Cologne, a city turned into a gallery over the years with unforgettable moments playing on a loop. The Counter-Strike Cathedral is the stage where the most talented artists display their art inside the server in front of thousands of fans from all across the globe.
As the action rolls in the Lanxess Arena, we decided to roll back the tapes of the event's most iconic and historical moments.
Hiko against all odds vs. Dignitas - ESL One Cologne 2014
Cloud9, Dignitas, Vox Eminor, and Titan formed group D of the second 2014 Major. The North Americans walked an extra mile in their first matchup against Titan after going to double overtime and managed to secure their first win to line up against Dignitas.
Despite the Danes' strong start on the CT side securing a 10-5 lead, Cloud9 with Sean "seang@res" Gares bit back and managed to get things around at 14-14 when Mirage was lit up by Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and Spencer "Hiko" Martin.
Inhuman reactions - ESL One Cologne 2014
Finding a fan who doesn't recognize the insane "Hiko" flick is like finding a needle in a haystack. One of the oldest and most legendary moments in the history of Counter-Strike; with a pinch of the incredible casting from Anders, the moment is simply glorious.
The fire isn't enough to stop olofmeister - ESL One Cologne 2014
Fnatic had a strong run to the semi-finals against Dignitas, dropping only one map. They struggled in the match against Dignitas and fell behind 4-11 on Overpass. However, they showed great resilience, especially on the CT side, mounting an impressive comeback which peaked in round 29 when Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer did the unthinkable.
In a critical post-plant situation on the B site, Dignitas faced a tough 2v4 to keep the final dream alive. Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz threw an incendiary grenade on top of the bomb to prevent the defuse, but olofmeister, against all odds, took a gamble and decided to stick it, using his remaining HP to buy enough time to disarm the bomb just before getting burnt down.
His clutch play secured the round for Fnatic and paved the way for their victory, advancing them to the grand final. This moment was so iconic that Valve honored it with the first-ever commemorative graffiti from a Major.
KennyS brought a knife to a gunfight - ESL One Cologne 2015
2015 was a year when Kenny "kennyS" Schrub was at his peak with the big green gun; he went rogue against Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács with a knife kill during the Quarter Finals of ESL One Cologne 2015.
During the action-packed series between Titan and NAVI, GuardiaN was in a 1v1 situation as a CT against Kennys in the eighth round. With the bomb ticking low on time, the no-scope AWP shots couldn't connect before the flying Frenchman sliced Guardian with his knife, securing the round.
pashaBiceps mows down Fnatic - ESL One Cologne 2015
In a thrilling match on Inferno during the Semi-Finals, Virtus.Pro faced off against Fnatic. With a quick and unpredictable movement, VP finds themselves in a tough spot as Fnatic made their presence known with an initial kill. However, the tides quickly turned as Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski delivered an absolutely stunning 4k spray in just four seconds, leaving Fnatic little chance to react and securing the round for VP.
Closed double doors - ESL One Cologne 2015
During the Grand Final at ESL One Cologne 2015, Fnatic surprised everyone with an unconventional strategy. In overtime on Dust2, they bought four AWP sniper rifles, an unusual move. They aimed all four AWPs at the unaware EnVyUs player, Dan "apEX" Madesclaire. They eliminated him at the start of the round, giving Fnatic a significant advantage and making it a memorable moment in CS: GO history rewarded with graffiti that was unfortunately removed after the map rework.
This is not FPL; this is a MAJOR! - ESL One Cologne 2016
In a tough 1v2 situation against Fnatic on Cache in the Semi-Finals, Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyljev had an AWP in Heaven on the B bombsite. Though it wasn't the optimal weapon for such a situation, the greatest player of all time did the unpredictable jumping down and no-scoping Dennis "dennis" Edman mid-air before transitioning into Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson hitting another almost impossible no-scope.
Inspiring one of the most iconic commentaries of CS:GO history, s1mple's ridiculous no-scopes granted him graffiti on the wall, cementing the moment in everyone's memory.
Tap, tap, tap - ESL One Cologne 2017
Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek was undeniably one of the most skillful players in the Counter-Strike world through many incredible highlights and clutches. One of them was at the ESL One Cologne 2017 Semi Finals against NAVI when he was left in a 1v3 clutch situation on Overpass.
He dismantled the NAVI players fearlessly with quick taps within seconds before spraying down Denis "seized" Kostin and securing the round for Cloud9, giving them an extra edge to qualify for the Grand Final later.
Dev1ce shut down Team Vitality - ESL One Cologne 2019
Four bullets were enough for dev1ce to create a highlight that fans won't easily forget. During the Semi-Finals at Cologne against Team Vitality, dev1ce denied access to the A bombsite on Inferno by dismantling the French team and securing the map win.
Twistzz breaks NAVI's backs!
The Grand Final between FaZe Clan and NAVI was regarded by many as the series of the year after an intense showdown from both teams going the distance into the decider and playing all five maps.
The score was 14-14 on the final map of the series, any mistakes could cost the title for both teams and with no room for error, Van Dulken broke NAVI with the boldest 3K after jumping from silo to eliminate Denis "electroNic" Sharipov followed by another jump into main to collect another frag, giving FaZe Clan the edge before finishing the round with a third kill in site leaving all the spectators shocked in disbelief.