With ESL's next major Counter-Strike event in Cologne one month away, the tournament organizer has announced the final teams joining the event's Play-In Stage. LDLC OL, one of the largest French teams, managed to qualify for the Play-In Stage through the National Championship Global Playoffs, toppling Sprout in the finals.
For six other teams joining the preliminary stage of ESL Cologne, ESL's World Rankings granted a slot. BIG, mousesports, Team Vitality, Bad News Bears, FaZe Clan, and OG complete the Play-In Stage roster, which already had Team Spirit, Complexity Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Evil Geniuses, Team One, MIBR, Renegades, and ViCi Gaming as invited teams based on other results.
With one million dollar on the line, as well as a heap of ESL and BLAST Circuit Points, ESL Cologne is one of the most significant events of the CS:GO season. The winner of the event snatches a $400,000 first prize, complemented by 1800 ESL Pro tour points and 3200 BLAST Premier points.
Given the history ESL Cologne has as an event, it's seen as one of the most important tournaments leading up to the Major, which will be held at the end of the year.
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Image courtesy of ESL.