IEM Cologne 2023: Overview

IEM Cologne

Since its game debut, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been a promising esport that never disappoints its followers and gamers. The Electronic Sports League (ESL) continues to hold events and competitions despite the pandemic, not only to amuse its followers but to highlight the skills of players or renowned teams from around the world.

ESL hosts annual the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) or what they called “The Cathedral of Counter-Strike”, as it showcases the skills and talents of 24 teams around the world for the world title.

ESL established and launched the IEM back in 2006, and it is currently regarded as one of the most well-known professional gaming competitions worldwide. Additionally, based in Cologne, Germany, Electronic Sports Leagues (ESL) is a German esports organizer and production firm that organizes video game contests all over the world.

And from July 15 to July 17, 2023, ESL will host the IEM Cologne 2023 which is powered by Intel at the renowned LANXESS Arena, Cologne, Germany. The playoffs of an event in Cologne will now be played in front of a crowded crowd in the arena for the first time since 2019. 

What You Need to Know More About IEM Cologne 2023

The world’s top CS:GO teams will compete in IEM Cologne 2023 when one of them will take home the trophy from the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. The playoff event will once again be played in front of a packed house for the first time since 2019. 

This tournament is the last stop of the Intel Grand Slam’s fourth season. Participating teams are vying not just for a share of a $1 million prize pool but also for four Grand Slam Circuit victories. Having two victories already under their belt, FaZe Clan might extend their advantage to three. With one win each, Cloud9 and Vitality are lagging behind them.

And here are some things you need to know more about IEM Cologne 2023:


Play-In: July 5 – 6, 2023,

  • Single-elimination bracket
    • Beginning games are Bo1
    • Following are all Bo3 matchups.
  • Eight of the best teams moved on to the group stage.

Group Stage: July 7 – 10, 2023

  • Two Groups in Single Elimination (GSL)
    • Eight teams make in each group.
    • All games are Best of 3
  • Each group’s top three teams progress to the playoffs:
    • The Semifinals are reached by group stage winners.
    • The runners-up from the group stage join the high seeds in the quarterfinals.
    • Teams who finished third in the group stage progress as low seeds to the quarterfinals.

Playoffs: July 15 – 17, 2023

  • Single-Elimination bracket
  • The Quarterfinals & Semifinals are played in a Best-of-3 series
  • The Grand Final is played in a Best-of-5 series

Prize Pool and Circuit Points

The $1,000,000 prize pool and BLAST Premier circuit points will be divided into the participating teams as shown below:

PlaceUSD DistributionBLAST Premier Circuit PointsTeam
1st Place400,000 USD3200 ptsTBA
2nd Place180,000 USD1600 ptsTBA
3rd – 4th Place80,000 USD1000 ptsTBA
5th – 6th Place40,000 USD300 ptsTBA
7th – 8th Place24,000 USD300 ptsTBA
9th – 12th Place16,000 USD TBA
13th – 16th Place10,000 USD TBA
17th – 20th Place4,500 USD TBA
21st – 24th Place2,500 USD TBA

