Dates for the two most momentous ESL esports tournaments of 2023 confirmed

Intel® Extreme Masters in Katowice and Cologne set to welcome fans in February and August of next year

The ticket sale for the StarCraft® II World Championship and two of the world’s most prestigious Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship competitions starts on September 22 and September 27

Cologne/New York – ESL, part of ESL FACEIT Group, today announced details of the two pinnacle esports events within the ESL Pro Tour (EPT) for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and of the World Championship of StarCraft® II (SC2): Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2023 and IEM Cologne 2023. 

Esport fans from around the globe can kick off the countdown as the first EPT Championship event of 2023, IEM Katowice will occur between January 31 – February 12, with the CS:GO Playoffs being played out live at the Spodek Arena and the final days of the StarCraft® II World Championship taking place at the International Congress Center in Katowice, Poland. Those eager for even more CS:GO action can start preparing for IEM Cologne, scheduled between July 25 – August 6, with the Playoff Stage being played live at the LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany.

It’s always an honor to invite fans back to two of the most recognizable esports events worldwide,” said Shaun Clark, Senior Director Game Ecosystems – CS:GO at ESL FACEIT Group. “There’s nothing more rewarding for us than being able to put on truly epic experiences for our communities, to spend time enjoying the greatest players and teams on our planet competing at the highest levels at both Intel Extreme Masters: Katowice & Cologne. The IEM spirit is inimitable and we are already bubbling with excitement as we begin the annual planning to host two of the most passionate esports events.

IEM Katowice 2023

Continuing it’s legacy, IEM Katowice returns to the Spodek Arena for the 11th time, filling the city of Katowice with world-class esports as 24 of the world’s top CS:GO teams will face off for a share of the $1,000,000 total prize pool and to engrave their name into the history of esports.

  • January 31-February 1:Taking place in a studio environment, the Play-in Stage will see 16 teams battle it out for one of eight available spots in the next phase of the competition.
  • February 2-5: In the Group Stage, these eight teams will be joined by eight already qualified teams. The top six proceed to the final phase of the tournament.
  • February 10-12: During the Playoff Stage, the iconic Spodek Arena will open its doors to thousands of fans eager to cheer on the six final teams that will be battling it out for the coveted title.

Furthermore, IEM Katowice 2023 will also host the StarCraft® II World Championship, where 36 of the best players from around the globe duel until one is declared the new official World Champion. The Championship features a $500,000 total prize pool and commences in the second week of February. The final days of the competition will be played out live on a dedicated stage at the International Congress Center on February 10-12.

Last but not least, the return of the leading esports-centric tradeshow, the IEM Expo, at the International Congress Center will excite many gaming and esports enthusiasts as they have the opportunity to visit the 8,000 square meters of exhibition space and enjoy three full days of entertaining activities, discover the latest in PC gaming and technology, marvel at additional esports tournaments, and much more. Stay tuned as more info will be announced.

The ticket sale for IEM Katowice 2023 starts on September 22 at 3 PM CEST time. Ticket details and pricing are available here.

IEM Cologne 2023

The Cathedral of Counter-Strike will light up again for the 7th time in 2023. After the success of IEM Cologne 2022, one of the highest viewed tournaments of all time, fans were left even more excited for the following year. Featuring a $1,000,000 total prize pool, IEM Cologne 2023 will therefore once again bring the nerve-racking action to the passionate fans around the globe:

  • July 25-26: Following a similar setup and structure as IEM Katowice 2023, the Play-in Stage of IEM Cologne will host 16 teams, of which only eight can proceed to the next round.
  • July 27-30: The Group Stage will see those teams, together with eight already qualified teams, battle it out to be one of six quarter- and semi-finalists.
  • August 4-6: In the Playoff Stage, the six best teams will show off their skill in front of a live audience in the famous LANXESS arena to ultimately secure the Championship title.

The ticket sale for IEM Cologne 2023 starts on September 27 at 3 PM CEST. For more information, head to the official website.

To stay up to date with all the news and ticket information, head to and, follow ESL CS on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and follow ESL SC2 on Twitter and Facebook.

For more general information, head to or follow ESL on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About ESL

ESL creates a world where everybody can be somebody. 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. The ESL portfolio consists of high-profile products such as the ESL Pro Tour, Intel® Extreme Masters, the Snapdragon Pro Series, and many more, ranging from grassroots to global elite competitions. ESL is part of ESL FACEIT Group, the leading competitive games and esports company.

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 (

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