CS:GO is coming home! ESL One Cologne 2018 powered by Intel returns to the LANXESS Arena in Cologne in full force, bringing 16 of the world’s best CS:GO teams into the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. Throughout the group stage from July 3-5 and the main event from July 6-8, the fan-favorites will battle for a $300,000 prize pool, as well as the opportunity to chalk up another Intel Grand Slam event on the road to that massive $1,000,000 boost.
This marks the fifth iteration of the event which started back in 2014 and it has been a wild ride so far. Four years, three different champions and countless incredible plays!
In its inaugural year, all eyes were on Ninjas in Pyjamas as the once invincible squad showed weakness in the lead-up to ESL One Cologne 2014. Maybe it was that additional pressure that kindled NiP’s flames, because the Swedes managed to showcase all their strengths when it mattered most, ultimately claiming the first ever ESL One Cologne title in a mesmerizing and emotional grand final series against Fnatic.
After their grand finals loss to NiP in the previous year, Fnatic entered ESL One Cologne 2015 with a sense of urgency and vengeance. There was no doubt that Fnatic were the team to beat that year after dominating the scene in the events leading up to ESL One Cologne. And in tried and true fashion, Fnatic were able to cement themselves as one of the greatest teams ever, claiming victory in the LANXESS Arena while racking up 3 major titles in total in 2015.
Similarly to the prior year, it were the favorites that would dominate ESL One Cologne 2016. Only this time it wasn’t Fnatic, but SK Gaming who had established themselves as the main contenders for the title. The Brazilians would go on to completely crush the competition, securing strong victories over G2, FaZe, Flipsid3, VP and eventually Team Liquid in the finals to net them their first ESL One Cologne trophy.
At ESL One Cologne 2017, SK Gaming managed to achieve something no team had done before them - defend their title! Touted as one of the favorites to win it all, SK Gaming managed to defeat fellow tournament favorites FaZe in the semifinals en route to their back-to-back victory. The unexpected grand final matchup against Cloud9 proved no problem for the Brazilians who lifted their second trophy after a 3-0 walloping in the grand finals.
What will 2018 have in store for us? Check out the re-designed ESL One website for news, updates and information about the ESL One Camp. Starting this Friday, December 1st, at 12:00 pm CET, you’ll also have the chance to secure yourself a ticket to the CS:GO event of the year. You can find the full ticket selection overview right here.