Ninjas in Pyjamas beat Counter Logic gaming in the opening game of ESL One Cologne today. The scoreline was close at 16-13, but the result was hardly a shock. The real surprise came from the viewership numbers: At one point, 735,000 people watched the opening best-of-one, according to the Twitch stream and in-game client.
A record breaking 1 million concurrent viewers watched the grand final of ESL One Katowice in March, meaning the opening game of ESL One Cologne is already creeping close to the viewership record.
On the second stream, team EnvyUs took on Flipsid3 in the opener of Group B. Even on a secondary stream, that game still managed to total 247,000 viewers. The two matches combined were merely 40,000 viewers away from hitting the Katowice final numbers.
As the day goes on and North American viewers start to tune in, the tournament could be look at record breaking numbers in the opening day, especially with fan favorites like Fnatic, Virtus pro, and Cloud9 yet to play.
Day one of the event will feature 10 more group stage matches before the groups are re-shuffled for tomorrow’s secondary group stage. Four teams will progress to the playoff stage, while the other 12 will battle it out again tomorrow for one of the eight elusive spots in the playoffs—and a chance to fight for their slice of the $250,000 prize pool.
Image via Valve