ESL One Cologne is coming this July. The annual event is easily one of the best CS:GO events out there, notable for its money and competitive level. Here we see one interesting pattern regarding the #1 players and the winning teams in ESL One Cologne each year since 2014. We also feature the top 5 highest earning teams in CS:GO.

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The $300,000 event will take place this July

CS:GO has witnessed the rise and fall of many eras. We have been under the era of Nip in 2013 2014 with GeT_RiGhT and Co. dominating LAN. We have seen their compatriots fnatic taking over the lead in the following year 2015 with the likes of olofmeister and flusha. Later on, CS:GO scene would be put under the era of Brazillian’s SK Gaming in 2016 and 2017 with the peak performance of the legendary Poland contender

2017 brought in the idea of an all-star lineup FaZe Clan. That whole year would then see the constant rivalry between FaZe and SK Gaming. 2018 saw the comeback of Natus Vincere in the scene, but they were outshadowed under the era of Astralis, total dominance.

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Coincidence or startling fact?

In every year, the best players would be the ones who hit their high skill ceiling a lot, consistently performing well throughout the year. An interesting fact is that every team winning ESL One Cologne would, later on, feature the best player that year.

Let’s have a look:

GeT_RiGhT – ESL One Cologne 2014

The Swedish lurker was once notorious for his immeasurable talent coupled with inventive playstyle. Back in 2013 and 2014, NiP was dominating the scene, managing to make an impressive 87-0 LAN Streak. The streak started in August 2012 and lasted all the way to April 2013. NiP's reign came to an end when defeated them 2-0 at StarLadder StarSeries V in April 2013.

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The legendary player in early stage of CS:GO

GeT_RiGhT was named be best player in 2013 and 2014 thanks to his stellar performance. Most notably, he fought alongside with his best friends f0rest and xizt to defeat their fnatic compatriots in the grand final of ESL One Cologne 2014.

The event featured the likes of, Team Dignitas (the early cores of Astralis with dupreeh, Xyp9x, dev1ce), Team (best French team that time with peak performing kennyS), iBUYPOWER (the notorious match-fixing team).

NiP, later on, could not live up to their good old days, but GeT_RiGhT still has got supports from fans worldwide.

The shining moment of GeT_RiGhT in the match against HellRaisers

Olofmeister – ESL One Cologne 2015

The latter half of 2014 saw the emergence of fnatic with the addition of olofmeister in July 2014. They went on to dominate LAN tournaments in 2015. With strong performance, olofmeister with his teammates managed to win ESL One Cologne 2015 with the MVP title for flusha.

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olofmeister in the legendary fnatic lineup

The tournament saw the strong contest among the French superteam Envyus, TSM (evolution of Dignitas), Luminosity Gaming (the early MIBR 3 cores).

Trivia: olofmeister was given the name boostmeister after the controversial match against TEAM in DreamHack Winter 2014. In the deciding map Overpass against the Frenchmen, fnatic was 3-12 down against LDLC after the first half.

The Swedish side then exploited the “pixel-walking” to get a boost spot from the CT base. That gave fnatic ridiculous control over the whole B-site and part of the middle with AWP and scout. The French side could not figure it out for a while and ended up losing the map.

After the match, LDLC filed a complaint against fnatic, claiming the action was against the rules. Fnatic then forfeited the match and let LDLC get the victory, eventually winning the tournament.

Definitely the favorite ACE pistol round olofmeister successfully pulled off

Coldzera – ESL One Cologne 2016 and 2017

Coldzera has been around in the scene since 2015 under the banner of Luminosity Gaming. He, together with fer and FalleN, found no much success until 2016 where the team made it to many big tournaments. Under Luminosity Gaming, they found the first big victory in ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals, defeating the French giant G2 Esports.

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coldzera deserved the two #1 titles in 2016 and 2017

Later on, they would fight under the sponsorship of SK Gaming, a German Esports organization. Right after the signing, the team went on to dominate the scene. Their first notable victory is in the grand final against Team Liquid in ESL One Cologne 2016. They won hands down with 2 maps 16-7 and 16-6, bringing home a whopping $500,000. The team finished 2016 with the #1 player title for coldzera. With outstanding performance throughout the year, it was a well-deserved achievement.

2017 saw the emergence of FaZe, an all-star squad fueled by the signing of the superstar ex-member of mousesports NiKo. They went on to destroy everything in their way, winning countless tournaments that year. It was a strong contest between coldzera and NiKo who would be the best that year.

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NiKo was really close in the race for the #1 player of 2017

However, with a stellar performance from coldzera and Co., SK Gaming managed to defeat FaZe on a regular basis every time they faced each other. Coldzera was eventually named the best player in 2017 thanks to his sky-high display of skills and wit. SK Gaming went on to win ESL One Cologne 2017 after sweeping Cloud9 3-0 in the grand final.

coldzera and his highlights

s1mple – ESL One Cologne 2018

s1mple has been notorious for his high skill ceiling and consistent performance since the start of his CS:GO. s1mple, together with NiKo from FaZe, has always been ranked among the top players every year into their career. 2018 was a remarkable year for s1mple where he was ranked #1 in the world with Natus Vincere.

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Many people believe s1mple to be the best player of CS:GO to ever touch CS:GO

The year also marked the start of Astralis era. The Danes were dominating the scene since their victory in DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018 in April. It was at this tournament that s1mple showed up in good number, finishing the event with 1.52 rating, winning the MVP title of the tournament.

His effort to carry his teammates was tremendous, but not enough. Astralis was too good with tactics and managed to lock down the Natus Vincere’s beast.

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s1mple had to settle for an MVP title without a victory together with his teammates

Later on, in July 2018, the CIS squad finally got the chance to take revenge against the Danes in the semi-final. They went on to win ESL One Cologne 2018 against Big, the home favorite, in a convincing fashion 3-1. S1mple claimed the MVP title, topping the chart with 1.37 rating.

Finally, s1mple got his revenge on the Danes, claiming MVP together with the trophy

Overall, s1mple claimed 6 MVP titles in 2018 under the era of Astralis. With the immeasurable impact he did for Natus Vincere, s1mple well deserved the title of #1 player in the game.

The interesting pattern is set, who do you think will be the best player this year? He should be in one specific team attending ESL One Cologne 2019 this year. Stay tuned to watch the highest level of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive going live this July 2019.