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The battle has begun at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. ESL One Cologne is underway and competition is looking just as fierce as we’d expected.

The cast of teams includes 14 of the top 16 teams in the world with only G2 and North missing out. With a field this tough and competition at the highest its been in a year, each match is looking to be a challenge.

This has already been showcased in just the first round with three matches reaching 16-14, two more in double digits for both teams and only two matches with relatively one-sided scores. Astralis took down BIG 16-4 while NRG dismantled FURIA 16-7 on Nuke.

Natus Vincere and mousesports was expected to be spicy and it delivered as the match went the distance.

In the other 16-14 matches, FaZe Clan narrowly defeated Renegades and Liquid went all 30 rounds in their opening match against MVP PK to the surprise of many.

Heroic took the win over ENCE at 16-10 on Miragem also proving to be somewhat of a shock given ENCE’s recent form and results. The new MIBR roster didn’t fare too well in its debut as they fell to fnatic 16-11 on Inferno in their opener. Another team that had shown some real flare lately fell as well with Vitality suffering a 16-10 loss at the hands of Ninjas in Pyjamas.

This sets up round 2 which will feature the following matches:

  • mousesports vs. MVP PK
  • Natus Vincere vs. Liquid
  • NRG vs. FaZe
  • FURIA vs. Renegades
  • ENCE vs. Vitality
  • BIG vs. MIBR
  • Astralis vs. fnatic
  • Heroic vs. NiP

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