Team Liquid overcame Vitality and was crowned champion of ESL One Cologne 2019. The Americans beat the French 3-1 in a best of five series and took home $125,000 in prize money. The dispute took place this Sunday (the 7th), at the Lanxess Arena in the city of Cologne, Germany, known as the “cathedral of CS: GO.”
The first map of the dispute was chosen by Team Liquid and it was Overpass. The Americans started on the TR side and had a balanced first half, with early round exchanges. However, the Cavalos managed to open a small advantage and went into the break with 9-6 on the scoreboard. After the break, Team Liquid won the pistol round and had no problems ending the game 16-6.
The second map of the series, Dust II, was picked by Vitality, and it was an exciting one for the fans. Starting as a CT, Team Liquid took early rounds with good performance from the Canadian Russell “Twistzz” Van Dulken. However, he failed to secure a first-half lead against the French team, with Vitality leading 8-7. After the break, Vitality was unable to build on the momentum of this advantage, and Liquid managed to tie the match 15-15. In overtime, the French won the first two rounds with important eliminations from Cédric “RpK” Guipouy and closed the first half of the overtime with a 17-16 lead. In the second half of overtime, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut finished the game with a 1v3 clutch, to finish the map 19-17.
The third map of the series was Inferno. Vitality started well by winning the pistol round. Unfortunately, they failed to capitalize. The Americans won five consecutive rounds after this, until Vitality started showing some glimpses of a comeback. The Horses were having none of it, though, and ended the first half with a dominating 11-4 lead. After the break, Vitality again won the pistol round, but it was not enough and the French lost 16-10.
The last map of the series was Mirage. Team Liquid started as CT and won the first pistol round. The Americans won three rounds in a row, but this was not enough to defeat the French outright, as they then went on to win seven rounds in a row, to reverse the game to a 7-3 score. The Cavalos had strength and, thanks to impressive eliminations from Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip, they ended up with an 8-7 lead at the end of the first half. After the break, Liquid was able to win the pistol round again and won most subsequent rounds to close the match 16-8.
Liquid won first place in Group A and started the playoffs from the semi-finals. There, the NA team defeated Natus Vincere with a score of 2-0. In the other semi-final, Vitality overcame Astralis, leading us to our finals. ESL One Cologne 2019 took place from July 2–7. The winning team also received the Intel Grand Slam award for winning four ESL and DreamHack tournaments in a calendar year.