ESL One Cologne quarter-final: Na’Vi vs NIP

The second quarter-final at ESL One Cologne between Na'Vi and NIP has some historic elements, specifically the two greatest players ever to touch the game.

Most people agree that s1mple is the peak level of performance we’ve seen in GO at least, and it’s hard to argue with both his statistical production or the ‘eye-test’ which the man passes harder than Michael B Jordan on a beach. On the other side, we have the first god of GO, on his way out of his first home.

GeT_RiGhT is undoubtedly a genuine legend not just of esports, but of gaming at this point, and his victory at Cologne is etched in the memories of any fan lucky enough to see it. At this point it looks as though he is likely playing his last Cologne as a Ninja, and he’ll want to show these young whippersnappers that he’s far from done yet, and that his employers have made a terrible mistake in letting him go, so this game is all to play for and hard to call.

Na'Vi vs NIP is due to start on Friday, July 5th, at 6.50pm CEST.

Match winner

  • Na'Vi - 1.32
  • NIP - 3.15

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How did they get here?

The first game Na’Vi played at ESL One Cologne was a real banana skin, with the new mice of Mousesports a tricky team to take on, especially when you consider how little footage there would have been to work off. Surprisingly for a team that often starts slowly at big events, Na’Vi were able to scrap away and take a 16-14 victory, setting up a second-round tie with the world’s best team, Liquid.


It’s fair to say that Liquid’s star right now is EliGE, and he certainly enjoyed the BO3 they had, with a +14 across three map, but the real story was s1mple once again, as he cost his team game one with a knife attempt, and possibly the series too. His +24 bails him out, but the decision making was extremely suspect, and not the sort of thing the world’s best player should ever be doing really.

As for the Ninjas, everything was looking really good for them after they defeated the French menace of Vitality in round one, and got a generous draw against Heroic in their first series of the event. That went to plan, which put them up against a revitalised Astralis, and you should need to know nothing more about how they find themselves in lower bracket now if you’ve seen the Danes play in Cologne.

What will decide the match?

Prior to being removed, Cache was actually NIP’s best map over the last twelve months, but that obviously isn’t an option as we’ve got Vertigo instead…thanks Gaben. Overpass and Mirage both appear fairly close to the top of Na’Vi and NIP’s map list, so there is a good chance that will be two of the three maps, with either Dust2 or Train to round things out.


To be honest, the CIS mix was only a good decision away from beating the world’s best on Dust, so they will feel very confident about going there against the Ninjas, who are unlikely to be that scared of a map they’ve been playing collectively for decades. Much of the work will need to be done by f0rest and REZ if NIP are to win, while for Na’Vi it will come down to finding a way to activate electronic and reign in s1mple’s wilder moments.

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Pictures: Copyright ESL | Adela Sznajder