ESL One Cologne viewer's guide

If you want to know everything about ESL One Cologne, look no further, as we've prepared a viewer's guide for the upcoming major, taking place between August 20-23.

ESL One Cologne is nearly upon us, only two days are left before 16 teams gather in the fourth largest city in Germany, namely at the MMC studios for both group stages before eight move on to the 20,000-seater Lanxess arena for the playoffs.

The format is quite different from what we were used to at previous majors, as this time winners from the initial group phase advance directly to the playoffs, while the remaining three from each group will duke it out in the second phase for the other four spots.

The groups are as follows:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Sweden NiP France EnVyUs Sweden fnatic Poland Virtus.pro
Denmark TSM Brazil Luminosity  CIS Natus Vincere  Germany mousesports
Australia Renegades  Europe Kinguin France Titan United States Cloud9
United States CLG Ukraine FlipSid3 Poland eBettle Australia Immunity

Both group stages are all played in a best-of-one format, with the playoffs in a best-of-three. Below you can find the full schedule for the major:

Thursday, August 20
14:00 Sweden NiP vs. United States CLG A1
14:00 France EnVyUs vs. Ukraine FlipSid3 Tactics B1
15:25 Australia Renegades vs. Denmark Team SoloMid A2
15:25 Europe Team Kinguin vs. Brazil Luminosity B2
16:50 Winner A1 vs. Winner A2  
16:50 Winner B1 vs. Winner B2  
18:15 Sweden fnatic vs. Poland Team eBettle C1
18:15 Poland Virtus.pro vs. Australia Immunity D1
19:40 France Titan vs. CIS Natus Vincere C2
19:40 United States Cloud9 vs. Germany mousesports D2
21:05 Winner C1 vs. Winner C2  
21:05 Winner D1 vs. Winner D2  
Friday, August 21
12:00 Group E elimination      
13:25 Group E decider      
14:50 Group F elimination      
16:15 Group F decider      
17:40 Group G elimination      
19:05 Group G decider      
20:30 Group H elimination      
21:55 Group H decider      
Saturday, August 22
11:00 Quarter-final #1      
14:05 Quarter-final #2      
17:10 Quarter-final #3      
20:15 Quarter-final #4      
Sunday, August 23
12:00 Semi-final #1      
15:20 Semi-final #2      
19:00 Grand final      

What stays the same is the prizepool, $250,000 will be spread among the participants in such manner:

1. $100,000
2. $50,000
3-4. $22,000
5-8. $10,000
9-16. $2,000

Don't forget that we've released all four previews for Group AGroup B, Group C, and Group D, as well as a "Facts and numbers" article, breaking down statistics and much more just in time for the major.

In light of the Pick'Em headshot percentage competition, we have put together simple guidelines for you to have an easier time to decide who to bet on in our "Pick'Em HS% - Who to choose?" article.

We're still in the middle of conducting pre-interviews, so far we have interviewed eight teams, as shown in the list:

France Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer: "We have a chance to win"
Sweden Mikail "Maikelele" Bill"LEGIJA is a great fit"
Sweden Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson"Goal is always to win"
Brazil Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo"cold brought many changes"
Australia James "James" Quinn"Underdog status favors us"
Poland Piotr "peet" Ćwikliński "We don't feel any pressure"
Canada Pujan "FNS" Mehta"Having the same core helps us"
Slovakia Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács "Facing Titan will be hard"

The whole event will be streamed by ESL TV with most of the organization's usual crew and several guests, who will serve as color casters or analysts at the desk. The full breakdown looks as follows:

  • United Kingdom O. J. Borg - Stage Host
  • United States William "Chobra" Cho - Desk Host 
  • Switzerland Soe Gschwind-Penski - Esports in Cinemas
  • United Kingdom Sean Charles - Reporting
  • United Kingdom Joe Miller - Caster
  • United Kingdom Leigh "Deman" Smith - Caster
  • Denmark Anders Blume - Caster
  • United States Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat
  • United Kingdom Lauren "Pansy" Scott - Caster
  • United Kingdom Alex "Machine" Richardson - Caster
  • United States Jason Kaplan - Caster

HLTV.org will be present in Cologne with a five-man crew to bring you a full coverage from the major, including statistics, galleries, interviews, post-match articles, live tweets and more.

