With ESL One Cologne just around the corner, there are a number of storylines that have gone right to the wire in terms of player registration. Mousesports waiting until they had to pay a fee to register Snax would be one example, and likewise FaZe confirming on the Friday before that their fifth would be Cromen once more were two of the biggest, with the latter having some potentially complex financial implications too.
You see, FaZe are 75% of the way to having completed the Intel Grand Slam, which is a prize of $1m awarded to any team that can win four major events sponsored by the aforementioned chip shop. Prior to the teams playing in Cologne, FaZe have won three, but each of them with a different fifth man. The first came when olofmeister was part of the team, the second with the now-departed Xizt, and the third and maybe fourth are with Cromen in the fold.
For those who love the stats, with Olof in the team FaZe took the ESL New York 2017 title in spectacular fashion, before going down under to win IEM Sydney with Xizt in the fold. Their recent trip to Brazil saw them take ESL One Belo Horizonte with Cromen, and speculation is swirling that if they can win Cologne and the million, he may have a chance to join them full time, which would be amazing for a player who was recently a part of Team Dignitas.
This means that a prize of (presumably) $200k needs to be divided between the three men, should FaZe win the trophy at ESL One Cologne that would put it at 25% olof, 25% Xizt, and 50% Cromen, making for a roughly $100k payoff for the sub. Considering that will be for roughly three events, it’s not a bad payday, especially when you consider he is also getting a wage.
That relies on Astralis not taking their ball away of course, which they can do, and also on FaZe enduring the pressure, but it’s an amazing storyline for a game that had prize pools of $50k back in 2012. The event in Cologne is arguably the biggest in the game outside of the Majors, and it seems fitting that there should be so much on the line at a venue that means so much to esports.
With the action set to start early next week fans are excited to see who takes the win, and it should not be forgotten that there is also a cool $300k of prize money for the teams not chasing a million to win, or for FaZe to add to their already-impressive payday if they come away champions. As we said at the top though, there is every chance Astralis will take the title, and any chickens counted by the FaZe five could end up on a Danish fox’s plate rather than coming home to roost.
Check out our Group A and Group B preview here, and all the info for the event in our guide for fans on their way to Cologne.