IEM Cologne 2023 preview

IEM Cologne 2023 will be one of the greatest CS:GO events of this season. No doubt, all of its... Radu M. | 23. July 2023

IEM Cologne 2023 will be one of the greatest CS:GO events of this season. No doubt, all of its 24 participants will fight hard to finish in the top 6 because the rewards are substantial. With $1 million in prize money, this S-tier competition is of primary importance and easily one of the best 5 in Counter-Strike.

IEM Cologne is scheduled to be played between July 26 – August 6. For almost two weeks, we will have the opportunity to watch teams like Natus Vincere, Team Vitality, and FaZe Clan fighting each other in epic matches.

The location of the event, as the name suggests, will be Cologne, Germany. This is one of the most important cities in the world for esports because it’s the place where numerous historic events took place, including The International 2011.

Competitive format

The competitive format of IEM Cologne is a bit more sophisticated than usual. The tournament will start with a play-in stage, which will last for three days. A total of 16 teams will take part in it and only half of them will advance to the group stage.

In this second stage of the event, the participants are divided into 2 groups of 8. In each group, the double-elimination format is used. The two upper bracket finalists qualify for the playoffs, along with the lower bracket winner. With so many great teams in attendance, this stage of the race will be extremely tough.


Here are the 24 teams that will take part in IEM Cologne 2023:

  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan
  • Team Vitality
  • ENCE
  • Heroic
  • Cloud9
  • Natus Vincere
  • GamerLegion
  • 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

The first 8 teams mentioned on this list will start in the group stage. The tournament organizer offered them this privilege because of the results they obtained in the first 6 months of this season.

The only problem is that this way of doing things is not rigorous and can result in an unfortunate situation where a previously formidable team is much weaker than it used to be. This is the case of G2 Esports and GamerLegion. Both of them did well while they were in great shape or had formidable players. But now they’re relatively weak.

The play-in stage features many strong teams, which should make it very exciting to watch.

Header: ESL | Steffie Wunderl