Cologne, Germany, is set to be the epicenter of competitive gaming once again as Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) returns to the city for IEM Cologne 2023. From July 26 to August 6, 24 of the world’s most elite Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams will vie for glory and a staggering $1,000,000 prize pool. The LANXESS arena will host the electrifying final three days of the event, allowing fans to witness top-tier CS:GO action live in what is fondly dubbed ‘The Cathedral of Counter-Strike.’
IEM Cologne 2023 promises to be an unforgettable event, with teams battling it out for more than just the cash reward. The winning team will take a significant step forward in the race to secure the prestigious Intel® Grand Slam V title and earn themselves a spot at the first ESL Pro Tour Championship event in 2024.
Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 Format
The tournament is divided into three stages: the Play-in Stage, the Group Stage, and the Playoffs. Here’s what you need to know about each stage:
Play-in Stage (July 26 – 28):
- Sixteen teams will compete, with the top eight progressing to the next stage.
- Matches will begin in a double elimination bracket format.
- Opening matches will be best-of-1, while all following matches will be best-of-3.
Group Stage (July 29 – August 1):
- The top eight teams from the Play-in Stage will join eight directly qualified teams in two groups of eight.
- The groups will compete in a double elimination format, with all matches being best-of-3.
- The top three teams from each group will advance to the Playoffs. Group stage winners will proceed directly to the Semifinals, while 2nd and 3rd place teams will move on to the Quarterfinals.
Playoffs (August 4 – 6):
- The six best teams will compete in a single elimination format.
- The Quarter- and Semifinals will be best-of-3, while the Grand Final will be best-of-5.
Who will be competing in Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2023?
Among the teams participating, the reigning IEM Cologne Champions, FaZe Clan, will return to defend their title. They will face fierce competition from other top teams, including G2 Esports, Team Vitality, ENCE, Heroic, Cloud9, Natus Vincere, and more.
For those unable to attend the LANXESS arena in person, the entire competition will be livestreamed on ESL Counter-Strike’s Twitch and YouTube channels, as well as through dedicated broadcast partners.
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Beyond the thrilling esports action, visitors to the LANXESS arena during August 4-6 can enjoy a variety of on-site activities, including trying out the latest games and hardware at the Intel® Booth, shopping for esports merchandise at the ESL Shop, and competing for prizes at the FACEIT Booth. The Monster Energy Booth will offer a sampling bar and gaming setups, and fans can also test their skills at the Müllermilch Lasertag stand.
With IEM Cologne 2023 set to captivate fans worldwide, esports enthusiasts are urged to tune in for this spectacle of skill, strategy, and camaraderie. As additional details and activities are unveiled, stay tuned for more exciting updates on what promises to be a remarkable event in the world of competitive gaming.
Where can you watch IEM Cologne 2023?
The broadcast will be available on the ESL Counter-Strike Twitch channels, of which the URLs have been renamed from twitch.tv/ESL_CSGO to twitch.tv/ESLCS, in anticipation of the launch of CS:GO’s successor – Counter-Strike 2.
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Those looking forward to enjoying the content on a different platform can watch the broadcast on the ESL Counter-Strike YouTube channel or tune in during the competition’s live transmission on the channels of dedicated broadcast partners.