Only a couple of days separate us from one of the most anticipated CS:GO events of the year when 16 of the best teams in the world travel to Cologne, Germany, where they will face off for the glory and their lion’s share of $300,000 prize pool.
Cathedral of CS:GO celebrates its 5th anniversary
When it comes to the most well-known and the most recognizable venues for Counter-Strike tournaments, Cologne, the “Cathedral of CS:GO” is right up there with the elite few. As a city which hosted the first-ever ESL One tournament back in August of 2014, Cologne has become the regular stop on the ESL One schedule ever since. Featuring a total of five ESL One tournaments ever since the inaugural year, the best CS:GO teams in the world are getting ready to revisit Cologne for the fifth year in a row, in hopes they will prove to the world and enthusiastic fans they have what it takes to win, lift the trophy and take home the lion’s share of $300,000 prize pool.
Astralis and Team Liquid favorites
It should not come off as a surprise Astralis (2.62), and Team Liquid (5.00) are the favorites to take home the trophy. As two of the strongest teams in the world right now, the Danes and North Americans sit at the top two spots in the World rankings and deservingly so. Astralis have been the most dominant team of the last year, while it is Team Liquid who improved drastically this year and won several titles, including the most recent first place at ESL Pro League Season 9 – Finals.
Astralis, on the other side, have not won any events since March when they took down ENCE in the finals of Intel Extreme Masters XIII – Katowice Major 2019. There is no denying Astralis are only a shadow of their former self; however, they still possess one of the best rosters in the world and are widely considered to be an in some sort of slumber, waiting to be awoken. While they have not been performing admirably well recently, Astralis will always be considered a threat and a favorite to win any tournament they appear in as long as their team consists of the same players they have now.
Natus Vincere often overlooked underdogs
It’s hard to put any team side by side with Astralis and Team Liquid when it comes to predicting the tournament winners; however, there are some arguments to be made for Natus Vincere, a team who should never be fully discounted. Often overlooked when it comes to discussions of who will win a big LAN tournament, NaVi has a strong team of players, who, when they get in sync, can produce admirable results.
If everything falls into place for NaVi, they are simply unstoppable, which they have shown numerous times before. However, the problem with this Russian team is that that rarely happens. Often very unpredictable, yet full of potential, NaVi are a team that can upset even the biggest favorites, but can they reach for the starts in ESL One: Cologne?
With some of the best teams in the world standing in their way to the playoffs, NaVi will have to be on their best game to end up in the final 6, and considering they are as of now a hit or miss when it comes to their results, we will not take the risk and avoid backing them.
Coming from a dominant performance in ESL Pro League Season 9 – Finals, Team Liquid looks to be the most in-form team out of all 16 participants. Looking at the opponents they will face off against in the group stage, Liquid should have a relatively easy time reaching the third round, which would one way or another guarantee them a spot in the playoffs. From there onwards, the sky is the limit for the No. 1 team in the world. With odds of 5.00 offered on them to win, we simply can’t let the opportunity go and not back Liquid to win yet another event in 2019.
Prediction: Team Liquid to win