IEM Cologne 2023: Teams, schedule, format, prize pool & activities

IEM Cologne - ESL Cologne

Esports News UK’s IEM Cologne 2023 and Counter-Strike coverage is powered by Predator Gaming

Intel Extreme Masters aka IEM Cologne 2023 is returning to Germany once again from July 26th to August 6th 2023. Here are the key details you need to know about the well-known CS esports tournament.

IEM Cologne 2023 basic info

IEM Cologne 2023 will see 24 top CSGO teams compete for a total prize pool of $1m, 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 26th, contenders from around the globe will compete in Cologne, with the six best teams facing off live in front of a packed-out audience at the LANXESS arena between August 4th and 6th. 

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 (CSGO) teams from across the globe. 

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Read more and enter below: Win a trip to IEM Cologne 2023 including VIP tickets, flights, accommodation and spending money, courtesy of Acer UK.

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IEM Cologne 2023 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 competing at IEM Cologne 2023

IEM Cologne 2023 teams

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)

IEM Cologne 2023 prize pool and breakdown

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

IEM Cologne 2023 on-site activities

IEM Cologne 2023 logo

Those visiting the Lanxess Arena on August 4th to 6th 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 favourite team’s jersey
  • The Monster Energy Booth features a sampling bar where fans can grab their preferred flavor and a 5v5 gaming setup to play CSGO
  • 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

Details of the mentioned activities are still subject to change, and more may be added.

Where to watch IEM Cologne 2023 – stream links and more

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 to, in anticipation of the launch of CSGO’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.

The IEM Cologne 2023 caster/broadcast talent line-up has not yet been announced, as of July 21st. Last year, IEM Cologne 2022 broadcast talent included James Banks and Sjokz.

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