Credit: Valve

ESL One: Cologne 2015: First back-to-back Major win in CS:GO

In this series we look back at all the previous 16 Majors in CS:GO. Today we have reached ESL One: Cologne 2015.

We are only 5 days away from kick-off at the PGL Antwerp Major in Belgium. To ease the waiting time, we have created a countdown series, where we dive into the history of all of the 16 Majors.

ESL One: Cologne 2015

Date: Aug 20th – Aug 23rd 2015

Number of teams: 16

Prize Pool: $250,000

Winner: fnatic

MVP: Robin “flusha” Rönnquist

Map pool: Train, Dust2, Cache, Inferno, Mirage, Overpass, Cobblestone.

ESL One: Cologne 2015 was the sixth CS:GO Major tournament in the history of the game and was held from August 20-23, 2015 in the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne Germany. The tournament once again featured a total of 16 teams and a total prize pool of $250,000.

It was announced after the tournament by Valve that the event had broken the viewership record once again. ESL One: Cologne 2015 scored highest peak of over 1,3 million concurrent viewers during the Grand Final between fnatic and Team EnVy. It was also the first ever CS:GO Major where the Swedish squad from Ninjas in Pyjamas didn’t reach the finals.

First back-to-back Major win

DreamHack Winter 2013, ESL One: Katowice 2015, and ESL One: Cologne 2015. Three Majors, one champion – fnatic.

The Swedish squad from fnatic did the impossible. They showed the CS:GO world what true dominance looks like. The team won three CS:GO Majors, a feat no team had been able to match at the time. More impressively, they won two of those Major tournaments back-to-back.

And they did so at a time when the game was blowing up and when ESL One: Katowice hit one million concurrent viewers in 2015. CS:GO was emerging as one of the biggest esports in the world, and fnatic were front and centre.

fnatic’s quad AWP

During the Grand final of the ESL One: Cologne 2015 Major Championship, where fnatic were up against the Frenchmen from Team EnVyUs, the Swedish roster decided to show the world an unseen strategy. Something you probably never thought you would see in a pro match, especially not in a Major Grand final.

In overtime of the first map on Dust2, the heavy-stacked fnatic squad decided to make a huge investment and go all-in on their weapon arsenal by equipping nothing more than four AWP’s in one round. Every player of the team set their sights towards middle doors for a potential peek by their opponents. And right after the round started, a completely helpless Dan “apEX” Madesclaire from EnVyUs chose to take a peek up at T-spawn, where he was met by those four snipers who all had their scope set on him.

Watch the play right here:

Valve decided to immortalize the play by adding a permanent graffiti illustrating a Terrorist holding four AWP’s in his hands near T-Spawn on Dust2. However, the graffiti was removed from the map in an update in 2017.

The Grand final of ESL One: Cologne 2015

The sold out Lanxess Arena had 12.000 fans together to cheer for whoever fnatic met. But the Swedes were used to play against the crowd and couldn’t really have asked for better conditions. JW, KRIMZ, flusha, olof, and pronax had a mental fortitude of a champion who know he can’t lose. They believed so much in their own abilities as a team, that even their opponents started believing it, feeling like there is nothing they can do.

When fnatic got intro trouble once in a while, all it took for them to come back in the match was a timeout. Nearly every time they took a timeout, they didn’t lose a single round for the remainder of the match. And that’s exactly what happened in the Grand final of the Major against Team EnVyUs, who was the only squad that was considered a threat to the Swedes.

The first map in the Grand final was Dust2, where JW and company came behind 7-14 against a French squad that was in complete control of the game. Then fnatic took one of their feared time-outs that changed everything. The Swedes fought and managed to take the game into overtime, where they drew the first blood to the series by closing out Dust2 19-15. KRIMZ and the rest of fnatic carried over the momentum on Cobblestone, where they came out on top with a 16-7 scoreline to claim the title and become the first team to secure back-to-back Majors.

Tournament results:

1. fnatic - $100,000
2. Envy - $50,000
3-4th. Virtus.pro - $22,000
3-4th. TSM - $22,000
5-8th. Luminosity - $10,000
5-8th. Team Kinguin - $10,000
5-8th. NAVI - $10,000
5-8th. Ninjas in Pyjamas - $10,000
9-12th. FlipSid3 - $2,000
9-12th. Renegades - $2,000
9-12th. Cloud9 - $2,000
9-12th. CLG - $2,000
13-16th. MOUZ - $2,000
13-16th. Immunity - $2,000
13-16th. Titan - $2,000
13-16th. eBettle - $2,000

Highest rated players at ESL One: Cologne 2015:

1. Robin “flusha” Rönnquist (fnatic) – 1.38 Rating


2. Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer (fnatic) – 1.25 Rating


3. Nicolai “device” Reedtz (TSM) – 1.25 Rating


4. Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson (fnatic) – 1.17 Rating


5. Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas (Virtus.pro) – 1.17 Rating


6. Karlo “USTILO” Pivac (Immunity) – 1.15 Rating


7. Finn “karrigan” Andersen (TSM) – 1.14 Rating


8. Denis “denis” Howell (MOUZ) – 1.14 Rating


9. Josh “jdm64” Marzano (CLG) – 1.13 Rating


10. Aleksi “allu” Jalli (NiP) – 1.13 Rating

Something you probably didn’t know:

Randomized anti-doping tests were conducted during the ESL One: Cologne 2015, which returned negative results for all tested players. ESL continued to implement this initiative for all of their ESL One series.

Tomorrow we take a look at the DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 Major.

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