Next month, Germany will see the third US$250,000 CS:GO tournament ever, with the the qualification having just started. In the first two qualifiers, teams from Scandinavia, Germany, France and others faced off for a chance to take part in the European finals. But who managed to snatch a spot in the massive tournament, and with it a chance to compete with the best live in front of a cheering crowd at Gamescom?
Northern Qualifier: Where the big names clashed
The Northern Qualifier only saw 32 teams playing, but they were definitely impressive ones. Ever since the game became a global phenomenon, Scandinavia has been known as the home of CS skill. With NiP, the former LGB and Fnatic as well as Dignitas having been invited due to their top eight placement in Katowice, there were still a lot of big teams and well-known players around to make this 32 team bracket hell to play.
With star Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian players around, the list of teams promised quite a lot. SK Gaming, London Conspiracy, Copenhagen Wolves, Reason Gaming and Refused were all big favorites for the spot in the EU finals, but with a lot of talent acting as free agents right now, it’s not impossible for a new team to turn up and surprise the big organizations every now and then. While SK Gaming, who announced that their team is to be set free on Friday, London Conspiracy and Copenhagen Wolves took the challenge head-on and earned themselves a spot, both Reason and Refused failed to do so. As a result, it was tomtebloss along with with robiin, DENDJI and centeks who faced dope.GO, bringing more new faces to the scene as they fought for the last spot. It was centeks and his team grabbed this chance, and are now among those fighting for a spot in Cologne in the EU finals.
South Western Qualifier: Can the Germans keep the dream alive?
There was a lot of action when France, Germany and the other teams joined the scene, with quite a lot of potential participants including Epsilon, Titan and mousesports along with other German teams striving to reach an international level. With no big surprises, the round of 16 saw six teams from both France and Germany get only two steps away from the EU finals.
With mousesports, Epsilon and Titan all winning their matches, three of the finalists from Katowice made it through once more. It wasn’t too much of a problem for these three, but some of the matches got close. Only one new team joined the ranks from this region, with Planetkey Dynamics, made up of cLy, strux1, stavros, Troubley and nex, managing to make their way to the EU finals. However, of the four teams who qualified here, Planetkey definitely had the hardest path. In their round of 16 match against Keypreisvergleich, it went into overtime before they could advance, and before then they had to go through three maps including an overtime on the first map against CS:GOetter, which saw them facing spiidi, globe and other well-known German players.
Two German teams plus potentially more from the open qualifier are still in the race to not only make it to Cologne but also to keep the US$250,000 tournament tradition of a surprise winner from the host country alive.
In two weeks, both the South East Europe and North American qualifiers will take place, so stay tuned for more ESL One Cologne qualifier coverage soon. Additionally, if you’d like to see interviews or special features on particular teams or players, don’t hesitate to ask us for them in the comments! For more details on the next cups and to grab your chance to join the action, check out the ESL One Cologne portal on ESL.eu.