ESL One Cologne 2019 – Day 1 Recap

Jul 03 2019 5 min read

ESL One Cologne 2019 – Day 1 Recap ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

The first day of ESL One Cologne 2019 has brought us a few surprises, and the main reason behind them was the chosen format of bo1, which is famous for delivering unexpected results.

Natus Vincere made their devoted fans worry a bit at the very beginning of the first day. It was the first time for the team to perform with the new line-up, and the viewers were expecting to see exciting plays from Boombl4. However, the game against mousesports on de_train went wrong. Na’Vi almost lost the game and managed to defeat the “Mice” with 16:14 score.


At the same time, Astralis managed to cope with the German team BIG without any serious issues – even despite the recent decline in performance. The Danes took de_overpass with 16:4 score. However, it’s premature to judge the current success of the team. Magisk did show impressive plays and finished the map with 20/6 K/D ratio. As for the other players, device also performed fairly well and ended up with 20/10.


In MIBR – Fnatic standoff, the odds were not so clear. Many of the viewers expected the Brazilians to finally get together and reach the level of plays they performed a year ago. Unfortunately, de_inferno ended in the favour of the Swedish team. JW was the indisputable MVP of the match. He was able to cut the opponents off in every given position, which resulted in his fairly impressive K/D ratio of 26/13. The Swedes won with 16:11 score.

Perhaps, the most surprising match was the one between ENCE and Heroic. As you could’ve expected, the bo1 format is somewhat of a “Russian roulette” in terms of outcomes. The teams were given de_mirage to fight. The majority of viewers, bookmakers, and analysts were about to sing the “EZ for ENCE” song, but the Danish players decided to prove that the Finns would have some hard times. As a result, Heroic took the first half with 10:5 score and later finished the opponents without leaving them a single chance for a comeback. 16:15 – and the emotions of the players below:


Obviously, the most interesting matches were held in the upper bracket of the Group stage. They were performed in a much more forgiving bo3 format, which is also the format of choice when you want a clear demonstration of the actual skill of the teams. The first one was the game between the refreshed Natus Vincere line-up and Team Liquid, the current leaders of the world ranking. The odds were against Na’Vi after the unconfident match with mousesports, but the game didn’t go as expected.

One of the most exciting standoffs was between the Frenchmen from Vitality and the Swedes from NiP. The latter had a small reshuffle beforehand, and no one was expecting too much from the team. The game started with that pessimism in mind. The French were dominating all over de_dust2 and winning rounds one after another. The Swedes were exchanging a few high-fives every now and then when they could score a point, but overall, the team led by Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg was clearly disappointed with its own poor performance.

However, something unpredictable happened after the teams changed sides. Lekr0 and f0rest started dominating over the French team the same way Vitality was dominating before. The complete annihilation of the opponent resulted in a glorious comeback by the legendary team NiP, and the game ended up with 16:10 score in their favour. It is very well worth watching.


Speaking of other teams, there weren’t that many surprises. Liquid defeated the Koreans from MVP PK with 16:14 score – that was a close one. As we predicted, the Asian team was able to fight back, and the reason behind this is, perhaps, the specific “oriental” play style of the crew. 

The Americans from NRG punished their opponents from FURIA with 16:7 score. That was quite an expected outcome given the results of the latest meet-ups between the teams.

The first round match of the Group stage between FaZe Clan and Renegades was rather worrying. The Australians were fighting off the Europeans quite well. They had all the chances to win the opponent, but the exciting performance by GuardiaN and Nike helped Faze to become the winner with 16:14 score. Many were interested in the plays by the veteran NEO, but he wasn’t able to show much. His final stats were rather dull – 13/21 K/D ratio. You can watch the highlights below.


The tournament was further played in the bo3 format. Renegades weren’t able to overcome the Group stage and lost 0:2 to the Brazilians from FURIAMVP PK faced the very same fate after the team met angry “Mice” from mousesports.

The match against the Americans from NRG was a complete failure for FaZe – the latter lost 0:2 to the former. The Europeans dropped down to the “loser” bracket.

The central standoff of the day was the match between Na’Vi and Team Liquid. We won’t even try describing it – you should definitely see the game with your own eyes. One of the most remarkable highlights was the moment when s1mple tried to knife down the enemy while Na’Vi was winning with 15:11 score. He failed the attempt, and nitr0 performed an extremely inspiring play against two other opponents from Na’ViLiquid’s morale was indisputably boosted after that, and the team withstood the pressure for two rounds of overtime and defeated the Russian-Ukrainian crew.

Considering the fact that Natus Vincere had won a map by then, the team could’ve become the overall winner of the meet-up, but s1mple’s silly and thoughtless play determined an opposite outcome. Today, the team is fighting in the lower bracket. Here’re the main highlights:

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