The first top CS:GO event after the summer break starts on August 18. Although the nearest cybersport events will be played online but not in LAN format, ESL One Cologne still attracts enough attention from the audience.
ESL One Cologne – a legendary cybersport destination
The world of cybersports news will be shaking every day now as top tier teams attend this legendary event, although in an online format. Being usually played in Lanxess Arena, it's the place beloved by gamers all over the world, who enjoy the atmosphere of the LAN matches. However, the list of attending top-rated teams ensures that the tournament will be plated on the highest degrees of passion and competition.
The pre-tournament situation, the ranking of the participants
Due to the global pandemic, all CS:GO events were played online since March. It forced the organiser to divide the competition into two divisions: European (including CIS) and North American (including South America).
European teams list (rankings): BIG (1), Vitality (2), Natus Vincere (4), G2 (5), Complexity (7), Fnatic (8), Faze (10), Heroic (11), OG (12), NiP (13), mousesports (14), MIBR (16), Astralis (17), MAD Lions (23), Sprout (40).
NA teams list (rankings): Evil Geniuses (3), FURIA (6), Liquid (9), Gen.G (15), 100 Thieves (18), Cloud9 (22), Chaos (28), Triumph (50).
After the CS:GO went online, the situation with match-winners became even more unpredictable. A lot of teams like Astralis or mousesports are struggling to play online only, which has also led to their positions lost in the ranking. On the contrary, teams like BIG or Complexity feel comfortable enough to miss LAN tournaments and have significantly upgraded their place on the scene.
Nevertheless, such a tournament seems to be entirely unpredictable not only because of unstable online results but also because of the long pause. Top tier organisations gave a vacation to their players. So it's hard to predict what will be their form at the first serious event. Top teams like Na'Vi, Vitality, G2, or Faze can either beat everyone during the tournament, or lose a few games at the early beginning, and both results won't be surprising.
ESL One Cologne: format, dates, prize pool
As divisions have a different number of participants, ESL One Cologne will be played in two formats at the group stage. Thus, European teams will be playing double elimination Bo3 matches, while Americans will be using GSL Bo3 format during the first stage. Playoffs for both divisions will be organised in the single-elimination Bo3, while finalists will play a Bo5 match.
The first games of the event begin on August 18 and will be played in the suitable time for viewers and online supporters. The tournament will be held till the end of this month with finals on August 29 in North America and on August 30 in Europe. Prize pools are $135 000 and $325 000 respectively, which means that organisers set almost a similar budget as if the event played on LAN.