9th and probably biggest CS:GO Major starting tomorrow: ESL ONE Cologne

Stickers, huge Stage with flashy lights, sometimes some pyrotechnics, awkward looking, mid-20 aged pro gamers with shoddy english being dragged on stage melting in the brightness of the limelight. All that and more over the next couple of days can be seen in Cologne in what is anticipated to be the biggest Major event for CS:GO ever to be held, in terms of viewer numbers.

The current state of affairs leaves much to be desired thou: Shoddy results from some of the top teams, paired with Injuries of some of the top players in the not to distant past have left the creme de la creme of CS:GO in a weird place,  where the upset was a daily occurence. The long time between the majors (couple of months only, but in CS:GO roster swaps are also fairly regular) leave qualified teams in a place where you wouldn’t put them in the current top 16, not to mention the top 8 as for example CLG. This is overshadowed by ESL continous efforts to make an exclusive deal with top teams to lock out contenders like FaceIt or Dreamhack, and Valves lack of proper involvement and guidance hurts the game in terms of lack of transparency, fighting against cheaters or new ideas to keep the game evolving, fresh or looking for room for improvement. Another point of critique are the randomized mapdraws: Out of the 7, each team bans 2, in best of 1 games, the map to be played will randomly be picked out of the remaining 3. And ANOTHER point of critique are the poorly seeded groups, you can check out Thorins youtube channel on that (Youtube handle is Thooorin)

Nevertheless: most of the best 16 teams of the world will be among those 16 that are playing and there will be the highest level Counter-Strike for all of us to admire. So i will stop bickering now and tell you where to get the all the information:

http://www.hltv.org/news/18190-esl-one-cologne-viewers-guide

Here we go, now lets have some fun until France bashes Germany in the Euro 2016 …

Dreamhack summer ends in surprise; ECS Finals in London starting on June 24th.

The Dreamhack Zowie Open  Tournament  in Jonkoping (Swe) held at the Dreamhack Summer event ended with everyones favourite NiP in the finals against the Immortals (former Tempo Storm) with the Immortals taking it in a 2-0 on cache and mirage with close victories. Ence from Finland had to pack their bags early due to a disappointing performance while the Swedes from Godsent, the still relatively new team formed by ex-fnatic ingame leader Pronax managed to get into the semis only to be beaten by the Immortals from Brazil. The Danes Astralis and SK are the ones that really should feel like they let another tournament slip through their fingers. Recent LAN performances had NiP regaining some form, sure, but hit and miss performances at this very tournament aswell as spotty results from Immortals prior to the tournament made fertile ground for an Astralis victory. SK Gaming played with 2 Stand-ins and still had a respectable showing, their normal roster would’ve made it probable for them to advance further. A 2-2 in maps against Immortals put them out of the tournament losing a best of 3 after beating them in a best of 1.

The ECS Finals in London however are a bigger deal: 1,75mio Dollars total prize money are up for grabs (exact distribution unknown at the time). The contestants are:

Liquid and C9 from the USA, TSM from Canada, Luminosity Gaming from Brazil, fnatic and NiP from Sweden, Astralis from Denmark and G2 from France. NaVi dropped out due to exhaustion earlier this year, which possibly coincided with GuardiaNs wrist injury. Still a lot of the usual suspects are here. Fnatic are back to their regular roster replacing wenton with Olofmeister and recently playing well in the E-League. Luminosity however are the team to beat to get the title, which is sponsored by twitch and Faceit.

Matchups and the time when they are played can be found here:

http://www.hltv.org/news/18113-ecs-season-1-finals-viewers-guide

Enjoy