The best Counter-Strike teams in the world are finally back in action, with ESL One Cologne Europe bringing 16 of the region’s best teams into the fray. DreamHack Open Summer is a good warm-up for CS:GO fans, but this event will have the highest level of action, with seven of the top 10 in the world competing from August 18-30.
Who’s playing at ESL One Cologne Europe?
Sixteen of the best European teams will bring us some amazing matches at ESL One Cologne. Current world No. 1 BIG, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut’s Vitality, and reinvigorated Major champions Astralis are just a few of the teams you can look forward to seeing.
You can check out the full list of teams and their odds to win it below:
|Ninjas in Pyjamas||+1200|
Odds as of August 18 at Bovada
Can Natus Vincere get back on top?
Natus Vincere, aka NaVi, has no doubt been one of the best CS:GO teams in 2020. They won the last huge LAN event in IEM Katowice, they’ve always battled for trophies and they even held the No. 1 spot in March and April.
However, they did slip up in the last few months, failing to really perform at any notable events. They won a charity event in May and barely squeezed into first place at an all-CIS region tournament with much weaker teams.
For a team that features arguably the greatest CS:GO player of all time in Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, things have not been going as expected. However, with a break of over a month, many fans will be hoping they have figured things out and can once again reclaim their spot at the top.
Is it finally time for a Team Vitality trophy?
Vitality was one of the most promising teams in 2019, rising from the mid-levels of the pro scene to become an elite side. They ended 2019 with a win at Epicenter and many thought 2020 would be their year.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone their way. The only trophy the team has found all year was ZywOo’s best player of 2019 award. They came agonizingly close just before the player break, losing both BLAST Premier and cs_summit 6 by just one map in the grand finals.
The team seems to have everything it needs to succeed and just needs to make that one final push to get over the finish line. They’ve shown they’re capable of defeating just about any team and maybe it’s finally time for them to take home first place.
Is BIG being underestimated once again?
BIG is currently ranked first in the world but enters the tournament as the fourth favorite. Many would expect BIG to win this event as they have previously beaten all of the best teams taking part. However, at +550 odds on Bodog, it seems the bookmakers aren’t quite so confident.
This begs the question: is BIG being underestimated, or are they really not the favorites? There are many factors that come into play here. BIG had quite a shaky start to DreamHack Open, nearly losing against Endpoint, a team ranked No. 40 in the world.
They’re also playing at an event in which most of the other top teams aren’t. This gives the others a chance to study BIG’s game and plan around it. But, it also means they’ll be warmed up and ready to go, especially as their star players have shown they’re still in good shape.
The odds likely come down to the uncertainty of it all. Who knows what the other top teams have planned with their month-long break. It’s all still under wraps, while some of BIG’s game plan has been revealed by now. Regardless, they’ve shown they can beat the best while earning their No. 1 spot and they’ll definitely be doing all they can to keep it here.