ESL One: Cologne will be one of the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition this year. It will take place from July 7th to July 9th in Cologne, Germany. As it was the case with the previous installments of this tournament, the Main Event will be played offline at the Laxness Arena in Cologne.
The format of the competition will feature 16 teams that will be competing for the prize pool of $250,000. Twelve out of those 16 teams will receive the direct invite for the tournament. The remaining four spots will be filled by the teams that go through regional qualifiers that will be played before the event.
So far, ESL has announced eight teams had that received the direct invitations for the tournament. Some of those teams are the best CS:GO teams in the world currently. The first eight teams that received the direct invite are Fnatic, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Virtus.pro, Ninjas in Pyjamas, SK Gaming, Natus Vincere, and North.
Looking at the names of the teams that have already confirmed their participation at the ESL One: Cologne 2017, we can say that this will be one of the strongest tournaments in the last couple of years. FaZe Clan with Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovac will clearly be big favorites. However, there will be many challengers that will attempt to take down FaZe Clan as they head into the Main Event of the tournament.
Cloud9 Joins the Elite Company
The ninth team that received the direct invite has just been revealed, and it is Cloud9. Cloud9 is no stranger to ESL One: Cologne because they had already participated in this tournament in the past. Back in 2014, Cloud9 had a very good start of the tournament where they went 2-0 in the group stage. However, they fell short to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the first round of the playoffs.
They came back the next season, but they didn’t have too much success as they finished in the 9th-12th place. Then they took a break from ESL One: Cologne 2016 and they will be coming back to this tournament to improve the impression that they left with their previous appearances.
Astralis not in the Mix
Currently the best CS:GO team in the world, Astralis won’t be participating at the ESL One: Cologne 2017. They decided to skip this tournament to prepare for the Krakow Major taking place just one week after the ESL One: Cologne. Astralis has won the last two CS:GO Majors and they will be going for the third title in a row. Because this is their primary goal, they have decided to skip ESL One: Cologne 2017.
However, their biggest rivals at the moment, FaZe Clan will be participating in this event. With Astralis being absent, they will have the opportunity to win another title this year after defeating Astralis in the final match of this year’s StarLadder. As the ESL One: Cologne 2017 is getting closer, the build up for the tournaments is getting bigger and bigger. With so many strong teams in the mix, fans are naturally very excited about the prospects of this tournament.