When is IEM Cologne 2023 - Full Tournament Schedule & Format

24 Jul 2023
Tit Krajnik 24 Jul 2023
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  • IEM Cologne 2023 is set to start on Wednesday, July 26, 2023
  • 24 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams vying for the lion’s share of the $1,000,000 prize pool
  • The third event of the Intel Grand Slam Season 5
PGL Counter-Strike Major
Counter-Strike (Getty Images)
Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 is an upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports tournament, set to take place in Cologne, Germany, on July 26 – August 6, 2023, welcoming some of the world’s best CS:GO teams, vying for the lion’s share of the $1 million prize pool. It’ll mark the final IEM Cologne in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive era and is one of the biggest and most prestigious esports events of the year.

IEM Cologne returns this Wednesday, July 26, as one of the most significant CS:GO esports tournaments of the year. The event will run until August 6, when the top two teams will clash for the $400,000 winner’s share, 3000 BLAST Premier points, and a direct invite to Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2024; however, the road to the top will be long and challenging, especially for the teams who’ll begin their journey in the Play-In Stage.

IEM Cologne 2023 Format

Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 will follow a familiar format, dividing the tournament into three stages – Play-In Stage, Group Stage, and the Playoffs. The participating CS:GO teams have been seeded based on their ESL World Rankings or by securing an invite by winning one of the preceding tournaments, such as the IEM Katowice 2023, ESL Pro League Season 17, IEM Dallas 2023, IEM Rio 2023, BLAST Major, and Meisterschaft.

The 24 participating teams were divided into two groups, 16 who’ll begin their IEM Cologne 2023 campaign in the Play-In stage, and eight with a direct invite to the Group Stage.

Play-In Stage (July 26-28)

The Play-In stage will run for three days, between Wednesday, July 26 and Friday, July 28, welcoming 16 teams who got seeded into a double-elimination bracket. All opening matches will be best-of-one (Bo1), while all remaining will be played as best-of-three (Bo3). 

The top eight teams will advance to the group stage, where they’ll join the eight directly invited teams.

IEM Cologne 2023 Play-In teams: MOUZ, Apeks, 9INE, FURIA Esports, Team Liquid, Imperial Esports, The MongolZ, Grayhound Gaming, Fnatic, Monte, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, Into The Breach, Complexity Gaming, OG, BIG.

Group Stage (July 28 – August 1)

The group stage will again welcome 16 teams, including the top eight teams from the Play-In stage and eight directly invited teams. The teams will be divided into two double-elimination brackets, with all games played as best-of-three (Bo3).

IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage teams: G2 Esports, FaZe Clan, Team Vitality, ENCE; Heroic, Cloud9, Natus Vincere, GamerLegion.

  • The group stage winners advance to the semifinals
  • The runners-up advance to the quarterfinals as High Seeds
  • The third-placed teams advance to the quarterfinals as Low Seeds

Playoffs (August 4-6)

IEM Cologne 2023 Playoffs will run for three days and feature a single-elimination bracket with the teams seeded based on their placement in the group stage. The runners-up from Group B will face off against the third-place team from Group B and vice versa, with the winners advancing to the semifinal, where they’ll face off against the winners of the two groups.

IEM Cologne 2023 Prize Pool

IEM Cologne 2023 will feature a $1 million prize pool and 9,400 BLAST Premier Points, divided among teams based on their final placement. The champions will take home $400,000 and 3,000 BLAST Premier Points and secure a direct invite to IEM Katowice 2024, which is expected to take place in February 2024.

  • Winners - $400,000 + 3,000 BLAST Points
  • Runners-up - $180,000 + 2,000 BLAST Points
  • 3rd-4th - $80,000 + 1,200 BLAST Points
  • 5th-6th - $40,000 + 500 BLAST Points
  • 7th-8th - $24,000 + 500 BLAST Points
  • 9th-12th - $16,000
  • 13th-16th - $10,000
  • 17th-20th - $4,500
  • 21st-24th - $2,500

As the first major CS:GO event following the summer break and one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year, IEM Cologne 2023 promises two weeks of exciting esports action and plenty of esports betting opportunities. And as the final IEM Cologne of the CS:GO era, it is an event no esports fan should miss.