ESL One Cologne 2015 is almost upon us and as part of our pre-event coverage we prepared a plethora of facts & numbers about the majors' history, the players and the teams that will be involved.
The $250,000 events funded by the community through Valve have been the pinnacle of CS:GO competitive play so far as they gathered the world's very best teams on each occasion.
With five of those events behind us – DreamHack Winter 2013, EMS One Katowice 2014, ESL One Cologne 2014, DreamHack Winter 2014 and ESL One Katowice 2015 – there is more than enough history to look back on and filter out the standout teams and players, as well as general facts about those tournaments.
Looking back at the majors' history
Thus we have put together a comprehensive list of facts and numbers, as well as graphs and tables with plenty of interesting and some not that interesting info to soak up as we await the kick-off on Thursday at 14:00.
We'll start off with some general things about the majors so far, such as how many maps it takes to win a title, how many players won one so far, what the longest match was and more:
• ESL One Cologne 2015 will be the 6th Valve-supported major tournament with a $250,000 prize purse and all of the world's best teams in attendance
• The viewership at majors has been on a consistent rise throughout each event, with ESL One Katowice 2015 peaking at around 1,1 million viewers during the grand final
• For the first time in history North America and Asia/Oceania had LAN qualifiers, while Europe had its second (albeit non-European teams were allowed at the first)
• 165 different players were involved in the major tournaments so far. 66 of them will appear at ESL One Cologne 2015
• 22 different players have won a major title so far; 19 of them will be attempting to add one more, while Fifflaren, schneider and Devilwalk are not participating
• A team needs to win 8 maps to win a major (2 in the group stage, 6 in the playoffs)
• No team has won a title without dropping a map yet. Virtus.pro (Katowice 2014) and fnatic (Katowice 2015) did it with an 8-1 record; on the other hand, NiP lost the maximum number of maps while winning ESL One Cologne 2014 – 4 total, 1 in the group stage and 1 in each playoff series
• 27 matches are played at every event, 20 Bo1s in the group stage and 7 Bo3s in the playoffs, which makes it 135 total matches so far (189 maps, excluding LDLC vs. fnatic map 3 at DHW which was officially registered as a forfeit)
• out of the 35 playoff series 20 went into map 3 (57%). 10 of those 20 finished with a 16-12 or closer score
• overall 31 of 100 group stage matches finished with a 16-12 score or closer and 28 of 90 playoff maps (both at 31%)
• There have been 10 maps with overtime, 5 in the group stage and 5 in the playoffs; one of each went into double OT
• There has never been a 16-0 score at a major. There have been five 16-1s
• The most frequent scores at the majors are 16-14 and 16-8, both happened 19 times so far
• Only once has one of the first two matches at a major seen double digit resistance from the losing team - the very first match of the first major, Clan-Mystik vs. LGB at DreamHack Winter 2013 (16-14 on Dust2)
• The longest match at the majors was a semi-final at DH Winter 2014 between NiP and Virtus.pro that lasted 91 rounds. Next most rounds in a series was 85 which happened twice - fnatic vs. LGB (EMS One Katowice 2014 1/4 final) and NiP vs. fnatic (ESL One Katowice 2015 grand final)
Before we continue on to the next section, let's take a deeper look into how the results have been distributed so far, as it may tell us what to expect in the upcoming event.
As we can see the losing teams most often get 7-8 or 13-14 rounds, and while blowouts do happen several times per event (23 results between 16-1 and 16-3 in total), close matches are far more common (59 results 16-12 or closer), albeit less than thegeneral CS:GO average. The deciding maps of playoffs series though - when it comes to them - end 16-12 or closer in 50% of cases.
And who doesn't love a close match between top teams at a major. But which major had the closest matches so far?
The table above shows that Katowice 2014 and Cologne 2014 have been equally closely contested with 25.5 rounds per map. But upon closer inspection we see that Katowice ranks first in group stage, but only fourth in the more important playoffs.
On the other hand, ESL One Cologne 2014 had by far the most interesting playoff matches according to this statistic with 27 rounds per map, which should mean it takes the cake in this contest.
If we actually look back we'll see that some of the most legendary series took place at that event, with a record four playoff matches going to three maps. And all four of them ended 16-14 or 16-13, including the grand final between NiP and fnatic.
