In a thrilling battle among 24 of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams from around the world, G2 Esports has claimed victory at the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2023. The prestigious tournament took place from July 26th to August 6th, with the final three days held at the iconic Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.
The Lanxess Arena event proved to be a huge success, with a record-breaking sell-out, attracting more than 37,000 fans, and capturing the highest average viewership for any esports event in the city. The peak viewership reached over 727,000, showcasing the immense popularity of the tournament.
The competition began with the Play-in Stage, where 16 teams vied for eight spots to advance. From there, the top eight teams from the Play-in Stage and eight squads that directly qualified proceeded to the Group Stage. Split into two groups of eight, they fiercely battled to secure a spot in the live playoffs.
THE TROPHY LIFT TO END ALL TROPHY LIFTS pic.twitter.com/zWMW6wY2AJ
— G2 CS (@G2CSGO) August 6, 2023
Thrilling Playoffs and Grand Final
The six best teams, Astralis, Cloud9, Ence, G2 Esports, Heroic, and Team Vitality, entered the live playoffs from August 4th to 6th. In the Quarter-Finals, Team Vitality secured a dominant 2-0 win against Cloud9, while Astralis triumphed over Heroic with another 2-0 victory.
The Semi-Finals brought intense competition, with Ence securing a spot in the Grand Final after a hard-fought 2-1 win against Team Vitality. G2 Esports also dominated in their Semi-Final, defeating Astralis 2-0, and securing their place in the final match.
In the best-of-5 Grand Final, G2 Esports took control, going 2-0 up against Ence. However, Ence fought back, winning the third map and pushing the series to the fourth map. After an exhilarating match, G2 Esports emerged as the champions with a 3-1 scoreline, claiming the coveted IEM Cologne trophy and a share of the $1 million prize pool.
G2 Esports’ Historic Achievement
By winning IEM Cologne 2023, G2 Esports achieved two ESL Pro Tour (EPT) Championship titles back-to-back in the same year, adding to their victory at IEM Katowice. The German organization also secured a spot in the Group Stage of the first EPT Championship event in 2024. G2’s Rifler, Nikola “NiKo” Kovač, received the EPT DHL MVP award, recognizing his outstanding performance during the tournament.
Following their triumph at IEM Cologne, G2 Esports’ next challenge is the ESL Pro Tour Season 18, scheduled from August 31st to October 1st.
With thrilling matches and records broken, IEM Cologne 2023 will be remembered as an unforgettable event in the world of competitive CS:GO. Congratulations to G2 Esports on their well-deserved victory!