Natus Vincere Win ESL One Cologne 2018
Natus Vincere are the champions of ESL One Cologne 2018. In the grand final of the $300,000 event the Ukrainian team defeated the crowd-favourites and the underdogs of the event BIG with the 3-1 score, securing $125,000 in prize money and their first major title since 2016. Earlier they defeated Astralis in the semifinals and Fnatic in the quarterfinals.
The grand final was held in a best-of-five format, so each team had only one ban – Na`Vi removed Cache, while BIG didn’t want to play at Mirage. The series started with both teams winning their picks – Na`Vi defeated BIG 16:10 at Overpass, while the Germans emerged victorious at Dust II (16:11). Then Na`Vi managed to win two maps in a row – Train (16:10) and Inferno (16:8), securing the series in their favour. In addition to $125,000 of prize money, the team received their first point towards Intel Grand Slam. For the last few months Na`Vi have been sitting at the top places in the most CS:GO rankings, mainly thanks to their wins at DreamHack Open Winter 2017, StarSeries i-League Season 5 and CS:GO Asia Championships 2018, but all of these event did not have all top teams in their line-ups. The last major victory for Natus Vincere is dated back to 2016, when they emerged victorious at ESL One New York 2016, where they defeated Virtus.pro in the grand finals.
ESL One Cologne 2018 took place on July 3-8 in Cologne, Germany. It featured 16 teams competing for a $300,000 prize pool. During the group stage the teams were seeded into two GSL groups, with the winners of each group qualifying for the semi-finals and the teams placed 2nd/3rd advancing to the quarterfinals. The playoffs stage was held in a single-elimination format with best-of-three regular series and best-of-five grand final.
|3rd-4th||$22,000||Astralis, FaZe Clan|
|5th-6th||$11,000||Fnatic, G2 Esports|
|7th-8th||$7,500||ENCE eSports, MiBR|
|9th-12th||$6,000||mousesports, Cloud9, North, Renegades|
|13th-16th||$5,000||Ninjas in Pyjamas, Gambit Esports, B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape, Team Liquid|