In general the grand finals have been quite entertaining so far, with four of them going to map three and another three having 80+ rounds.
While some organizations forayed into CS:GO only this year and are going into their first or second major, others have been here since the start. Let’s see which ones have been represented the most so far.
• 39 different organizations sent teams to the majors
• The only 3 that were present at every event so far are NiP, fnatic and Natus Vincere
• NiP made it to the final of all five majors, losing four and winning one (ESL One Cologne 2014)
• 5 organizations will be at their first major - Kinguin, Luminosity, Renegades, eBettle and Immunity, while mousesports, EnVyUs, TSM and CLG are heading into their second
Only 13 of the 39 organizations have attended at least 3 majors (listed above), while just 6 of those 13 will be in play this week in Cologne.
The most obvious absentee is HellRaisers, who had a team at the last four events but this time failed to qualify.
Another perhaps notable missing name is LDLC, the only organization that won a title and missed the next major (and now two).
Before we delve into the juiciest part – the one about players and their records – let's check out which countries have been (and will now be) represented:
• 22 different countries were represented at the majors so far
• Sweden leads the way having fielded 23 different players in the 5 events, followed by Denmark (22), France and USA (15), Germany (12) and Ukraine and Poland (10)
• At the upcoming major Sweden will once again have the most representatives (11), making it the 3rd time that is the case. Denmark had the most players twice and France once
• Portugal (fox) and Turkey (gob b) will be represented for the first time
• This will be the most diverse major so far with players coming from 19 different countries, surpassing Katowice 2015 that had 17
Despite having led the way in Katowice 2014 (16 players) and DH Winter 2014 (15), Denmark has fallen off a cliff and is for the second time in a row represented only by the five TSM members.
Ukraine is the only one that hit a new low, with only 5 players present from this Eastern European country that previously always had at least 6 representatives.
On the other hand, Australia has brought up 5 new players, Poland will have 4 new names. USA also has 2 new additions to its ever growing list of players which now stands at 17 across all majors and will climb to 3rd most overall.
Age doesn't tell much of a story in the CS world as we have stars who are still teenagers and stars who are nearing the age of 30. Nevertheless, it can be fun to check out the average age per team and the youngest or oldest players at the upcoming event:
• EnVyUs will be the youngest team at the event with 21.8 average squad age
• Virtus.pro will be the oldest team on average with 25.6
• TaZ will for the 3rd time be the oldest player at a major (previously at ESL One Cologne 2014 and DH Winter 2014). natu was the oldest at ESL One Katowice 2015, and HaRts at the first two majors - DH Winter 2013 and EMS One Katowice 2014
• natu was the oldest player to play at a major in general and at the same time the oldest rookie (29 years and 309 days old at the start of ESL One Katowice 2015)
• boltz will be the youngest player for the 2nd major in a row (18 years, 132 days)
• GruBy from eBettle is the youngest rookie (20 years, 293 days old)
• Kjaerbye is the youngest player that participated so far – he was 16 years and 214 days old at the start of DreamHack Winter 2014 when he played for CPH Wolves
• Virtus.pro will become the oldest squad ever at the majors at 25.6 average age, barely edging out HellRaisers at ESL One Cologne 2014 (25.6), Bravado at DH Winter 2014 (25.2) and Na`Vi at ESL One Katowice 2015 (25.2)
• No player will celebrate a birthday during ESL One Cologne 2015. The nearest birthdays are denis two days before (turns 21 today) and rain three days after (turns 21 on August 27th)
• The CS:GO game itself will celebrate its 3rd birthday on August 21st, the second day of the event
It's somewhat of a surprise, but the three teams that are perhaps the biggest favorites on paper – TSM, fnatic and EnVyUs, are actually among five youngest teams at the event.
The oldest team in the previous major, Natus Vincere, went down to the middle of the table due to replacing Sergey "starix" Ischukwith 18-year-old Egor "flamie" Vasilyev in the meantime.
The above list of the youngest players in Cologne may contain some stars of tomorrow, like Ricardo "boltz" Prass, Tarik "tarik" Celik and Justin "jks" Savage, but it also has three very established players in Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth, Nicolai "device" Reedtz and Kenny "kennyS" Schrub who already boast serious experience.
