Almost 1.25 million* fans tuned in to smash records as Intel® Extreme Masters becomes the highest viewed non-Valve Major competition
Cologne/New York – Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2022, one of the most prestigious esports tournaments in the world, has officially concluded. During nine tournament days, 24 of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams battled it out for a share of the $1,000,000 total prize pool and the coveted title. Finally, after almost three years of absence, ESL Gaming welcomed fans at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany, to experience the live tournament and watch the six top teams compete in the playoff stage. Eventually, it was FaZe Clan claiming the iconic IEM Cologne trophy for the first time by beating Natus Vincere 3-2 in the Grand Final, thereby claiming their second ESL Pro Tour Championship title this year.
For the sixth time in history, CS:GO fans had the opportunity to experience almost two weeks of incredible and nerve-racking matches, starting on July 5 with the Play-In Stage and then followed by the Group Stage. Finally, the tournament concluded with the Playoff Stage as a live event on July 15-17. During those days, the iconic LANXESS Arena, better known as The Cathedral of Counter-Strike, became a battlefront first for the German organization MOUZ and the Danish powerhouse Astralis. Eventually, Astralis guaranteed themselves a spot in the first semi-final against Natus Vincere, last year’s IEM Cologne winners.
The day’s second quarter-final got the audience on the edge of their seats as Movistar Riders and Team Liquid went head to head. The Spanish team finally secured the win to be tested in the second semi-final against FaZe Clan, the IEM Katowice 2022, and Antwerp CS:GO Major Champions. Movistar Riders’ debut on a big international live stage ended as they, together with Astralis, got eliminated in the semi-finals despite their excellent performances. All eyes were then on FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere as the last one’s standings to face each other in the Grand Final. With a lot at stake, neither of the teams wanted to let go of the IEM trophy, so till the very end, it was unclear who would emerge victorious.
After five thrilling maps full of clutches, comebacks, and even overtime, FaZe Clan beat their opponents 3-2. Doing so, they claimed the IEM Cologne 2022 Champions title for the first time and became the first-ever team to win an IEM Katowice, a CS:GO Major Championship and an IEM Cologne within one year. Furthermore, this is their third win in the race to the Intel® Grand Slam, leaving them only one more win away from obtaining the $1,000,000 cash prize.
“We’re going to figure out how we’re going to win the last [notch for the Intel] Grand Slam. We’re going to do everything and that’s our main goal for the next season, to finish off the work that we did this season,” said FaZe Clan’s Finn “Karrigan” Andersen live on stage, right after winning the Grand Finals. “I’m looking forward to the vacation now, but the [Intel] Grand Slam is the ultimate goal for the next season.”
With CS:GO fans from 69 countries excited to finally return to LANXESS arena after such a long break, the event tickets to ESL’s Cologne event sold out for the fifth time in a row. The Cathedral of Counter-Strike welcomed 35,000 fans to the sold-out LANXESS Arena across all three days, to see the world-class level CS:GO games. Accompanied by drumbeats and cheering at the top of their lungs for their favorite teams, they faced countless exciting and downhearted moments. Furthermore, the fans who could not make it in person tuned in for the live action during the broadcasts transmitted across the globe, generating a peak CCU of almost 1.25 million*. As a result, IEM Cologne has become the highest viewed tournament outside of Major tournaments, surpassing the IEM Katowice 2022 record set earlier this year. It was a remarkable experience for both players and their devoted supporters worldwide.
With IEM Cologne 2022 going down in history, all eyes are now set on the long-awaited and grandiose Intel® Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022, the first ever CS:GO Major Championship to be held in South America. The competition takes place from October 31 to November 13, with fans able to watch and experience the spectacular action live at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from November 10-13.
*According to Esports Charts
About ESL Gaming
ESL Gaming is the world’s leading esports company. For more than two decades, we have been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation globally across the most popular video games, creating a comprehensive ecosystem with opportunities for players to go from zero to hero, and for fans to witness the best stories esports has to offer. Our portfolio consists of high-profile products such as the ESL Pro Tour, Intel® Extreme Masters, DreamHack Festivals, the Snapdragon® Pro Series, and many more, ranging from grassroots to global elite competitions. ESL Gaming is a part of the world’s leading competitive gaming platform ESL FACEIT Group.
About Intel® Extreme Masters
Intel® Extreme Masters is the longest-running global professional esports tournament circuit in the world. Started in 2006 by Intel and ESL, the competition has now traveled to over 30 cities around the globe and conducted tournaments for 11 different competitive gaming titles. Esports fans from more than 180 countries regularly make IEM events record-breakers in terms of stadium attendance and viewership, with the tournament’s inaugural event in Australia in May 2017 marking the fifth continent for the global competitive circuit. Throughout more than 75 IEM events, over US $11 million in prize money has been awarded to some of the world’s top esports talent (www.intelextrememasters.com).