Who will shine in 2019’s third CS:GO Major? Coming up is a preview of this year’s groups and subsequent schedule for the ESL One Cologne 2019 event. Who will stand out at the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne, Germany and get their hands on their share of the $300,000 prize pool in the five day event taking place from the 2nd of July until the 7th.

Though it may not be a Valve Major, the ESL One Cologne 2019 event is a key tournament in the CS:GO scene each year. The highly anticipated event promises to be one of the most explosive yet, with 15 of the world’s top 30 teams making their way to Cologne with hopes of being crowned ESL One champions. Most eyes are on Team Liquid and Astralis, both teams coming into this event as well-known favourites. Team Liquid are the newly crowned #1 team in the world, and they will get the action underway in Cologne against Asian outfit MVP PK in the first game of the group stages. 

The groups will be laid out as follows:

ESL One Cologne 2019 Group A

Team LiquidEurope
Natus VincereCIS
FURIANorth America
NRGNorth America
RenegadesNorth America

ESL One Cologne 2019 Group B

MIBRNorth America
Team VitalityEurope

Other notable group stage match-ups include Natus Vincere’s match against Mousesports, taking place at the same time as Team Liquid’s opener against MVP PK. After this FaZe Clan will take on Renegades, while NRG Esports and their new roster later take on Brazilian upstarts FURIA.

CS:GO fans will have to wait a little longer to get the chance to see Ninjas in Pyjamas and MIBR’s new roster line-ups in action. This game will take place at the same time as Astralis’ game against German side BIG.

After the initial group stage games, the matches become Bo3 format leading to the playoff rounds (Bo5). The quarter-finals will take place on the 5th of July, the semi’s on the 6th and the Grand Finale taking centre stage on July the 7th to see who will take home the ESL One Cologne 2019’s top prize (prize-pool split is yet to be announced).

Two noticeable names missing from this year’s event are G2 Esports and North ranked 8th and 11th respectively in the top-15 CS:GO teams in the world. Both teams failed to qualify, which a few months ago would not have been major news. However recent form has shown that both teams will be big losses at this year’s ESL One Cologne 2019 event. G2 pushed Team Liquid all the way in Montpellier and if they can keep up their recent form, it shouldn’t be long before they find themselves back at another major CS:GO event, possibly even the Major.

Team Liquid look strong though far from unbeatable coming into the event, and Astralis have been disappointing in recent times, though they remain a clear favourite for this unpredictable and exciting event. Teams such as FaZe, MiBR and Na’Vi have proven inconsistent of late, but can never truly be written off. Keep an eye on ENCE as a dark-horse for winning the ESL One Cologne, 2019, though the event at least in our eyes, remains Team Liquid’s to lose.
What we can be sure of, is that you don’t want to miss a single second of this year’s event. Watch the event here on the main broadcast channel. Or you can read up on more CS:GO news and how Team Liquid took it all at this year’s ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals by following the link.