One of the most prestigious tournaments of Counter-Strike begins July 26th

IEM Cologne 2023 will be the event's last edition in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive era. The tournament is considered to be the Cathedral of CS:GO and is one of the most prestigious of the esports. Beginning next Wednesday (26th), it will happen until August 6th.

The 2023 edition will also be under the spotlight since the IEM tournament comes after after a highly busy transfer window. Several teams changed their rosters and some of them already debuted in BLAST Premier Fall Groups.

IEM Cologne 2023 will be the first tier 1 tournament for other squads to showcase their new line-ups. That will be the case for teams such as Fnatic, FURIA, and MOUZ. In preparation for the tournament, put together a guide for you to get ready for the Cathedral of CS:GO.

IEM Cologne 2023 format


IEM Cologne 2023 starts on July 26th with the Play-In stage. This part of the tournament will happen till July 28th and will have the participation of 16 teams, spread in a double elimination bracket. The opening matches are best of one map (BO1), while all the others are best of three maps (BO3). The top eight teams of the Play-In get a spot in the Groups stage, considered to be the main event.

Groups stage

The Groups stage begins on July 29th and will also have 16 teams, eight of them previously qualified for the event. In this stage, the squads are divided into two double-elimination groups of eight teams each. For someone to go home, they will have to lose two matches.

The top three teams of each group advance to the Playoffs and will be able to play in the LANXESS Arena. In the playoffs, all matches are BO3, except the grand final which will be a long best of five maps (BO5) with two teams fighting for the prize of $ 1 million.

IEM Cologne 2023 teams

Play-In teams

  • MOUZ
  • Into the Breach
  • Fnatic
  • OG
  • Apeks
  • Astralis
  • Monte
  • Grayhound
  • The MongolZ
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Complexity
  • 9INE
  • BIG
  • Team Liquid
  • Imperial

Group stage teams

Group A

  • Heroic
  • GamerLegion
  • Cloud9
  • ENCE

Group B

  • Team Vitality
  • Natus Vincere
  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan

Can Vitality progress in IEM Grand Slam Season 5?

The IEM Cologne 2023 is part of the Grand Slam Season 5, a circuit of several tournaments that has a $ 1 million prize. The trophy and the prize go to the team that is able to win four of the valid tournaments out of a window of 10 championships.

In Grand Slam Season 5, only two other tournaments already took place, IEM Rio 2023 and IEM Dallas 2023. The first one saw Vitality as the winner, while the latter had ENCE as the champion. Both teams will participate in IEM Cologne 2023, but Vitality arrives as one of the favorites.

The French organization had a brilliant first semester, with titles in the last CS:GO Major and IEM Rio. Even though they switched Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen for Shahar "flameZ" Shushan, the debut of this new Vitality in BLAST Premier Fall Groups showcased that they are still one of the best teams in the world.

Stay tuned to for the latest CS:GO news and updates.