ESL One events consist of two separate stages - Group and Playoff stage.
Sixteen teams are being split up into two groups of eight, while seeds are being determined by the ESL Pro Tour Rankings.
Every match during the Group stage is played as a Bo3.
After all the matches have been played, top 3 ranked teams from both groups go to the Playoffs.
Playoffs are a little bit different, as they start with single-elimination brackets, while the Quarterfinals and Semifinals are being played as Bo3.
The Grand Final is being played with the format Bo5 .
Sometimes the organizer will test out new concepts and formats. Therefore always check the tournament page if you would like to study a specific tournament.
Whats special about ESL One
ESL One is the S-Tier type of tournament that serves as the proving ground for the most talented and skilled teams on the planet. The biggest stars of the Counter-Strike scene never look away from this event due to the reputation it was able to acquire over the previous years.
Becoming a champion in a tournament like ESL One means much more than winning the money and the temporary fame – it is a testament to one’s skill, hard work, and dedication, the great virtues needed to become a master of any craft, esports included.
ESL One's first event
The first ESL One event for CS:GO was back in 2014 when the game was on the verge becoming one of the biggest esports games in the world.
It was ESL One: Cologne 2014, where they got the privilege to host a major, the most prestigious title in the Counter-Strike scene.
On top of that, the 16 teams participating would also be competing against each other for the prize pool of $250,000.
The participating teams were Virtus.pro, NiP, Dignitas, Cloud9, HellRaisers, LDLC, fnatic, London Conspiracy, dAT, Epsilon, Titan, Copenhagen Wolves, NaVi, iBUYPOWER, Vox Eminor and Wolf.
At the beginning of CS:GO, Nip was considered the best team in the world by far, but they could never win a major trophy when it really mattered. They would lose several finals to fnatic and Virtus.pro, but this time it would be different.
None of the matches were easy for NiP, and they were close to dropping out of the tournament already in the group stage. But by hard work and passion, they managed to turn it all around and reach the finals, where they would compete against their Swedish rivals fnatic.
NiP ended up winning the finals and claimed their first major trophy at ESL One: Cologne 2014.