Ongoing geopolitical conflicts have made it extremly difficult for the forZe players to secure timely visas for IEM Cologne

Visa issues have resulted in misfortune for forZe’s CS:GO roster who are now unable to attend IEM Cologne, ESL has revealed. Replacing them in the million-dollar event team lineup is OG as per the ESL Pro Tour rules.

"Due to visa issues, forzegg have withdrawn from the tournament. They will be replaced by OGCSGO per our rulebook, as they are the next highest-ranked team in the ESL World Ranking," ESL said on Twitter.

The forZe CS:GO roster features five Russian players. Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, several Russian nationals are facing issues in obtaining the required visas to visit other European countries. While this is an unfortunate situation for the forZe players, it opens up a door for OG players who suddenly find themselves competing in one of the biggest events of the year.

OG replaces forZe as per the rules

As per the ESL Pro Tour rulebook, OG will now replace forZe at IEM Cologne 2023. You can read the ESL Pro Tour rules here.

"The next team in line from the ESL World Ranking at the time of the dropout will receive an invitation to the tournament."

At the time of writing, OG is the 20th-best team in the ESL World Rankings. Other teams after forZe had already secured their invitations to IEM Cologne. Earlier this month, Complexity replaced paiN Gaming at IEM Cologne

The winner of IEM Cologne receives a direct invitation to IEM Katowice 2024. The event will mostly be the first Katowice event featuring Counter-Strike 2. With the novelty of the game and the hype around the improved graphics and game mechanics, it will be an opportunity for one team to cement their name in history as the winner of the first Counter-Strike 2 IEM Katowice.

IEM Cologne kicks off on July 28 and will continue for twelve days. With a million-dollar prize pool, the tournament features the best Counter-Strike teams from all over the world in competition at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike.

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