Team Liquid, Astralis, NRG, and NiP have assured their playoff spot at ESL One Cologne after winning all of their games so far on the second day of competition.
The Ninjas will play against Astralis tomorrow and Liquid will play an American derby against NRG. The winners will advance straight to the semifinals of ESL One Cologne and the losers will have to play in the quarterfinals.
Liquid were the first team to secure their spot in the playoffs, despite having a tough game against MVP PK in the first round. Liquid then locked up their spot after an entertaining series against Natus Vincere, in which they made a comeback in the first map after Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostilyev failed to close out the match by attempting a knife kill. Liquid eventually won the series 2-1.
NRG, the second best North American team at the moment, had a great debut under Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz’s leadership. The IGL showed promise as NRG easily beat FURIA in the first round and had no trouble whatsoever to defeat FaZe in straight maps in the next series. Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte has been looking especially on point, evident by his 47 kills in the FaZe matchup.
Astralis are still trying to find its 2018 form, and they have done well so far at ESL One Cologne to achieve that goal. The Danes dispatched of BIG and then dominated Fnatic today, winning the series 2-0. Astralis even won 16-1 on Train, the first map of the series. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen shined with 46 kills.
NiP, who just made a roster change, is having one of their best campaigns of the year at ESL Cologne. The Swedes pulled off an upset against Vitality in the first round of the tournament, and they breezed past against Heroic with a 2-0 win. Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, who is probably playing one of his final events with NiP, must feel happy with the team’s performance so far.
The North American derby featuring Liquid vs NRG will be played tomorrow 8:30am CT. And NiP vs. Astralis are set up to happen at 12am CT. The winners will skip the quarterfinals on Friday and return to the semifinals on Saturday.