Interestingly, there's only one rookie among the ten youngest players, whereas the list of ten oldest players contains two:
Following Joona "natu" Leppänen's move into a coaching position,Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas has overtaken the torch of the oldest professional CS:GO player, which he will in fact carry for the third time at a major.
Two regular major attendees Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg and Sean "[email protected]" Gares also aren't far from the list with over 27 years of age, but were pushed down by two rookies, Ricardo "fox" Pacheco and Fatih "gob b" Dayik.
Interestingly the above list contains six players from the grand final of ESL's last CS 1.6 major, IEM 6 World Championship. It's the Virtus.pro and Na`Vi members, as well as former Na`Vi playerYegor "markeloff" Markelov, who fought for the major title four years ago but are still hungry to add more trophies to their collection.
What matters far more than age is the actual playing experience, so we will now look at the teams and players from that angle.
• Virtus.pro played with the same lineup in all 5 majors (they were known as UniversalSoldiers at DH Winter 2013).
• No other five-man lineup played in all majors. Only one lineup appeared in four - Natus Vincere (seized, GuardiaN, starix, Zeus, Edward). Three lineups played in three majors - NiP (GeT_RiGhT, f0rest, friberg, Fifflaren, Xizt), fnatic (JW, KRIMZ, olofmeister, pronax, flusha), Astana Dragons/HellRaisers (markeloff, AdreN, kUcheR, ANGE1, Dosia).
• Only five of the sixteen ESL One Cologne rosters have played at a major before in the same composition - Virtus.pro (5), fnatic (3), NiP (1), TSM (1), FlipSid3 (1)
• Every previous team that won a title made it to the playoffs of the next major
• Among previous winners only NiP made a lineup change for the next major, replacing Fifflaren with Maikelele ahead of DreamHack Winter 2014
• The four least experienced teams at ESL One Cologne - Immunity, eBettle, CLG and Luminosity, have less maps at majors between their 20 players (41 maps total) than any of NiP's four core members
The above graph attempts to show how experienced each team's roster is with regards to previous major tournaments.
Only Virtus.pro and fnatic have players that attended each of the five events, but NiP have a lot more maps of experience (red line) due to four of them reaching every grand final so far.
The youngest team at the event, EnVyUs, ranks fourth in amount of majors and maps on average.
If we'd use past experience to determine favorites to make the playoffs, then those four abovementoined teams would be joined by TSM, Titan, Na`Vi and Cloud9.
The five teams "bolded" in the graph are the ones who retained their lineup from the previous major, although FlipSid3 did that more out of necessity as had to play without Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev.
Here are some facts regarding specific players and their previous major experience:
• 14 players will make their major debut
• 28 players will play in their 6th major
• The most experienced players at the majors are NiP's GeT_RiGhT, f0rest, friberg and Xizt - each having played 53 maps so far
• JW, pronax and flusha are the only players that won two majors
• Since DH Winter 2013 where everyone was a rookie, no player won a major tournament in his first try. What's more, every player that won a major participated in all previous majors. allu came closest to winning it as a rookie, reaching the final of ESL One Katowice with NiP
• 5 players will be missing out on playing at a CS:GO major for the first time in their career - ANGE1, Dosia, kUcheR, SEMPHIS and starix (although he will participate as the coach of Na`Vi)
• Happy is the only French player that made the playoffs in all 5 events (representing Recursive, LDLC, EnVyUs)
• the TSM core of device, dupreeh and Xyp9x also reached the playoffs in all 5 majors (under CPH Wolves, dignitas and TSM). They had different teammates in four of them, only repeating the lineup with FeTiSh and cajunb at Katowice 2014 and DH Winter 2014
• before their time in TSM, karrigan and cajunb played together at DH Winter 2013 (n!faculty) and ESL One Cologne 2014 (CPH Wolves), failing to reach the playoffs on both occasions. That also means that cajunb played at every major with one of his current teammates
• kennyS will play at his 5th major with a 5th different lineup. In each of his previous appearances he played with exactly one current teammate: with Happy at DHW 2013 (Recursive), kioShiMa at Katowice 2014 (Clan-Mystik), NBK- at Cologne 2014 (Titan), apEX at Katowice 2015 (Titan)
• markeloff is the only player at the event that attended all 5 majors and never made it past the quarter-final
• Skadoodle has never made it past the group stage in his four majors
• three of Kinguin's players previously made it to a major semi-final with their old teams - dennis (LGB at Katowice 2014), Maikelele (NiP at DHW 2014) and ScreaM (VeryGames at DHW 2013)
• dennis and Maikelele (then known as eksem) already played together at one major, DH Winter 2013, under the LGB banner
We also composed a list of most successful players in attendance, ordered by an arbitrary point system based on which stage they reached each time:
There are thirteen players at the event that have been in the playoffs every time, and nine of them are Swedish.
