SK Gaming and Cloud9 are the first teams invited to compete at ESL One Cologne 2018, the event's organisers have revealed.
The Americas duo contested the final of last year's ESL One Cologne event, with the Brazilians running out 3-0 victors to win their fifth title in three months - their last before replacing João "felps" Vasconcellos with Ricardo "boltz" Prass.
Cloud9 began 2018 with a bang, winning the ELEAGUE Major after an incredible playoff run that saw them beat G2, SK and FaZe. The Brazilians are still looking for their first title of the year after crashing out of the Major in the semi-finals and of cs_summit 2 in third place.
ESL One Cologne will begin with a three-day group stage from July 3-5 and will culminate with the playoffs at the LANXESS Arena, from July 6-8. Sixteen teams will be taking part in this tournament, which will have $300,000 on offer - a $50,000 increase when compared to last year's $250,000 prize pool.
Tickets to ESL One Cologne are already available for purchase, with prices starting at 59€ (73$).