Evil Geniuses have seemed to have found their footing again in NA after the addition of zews, and look to make it three in a row at ESL One Cologne NA. Photo by @EvilGeniusesCS
- ESL One Cologne NA is set to run August 18-29
- Can EG make it three in a row?
- Will Liquid make some waves in their debut post-nitr0 – see below for our betting prediction
Though the world is in a much different place than it was just months ago, one of the things that has remained constant throughout COVID has been competitive Counterstrike. The tournaments over the past few months have switched from LAN’s with international teams in attendance, to regional tournaments that have been hosted online.
For this reason ESL One Cologne has been divided into a European tournament and a North American tournament featuring only teams from the respective regions. Heading into the North American side, Evil Geniuses come in as the favorite off of back-to-back tournament wins. Are EG poised to hit the three-peat? Or is the better bet further down in the table?
ESL One Cologne Odds
|Team||Odds to Win|
|Chaos Esports Club||+800|
Odds taken on Aug. 15
The Dawn of the Online EG Era?
Evil Geniuses have had successful runs in the past where they were undoubtedly the best team in North America, but they haven’t ever really been able to hold onto the crown for a substantial amount of time. They were in a rut for a little while with disappointing performance after disappointing performance, so they decided to shake things up and depart with their longtime coach, ImAPet, and bring in legendary CS:GO coach, zews.
Since the switch EG has looked revitalized, with consistently good performances in the COVID online tournament era. They’ve managed to place second at ESL Pro League Season 11 North America, third at Blast Premier Spring Americas Showdown, and took home back-to-back golds at Blast Premier Spring Americas Finals, and cs_summit 6 North America.
I would say that Evil Geniuses are the best bet to win outright at ESL One Cologne North America and make it three chips in a row. The other big hitter in the region, Liquid, has recently undergone some major changes, and there may be another team or two that could steal a map off EG, but I just don’t see them losing in a best-of-three series.
Dark Horse Picks at ESL One Cologne
Now I do think Evil Geniuses will walk away the winners and make it three in a row, but there are other teams that I think can pose a threat to the current kings of NA. I would say that if you’re looking for a bit more value with a bit higher risk, I would suggest looking at Gen.G and Liquid.
Gen.G are a team I feel can just surprise you any given tournament. Their roster has countless international events under their belt, and almost every one of their players has the ability to just pop off and drop a 30-bomb any given map. They are always a threat to make a run, especially at a tournament featuring only North American teams.
Announcing the newest addition to North America’s finest:
Help us in giving a warm welcome to @1grimcs into the Liquid Family 💪
Grim will be making his TL debut this week at DH Summer, be sure to watch and cheer him on 🏆
📖: https://t.co/jvdyORnHvA pic.twitter.com/pv69Aobpxw
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) August 4, 2020
Liquid at times has not only been the best team in North America, but the best team in the world. Going on an absolute tear in 2019, they were nearly unstoppable en route to being the second team in history to capture the Intel Grand Slam. Though in recent months their production has declined, and they have seen some significant changes come because of that fact.
Longtime Captain, nitr0, has stepped down and they have also brought in up and comer, Grim, to fill his place, and they have also made a coaching change bringing in fan-favorite caster, Moses, to coach the squad. So far they have played a few series online where they have shown promise with the new look roster, so with the little bit of added value they may be worth tossing a couple bucks on.
Pick: EG (+300)
Zack is a lifelong video game enthusiast that has been in the competitive scene for over 11 years. He currently works at TSN and has an in-depth understanding across multiple esports titles. From PC to console games, first person shooters to MOBA’s, one-taps to five-man ult’s, he knows it all.