ESL One Cologne may not be a Major this year, but the event billed as the “World’s Biggest CS:GO event” is still drawing a lot of hype. Tournament organizer ESL has been announcing each of the teams to accept invitations over the past few weeks. The tournament was one of 2016’s “Million Dollar Majors“, but this year without the support of game maker Valve, the tournament’s prize pool is a modest $250,000.
The timing of the tournament has also been tough on teams, as the Cologne event will end on July 9th, just one week before the start of the PGL Major in Krakow, Germany. CS:GO heavyweights Astralis have already bowed out of contention for ESL One Cologne, citing time restraints.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Natus Vincere is the latest team to be confirmed for the tournament. They join FNATIC, FaZe Clan, SK Gaming and Virtus.pro, with seven more teams to be announced in the coming weeks. The remaining four teams will be determined in a qualifying tournament before the ESL One Cologne Playoffs begin.
ESL One Cologne’s qualifiers will likely take place in early July, and the playoffs run from July 7th-9th at the LANXESS Arena, in Cologne.
Tickets and spectator information are available on the ESL website.
Photo courtesy ESL.