Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023 Direct Invites Revealed

10 Aug 2023
tit-krajnik
Tit Krajnik 10 Aug 2023
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  • IEM Sydney 2023 is set to kick off on October 16
  • Tournament organisers unveiled 10 directly invited teams
  • $250,000 and a ticket for IEM Katowice 2024 on the line
Counter-Strike
Counter-Strike (Getty Images)

On Wednesday, August 9, ESL announced a list of 11 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams that received direct invites to Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023. The upcoming CS:GO tournament will feature 16 teams vying for the lion’s share of the $250,000 prize pool and a direct invite to IEM Katowice 2023.

Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023 is set to kick off on October 16, in Sydney, Australia, as the final edition of the Australian esports tournament, which will run on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive before we transition to Counter-Strike 2. Even though we’re still a couple of months away from the tournament start, the organisers have already unveiled the list of 10 directly invited teams.


The list of teams invited to compete at IEM Sydney 2023 consists of six squads that have been invited as ESL Partners, with four more via their standing in the ESL Ranking. The final “Local Hero Invite” for IEM Sydney 2023 was awarded to the local squad, Grayhound, who will represent the Australian colours at the $250,000 tournament.

The six directly invited teams, due to their ESL partner status, include ENCE, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, MOUZ, Natus Vincere, and Team Vitality. The six squads will join Cloud9, GamerLegion, Monte, and Fnatic, who rank inside the top-12 in the ESL rankings.

With ten participating CS:GO teams unveiled, five more spots are left open for squads who will earn their invite through regional qualifiers, set to begin on August 22.

  • Oceanic Qualifiers: August 22-23 (4 teams, one ticket)
  • European Qualifiers: August 23-25 (8 teams, two tickets)
  • Asian Qualifiers: August 24-25 (4 teams, one ticket)
  • North American Qualifier: August 24-25 (4 teams, one ticket)

IEM Sydney 2023 Format


IEM Sydney 2023 will use a familiar format, starting with a group stage with two double-elimination format (GSL) groups. Each group will consist of eight teams, with the opening matches played as best-of-one (Bo1) and the remaining games as best-of-three (Bo3).

  • The top three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs. 
  • The group winners will receive a direct bye to the semifinals.
  • Group stage runners-up will advance to the quarterfinals as high seeds.
  • Group stage third-place teams will advance to the quarterfinals as low seeds.

IEM Sydney 2023 playoffs will use a single-elimination bracket with all games played as best-of-three.

The tournament will have a $250,000 prize pool, divided among all 16 participating CS:GO teams based on their placement.

IEM Sydney 2023 Prize Pool Distribution


  • Champions - $100,000 + IEM Katowice 2023 invite
  • Runners-up - $42,000
  • 3rd-4th - $20,000
  • 5th-6th - $10,000
  • 7th-8th - $6,000
  • 9th-12th - $5,000
  • 13th-16th - $4,000

IEM Sydney 2023 Teams


  • Team Vitality (EU)
  • ENCE (EU)
  • GamerLegion (EU)
  • FaZe Clan (EU)
  • G2 Esports (EU)
  • Fnatic (EU)
  • Natus Vincere (EU)
  • MOUZ (EU)
  • Cloud9 (RU)
  • Monte (UA)
  • Grayhound (AUS)
  • 2x EU Qualifiers
  • NA Qualifiers
  • Asia Qualifiers
  • Oceania Qualifiers