IEM Cologne will now take place after the summer player break.
IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, the two flagship CS:GO tournaments of the ESL Pro Tour, will run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12 and from July 25 to Aug. 6 respectively, ESL has confirmed today.
The dates are different from the ones ESL used for the 2022 edition of these tournaments. IEM Katowice 2023 will take place two weeks earlier than its 2022 edition, while IEM Cologne 2023 will be played two weeks later compared to 2022. This means that IEM Cologne 2023 will take place after the summer player break, so it’s less likely that we’ll see lackluster CS:GO rosters attending one of the most prestigious Counter-Strike events on the calendar.
The date change of IEM Cologne comes after the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA) moved the summer player break from June 12 to July 9 in 2023, which is one month earlier than compared to previous years. The change sees the competitive year be split into “two more evenly filled seasons,” according to the CSPPA.
“Its always an honor to invite fans back to two of the most recognizable esports events worldwide,” ESL FACEIT Group’s senior director of game ecosystems Shaun Clark said. “We are already bubbling with excitement as we begin the annual planning to host two of the most passionate esports events.”
The playoffs of the two flagship ESL Pro Tour CS:GO events will take place in their usual venues, meaning IEM Katowice 2023 playoffs will be played at the Spodek Arena for the eleventh time in its history, while IEM Cologne 2023 playoffs will be held at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike LANXESS Arena for the seventh time.