The Summer Major for CS:GO this year is ESL One Cologne spanning over four days form the 20th of August to the 23rd with a $250,000 prize pool split among 16 teams. The groups have been released and so we will give our predictions on who will essentially win the whole tournament. This is the most exciting major yet. The sheer amount of teams that could win the title is huge: fnatic, Team SoloMid, Na`Vi, Virtus.pro, Cloud9, NiP, EnVyUs, Kinguin.
These predictions are based off a standard 16 team group stage in to an 8 team knockout bracket, however the ESL One Cologne tournament is using a new format. The four group winners will advance straight into the quarter-finals, and then the groups will be redrawn, pairing the 12 remaining sides against new opponents to determine the final teams that will make it to the playoffs.
Here are the ESL One Cologne 2015 groups:
|Group A||Group B|
|Group C||Group D|
Let’s start off with Group A. This group includes American number two team, CLG. CLG have been the consistent number two team in North America for quite a few months now after Cloud9 have shot to the top of the scene. Alongside CLG is Renegades, formerly VOX Eminor, this is the number one team from Austrailia ahead of Immunity. Renegades have impressed in recent months and also finished third at the Intel Extreme Masters, but this was more down to the format and not Renegades playing extremely well. Team SoloMid are also in this group which essentially puts this group in to a situation where the other teams are looking to get second and not first. TSM should top this group; they’ve been the second best team in the world for a few months prior to this major but have been in a slight slump recently. I’d put that down to not wanting to show strats for this event and wanting to lose to be able to see where strats are going wrong or to add new strats. The final team in this group is NiP. NiP have previously won a major and will be fired up to win another, but have been playing poorly ever since they got rid of Fifflaren.
It all comes down to who has prepared better
In this group I think the Renegades CLG game will be one to watch, two teams looking to prove themselves battling for a chance to show their skill on a global stage. My prediction is that CLG is choke and Renegades will take it. NiP should be able to beat CLG too. Renegades and NiP will be closer, and depending on the map NiP should be able to win out. However, don’t bet your whole inventory on these games as they could go either way. It all comes down to who has prepared better. Team SoloMid should be able to beat NiP, Renegades and CLG topping the group and moving comfortably on to the next stage. That is, if they have been keeping strats behind and prepping properly for this major and aren’t just in a slump now.
Group A Predictions
- Team SoloMid
On to Group B. This group has the new French lineup that is looking very strong, EnVyUs. The only issue is that they don’t have a huge map pool right now. Also in this group is the International super team, Kinguin. FlipSid3 Tactics are in Group B too, this team has recently lost their star player s1mple and will not have had much time to practice coming in to this event. Their team has a unique way of calling too, calling numbers for places instead of calling places names which could prolong the transition period. The final team in this group is Luminosity, the former KeyD Stars lineup.
EnVyUs and Kinguin are the best teams in the group
I don’t think this group is going to be hard to predict. EnVyUs and Kinguin are the best teams in the group. If these two teams have done their homework on the Brazilians and Ukrainians it shouldn’t be too hard to get out of groups. But if they don’t do their homework Luminosity and FlipSid3 could upset. Again, due to the fact that FlipSid3’s practice could be put back by their unique calling style I would put Luminosity above them. The Brazilians don’t play particularly technical CS so it won’t be hard for EnVyUs or Kinguin to counter their style of play either. In terms of the EnVyUs Kinguin game I think it all comes down to the maps. EnVyUs have a small map pool right now as they said at IEM gamescom.
Group B Predictions
- Team Kinguin
- FlipSid3 Tactics
Group C has the reigning champions in the group, fnatic. Fnatic are the first team to win two majors. Na`Vi are possibly the third best team in the world right now so this group is essentially the group of death for Titan and eBettle. If Titan or eBettle get out of this group I will actually eat a shoe. Titan are the second best team in France with potential. After bringing shox and SmithZz in to the lineup the old VeryGames-esque team should be able to get stratted up in time for this major. And with Ex6tenz’ brain I wouldn’t put it past Titan to give Na`Vi a good game. eBettle are pretty much a wasted spot in this tournament. They’re not on this level and won’t win a game in this group in my mind.
Will fnatic be able to regain their title and prove they are still the best team in the world?
The fnatic Na`Vi game will be a game to watch and will set the scene for the rest of the tournament. Will fnatic be able to regain their title and prove they are still the best team in the world? Or will Na`Vi beat them and blow the tournament open. If Na`Vi finish ahead of fnatic this will be the most exciting major yet. Titan should finish third, but we’ve not seen this team’s new lineup play much. eBettle will finish last.
Group C Prediction
The final group, Group D, is possibly the most exciting group out of all. This group has Cloud9, Virtus.pro, mousesports and Immunity. Cloud9 are here to prove they are a top tier team. Virtus.pro, a previous major winner, are here to prove they are still relevant. mousesports are hungry and want to win with a great ingame leader, gob b. Immunity are the wild card team in this group, the second best team in Austrailia will have a hard group but could upset.
mousesports could easily take second place
If Cloud9 and Virtus.pro don’t win against Immunity, mousesports could easily take second place from under their noses. Immunity pretty much have control of this group, whoever they beat will be out. Mousesports should be beating Immunity and will give both Cloud9 and Virtus.pro a good game. But if I had to make a call I’d say that mousesports won’t beat either Cloud9 or Virtus.pro. In terms of Cloud9 vs. Virtus.pro I would say, looking at previous results, Virtus.pro will win. However, Cloud9 do have the mastermind sgares, while Virtus.pro have been having some issues regarding their ingame leader lately.
Group D Predictions
If our predictions are right, the ESL One Cologne 2015 knockout bracket will look something like this:
Virtus.pro, depending on how they did in their group should be able to beat NiP. Fnatic, also should be able to beat Kinguin. The really interesting game in this bracket is the Na`Vi EnVyUs game, which I think will go to Na`Vi; this will be a best of three and Na`Vi have a much stronger map pool than EnVyUs. Then, TSM will beat Cloud9 in a best of three, if the slump they are in is artificial.
Then the bracket will look like this:
Fnatic should make quick work of Virtus.pro in a best of three; Virtus.pro haven’t been the best team in the world recently. TSM Na`Vi will be a good game and will depend on a lot of factors. Again, if the TSM slump has been created by them TSM have the better chance of winning, but I wouldn’t bet your house on it.
This brings us to the final:
This is the game we all want to see at ESL One Cologne. I definitely wouldn’t bet on this. It could go either way and, in a best of five, would be really entertaining.
What are your predictions? Who do you think will win? Who do you want to win? Start the conversation in the comments below!