The series went back and forth, with EG needing all five maps before it could secure victory with a 16-12 win on Dust 2. The matchup went back and forth with each team taking their own map picks, starting with an overtime win by EG on Nuke followed by a 16-9 Vertigo win by Team Liquid. Next up was Inferno, where EG stole the win 16-12 before Team Liquid sprinted through Mirage 16-6.
The series ended on CSGO classic Dust 2, but Evil Geniuses managed to come out on top 16-12. Team Liquid showed a streaky side on several of the series’ maps, often stringing together early leads before EG bounced back. Ultimately, EG’s stable roster outlasted a TL that entered Cologne with a new player and a new head coach. While TL’s new addition Michael “Grim” Wince had his moments, he ended the series +2 with a 97-95 kill-to-death ratio. Liquid’s weak point turned out to be in-game leader Jake “Stewie2k” Yip. Stewie2k ended the series after struggling on the majority of its maps, posting a 62.6 ADR and a 68-98 KD.
Evil Geniuses performed worse than Team Liquid statistically, meaning that TL’s players had better individual performances per map but worse team-oriented play overall, which led to EG’s win. Besides Stewie2k, all of Team Liquid’s players ended the five-map series with ratings higher than 1.00. On the other hand, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold continued his impressive run of performances, while Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte and Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov also ended the ESL One Cologne grand final with above-average ratings. Despite EG veterans Tarik “tarik” Celik and Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz underperforming over the series, their teamwork was enough to best Team Liquid.
EG ended ESL One Cologne without dropping a single series and lost just three maps, two of which came in the grand finals. The win puts them at the top of North America’s CSGO totem pole, just ahead of ESL Pro League Season 12, another regional competition that will pit EG against the rest of their region. Its first matchup is scheduled for September 4 against 100 Thieves.