In last year’s competition, SK Gaming took home the top prize of $500,000 defeating Team Liquid in the final.
This year, there’s a $250,000 prize pool up for grabs and a total of 16 teams taking part. Twelve were invited based on their past performances in this and other CS:GO tournaments around the world, while four came through regional finals.
The format has also changed to a Swiss System, which means the first eight teams to reach three victories will move from the group phase into the quarterfinals. From there, it is a straight knockout competition until the winner is decided in the Grand Final on July 9.
The 16 teams are:
- Invited Teams – Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Immortals, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team North, OpTic Gaming, SK Gaming, Virtus.pro
- Qualifiers – Team Liquid (North America), Heroic & Space Soldiers (both Europe), TyLoo (China)
In the opening Swiss System, each match is a best-of-one encounter until the eight qualifiers for the Bracket stage have been decided. In the quarterfinals and semis, it will be best-of-three. The Grand Final will be a best-of-five match.
The draw for the opening round at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne is as follows, including odds for each team:
- FaZe Clan (1/5) vs. Heroic (51/20)
- Mousesports (3/5) vs. Fnatic (6/5)
- Immortals (11/10) vs. Virtus pro (13/20)
- SK Gaming (3/20) vs. Space Soldiers (15/4)
- Ninjas in Pyjamas (11/10) vs. Cloud9 (13/20)
- TyLoo (15/4) vs. G2 Esports (3/20)
- Natus Vincere (3/5) vs. Team Liquid (6/5)
- Team North (1/4) vs. OpTic Gaming (51/20)
There is a wide range of esports betting to enjoy over the next six days of action in Cologne, including from Bet365 and Betway. The latter was announced as the official sponsor of the ESL Cologne 2017 just 24 hours before the tournament began.
After this event. a number of top teams (including FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, SK Gaming, and Virtus.pro) will move on to the ESL One New York event in September.
Before that, however, there are two other huge events, including next week’s DreamHack Valencia 2017 and the PGL Major Krakow 2017, which starts the day after the Valencia tournament ends. We’ll bring you plenty of info next week on Krakow in our full preview, but for now let’s take a quick look at how the DreamHack Valencia event is shaping up.
DreamHack Valencia 2017 preview
On July 14-16, eight teams will head to the beautiful Spanish city of Valencia to compete in the $100,000 prize pool DreamHack Valencia 2017 event.
A total of $50,000 will go to the winner, with $20,000 on offer for second spot, and $10,000 apiece for the third and fourth place. Because this event comes on the eve of the PGL Major in Krakow, none of the teams competing in Valencia will be heading to Poland.
That means many of the teams that typically dominate DreamHack events will not be present, offering an opportunity for contenders and newcomers to claim a prestigious CS:GO title.
Five teams were invited to the event — Counter Logic Gaming, Team EnVyUs, Heroic, Misfits, and Ninjas in Pyjamas — while three other, not so illustrious names came through a series of qualifiers. Red Reserve qualified from Europe; KPI Gaming won their place through the Iberian qualifiers; NRG eSports earned their spot via North America.
The tournament begins with two groups. The undefeated teams move to the semis as the top seeds, and the teams with 2-1 records are the second seeds.
These two teams will then face off against the two qualifiers from the other group in the semis, with both games seeing the top seed in one group taking on the second seed from the other. The winners will then contest the final.
Bookmakers currently have Ninjas in Pyjamas as the 5/2 favourites to win, but this is one of the most open betting tournaments of modern times.
Heroic are rated a 33/10 shot, and Team EnVyUs are a solid 4/1 option. Counter Logic Gaming are 6/1, and the first of the qualifiers, Red Reserve, are an 8/1 shot, the same as Misfits. NRG eSports are 16/1, and KPI Gaming are the 33/1 outside bet.