NA teams didn’t make it to the playoffs at ESL One Cologne
The quarter-finals at ESL One Cologne are scheduled for tomorrow, Friday July 6, but there will be no North American teams featured in these as both Team Liquid and Cloud9 have already been eliminated in the group stages. They are packing their bags and going home with only $5 thousand and $6 thousand respectively, which is just a little bit more than what their travel expenses cost.
The poor performances in Cologne are certain to impact Cloud9 and Team Liquid’s CS:GO rankings and they will probably find themselves lower than the current positions they hold once the July results have been taken into consideration. Of the two teams this will certainly hurt Cloud9 more as they have been in a steady decline over the last four months and from being second in the world in March, they now find themselves in tenth position and with a tendency to go even lower.
Team Liquid on the other hand, had much better performances recently and their two second place finishes at the ECS Season 5 Finals and the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, as well as their third place in the recently finished ESL One Belo Horizonte tournament almost guarantees that their drop in the rankings will not be as pronounced as that of Cloud9.
However, of the two North American teams, it was actually Cloud9 which gave more of a fight when it came to staying alive in the ESL One Cologne 2018. They easily triumphed over NiP in the first group stage match 16-3 and then followed that victory with an expected defeat at the hands of Astralis, in a match in which they started brightly and almost came from behind to take the first map. They didn’t though and once they lost it 16-12 they became very disjointed, lost focus and lost the second map 16-1.
This meant that they had to face Natus Vincere in the lower bracket group stage, after the Ukrainians unexpectedly put themselves in a tough position by losing to G2 in the opening match of the tournament. Facing s1mple, flamie and the rest of NaVi is never easy and this one was no different as the Ukrainians was playing like a wounded animal that needed to get back to where it belongs. To be fair to Cloud9, they gave it all that they had and put a commendable performance, but still lost 14-16 on Inferno and 12-16 on Overpass.
Team Liquid’s players on the other hand, surprised many fans with the uninspired performances that they gave in Cologne. They entered the opening match in Group B against BIG as the favorites for the victory, but lost convincingly 16-7, which meant that they had to play against the Danish side North in an attempt to get their Cologne conquest back on track.
However, North had other plans and they proved that when European teams are playing on their continent, they are much more dangerous than when they are playing somewhere else. The first map was played on Train and it was a very closely fought encounter as both teams won each half by 8-7, which took the map into overtime. There, North showed much more focus and concentration and managed to edge the North Americans 4-1. The second map only sealed Team Liquid’s fate as the Danes were much more convincing and won 16-11, which sent one of the favorites to win the tournament packing.