On 2nd of July ESL Cologne starts with group stage. Group stage is played with two double-elimination format. Each group has eight teams. Groups are seeded based on ESL CS:GO World Rankings. Initial matches are best of 1. Losers of initial match will drop to lower bracket. Rest of the matches are best of 3. The top three of from each group will advance to playoffs. Winner of each group will advance straight to semifinal.
Following teams are competing for a prize pool of $300.000. Astralis, Big, Fnatic, MIBR, Ninjas in Pyjamas, NRG Esports, Team Vitality, Heroic, ENCE, FaZe Clan, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, Renegades, FURIA Esports and MVP PK.