Participating Teams

Directly Qualified Teams
1.FaZe Clanrain, broky, Twistzz, karrigan, ropz, RobbaN
2.Natus Vinceres1mple, electroNic, Perfecto, b1t, sdy, B1ad3
3.Cloud9nafany, sh1ro, interz, Ax1Le, HObbit, groove
4.G2 EsportsJACKZ, huNter-, NiKo, m0NESY, Aleksib, XTQZZ
5.Ninjas in PyjamasREZ, Plopski. hampus, es3tag, Brollan, djL
6.ENCESnappi, Spinx, dycha, hades, maden, sAw
7.FURIA Esportsyuurih, arT, KSCERATO, drop, saffee, guerri
8.Team LiquidEliGE, NAF, oSee, nitr0, YEKINDAR, daps
Play-In Teams
1.Heroicstavn, cadiaN, TeSeS, sjuush, Jabbi, Xizt
2.Team VitalityapEX, ZywOo, misutaaa, dupreeh, Magisk, zonic
3.OutsidersQikert, Jame, FL1T, n0rb3r7, fame, dastan
4.GODSENTTACO, latto, b4rtiN, dumau, HEN1, cky
5.Complexity GamingJT, FaNg, floppy, Grim, junior, T.c
6.MIBRchelo, exit, Tuurtle, JOTA, brnz4n, bit
7.ORDERSico, INS, Hatz, aliStair, Liazz, Kingfisher
8.TYLOOSummer, Attacker, SLOWLY, DANK1NG, BnTeT, LETN1
9.BIGtabseN, tiziaN, syrsoN, faveN, Krimbo, gob b
10.AstralisXyp9x, gla1ve, k0nfig, blameF, farlig, trace
11.Team Spiritchopper, magixx, Patsi, s1ren, w0nderful, hally
12.Imperial EsportsFalleN, fer, fnx, boltz, VINI, peacemaker
13.Movistar Ridersmopoz, ALEX, DeathZz, SunPayus, dav1g, bladE
14.paiN GamingPKL, biguzera, hardzao, NEKIZ, nython, rikz
15.MOUZfrozen, Bymas, dexter, torzsi, JDC, sycrone
16.SproutSpiidi, slaxz-, raalz, Staehr, lauNX, BERRY
IEM Cologne 2023

Game Schedule

Play-In: Upper Bracket Round 1 – July 5, 2023,

17:00 PHTHeroic vs Sprout18:40 PHTBIG vs ORDER
17:00 PHTMOUZ vs PaiN Gaming18:40 PHTOutsiders vs Imperial Esports
17:00 PHTTeam Spirit vs Complexity19:30 PHTTYLOO vs Team Vitality
17:00 PHTGODSENT vs Astralis20:20 PHTMIBR vs Movistar Riders


IEM Cologne 2023 features six (6) primary languages for the stream, namely English, Brazil, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Spain. And if you will watch the live stream soon or catch your favorite team playing against other teams, you can visit these links: 


Tournament Tickets

Since the tournament will be held face-to-face, ESL allows fans and enthusiasts to attend the event at LANXESS ARENA, Germany. Thus, if you opt to buy tickets to watch your favorite teams go against top-tier opponents, here are your options:

Weekend Regular Tickets

These tickets are about 94€ which allows you to have access to all three days of July 15 – 17, 2023. Also, you get the chance to have seating from upper and lower ranks. And you have access to OPEN team signing sessions.

Single Day Ticket

This kind of ticket ranges from 34€ – 44€ which you can access either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Also, you get the chance to have seating from upper and lower ranks. And you have access to OPEN team signing sessions.

Premium Ticket

This three-day ticket cost 299€ but allows you to have access on all three days, have a premium seating in front of the stage, have an access to open and premium signing sessions from different teams, premium goodie bag, premium attendee bag, 3 months ESEA subscription, and so much more.

Weekend Plus Ticket

Unlike the premium ticket which is costly, this ticket cost 139€ which allows you to have access to all three days, have free seating in both upper and lower ranks, a goodie bag, have an access to open signing sessions, plus an attendee badge, and a 3-month ESEA subscription.

Global Elite Experience

This ticket is considered “The Whole Experience Package” but it will cost you 4,995€. More so, the ticket allows you to experience a private lounge for five guests, front-of-the-line access to all signing sessions, an epic goodie bag with exclusive merchandise, a global elite attendee badge, free drinks, high-quality catering, and refreshments, and behind-the-scenes and backstage tours.

However, it is important to note that you must be at least 16 years of age attending the event. And you must be able to show a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate as the tournament follows local restrictions and health protocol of the city.

About author


Daniel Witman is a professional esports journalist who reviews esports events and trends in the industry. Recently, he’d decided to create the blog where he could share his passion with the readers interested in the topic.
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