All about IEM Katowice 2023 dates, teams, format, and more

By Kenneth Williams


Jan 30, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

IEM Katowice 2023 will bring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive back to its roots.

Katowice is a historic city in CSGO, with three majors taking place in the city along with too many other events to count. The Polish crowd always comes out in force for Katowice, joined by fans from all over Europe. With a cool $1 million prize pool up for grabs, the 2023 version of the event promises to go head-to-head with the real majors for importance.

If you plan to tune into IEM Katowice 2023, here’s all the info about start dates, teams, format, and more.

IEM Katowice 2023 group stage start date February 4

IEM Katowice will begin on February 1, 2023 with the playoffs starting on February 10. The group stage for the event will start on February 4 and run for three game days. Here are all the start dates for IEM Katowice 2023 broken down.

  • Play-ins – February 1 – 3
  • Group stage – February 4 – 7
  • Playoffs – February 10 – 12

Despite bringing together the top 16 teams on HLTV’s rankings for an international event, IEM Katowice will not be commemorated in-game with a battle pass. However, CSGO players will still be able to watch the games live for free using the in-game watch client. Aside from that option, all games with full coverage in several languages will be live on the official ESL Twitch channel.

All the teams attending IEM Katowice 2023?

IEM Katowice 2023 will feature 24 total teams, but only six will make it to the playoffs.

The teams attending IEM Katowice 2023 are split into two different groups based on how they qualifier. Eight teams directly qualified to the group stage by winning other major events or by placing highly in the ESL World Rankings. Needless to say, these eight teams are heavily favored to win the event. Here are the eight direct qualifiers, along with how they earned a seat of honor in Katowice.

  • FaZe Clan (IEM Cologne 2022)
  • G2 Esports (ESL)
  • Heroic (ESL)
  • MOUZ (ESL)
  • Natus Vincere (ESL)
  • Outsiders (The Rio Major)
  • Team Liquid (ESL)
  • Team Vitality (ESL Pro League 16)
IEM Katowice 2023 group stage teams

Qualifying for the play-in stage was more complicated. Squads were added based on their ESL World Ranking, but some slots are dedicated only to certain regions. Europe got three slots, North America got two, and South America, Oceania, and Asia all got one team each. The six remaining slots were filled based on World Ranking. Finally, Fnatic and Permitta Esports qualified for IEM Katowice 2023 by winning Elisa Masters Espoo and ESL Mistrzostwa Polski Autumn last year, respectively.

  • BIG
  • Cloud9
  • Complexity Gaming
  • ENCE
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • FURIA Esports
  • Grayhound Gaming
  • IHC Esports
  • MiBR
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • OG
  • paiN Gaming
  • Permitta Esports
  • Sprout 
  • Team Spirit
IEM Katowice 2023 play-in stage teams

What tournament format will Katowice use?

The format for IEM Katowice 2023 will be a double-elimination group stage followed by a single-elimination playoff with six finalists.

Before either of those brackets, Katowice will play host to a play-in stage featuring 16 teams in a double-elimination bracket. The opening matches will feature some rare matchups competing in best-of-ones, so it’s definitely the match day to catch. The top eight teams will qualify for the group stage, four from each bracket.

The group stage will split teams up into groups of eight, with four play-in teams and four direct qualifiers. Each group will also go through a double-elimination bracket with the group champion skipping the first round of playoffs. The second and third-place teams will start in the quarter-finals of the playoffs.

Finally, the playoffs are a single-elimination bracket with six teams. That means four best-of-threes followed by a best-of-five for the grand final starting on February 12 at 8:30 am US central time. IEM Katowice 2023 will use the standard ESL Pro Tour rulebook both for tournament proceedings and in-game rules. Overtime will use the standard best-of-six format with $12,500 start money.

It’s not the crazy World Cup-style CSGO overtime system that Valve recently suggested, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it with $1 million on the line.


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