Counter-Strike: Global Offensive might not be getting an International-style tournament of its own, but that doesn't mean organisers are skimping on the production.
The upcoming ESL One event in Cologne is a staple of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive calendar. ESL has had a base in Cologne for many moons — I remember Australia's Team Immunity using the offices to bootcamp prior to the World Cyber Games finals in 2008 — and as a result the area has become synonymous with eSports.
Two teams will actually be flying the Southern Cross at ESL One Cologne this year, which is one of the few Valve-supported CS:GO events. It's got a US$250,000 prize pool, a 15,000 seater stadium to enjoy (for the final two days of the event, at least) and lots of commentators.
No, really. There are four different hosts, 11 commentators and two observers, some of which have been around the scene for years. God, I remember watching footage of Jason "Moses" O'Toole almost 12 years ago when he and his brother's team pulled off an upset win in the Cyberathlete Professional League's heyday.
But this is 2015 and all about ESL One Cologne. Here's the trailer.
I tried looking for the old CPL video, but couldn't find the specific one (and I'm not really allowed to spend two hours watching ancient footage in 240p).
Anyway, ESL One Cologne will be the largest CS:GO tournament to date — at least in the modern era. It all kicks off on August 20 or five days and just over 17 hours, from the time of writing. And just to get you excited, here's a highlights package of last year's proceedings courtesy of HLTV.org.