Counter-Strike returns to its cathedral as sixteen of the worlds best teams will descend on Cologne to compete for $300,000 in prize money and the chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy. The teams in attendance have been split into two double-elimination groups, the same format as the ESL Pro League finals where Team Liquid were crowned champions.
If Liquid are able to take home the trophy and win their fourth tournament in a row, they will be crowned winners of the Intel Grand Slam and will earn an additional $1million in prize money. You can catch all of the action here.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Strack
Kicking off the tournament will be world number one Team Liquid taking on the South Korean side of MVP PK, while Natus Vincere will battle a new-look mousesports roster with Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov makinge his debut for the team.
North Americans NRG will take on the Brazilians of Furia, in what will be a rematch from ECS Season 7 Finals. Furia will be looking to avenge their loss to NRG with a victory in the upper bracket of their group. A resurging FaZe Clan will begin their Cologne campaign taking on Renegades.
Predictions:1st: Team Liquid2nd: NRG3rd: Na’Vi
Photo courtesy of ESL
Group B will featue the debuts of two new additions to two different rosters. Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles will compete in his first match for MIBR when they face Fnatic while NiP newcomer, Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora will play his first game for the legendary name against a strong Vitality roster.
Joining these teams will be the heavyweights of Astralis and ENCE, who will be looking to advance in the pool after being drawn against hometown team BIG and the Danish side of Heroic.
Predictions:1st: ENCE2nd: Astralis3rd: Vitality
Photo courtesy of ESL
ESL Cologne is a staple of the Counter Strike calendar and never fails to produce some breath-taking action from the best teams in the world. Can Liquid wrap up the Grand Slam or can another challenger take them on and prevent them from taking another victory?
Who fo you think will win ESL One Cologne? Tweet us!
Written ByJon Nicholson@MrJonno_95