One of the most prestigious tournaments in the world of Counter-Strike, IEM Cologne, is just around the corner. As the event approaches, here’s a comprehensive guide to all the essential details you need to know.
IEM Cologne’s Prestigious Legacy and Fresh Flair
For the past decade, IEM Cologne has been a constant on the Counter-Strike calendar, drawing together the best teams from around the globe to compete for one of the most esteemed trophies. Previously, the tournament hosted three consecutive Majors from 2014 to 2016, solidifying its place as a significant event in the CS:GO community. This year, IEM Cologne returns with two weeks of top-tier action, but with a special twist—it takes place in the latter half of the season.
Unlike previous years when the tournament concluded the first half of the year, this edition follows an active off-season. With only six teams remaining unchanged after the player break, the competition brings a breath of fresh air. Numerous teams will showcase their newly formed lineups for the first time on LAN in Cologne. Cloud9, in particular, is generating high expectations following the addition of Denis “electroNic” Sharipov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy. Other teams such as GamerLegion, Into the Breach, Apeks, Monte, MOUZ, FURIA, and fnatic have also made changes in an effort to strengthen their rosters.
Participating Teams and Format
The tournament features a total of 24 teams divided into two stages: the Play-in and the Main Event.
- Sixteen teams have been invited to the Play-in stage to compete for eight spots in the Main Event.
- The Play-in stage will span three days, from July 26th to July 28th.
- Matches in the Play-in stage will be played in a double-elimination format, with the first round as best-of-one and the rest as best-of-three.
Play-in Stage Teams:
Europe: Liquid, Apeks, MOUZ, fnatic Ukraine: Monte Sweden: Ninjas in Pyjamas Brazil: FURIA, Imperial Denmark: Astralis Poland: 9INE United States: Complexity Australia: Grayhound Mongolia: TheMongolz Germany: BIG Europe: OG
- Eight teams from the Play-in stage will advance to join eight directly invited teams in the Main Event.
- The Main Event kicks off with two double-elimination groups.
- The top three teams from each group will move on to the playoffs.
- The playoffs will be held in front of a sold-out LANXESS Arena, with the top team proceeding directly to the semifinals, and the second and third-placed teams heading to the quarterfinals.
Main Event Teams:
Group A: Denmark: Heroic Europe: ENCE, GamerLegion Russia: Cloud9
Group B: Europe: Vitality, FaZe, G2, Natus Vincere
- Play-in Stage: July 26th – July 28th
- Group Stage: July 29th – July 30th
- Playoffs: August 4th – August 6th
The event will be brought to viewers by a team of 22 talented individuals, including casters, analysts, desk hosts, and sideline and stage hosts. Notable names such as Janko “YNk” Paunović, Alex “Machine” Richardson, and Eefje “sjokz” Depoortere will be part of the lineup.
A total prize pool of $1 million will be distributed among the participating teams, with the winners receiving $400,000.
IEM Cologne 2023 promises to be an action-packed event, and fans are eagerly anticipating the thrilling matches and exciting surprises that await. Stay tuned for the adrenaline-fueled action as some of the best CS:GO teams battle it out for glory in Cologne.