One of the most anticipated events in the Counter-Strike world is just around the corner, as 16 teams travel to the cathedral of CS:GO esports to celebrate the fifth anniversary of ESL One Cologne.
While we knew the 2019 edition will take place from July 2-7 at Lanxess Arena, we had to wait until June 27 for ESL to announce the full list of teams, the schedule and the two groups.
Group A features Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, FaZe, FURIA, NRG, Renegades, mousesports and MVP PK, while Group B consists of Astralis, MIBR, Vitality, ENCE, Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Fnatic and BIG.
The group stage of the tournament will run from July 2-4, featuring a double-elimination format. Each group has a total of eight teams, which were seeded based on their ESL CS:GO world rankings.
The opening matches will be Bo1, with Bo3 series after that. Once the group stage comes to an end, the top three teams from each side will advance to the playoffs. The group winners will go directly into the semi-finals, runners-up will head to the quarter-finals as higher seeds and the third-placed teams will fill out the lower seeds in the last eight.
Playoffs will take place from July 5-7. The format is a single-elimination bracket with Bo3 matches for quarter-finals and semi-finals, while the grand finals will be played in Bo5.
Day one will see Team Liquid take on MVP PK and mousesports going against Natus Vincere, which will be the debut match for Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov. The remaining two fixtures in Group A will feature FaZe vs Renegades and NRG vs FURIA, which will serve as a rematch from ECS Season 7.
Group B will provide us with an exciting match between MIBR and Fnatic, where Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles will step out for his new side, and Vitality vs NiP, where we will get to see how Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora fits in after his switch. The remaining two matches are Astralis vs BIG and ENCE vs Heroic.