It's also worth pointing out some players who didn't make the list and are still looking for that major title – Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans, Finn "karrigan" Andersen and Schrub, each of whom attended four majors and only once made it past the group stage.
But here are those who are still in search of even their first playoff appearance:
Some of these players are still trying to reach that next step together, such as the Renegades, CLG and FlipSid3 team-cores, while others like Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham, Håvard "rain" Nygaardand Vasilyev are in new teams at this event.
And it's not as if there isn't room for them to fill out, as there is a fair amount of previously successful players at majors that will not be playing in this one:
The likes of Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson, Henrik "FeTiSh" Christensen and Ischuk are not actively playing anymore, while most of the others didn't manage to qualify and will have to sit on the sidelines this time.
And lastly, here are the 14 players who will be appearing at a CS:GO major for the first time in their careers:
Some of them, namely Yaman "yam" Ergenekon, Fatih "gob b" Dayik and Pacheco have lengthy playing experience behind them, with the Turkish player even winning a CS 1.6 major back in 2008 (IEM Season 2). But all of them, together with the other eleven, will be getting their feet wet for the first time in a CS:GO major.
Player stats and records
To finish off this lengthy post we'll list some player stats from the past majors:
• Only 42 of all 165 players have a rating of 1.00 or higher in majors; 30 will return in Cologne
• Snax is the highest rated player at the majors overall (1.23 rating). Full list can be found here
• GeT_RiGhT has the most total kills at majors so far (1050) as well as the most survived rounds (486)
• apEX is the best fragger on average with 0.84 kills per round (out of players with minimum 300 rounds played)
• JW has the most total AWP kills at the majors (247), while GuardiaN has the most on average (0.46 per round)
• f0rest has the most first kills in total (177), apEX the most on average (0.16)
• pashaBiceps has the highest success rate in first duels. He won 61.1% of them while averaging 0.15 opening kills per round (5th highest)
• Xyp9x won 17 clutches (1vsX) in his 28 maps, highest per map average at the majors. He is also the "hardest to kill", having the lowest amount of deaths per round (0.60)
• Xizt has the most total assists (226), whereas NEO has by far the most on average (0.22)
• byali contributed in most rounds on average so far, getting a kill, assist or surviving 70.6% of the time
• 71.9% - apEX had at least one kill in the most round wins for his teams (Clan-Mystik, LDLC, Titan), making him the most impactful player so far
• 53.3% - markeloff has had the least rounds without contribution in losses (no kill or assist, just a death in team's round loss) throughout the 5 majors, meaning he "failed" his team least often
• JW has been the multi-kill master, getting 2 or more kills in 21% of his rounds
• NiP lost 80% of rounds when friberg died first. Conversely, fnatic lost only 63% when JW fell first, while both are the primary round openers for their respective teams
• Virtus.pro's whole roster have been the five most successful players on CT side, winning 69% of their rounds. fnatic's trio of JW, pronax and flusha follow with 64%
• NiP's original roster of GeT_RiGhT, f0rest, friberg, Xizt and Fifflaren lead the T-side win percentage list with 53%, followed by schneider and Devilwalk (51%) and then Hiko, ScreaM, JW, pronax and flusha (50%)
• the player with the highest headshot percentage at the majors is raalz, with an astounding 77.4% (72 headshots from 93 kills). ScreaM is second with 70.8%
That's all of the facts and numbers we had for you ahead of ESL One Cologne. Hopefully you found some that were interesting and that it will make the upcoming major just a little extra fun, as it continues to build on the CS:GO legacy later this week.