ESL One Cologne, otherwise known as the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, has been playing out throughout the course of this week, with 16 of the best teams in the world fighting for their chance at one of the most prolific trophies in esports and their share of the $300,000 prize pool.
The teams that attended the event were as follows:
- FaZe Clan
- Natus Vincere
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- NRG Esports
- Team Liquid
- Team Vitality
- FURIA Esports
- MVP PK
The teams were divided into two double-elimination GSL groups, and heading into this weekend they have been whittled down to the six teams that have played the best and given the strongest showing.
We saw some dramatic matches that took the best teams out of the tournament; Made in Brazil and ENCE both bombed out in the first round, unable to rely on past glory to keep themselves afloat. Both teams will be getting straight back to the drawing board to ensure this doesn't happen again, though MIBR recently haven't looked to be fulfilling anywhere near their potential.
Meanwhile, FaZe Clan and Fnatic were taken out in the second round by mousesports and Team Vitality respectively. These are both teams that, at a point, have been the best team in the game, but roster changes and developing teams have slowly overtaken them, starting to shift both into the pain and trials of mediocrity.
The first qualifying spot from Group A went to Team Liquid, who advances straight to the semi-final. In the preceding quarter-final matchup, second place in Group B NiP plays Group A third place Naâvi.
On the other side of the bracket, Group B winners Astralis await the winner of NRG and Team Vitality, who came second and third in Groups A and B respectively.
There's looking to be some interesting and intense showdowns over the coming days and truthfully, we couldn't begin to predict our winner.
Let's just see how this one plays out and appreciate some top-tier Counter-Strike.