The ESL Cologne started with many surprises, beginning with the opening match between Space Soldiers and double Major champions SK Gaming. Space Soldiers, struggling to qualify for the ECS earlier this year, were able to show up strong and beat SK with 16:14 on Cache.Unfortunately they weren’t able to continue their winning streak as they lost two consecutive games, one of them 3-16 to Fnatic on Mirage. SK Gaming on the other hand was able to come back from their loss and played strong against Virtus.pro 16-9 on Mirage and North 16-10 on Cache. SK will be fighting against G2 Esports in the upcoming match.
The veterans find their mojo and strike back
Two teams have already qualified for the next stage: Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid, NIP advancing undefeated against Cloud 9, G2 and mousesports. Being famous for sticking with their core members since 2012, they made drastic roster changes in 2017 after many mediocre performances. They released Adam “friberg” Friberg from his duties and added new talents William “draken” Sundin and Fredrik “REZ” Sterner to their roster. With a new line-up NIP was able to change their luck and are now promising candidates for the title.
Team Liquid advances with ease
Liquid was able defeat Natus Vincere and OpTic Gaming in a dominant fashion; Natus Vincere wasn’t able to stand up to Team Liquid on Inferno and Team Liquid took a definite win with 16-7. The next game was played against Immortals, an opponent they were familiar with. After being pushed back with a 13-7 score on Train they were able to reverse Immortals momentum, they ended the game in overtime 19-15. The stand-out player in the series was Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski with a 62,5 headshot percentage. Their third win against OpTic Gaming was the most dominant: OpTic won only 5 games on T-side Cobblestone, giving Liquid not much of a fight and they were able to finish it with a 16-5 score.
Another fateful day approaches
Natus Vincere was able to take a win from mousesports on Mirage 16-4 and have now advanced to the next stage.
Depending on how the teams play today, 4 team will be able to go to the next stage: OpTic Gaming, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports and SK Gaming. We are looking forward to the results.