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ESL One Cologne 2020 NA Preview

FURIA will hope to make it two in a row after taking down DreamHack Open Summer last weekend. The Brazilians will face tough competition from the likes of Liquid and Evil Geniuses, who are eager to win one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, namely, ESL One Cologne.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
18th Aug, 2020·☕️ 6 min read
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FURIA will hope to make it two in a row after taking down DreamHack Open Summer last weekend. The Brazilians will face tough competition from the likes of Liquid and Evil Geniuses, who are eager to win one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, namely, ESL One Cologne.

Competition Information

With the pandemic still at large and travel restrictions still put in place throughout most of the world, ESL One Cologne, despite its name, will be played entirely online. Due to latency, the tournament has been split into two regions, Europe and North America. In this article, we will be breaking down the latter.

The North American event is half the size of the European, with eight teams instead of sixteen. The format is otherwise the same. There will be two groups of four, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the single-elimination playoff bracket. All matches in this tournament are played in a best-of-three format, except for the grand final, which will be a best-of-five.

Format

Group Stage

  • Two double-elimination groups (GSL)
  • Four teams in each group
  • All matches are BO3
  • Two teams advance from each group

Playoffs

  • One single-elimination bracket
  • Semi-finals (BO3)
  • Grand Final (BO5)

Groups & Odds

Group A

  • 🇧🇷 FURIA (5.60)
  • 🇺🇸 Chaos (10.00)
  • 🇺🇸 Gen.G (7.80)
  • 🇦🇺 100 Thieves (7.60)

Group B

  • 🇺🇸 Evil Geniuses (4.50)
  • 🇺🇸 Team Liquid (5.80)
  • 🇺🇸 Cloud9 (12.00)
  • 🇺🇸 Triumph (20.00)

Where and when?

The tournament kicks off August 19 and runs through August 30.

  • Australian Western Standard Time: Wed 04:00
  • Australian Central Daylight Time: Wed 06:30
  • Australian Central Standard Time: Wed 05:30
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time: Wed 06:00
  • Australian Eastern Daylight Time: Wed 07:00

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/esl_csgo

The Current Season

Note: All stats are from online play in 2020.

FURIA

FURIA
Record: 59 / 0 / 31
Most Played Map: Inferno (60.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (93.8%)
Worst Map: Nuke (53.3%)

Odds: 5.60

FURIA are fresh off a win at DreamHack Open Summer, where they took down Liquid in the final. It is worth noting that the Brazilians have had a huge edge against Liquid so far in 2020, winning seven out of the last eight games. Two teams that have found success against FURIA are Evil Geniuses and Gen.G, neither of which were in attendance last week, so it is safe to say that FURIA will face a bigger challenge this time around. 

Team Liquid

Team Liquid
Record: 7 / 0 / 2
Most Played Map: Inferno (75.0%)
Best Map: Vertigo (100.0%)
Worst Map: Nuke (0.0%)

Odds: 5.80

Team Liquid are coming off a second place finish at DreamHack Open Summer, which was their first tournament with Grim who joined the team at the start of the month. Grim looked impressive, posting 0.77 kills/round, a statline only bested by Twistzz with 0.79 kills/round. They may still need some time to adjust, but the early signs are promising for the North Americans side.

Cloud9

Cloud9
Record: 76 / 0 / 46
Most Played Map: Train (60.9%)
Best Map: Overpass (88.9%)
Worst Map: Mirage (0.0%)

Odds: 12.00

Cloud9 have had a bit of a rough go at things recently, most notably losing to TeamOne twice in groups at DreamHack Open Summer. They have a tough first round matchup against Liquid, and they will really need to be on their game if they want to cause the upset. Cloud9 are a strategically sound team, bolsting the highest flash assist ratio among all teams in the top 20, and they will likely need to rely heavily on their teamwork in order to overcome a Liquid side that is superior when it comes to poppin’ heads.

Triumph

Triumph
Record: 1 / 0 / 4
Most Played Map: Mirage (50.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (50.0%)
Worst Map: Inferno (0.0%)

Odds: 20.00

Triumph are trying to cope with life without Grim, who left the team in favor of Liquid earlier in the month. They brought in 17-year old penny from Oceanus, as well as moose, who was dropped by Envy earlier in the month. They got absolutely annihiliated by Chaos in the opener at DreamHack Open Summer, but they were able to put up a good fight against Ze Pug Godz in what was a crazy elimination match with several close clutch scenarios. Realistically, this team shouldn’t be making it out of what is a very tough group, but they will enjoy being in the position of a massive underdog.

Chaos

Chaos
Record: 45 / 1 / 17
Most Played Map: Nuke (80.0%)
Best Map: Train (100.0%)
Worst Map: Inferno (46.2%)

Odds: 10.00

Chaos appear to have finally settled on a roster after a very turbulant time. They have looked very solid, especially against middling teams in North America, beating the likes of Cloud9, Ze Pug Godz and Triumph in recent time. However, they have struggled against the top tier, losing out to both FURIA and Liquid at DreamHack Open Summer. They are definitely the underdog of Group A, but unlike Triumph, they have proper upset potential. 

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses
Record: 43 / 1 / 28
Most Played Map: Inferno (84.2%)
Best Map: Inferno (84.2%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (37.5%)

Odds: 4.50

Evil Geniuses had an awesome period just before the player break, winning both cs_summit 6 and BLAST Premier Spring Americas Finals. They were able to take down both FURIA and Liquid at both of these events, so these were legitimate victories. In fact, they have a clear historical edge against FURIA in particular, having never lost to the Brazilians in a BO3, making them an interesting pick to win this tournament.

100 Thieves

100 Thieves
Record: 25 / 1 / 27
Most Played Map: Vertigo (54.5%)
Best Map: Dust2 (60.0%)
Worst Map: Nuke (27.3%)

Odds: 7.60

We last saw 100 Thieves in action at cs_summit 6, where they lost out to Liquid and Gen.G to finish the tournament in fourth place. Much like Chaos, they have really struggled against the upper echelon of teams in North America. They certainly do have the skill to cause an upset, it is only a question of putting all of the things together. The rumor is that Gratisfaction has been looking strong in practice, and it would definitely favor the Aussies if they could get some more production out of the AWPer to aid the likes of jks and jkaem in the fragging department.

Gen.G

Gen.G
Record: 40 / 1 / 40
Most Played Map: Inferno (50.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (64.3%)
Worst Map: Overpass (0.0%)

Odds: 7.80

Gen.G won ESL One: Road to Rio North America back in April, and they were also able to snatch a second-place finish at cs_summit 6 just before the player break. This team has been together for a decent amount of time now, and they should be well drilled at this point. This is a team that, at times, has been able to take down the likes of FURIA and Liquid, proving that they should not be underestimated. 

Betting Tips

Evil Geniuses are coming in as the favorites after their brilliant form just before the player break, and their prior history with both FURIA and Liquid. You could honestly make a case for either of these three teams, but both Liquid and Evil Geniuses are the most appealing plays as they have a more manageable group. Evil Geniuses are the strongest play due to the aforementioned reasons, but I definitely would not rule Liquid out entirely. It is only a matter of time before they get things rolling with Grim, and they looked fearsome at times at DreamHack Open Summer despite the lack of practice with their new roster.

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