The highly anticipated ESL One Cologne was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, sending shockwaves of disappointment among fans. The good news is that the tournament which was supposed to take place in Germany will now be held online. Furthermore, it will start a few days sooner, so instead of scheduling the first games of the group stage on August 23, it will begin on August 18. The same teams that were supposed to play in the land-based tournament will participate in the online competition.
ESL One Cologne Format and Prizes
The 2020 edition of the ESL One Cologne will begin with the group stage, where the 16 participating teams will be split into two groups of eight. They will be seeded based on the ESL Pro Tour rankings, and during this phase of the competition, all games will be played in a best-of-three format. The top three most successful teams will qualify for the playoffs, with the group stage winners going straight to the semi-finals. Finishing in the second and third place will send teams to the quarterfinals, but the former will play as high seeds, while the latter will be low seeds.
The ESL One Cologne playoffs are scheduled to begin 5 days after the group stage kicks off and will end 3 days later. During this stage of the tournament, matches will be played in a single-elimination bracket, with quarterfinals and semifinals in a best-of-three series. The finalists will need up to three wins to claim the trophy, as the grand final will be played in a best-of-five format. The $1 million prize pool will be divided among all participating teams, with those qualified for the playoffs to get the lion’s share.
ESL One Cologne Matches and Favourites
The group stage starts on August 18 and the 8 matches of the opening round have already been announced.
Astralis fell from the top 10 after a disappointing 2020, but they are always among the favorites to lift the trophy.
Natus Vincere and Fnatic are separated by only a few points and are on the verge of entering the top five, so they are also forces to be reckoned with.
The current leaders of the ESL Pro Tour rankings are BIG, Team Vitality, and G2 Esports. The German teams have a comfortable lead and they will play in the opening day against their countrymen from Sprout. This is expected to be a lopsided match, so in order to enjoy bigger odds, you could consider handicap wagers at LuckBox.
The two teams from France sitting in second and third place will play in the second half of the day and they will have a far more difficult mission against Heretics and MIBR.
LuckBox and GG.bet dedicate ample coverage to this tournament, so you can bet on the ESL One Cologne outright winners and also place live bets. Don’t forget about the special bonuses and promotions that the esports books are expected to announce in the days preceding the start of the tournament.