The realm of eSports is full of world-class events you might miss out on. CS:GO, the biggest tactical shooter in Steam, runs anticipated IEM Cologne 2023. This is an arena where 16 best teams battle to find a winner who grabs a $400 000+ prize.
This article will expand your eSports knowledge by detailing IEM Cologne 2023. You’ll know where it runs, format, LAN activities, etc. Let’s dig in!
Look Into the History
Initially, an event we discuss in this article had a different name: ESL One Cologne. It was a competition sponsored by Electronic Sports League (which derives from its name) and launched in 2014. It was one of the first major CS:GO competitions with a solid prize pool ($250 000) and worldwide matter.
From the first days of the tournament, IEM Cologne has found its definitive elements. These are the venue: cyber arenas in Cologne, and a team pool: 16.
Electronic Sports League was a primary sponsor till 2020. They were replaced with Intel in 2021, which renamed an event into IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) Cologne.
With an Intel advent, Cologne CS:GO competition started to get much more credit. Its prize pool has raised drastically, reaching $1 000 000. Moreover, event stages began to take place in different locations. For instance, IEM Cologne 2023 will first invite its visitors into the LANXESS arena (Playoffs) and then move to the Palladium Köln (Play in and Group Stage).
IEM Cologne 2023 is divided into three stages. The first is Play-In. It features double-elimination battles between 16 teams. Each opening match will be BO1, while the rest is BO3. As expected, half of the team advances to the main event.
During Play-In, it can be very complicated to predict the matches. That’s especially unsatisfying if you are betting. But with this CSGO betting odds, it gets effortless. It shows you all the average odds numbers formed from observing top bookmakers. So instead of doing tedious research, you have it all in one place.
Let’s get back to the format. Next, the Group Stage starts. There are two groups in this stage: A and B. Each has 8 teams, and only three proceed to Playoffs: 2 from the upper and 1 from the lower bracket. All the games are conducted in BO3 format.
Finally, the Playoffs begin. The lower bracket winner and upper bracket 2nd place fight in the quarterfinals. While the two best teams from the previous stage’s upper bracket automatically head to the semifinals and face quarter-finals champions. As a result, the two best teams compete in the grand final in the BO5 format. The winner gets $400 000. However, the second-place scorer is also fine, taking home $180 000.
Like any serious event, IEM Cologne schedules all of its actions. Thus, each tournament day starts with a shop opening at 10:00. It is a cool place for the CS:GO and ESL fans to purchase themed souvenirs. Next, event conductors open the arena outdoors at 12:30. In the yard, visitors can participate in exciting activities like mini-games and communicate with each other.
An hour later, the main hall doors are opened so everyone can locate their seats and prepare for the spectacle. Depending on the stage, matches will start at different times. But commonly, the grand final is the latest, beginning at 16:00.
If you want to participate in these activities, you can purchase the tickets from the IEM Cologne official website. They vary in cost giving different levels of access. The cheapest is 45€ per day. While 1199€ is the most expensive, giving you access to all the competitive days, free food and drinks, a dedicated entrance, free parking, a private lounge, and other cool stuff. However, regardless of your ticket type, you anyway get access to the signing session and seats.
Don’t have time to visit the LAN event but want to watch the matches? You can! However, you’ll miss out on many emotions and activities.
Still, to do it, you just have to visit the official IEM Cologne Twitch account. It will stream all the event matches hosted by professional casters. And if you’ve missed any of them, there is no need to worry. You can easily find replays on YouTube or Twitch.
Why Should You Watch IEM Cologne?
CS:GO is a game that is very easy to understand. So regardless of your skill level, you’ll quickly get into the sense of competition. And just believe, watching how the world’s best players perform is breathtaking.
It’s to the extent that you might even want to become a CS:GO player. Or get a motivation to raise your skill if you already play the game.
I'm a published author and proud US Army veteran who happens to be a gamer, so I decided to combine the two and love every minute of it! Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments and I'll be sure to get back to you.