ESL reveals the group stage lineup and opening matchups for IEM Cologne, featuring intense competition and revamped team rosters
ESL has announced the opening matchups of the IEM Cologne Play-in stage as well as the group stage distribution of the main event, scheduled to commence on July 26. The seeding follows the ESL World Ranking, which experienced significant fluctuations due to numerous roster changes during the off-season.
In the main event's group stage, Group B showcases a fierce clash of international powerhouses, including Vitality, FaZe, G2, the new-look Cloud9 and Natus Vincere. Natus Vincere recently surprised the community with their move towards an international roster, signing Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen, Mihai “iM” Ivan, and Justinas “jL” Lekavicius.
The other group, Group A, features the top-ranked Heroic, ENCE, and GamerLegion, who are yet to announce their full roster following recent player departures.
Current group lineups include the following teams:
The Play-in stage will kick off with an exciting opening match between Astralis and Liquid, as both teams made significant roster changes during the off-season. Furthermore, this stage will also be introducing several teams making their LAN debuts with new players, such as MOUZ, Into the Breach, fnatic, Apeks, Imperial, Monte, and FURIA.
The Play-in opening matchups include:
- MOUZ vs. TheMongolz
- Into the Breach vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
- fnatic vs. Complexity
- OG vs. 9INE
- Apeks vs. BIG
- Astralis vs. Liquid
- Monte vs. Imperial
- Grayhound vs. FURIA
The Play-in stage will take place from July 26-28, 2023, with eight teams competing for spots in the main event's group stage. Following the Play-in, the Group Stage is scheduled from July 29 to August 1, 2023, where six teams will advance to the playoffs.
The playoffs, set to be held at the LANXESS Arena, will offer an intense showdown from August 4-6, determining the IEM Cologne champion.
ESL’s Action-Packed IEM Cologne
The opening matchups for #IEM Cologne are here!👇
🔥8 teams advance
🗓️July 29-Aug 1
🏟️6 teams advance
📅 August 4-6
🏟️LANXESS Arena pic.twitter.com/WXzA6BpQp9
— Intel® Extreme Masters (@IEM) July 14, 2023
ESL has revealed the opening matchups and group distribution for the IEM Cologne Play-in stage, set to begin on July 26. The main event's group stage features a highly competitive Group B, pitting international powerhouses Vitality, FaZe, G2, and Natus Vincere against each other. In Group A, the current No. 1 team Heroic and ENCE will face off against the new-look Cloud9 lineup. The tournament promises an intense battle among top teams, setting the stage for a thrilling and highly-anticipated event.
Get ready to witness an unforgettable tournament filled with high-stakes moments and the relentless pursuit of the championship title. IEM Cologne 2023 is poised to be an epic showcase of the very best that CS:GO has to offer, promising an experience that fans will cherish for years to come.