Last month, the organisers of the ESL One Cologne 2020 event contacted its potential audience members to inform them that with Germany ruling no official large gatherings of people can take place until the end of August at the earliest, they would not be allowing ticketholders to attend this year’s event.
Instead, those that had purchased tickets to watch one of the biggest CS:GO Tournaments of the year in 2020, will find that their tickets will instead be valid for the ESL One Cologne 2021 tournament, which is slated to take place between 16-18 July 2021.
However, the one positive to take from this is that the ESL One Cologne 2020 will be played over a LAN, rather than online, becoming the highest-profile LAN esports tournament to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
ESL One Cologne 2020 Tournament
Despite being delayed, the tournament will now take place in a closed studio from August 23 to August 30. A total of 16 teams will participate aiming for the lion’s share of the $1,000,000 prize pool on offer.
The tournament begins with a group stage with eight teams in each of two groups, with the groups seeded based on the ESL Pro Tour Rankings. All games in the group stage are best of three contests and the top three teams will advance into the Playoffs.
In the playoffs, the Group winners will be seeded into the semifinals, with the runner’s up the High Seeds in the quarterfinals, and the third-place team the low seed. The tournament then progresses over the latter stages as a single-elimination bracket event.
A total of 24 teams will be invited to the event, eight will be seeded straight into the Main Event, with the remaining teams participating in a Play In event to decide who will line up against the best of the best in CS:GO gaming in the world today.
The eight seeds for the tournament that will start in the Main Event have already been named and are as follows (listed by their ranking in the ESL Pro Tour)
- Natus Vincere
- G2 Esports
- Team Liquid
- 100 Thieves
- FaZe Clan
They will be joined by eight qualifiers from the Play-In event and of the 16 teams competing in this event, a total of 10 have already been named, with six more to follow in the coming days:
- Team Vitality
- Evil Geniuses
- Furia Esports
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- 6 more teams to be announced shortly.
After the cancellation of the last two big CSGO events, the ESL Pro League Season 11 and the DreamHack Masters Jonkoping 2020, this is the first time since February that an Intel Grand Slam event will be played and with six different winners of the last six events, including Astralis, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Natus Vincere and Mousesports, the competition in Cologne is going to be hot.
Astralis will likely star as favourites for the tournament due to their top ranking and fine history in top CSGO events, but as has been shown in earlier tournaments, on its day most of the teams competing in Cologne will feel they have a real chance of success.
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Image Credits: ESL One