The ESL Cologne started with many surprises, starting with the opening match between Space Soldiers and double major champions SK Gaming. Space Soldiers, struggling to qualify the ECS earlier this year, were able to show up strong in that match-up and beat SK with 16:14 on Cache. The rest of the ESL didnt go too well for them though, they lost 3 consecutive matches, one of them 03:16 to Fnatic on Mirage. SK Gaming on the other hand was able to come back from their loss and showed up strong games against Virtus.pro (16:09 on Mirage) and North (16:10 on Cache). SK will be fighting against G2 Esports in an upcoming match.
The veterans find their mojo and strike back
Two teams already qualified for the next stage: Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid. NIP having three winning matches against Cloud 9, G2 and mousesports. The ninjas are a legendary team that recently made dramatic roster changes. They are famous for sticking with their core members since 2012 but in 2017, after many mediocre performances, they decided to change things up. They released Adam “friberg” Friberg from his duties and added new talents William “draken” Sundin and Fredrik “REZ” Sterner. With this new team, they were able to change their luck and after a seesaw-like series of games against Cloud 9, they were able to dominantly take the win over G2, the favourites for that game.
Team Liquid advances with ease
Liquid was able defeat Natus Vincere and OpTic Gaming in a dominant fashion. Natus Vincere didn’t put up much of a fight on Inferno and Team Liquid took a definite win with 16:07. The next team in line was Immortals, an enemy they were familiar with. After being pushed back with a 13:07 score on Train they were able to push back. Team Liquid ended the game finally in overtime 19:15. The stand out player in that series was Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, with a 62,5 headshot percentage and a 32 kill bomb. Their third win against OpTic Gaming (16-05) was their fastest: OpTic only won 5 games on the terrorist side on Cobblestone, giving Liquid not much of a fight.
Another fateful day approaches
As I am writing this update, Natus Vincere was able to take a win from mousesports on Mirage 16:04. They have now advanced to the next stage.
Depending on how the teams will fight today, 4 team will be able to advance to the next stage: OpTic Gaming, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports and SK Gaming. We are looking forward to the results of today.