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CS:GO ESL One Cologne 2017 Preview

4 July 2017 10:35

Sixteen teams will fight it out for a share of the $250,000 prize pool at the ESL One Cologne 2017, contesting the Playing the Cache, Cobblestone, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass and Train maps at the world’s biggest CS:GO tournament.

The Format

The group stage is a sixteen-team best-of-one Swiss system, after ten of the sixteen teams voted in favour of this format pre-tournament. They’ll be played at ESL’s Studio in Cologne from the 4th to 6th of July, with the play-offs from the 7th to the 9th of July at the Lanxess Arena, Germany’s largest indoor arena. The play-offs are a single-elimination bracket with best-of three quarter and semi-finals, and a best-of-five grand final.

Twelve of the sixteen teams were directly invited to the event, and Team Liquid (North America), TyLoo (China), Heroic and Space Soldiers (Europe) were the qualifiers from their respective regions. Heroic and Space Soldiers came through their European route in May with respective 2-0 victories over Team Dignitas and GODSENT, with Heroic taking victory in the Inferno and Nuke maps, and Space Soldiers prevailing in Cobblestone and Mirage. In the Chinese qualifying section, unfancied TyLoo beat ViCi Gaming 2-0 in the final, also with victories in Cobblestone and Mirage. The North American qualifiers saw Team Liquid progress through to this stage after seeing off Counter Logic G, with a 2-0 victory in Cobblestone and Inferno.

The Teams

The competing teams for ESL One Cologne 2017 are shown below, along with Bet365 odds on winning the tournament outright:


  • SK Gaming – 3/1
  • FaZe – 4/1
  • FNATIC – 8/1
  • – 8/1
  • Mousesports – 12/1
  • G2 Esports - 11/2
  • North – 15/2
  • Immortals – 25/1
  • Natus Vincere – 25/1
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas – 25/1
  • Cloud9 – 33/1
  • OpTic Gaming – 100/1


  • Team Liquid - 20/1
  • Heroic - 25/1
  • Space Soldiers - 66/1
  • TyLoo – 200/1

Group Stages

The first games of the Swiss group stage are below, along with Bet365 odds on teams reaching the grand final:

  • SK Gaming 1/1 v Space Soldiers 33/1
  • Natus Vincere 11/2 v Team Liquid 10/1
  • North 3/1 v OpTic Gaming 50/1
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas 12/1 v Cloud9 – 16/1
  • FaZe 7/4 v Heroic 12/1
  • Mousesports 13/2 v Fnatic 7/2
  • Immortals 12/1 v 7/2
  • TyLoo 100/1 v G2 Esports 9/4

Who Will Come Out on Top?

Defending champions SK Gaming won ESL One Cologne 2016 with a 2-0 grand final victory over Team Liquid, and will be one team to watch in Germany after topping last year’s Group D with a 2-0, 32-17, +15 record. Coached by Ricardo "dead" Sinigaglia, the five-man team of captain Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, Fernando "fer" Alvarenga, Marcelo "coldzera" David, Epitácio "TACO" de Melo and João "felps" Vasconcellos will be yearning to retain their title one year on.

Priced 1/8 with Bet365 in the Match Winner 2-Way market for their group opener against Space Soldiers, SK Gaming are evens with a Rounds Handicap of -6.5 for the encounter. They’ve been in fine form this year, with first-place finishes at the cs_summit, Intel Extreme Masters XII – Sydney and eSports Championship Series Season 3 – Finals, and will be looking to continue their winning streak this month.

FaZe, captained by Danish-born Finn "karrigan" Andersen, are also one of the bookmakers’ pre-tournament favourites at a tempting 4/1, despite a fourth-place finish at ESL One Cologne 2016. However, they won April’s StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 with a 2-1 grand final win over Astralis, and their team of Anderson, Håvard "rain" Nygaard, Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey, Aleksi "allu" Jalli and Nikola "NiKo" Kovac have been given 8/13 Round Winner 2-Way – Map 1 Bet365 odds for their opening clash against Heroic.

Frenchman Fiey particularly impressed against last year’s runners-up Astralis, finishing that grand final with a K-D 68-53, 86.6 ADR and a KAST of 77.3%. The 22-year-old has been with FaZe since 2016 having previously been part of Team EnVyUs.

A European team is 2/7 to lift the grand final trophy, whilst a North American side is 5/2, and you can get odds of 200/1 for a Chinese outfit to emerge victorious in the CS:GO grand final. There’s the ESL One New York 2017 for teams to look forward to this August, but before then, all players will be fully focused as they look to follow SK Gaming’s exploits by emerging victorious from this sixteen-team CS:GO battle royale.

Pulished on:
Updated on: 2017-08-18

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