The fifth tournament of the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 – ESL One: Cologne 2019 – is underway. Sixteen teams, thirteen of which are currently in HLTV.org’s top 15, will play for a $300,000 prize pool.
The competition in Cologne looks to be the toughest since the IEM Katowice Major 2019.
Let’s take a closer look at what has been going on with the participants recently and what they are about to face at the event.
Top 8 Facts
1. Coming into ESL One: Cologne 2019, the teams currently ranked #2, 3, and 4 in HLTV.org are pretty stacked, as far as points (Astralis – 534 pts, ENCE – 514 pts, Vitality – 512 pts).
Let the fierce battle for the second place begin!
Team Liquid, currently #1 in the rankings, are too far out of reach at this point, sitting on 1000 points.
2. Unlike last year, Team Liquid weren’t invited to ESL One: Cologne 2019, so they had to qualify through the GG.Bet Invitational.
And they had to sweat it out there.
Losing their opening match to Team Spirit 17:19 on Nuke after an 11:4 lead on the T side definitely wasn’t something they had planned. Later, they lost their first map (8:16 on Mirage) in the semifinal vs. another CIS team, forZe.
However, those were just temporary setbacks in eventually reaching the Grand Final and beating G2 to earn the main event spot.
3. Natus Vincere. This year they come into ESL One: Cologne as the defending champions.
This event is going to be Na’Vi’s first official tournament with their new player on the roster – BoombI4, the former Winstrike IGL, replaced Edward on May 29, 2019, six days after Na’Vi failed to qualify for the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals.
4. The team that toppled Na’Vi then, Heroic, will also be at the tournament.
Unlike Na’Vi, they made their way to the main event through two rounds of qualifiers.
Firstly, they survived a 138-team Open Qualifier, defeating CPH Flames, Tricked Esport, and Team Spirit among others. Then, in the Closed European Qualifier, they managed to outplay HellRaisers, North, and AVANGAR to secure their spot in the main event.
5. ESL One: Cologne is the first event in which we’ll see NRG with stanislaw.
As you know, at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, they had to play with daps due to the tournament’s restrictions on new players. However, practicing with stanislaw and playing with daps got them a respectable 3rd-4th place finish.
6. NiP are also going to Cologne with a replacement.
Two weeks before the start of the ESL event, 17-year-old, Plopski from Team Ancient, replaced dennis on their roster.
7. Disappointing results so far in 2019 have forced MIBR to change up their roster as well.
The Brazilian organization acquired LUCAS1 from Luminosity Gaming instead of felps, who moved in the opposite direction, joining LG on loan.
This is felps’ second departure from the star-studded Brazilian roster. In February 2017, he was acquired from Immortals by SK Gaming, and after almost nine months went inactive for the next eleven months. Then, he moved between several teams (NTC, NoTag, INTZ) before joining FalleN and co. under the MIBR tag for the second time in January 2019.
Another interesting fact is that it’s the first time that LUCAS1 has played apart from his twin-brother, HEN1, who still plays for Luminosity Gaming.
8. ESL One: Cologne 2019 is the event where Team Vitality, currently ranked #4 on HLTV.org rating, can finally face off against Astralis (#2), FaZe (#6), and MIBR (#9).
The only two tournaments Vitality and Astralis participated in together were IEM Katowice Major 2019 and the ECS Season 7 Finals, but both times they weren’t match up against one another.
Vitality also avoided both FaZe and MIBR in Katowice, at the StarSeries & i-League Season 7 Finals, ECS Season 7 Finals, and at DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019.
As for the currently ranked #1 team, Team Liquid, the French side did face them twice: there were two maps in the Group Stage and two maps in the Grand Final of cs_summit 4. ZywOo and co. were victorious on all four maps.
Team Vitality, Mousesports, FURIA, and Heroic have all been gaining momentum lately. FaZe seem to be performing at a higher level with NEO as their IGL as well. It’s always EZ4ENCE. Big names like Na’Vi, NiP, NRG, and MIBR come into the tournament with new players on their rosters. Astralis have been off their game and are definitely trying to get back to their winning ways.
And everyone is willing to take the throne from Team Liquid.
That’s why, we at DreamTeam.gg, are anticipating that ESL One: Cologne 2019 will be one of the most spectacular tournaments of 2019 and will follow all the interesting matches and storylines. Keep it locked on dreamteam.gg for more educational and fun content and let’s all hope the event is awesome. Later.