Before the event starts, feel free to get in the major mood with our teaser, or go into our hype video contest to see what the community came up with:

Serbia Janko 'YNk' Paunović
Janko 'YNk' Paunović
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
117
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.13
United States Jason 'moses' O'Toole
Jason 'moses' O'Toole
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
18
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.15
Canada Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
852
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
United Kingdom Henry 'HenryG' Greer
Henry 'HenryG' Greer
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.75
Maps played:
14
KPR:
0.49
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.16
Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1450
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Sweden Mikail 'Maikelele' Bill
Mikail 'Maikelele' Bill
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
France Vincent 'Happy' Schopenhauer
Vincent 'Happy' Schopenhauer
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1442
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1154
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.11
Sweden Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1377
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.15
Poland Piotr 'peet' Ćwikliński
Piotr 'peet' Ćwikliński
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
379
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
Australia James 'James' Quinn
James 'James' Quinn
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
331
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
Sweden Robin 'Fifflaren' Johansson
Robin 'Fifflaren' Johansson
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
537
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.15
Denmark Casper 'cadiaN' Møller
Casper 'cadiaN' Møller
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
#3
Europe QUAVO 
Hype but more hype if : -Deman - Kaplan + Ddk + Black DDK
2015-08-18 19:09
I don't want to listen to some report of a book, I actually want some hype during action. Those two can't do it.
2015-08-18 19:27
deman can not too.
2015-08-18 19:36
Agree. But swap bad with bad makes no sense.
2015-08-18 20:08
I actually like deman just as I like DDK/JZFB
2015-08-18 20:55
DDK is the best caster out there. If you need "hype" to get into a match then please don't watch and quit csgo you silver noob.
2015-08-18 21:40
I like hype, but I also like the in gane analysis. I dont know why esl insists on having two play by play casters. It would be great if they stuck deman with a color commentator like moses instead of pansy.
2015-08-18 21:59
A color commentator like pansy?
2015-08-19 13:18
Are you baiting bro
2015-08-19 18:39
I thought you typed "like moses or pansy". My bad.
2015-08-20 00:37
ayy lmao. Iz all gud man.
2015-08-20 02:23
Pansy is literally clueless
2015-08-19 23:45
I agree.
2015-08-20 00:36
Yeah I hate that they let her cast. Fucking joke man.
2015-08-20 01:06
Yep.
2015-08-20 10:07
Or a color commentator like Black DDK Kappa
2015-08-19 15:25
no hype=Hearthstone cs=/=Hearthstone Therefore, cs=/=no hype Which means cs=hype ez logic
2015-08-18 22:48
+1
2015-08-20 13:28
Think about it in different way. Go, watch football match and think about commentator saying with a dying voice: Oh, he is going near the soccer goal, and, he shot. Oh, he shot a goal. Okay, let's continue. It would be fucking boring as shit and no one would watch it. We need hype in a fucking match, not a """"worthless""""" trashtalk. (I know it's not worthless, but you need to get my point).
2015-08-18 23:36
+1
2015-08-18 20:34
#4
Europe selbi 
nice
2015-08-18 19:08
ez fnatic
2015-08-18 19:08
#9
 | 
Lithuania karkeris 
Cant wait
2015-08-18 19:08
sweet
2015-08-18 19:08
Good
2015-08-18 19:09
hype hype hype.
2015-08-18 19:10
Faakk my arse
2015-08-18 19:10
#18
 | 
Latvia Ke]R[4u 
the hype is real
2015-08-18 19:10
It's like CPL final LeL, many casters and commentators wow hope this event would be epic to watch.
2015-08-18 19:11
#21
f0rest | 
Europe IAmTyco 
Why do nip always get a group they can out of..
2015-08-18 19:12
why do they always make it through the bo3 playoffs into the final, would be a more fitting question.
2015-08-18 19:58
+1
2015-08-18 20:12
#92
chrisJ | 
Netherlands Cipherr 
Magicians
2015-08-18 23:58
FIFFI!! The master, lol.
2015-08-18 19:18
hypeee
2015-08-18 19:14
Team Kinguin vs. Luminosity
2015-08-18 19:16
H Y P E
2015-08-18 19:17
rip LG
2015-08-18 19:18
#30
mimi | 
Finland teemadej 
Event: ESL One Katowice 2015
2015-08-18 19:20
I can't wait. So many questions, so many good teams...
2015-08-18 19:20
no thorin no party
2015-08-18 19:22
#49
 | 
Finland Jonzu95 
+1
2015-08-18 19:56
come on cobblestone come on money :D
2015-08-18 19:30
Lets go Cloud9 and NiP!!!
2015-08-18 19:38
