ESL One Cologne is also known as the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. The event has become a staple in the Counter-Strike scene. It was one of the first Major events in the CS: GO scene. ESL One Cologne is one of the few events to have repeat Major slots in Counter Strike and funding from Valve. It will most probably not be a CS:GO Major this year, especially since ESL One Katowice is already a CS:GO Major.
We can't wait to meet the crowd in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike for #ESLOne.
— Astralis (@astralisgg) February 8, 2019
The tournament takes place ffrom July 5-7, 2019. It has a prize pool of $300,000. ESL One Cologne will have 16 teams competing at the Lanxess Arena in Germany.
ESL has now invited Astralis to participate in the event. The Danish team has had a very dominant last year and they are also the winners of the Intel Grand Slam Prize. They are uncontested and remain at the top of the CS: GO rankings. This is partly possible due to their focus on improving and adapting to the meta. In addition to a very high individual skill level, the Astralis team has a focus on ensuring excellent synergy and coordination between the players. They are constantly evolving their gameplay to match their opponents. This is one of the biggest reasons why they are a very strong team.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) February 8, 2019
Astralis join BIG Gaming and Natus Vincere at ESL One Cologne. Na’Vi and BIG Gaming were the Grand finalists of last year’s event. Na’Vi won ESL One Cologne 2018 after defeating home team BIG Gaming 3-1 in the Grand finals.
BIG Gaming qualifies for IEM Sydney.
We are going to IEM Sydney 2019! Thank you for tuning in and cheering for us in the past few days! ???????????? #GOBIG
¡ɹǝpun uʍop noʎ ǝǝs pic.twitter.com/G6LdVDYGAn
— BIG (@BIGCLANgg) February 8, 2019
The BIG Gaming team recently made some changes to their roster. After Smooya stepped down from the roster days before the upcoming Counter-Strike Major, BIG was left with just four members for IEM Katowice. BIG brought in Johannes “nex” Maget to replace the Brit player.
— nex (@nexcsgoo) February 8, 2019
BIG Gaming managed to defeat G2 Esports in the European qualifier to secure their spot at IEM Sydney. The Grand finals between the two team saw a 3-0 victory for BIG Gaming [ after a one-game advantage due to coming from the upper bracket ]. Xantares had a very dominant performance in the series. He managed to score more than 30 frags in each map.
IEM Sydney takes place in Australia from April 30-May 5. It will have a $250,000 prize pool. There are nine direct invites while six teams will qualify via regional qualifiers. One spot is reserved for the AU/NZ National Champion.