The Cathedral Of Counter-Strike Proves eSports Is Here To Stay

A look at the recent ESL One Cologne 2018 CS:GO tournament illustrates how significant and popular esports now is.

If any event demonstrates the insane growth in popularity of eSports over recent years, and the importance of it to the future of both igaming and sports betting, it was ESL One Cologne 2018 – also known as the ‘cathedral of Counter-Strike.’

A Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament run by ESL, it saw sixteen international teams compete in a group stage and playoffs, battling for a share of a $300,000 prize pool, in front of tens of thousands of fans.

ESL One Cologne 2018 was the eleventh tournament of the Intel Grand Slam’s first season. In this series of international tournaments, held by ESL and DreamHack, every team competes in ten tournaments, attempting to win four – with the first team to do so winning a bonus $1,000,000.

Teams from Denmark, Germany, the USA, the European Union, Sweden, France, Brazil, Ukraine, Canada, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, and Singapore competed in ESL One Cologne, 2018, making it a truly international event.

The tournaments final standings saw Ukrainian team ‘Natus Vincere’ take the top prize money, followed by Germany’s ‘BIG’, then Denmark’s ‘Astralis’ and the EU’s ‘FaZe Clan’.

Esports is growing at an incredible rate and has captured the imaginations and hearts of millions of millennials worldwide – unsurprising for a generation raised on video games.

The sheer size and production values of ESL esports tournaments can best be appreciated by checking out an official video of the event

With ESL One New York (CS:GO) coming up in September, and ESL One Hamburg 2018 (DOTA 2) in October, the league is set to keep gaining more fans. With such a momentum behind it, it seems the rise of esports is going to be more dramatic than anyone predicted – and sportsbooks can ill afford to ignore it.

(Photo: Roman Kosolapov |

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