noxilicious blog 2: ESL One Cologne 2015
Day number four of the whole event, day number two of the playoffs, of ESL One Cologne 2015 started a bit later than the day before. Players, teams, caster, analysts and the audience got a bit more time to rest and prepare for the last final games of the biggest CS:GO event in history so far. Only four teams, Team EnVyUs, Team SoloMid, Virtus.pro and fnatic, managed to advance to the semi finals. Three for matches would decide who the champion of the next major would be. Comebacks, drama, epic plays and everything at stake were only some of the phrases one could use to describe the last day - find out more below!
Entering and leaving the LANXESS arena was a lot easier as all the people had their tickets to enter the event and people could proceed a lot faster. The small break from Saturday evening to Sunday noon definitely helped and gave everyone some much needed time to collect thoughts and work on improvements. More open doors, changes in the organisation and a schedule which could be kept definitely helped. Other than that it was a lot like the day before with a lot of stuff every visitor could do. Raffles, giveaways, buying stuff at the shops, signing sessions or exploring the area were only some options which were used quite a lot by many people.
Around lunch time the first match series of the day started as EnVyUs took on TSM for the first spot in the grand finals. de_cache delivered some top notch plays from the French squad as they played a brilliant game as terrorists and quickly gained the upper hand. However, this didn't stop TSM from doing whatever was in their power to win some rounds and prevent EnVyUs from just marching through. Although the first game wasn't as one-sided as expected after the first half, the French players won the first game.
The second map should show something completely different as it was time for the Danish squad to demontrate what they are capable off. An already impressive T-side was followed by a nearly perfect CT-side as the five players from TSM didn't give the French players any chances at all. Excellent holds, pushes at the right time or great teamwork quickly secured the Danish squad the well deserved win on de_dust2 and the overall draw in terms of maps.
Previously the four playoffs games all ended with a 2:0 score and this should change, for now at least! The last and decisive map should be de_inferno where EnVyUs built a comfortable lead pretty early. They dominated from the beginning, gaining a lot of confidence which provided some interesting openings and a first quick half. TSM didn't give up and tried to fight back, but in the end EnVyUs had built up a comfortable lead and just needed four more rounds to win which eventually happened. Therefore the relatively new French lineup should be the first finalist!
Virtus.pro and fnatic went up against each other in the second semi final to determine the last participant of the grand final. This match was - by far - one of the best matches and this was the match series where the crowd went crazy and celebrated every small win for Virtus.pro. One could hear the "Virtus.pro" in slow, normal or fast paces as the VP fans came in huge numbers and raised their voices to tell everyone to join in. The first match de_mirage was a demonstration of power by VP. They simply outplayed and crushed fnatic on that map. The Swedes only got six rounds on the CT side, the only six rounds they should get as the fan favourite closed the deal on map number one by winning seven consecutive rounds.
Game number two was a completely different story as both teams were playing on the same level and there was no clear favourite. While the Polish squad slowly build a small lead, the Swedish roster bounced its way back into the game. To put things short: fnatic won 16:14 as VP couldn't seal the deal and win the map.
Losing the second map broke the mentality and confidence of the Polish squadwhich caused fnatic to show some impressive plays on de_cobblestone, destroying the fan favourite. Although the Swedes were winning, the crowd cheered for VP and celebrated every small win of the five players. The grand finalists were determined, fnatic and Team EnVyUs would face each other.
After a much needed break the grand finals kicked off with a huge show, loud music, announcements and the teams running in. Casters and analysts made their predictions but noone could have seen what was coming. The French star players started in style, as NBK knifed flusha in the first round of the game. Cheers, applause and some laughing came in as a reaction from the crowd. Should the grand final really be exciting? Would fnatic simply walk through?
The first half went to EnVyUs as they just played their best. However, fnatic managed to win some important rounds in the second half. This didn't stop EnVyUs too much as they had a lot of rounds quite early into the game. A timeout brought the turnaround as fnatic managed to take de_dust2 to overtime where they won the first four rounds to secure map number 1. Losing their own map pick definitely hurt EnVyUs' confidence and the second map should be the fnatic show. While the first half was still relatively even and not too one-sided the second half was fnatic running over the French squad. kennyS had the - probably - worst game of his life and everyone on fnatic was performing on point.
Therefore a third map was not needed in the grand finals and the event was finished ahead of the schedule. The price ceremony and the "winner interview" was not paying off at all as olofmeister was just lost for words - "I have no words for this" was the answer to all of the questions by OJBorg. A third major under the belt for the Swedes, a sad Team EnVyUs and a semi final with more hype, power and energy than the grand finals are only some of the facts from ESL One Cologne 2015.
Overall the audience was pleased and it is safe to say that the event was a big success and many people believed it was one of the best CS:GO events yet. What is your opinion about the event and what are your thoughts? Did you like or dislike anything in particular? Let us know what you have to say down in the comments!