All the best Counter Strike Global Offensive teams were featured in the lineup of the ESL One Cologne 2018. This is the first time the flagship competition is held in Germany and the Lanxess arena was the gracious host for the event. A guaranteed prize pool of $300,000 was divided among the 16 participating teams. Nobody went home empty-handed, but there was a huge difference in prizes between the winners and the last placed teams.
CS:GO ESL One Cologne 2018 Format
The competition started on July 3 and was set to conclude on July 8 in the evening, with the group stage taking three days. The 16 participating teams were split in half, with eight being assigned to group A and the other half to group B. During this stage of the competition, matches were played in a two double elimination format. The group stage was seeded based on the ESL CS:GO World Rankings, so the best players were evenly distributed.
The initial matches were played in a best of one format, with the next requiring two victories in three matches for the winners to advance. At the CS:GO ESL One Cologne 2018, three teams from each group advance to the playoffs. The winners of group A and B had the advantage of skipping the quarterfinals and playing straight in the semi finals. Meanwhile, the group stage runners-up got the high seed in the quarterfinals and were pit against the ones who finished in the third-place.
In the playoffs, the first matches were played in a single elimination bracket, while quarterfinals and semifinals were best-of-three. The organizers have saved the best for last and the teams who made the final would square off in five games. At this year’s edition of the Counter Strike Global Offensive ESL One Cologne this proved unnecessary as the winners prevailed in four games.
Prize Pool and ESL One Cologne 2018 Winners
Group stage matches were lopsided, with a single game hitting the threshold of 30 rounds. Surprisingly enough, it was the match between G2 Esports and Natus Vincere, with the latter losing to 14. They were sent to the Losers Bracket and after back-to-back sweeps, they once again found themselves on the verge of elimination. They staved off danger and made it to the quarterfinals at the expense of ENCE eSports. In the quarterfinals, they outplayed Fnatic, while BIG did the same against G2 Esports.
Astralis had lost no match until the semi finals, but were defeated twice 16:13 by Natus Vincere, while winning the single match. BIG stage an incredible comeback against FaZe Clan and had high expectations for the final. Natus Vincere made short work of them and won in four matches to claim a first prize of $125,000. The runners-up got $50,000, while Astralis and FaZe Clan were rewarded with $22,000. G2 Esports and Fnatic received $11,000, while the remaining 10 players all collected four digit amounts.
The next important event for Counter Strike Global Offensive professional players is just around the corner, as Dream Hack Open Valencia 2018 starts on July 12.