, and ca stanislaw, a former compLexity member, came to his position as an in-game leader. It is interesting if we will see a positive change in the us NRG game along with the new captain?

And the last match of the first round in Group A will be a meeting between eu FaZe Clan and au Renegades. The European team continues to search for their champion game, and after short experiments, the guys abandoned the idea that the team captain should be ba NiKo. Such an outcome forced eu FaZe to do another change in the composition: pl NEO instead of kz AdreN.

It is known that the Polish legionary has a chance to prove himself in the position of captain right up to StarLadder Berlin Major. After that, the guys plan to draw global conclusions and determine the vector of further development. So far, the results of eu FaZe leave much to be desired and definitely do not satisfy the players: the top 4 DreamHack Dallas and the top 6 at the ESL Pro League S9.

And the last participant is au Renegades. In the first months of 2019, this team was one of the main discoveries, surprising with high-quality and thought-out game. Unfortunately, the progress of au Renegades was suspended by non-player factors — au Gratisfaction was denied a US visa several times.

Subsequently, the Australian team urgently had to look for a temporary replacement in order to play at the upcoming championships. Such problems could not pass without a trace and reflected on the position of the team in the world rankings. Fortunately, au Gratisfaction managed to resolve the visa issue! In the end, the au Renegades returned to their usual routine and now the future is filled with hope.

ESL One Cologne 2019 will be the first tournament for the Born to Win after changes in the team roster. On the eve of the tournament, the guys gathered at the bootcamp and worked hard to build a solid foundation of the game with ru Boombl4. Without a doubt, the players of ua NAVI can not only overcome the group stage but also impose on other participants a fight for the main trophy of the ESL One Cologne 2019. We believe that in Cologne, ua NAVI will show a good game and, perhaps, add a new achievement to their track record! #NAVINATION