Counter-Strike fans had a taste of elite-level action with DreamHack Open Summer bringing the player break to an end. However, things are about to step up to an even higher level as ESL One Cologne North America kicks off on August 18, giving us a battle among all the best teams in the region.
Who’s playing at ESL One Cologne North America?
The eight best teams in the North American region will be battling it out at the event. Evil Geniuses, Gen.G and 100 Thieves will be making their first appearances since the player break after skipping the DreamHack Open. Meanwhile, other top dogs like Furia and Team Liquid will join them already warmed up.
You can check out the full list of teams and their odds to win it below:
Odds as of August 18 at Sportsbook
Are Evil Geniuses still America’s best?
Evil Geniuses enter the event as the highest-ranked team, coming in at No. 3 in the world on the HLTV rankings. Many expect them to be North America’s shining star and the odds seem to reflect it as they come in as +300 favorites on Sportsbook to win the whole event.
Before the break, the squad won two events in a row and dominated every team in the region. However, it’s been over a month since their last official match so there is some uncertainty surrounding the roster. Will they come into this event fully prepared and maintain their form? Are they rusty and in need of a few warm-up matches?
Many are excited to see EG in action once again, but only time will tell what kind of form they’re in.
A brand-new Team Liquid
Team Liquid unveiled some huge changes in August, replacing veteran Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella with up-and-coming star Michael “Grim” Wince, as well as signing commentator Jason “moses” O’Toole as their new coach.
So far it seems to have paid off, as the team has won both of its matches at DreamHack Open Summer without losing a map. However, this was against two of the weakest teams in the region and they’ll face their biggest test yet at ESL One.
The team has always been one of the best in the region and this event will be the perfect opportunity to see just how the roster changes have affected them.
Can Furia rise to the top once again?
Furia is one of the most exciting teams to watch in CS:GO. They’re full of aggression and creative plays and never back down from a fight. As such, they often see huge upswings and downswings in their performances.
Some weeks they dominate everyone and can’t be stopped, while other times they simply crumble. They struggled right before the break, performing fairly poorly at two events in a row and losing against all the other top teams.
This event will provide another chance to see which Furia shows up and if their exciting play style can lead them to the top once again. They’ve won North American events with ease before – can they do it again here?