ESL One Cologne Recap

ESL One Recap: Top 10 Storylines From ESL One: Cologne

That. Was. Incredible! Team Liquid making history, s1mple’s knife, GeT_RiGhT’s story, and a lot more. This is the DreamTeam’s ESL One: Cologne 2019 recap. Let’s go!



1. Team Liquid are the ESL One: Cologne 2019 winners


Lately, when it comes to picking a “tournament winner”, you can pretty much default to “Team Liquid”. ESL One: Cologne 2019 was no exception. By beating Team Vitality in the Grand Final 3:1, TL have put all the questions on who the #1-team-in-the-world is to bed. 



The triumph moment


2. A bigger prize


By winning in Cologne, Team Liquid secured their fourth victory (in a row!) at tournaments in the Intel Grand Slam Series. Having done that in just 63 days, they completed IGS Season 2 and won $1 million.



The Intel Grand Slam Prize


A phenomenal performance by Liquid. Congratulations and respect.


3. An MVP for a runner-up


Despite losing in the Grand Final, Team Vitality’s ZywOo claimed his third MVP award this year. His performance during the tournament was simply outstanding.



The numbers are incredible – a deserved MVP award for ZywOo


Before Cologne 2019, an MVP medal had been awarded to a player from the runners-up three times. s1mple was the one to receive it twice (StarSeries & i-League Season 4 and DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018) while the third medal went to ISSAA (DreamHack Open Tours 2018).


4. What a run


Team Vitality’s loss to NiP in their opening match was a surprise. What happened next was also a surprise, but a good one. The French squad performed incredibly. 


They managed to get through the lower bracket, beating ENCE, Fnatic, and Heroic on their way to the playoffs. Their quarter-final matchup against NRG was a cakewalk, beating them 16:7 on two maps. 


Astralis seemed a formidable foe on paper, but even they couldn’t prevent Team Vitality from reaching the Grand Final. Only Team Liquid managed to stop the French side.



Next frontier for Team Vitality – StarLadder Berlin Major


5. The fifth attempt


It was ChrisJ’s fifth consecutive ESL One: Cologne with Mousesports in which he failed to reach the playoffs



ESL One: Cologne seems enchanted for ChrisJ and Mousesports


Na’Vi were the first and the last team Mousesports saw in Cologne this year. 


Firstly, the CIS power managed to pull off a comeback in the opening match after being down 10:14 on Train, sending mouz into the lower bracket. And then they stopped mouz one step away from the quarterfinals winning it 2:1 in round 3 of the Lower Bracket.


Considering the fact that the karrigan-led squad has played together for only 3.5 months, they’ve made steady progress. Hopefully, they will make it through the European Minor and we’ll see them playing at the StarLadder Berlin Major in August. Good luck, mouz!


6. A terrible blow for two


ESL One: Cologne was a disaster for ENCE (#2) and MIBR (#12). Both teams were sent packing early in the tournament with 0-2 records. 


It might have been not a big deal for MIBR if it had been a one-time deal: they replaced felps with LUCAS1 only a week before the start of the event, so it wasn’t surprising that the team failed so miserably. But it was the last straw for coldzera. 



As for now, we won’t see coldzera playing for MIBR at StarLadder Berlin Major


As soon as the tournament ended, coldzera announced his intention to leave MIBR in the near future due to his frustration with the team’s poor results in 2019. He will still play for MIBR at BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles and at IEM Chicago.


Losing a player like cold would be a monumental disaster for the Brazilians.


As for ENCE, it’s definitely not what we expected from the #2 team. Hopefully, it’s just a hitch, and by the time the Major rolls around, it’ll be #EZ4ENCE again.


7. The first encounter


The ESL One: Cologne Semi-Final was the very first battle between Team Vitality and Astralis. Having confidently won their own map pick (16:8 on Dust2), Team Vitality were close to finishing it off 2:0, being one round away from taking the second map (Inferno, Astralis’ pick) in OT. But a French victory had to wait until the decider, Overpass, where ZywOo and co. eventually got the job done to book their place in the Grand Final.



Climbing back to the top is harder than it seemed to Astralis


The funny thing is that Astralis chose the decider map between Nuke and Overpass, and they banned Nuke. Who would have predicted that happening only several months ago?


ZywOo’s performance in the match is worth noting. He doesn’t seem to really care who he plays against – his 75-52 K-D against the former world number 1 team proves that.


8. Na’Vi’s debut


Considering the fact that Na’Vi came to Cologne with their new player, Boombl4, on the roster, they performed admirably.


They managed to convert a month of practice into a 4th place finish. On their way to the top 4, Natus Vincere managed to beat Mousesports (twice), FURIA, and NiP. The only opponent in Cologne Na’Vi couldn’t topple was their nemesis, Team Liquid – Na’Vi lost both their matches vs. the NA team, in the group stage and again in the semis. 



Na’Vi’s debut with Boombl4 on their roster was quite successful


The enthralling rivalry between Na’Vi and TL was overshadowed for the Na’Vi’s fans by a boneheaded play on the first map of their bo3 series in the group stage, Dust2.


On map point for Na’Vi (15:11), s1mple attempted to knife nitr0 in a 3v1 which didn’t end well for the CIS team. 


It’s not only that nitr0 won that round, but Team Liquid managed to complete the comeback in OT and then go on to win the match. 


No one knows what would have happened next had s1mple acted differently, but the embarrassment will remain with the fans (and, possibly, with players as well) for quite some time. 


9. The replacement is for good


As for NRG, they showed that they didn’t waste time with their breaks between ESL Pro League Season 9 matches. They played quite an even game against Liquid and got a top 6 finish. The current state of affairs shows that signing stanislaw was the right move for the NA team. We’ll find out if it keeps on working for them in less than a week, as they attend BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles.



You bet it was a correct move © stanislaw


10. -Are you retiring? -Fuck no!


With their newcomer on the roster, Plopski, NiP showed one of their best performances in 2019, placing in the top 6


It wasn’t just NiP’s performance which drew attention to the team in Cologne. The statement about GeT_RiGhT’s future in NiP which, by f0rests words, “…was blown up [sic] a bit out of proportion…” made a lot of people think GTR was retiring. But in a touching post-match interview, GTR claimed it wasn’t true, and that he will come back to the Lanxess-Arena.



Next time we’ll see GeT_RiGhT playing for NiP will be at the StarLadder Berlin Major. His future on the roster will be determined after the tournament.



GeT_RiGhT is not retiring


ESL One: Cologne has always been a spectacular tournament. We saw the top-ranked teams, stunning matches, breathtaking play, and top-notch entertainment. Considering that, Valve had better listen to s1mple.



And while Valve take the time to make a decision, we at will keep on providing you with more interesting, up-to-date, educational and fun content about CS:GO. Because we love it. Just like you do. Later.


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