gonna sleep in through half the games this time, fuck timezones
2015-08-18 19:43
What will be the time there during the matches?
2015-08-18 19:44
obviously times in the article minus 6-9 hours.
2015-08-19 21:38
That really sux.. ty
2015-08-19 23:32
Can't wait
2015-08-18 19:43
ez 4 VP gg fuck u no re
2015-08-18 19:43
#47
Zajda | 
Europe Zajda 
Group stage is BO1 or BO3?
2015-08-18 19:45
N1
2015-08-18 19:45
A TSM B ENVYUS C NA`VI D VirtusPro
2015-08-18 19:59
Fnatic>Na'Vi at any time, sorry mr. fanboy :D Even though i like na'vi more i know that they wont stand a chance with fnatic
2015-08-18 20:04
#93
chrisJ | 
Netherlands Cipherr 
Mouz>VP
2015-08-18 23:59
NiP ftw!
2015-08-18 20:06
#55
 | 
Finland spenene 
Where's ddk and black ddk
2015-08-18 20:07
#57
Poland eiur 
so joe miller took tosspot place
2015-08-18 20:09
+1 would like to see the teaser full screen.
2015-08-18 20:09
#59
SpawN | 
Iceland vasyl86 
Simon "pAn" Schumacher - (observer) Pan from Alternate Attax?
2015-08-18 20:11
#63
RpK | 
Germany lloyd6077 
no :D its a different pan
2015-08-18 20:32
#77
 | 
Finland jayss 
Peter Pan?
2015-08-18 21:12
A TSM B LG C Fnatic D VP
2015-08-18 20:17
#94
chrisJ | 
Netherlands Cipherr 
Mouz>VP GFinity never forget
2015-08-18 23:59
Many good teams, will be interesting!
2015-08-18 20:35
EZ 4 KINGWIN
2015-08-18 20:37
eBattle RIP :(((
2015-08-18 20:40
#75
 | 
Poland dziad5 
nie pierdol dadza rade
2015-08-18 21:04
thanks hltv!
2015-08-18 20:44
SOE TAKE MY DICK
2015-08-18 20:52
hltv is such a good news site
2015-08-18 20:55
first time i dont gonna see opening matches :( workwork
2015-08-18 21:00
#76
Europe Ark- 
inb4 groups EFGH are nothing more than ABC with the teams with two teams at 0-1 & one at 1-1 Then day they proceed to have the two 0-1 teams play each other then the new 1-1 team play the other 1-1 team. EXACTLY like in the other format. SO MUCH FOR THIS NEW AND REFRESHING FORMAT, TOTALLY NOT A COAT OF PAINT.
2015-08-18 21:08
#78
Dosia | 
Russia cann0n 
jesus allahu that system of fakeng lurrpis again ! Let teams just play against each other in group stage ! !
2015-08-18 21:26
#101
 | 
Germany Chris Walker 
"Jesus allahu" i lold
2015-08-19 05:54
joe milleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer
2015-08-18 21:27
Nip <3
2015-08-18 21:44
#82
 | 
Russia polt94 
teamspeaks?
2015-08-18 21:56
It would be nice if the most of the players in ESL ONE COLOGNE 2015 make some POV Demos. I know that ESL ONE COLOGNE 2014 has some POV Demos. Happy vs Na´Vi : youtube.com/watch?v=mz1wQwce7e4 Snax vs iBUYPOWER : youtube.com/watch?v=DEEjUNNoA7U ApEX vs London Conspiracy : youtube.com/watch?v=FT1jIaIU4lo
2015-08-18 22:10
#85
France Wyrd 
Sorry if it's written somewhere but how is the 2nd groupstage made ? Are the second from each group put directly in the decider match while 3rd and 4th have to play the elimination match first ? Can the 3rd and 4th from the same group meet again ?
2015-08-18 22:22
#86
 | 
Germany Xypnet 
imgur.com/JabwTSD next level predictions thank me later. I am a genius.
2015-08-18 22:30
Is there going to be a market on csgolounge for teams to win the whole thing
2015-08-18 22:57
#95
chrisJ | 
Netherlands Cipherr 
There should be
2015-08-19 00:03
#90
 | 
Brazil godinh0 
expected
2015-08-18 23:46
#96
Poland InuT 
vp and ebettle playing on the same time ;(.Im still going to watch ebettle game though.
2015-08-19 00:07
Jason Kappa and moses best
2015-08-19 00:24
RIP Semmler
2015-08-19 02:00
timezone fucked up :( Games same time as college :(
2015-08-19 02:01
#102
 | 
Turkey powergs 
HYPEEEEE
2015-08-19 09:16
#103
easy | 
Jordan Wozny 
How does it work? What happens to CLG if they lose first match?
2015-08-19 13:15
nice
2015-08-19 15:41
#108
 | 
United States CravenFrost 
I see all these fuckboys posting their predictions but really this is how it's gonna be A TSM B ENVYUS C FNATIC D CLOUD 9
2015-08-19 15:53
eBettle>all
2015-08-19 17:00
Fnatic will win.
2015-08-19 17:35
Thank you for the time but are those times in UTC or what zone? I would like to translate them to my local time. Thanks. Edit: Timezone is CEST. Really should include that in the article. Not to difficult to figure it out on your own but it would be helpful for the reader.
2015-08-20 01:51
Chobra hype! I think he'll eventually be a good CS caster unlike tosspot.
2015-08-20 01:51
What is group E, F, G, H? Loser a1 vs Loser a2?
2015-08-20 02:47
#125
 | 
France StickyRice 
So you basically have to win 2 BO1 to get out of the group ? (i mean before the redraw, just talking about the team getting first of the group) Just one game and then you face the winner of the other match of the group and if you win that second match you're first of your group, right ? Thanks.
2015-08-20 11:59
Joe Miller :O
2015-08-20 12:10
H Y P E H Y P E H Y P E
2015-08-20 12:20
Friday consists of Group A through D elimination and decider matches, right? Not Groups E-H ;-)
2015-08-20 17:52
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