Everything you need to know ahead of Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2023

Intel® Extreme Masters returns to Cologne, as 24 of the world’s best CS:GO teams face off on July 26 – August 6 to battle it out for a $1,000,000 prize pool.
During the final three days, the top six teams will compete in front of a live crowd at the iconic LANXESS arena.
The winning team will take a step forward in the race to secure Intel® Grand Slam V, as well as secure themselves a spot at the first ESL Pro Tour Championship event in 2024.
Amongst others, reigning IEM Cologne Champions FaZe Clan return to fight for the crown.
The competition will be streamed live from Cologne on ESL Counter-Strike Twitch and YouTube channels and via dedicated broadcast partners.

Friday, July 21, 2023, Cologne/New York  Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) returns to Cologne, Germany, once again, with IEM Cologne 2023 taking place on July 26 – August 6! The final three days of the competition will be held in front of a live audience, as fans are invited to enter the LANXESS arena to witness the historic event, dubbed ‘The Cathedral of Counter-Strike,’ to cheer on the top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams from across the globe. 

Here is all you need to know about IEM Cologne 2023
IEM Cologne 2023 will see 24 top CS:GO teams compete for a total prize pool of $1,000,000, a win in the race to secure Intel® Grand Slam V, and a spot in the Group Stage of the first ESL Pro Tour Championship event in 2024. Commencing July 26, contenders from around the globe will compete in Cologne, Germany, with the six best teams facing off live in front of a packed-out audience at the LANXESS arena between August 4 – 6. 

Schedule and Format

Play-in Stage (July 26 – 28): 

  • Featuring 16 teams of which the top eight proceed to the next stage.
    • The first stage will be a double elimination bracket.
      • Opening matches are best-of-1.
      • All following matches are best-of-3.

Group Stage (July 29 – August 1)

  • The top eight teams of the Play-in Stage and eight directly qualified teams will be split into two groups of eight.
    • The groups will compete in a double elimination format.
    • All matches will be best-of-3.
  • The top three teams from each group will advance to the Playoffs.
    • Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals.
    • Group stage 2nd and 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals.

Playoffs (August 4 – 6)

  • Played in a single elimination format.
  • The Quarter- and Semifinals will be best-of-3.
  • The Grand Final will be best-of-5.

Teams attending:

Group Stage

  • G2 Esports (IEM Katowice 2023 winner)
  • FaZe Clan (ESL Pro League Season 17 winner)
  • Team Vitality (IEM Rio 2023 winner)
  • ENCE (IEM Dallas 2023 winner)
  • Heroic (ESL Global WR)
  • Cloud9 (ESL Global WR)
  • Natus Vincere (ESL Global WR)
  • GamerLegion (ESL Global WR)

Play-in Stage

  • Apeks (ESL WR EU)
  • 9INE (ESL WR EU)
  • FURIA Esports (ESL WR NA)
  • Team Liquid (ESL WR NA)
  • Imperial Sportsbet (ESL WR BR)
  • The MongolZ (ESL WR Asia)
  • Fnatic (ESL Global WR)
  • Complexity (ESL Global WR)
  • Monte (ESL Global WR)
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (ESL Global WR)
  • OG Esports (ESL Global WR)
  • Astralis (ESL Global WR)
  • Into The Breach (ESL Global WR)
  • BIG (ESL Meisterschaft winner)

Prize Money:

3rd-4th $80,000
5th-6th $40,000
7th – 8th$24,000
9th – 12th$16,000

On-site side activities

Those visiting the LANXESS arena on August 4-6 can also look forward to a wide variety of on-site activities*:

  • At the Intel® Booth, fans are invited to try out the latest games and hardware, participate in activities, and get their idols’ signatures;
  • At the ESL Shop, attendees can get their esports merch, including exclusive drops, Kolex Cards, and their favorite team’s jersey;
  • The Monster Energy Booth features a sampling bar where fans can grab their prefered flavor and a 5v5 gaming setup to play CS:GO;
  • At the FACEIT Booth, enthusiasts are challenged to compete against each other for amazing prizes;
  • The Müllermilch MilkBar gives fans the opportunity to try out different Müllermilch flavors, while they also have a chance to show off their lasertag skills and win prizes at the Müllermilch Lasertag stand;
  • Those looking to win a trip to the Mediterranean island Malta to play alongside Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, can stop by the DHL Booth and learn more about the Ultimate 10;

Stay tuned as additional details and activities will be revealed.

Where to Watch

Fans tuning in online and watching the matches from around the globe can look forward to an exciting broadcast filled with extra content. 

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. 

Those looking forward to enjoy 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.

Assets for IEM Cologne 2023 can be found in the press kit which is available here.

For more information about IEM Cologne 2023, and the latest updates, please visit the official website, and follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

*Details of the mentioned activities are still subject to change.

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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 esports and video game entertainment company.

About Intel® Extreme MastersIntel® Extreme Masters is the longest-running global professional esports tournament circuit in the world. Started in 2006 by Intel® and ESL, the competition features the world’s best gamers in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft® II, and other esport titles. Approaching two decades of history and many record-breaking events in terms of viewership and stadium attendance, IEM is widely considered one of the most prestigious and traditional esports tournaments in the world (www.intelextrememasters.com).

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