two soldiers from CS2

CS2 IEM Sydney 2023: All Teams, Start Date & How to Watch

The much-anticipated Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) is making a groundbreaking appearance in Sydney, with 16 elite CS2 squads gearing up to face off from October 16 to 22. The stakes are high, with a whopping US$250,000 on the line.

As the event culminates over the final three days, the top six teams will battle it out before an electrified live audience at the Aware Super Theatre. This guide will break down everything you need to know for the event to ensure you don’t miss a second of the action.

What Is the CS2 IEM Sydney 2023 Event?

The IEM Sydney 2023 event is the first live international contest featuring Counter-Strike 2. Teams from across the world will be competing for a total prize pool of $250,000 in this exciting eSports event. Witness heart-pounding, last-second bomb defuses, and your favorite players clutch a 1v5, especially during the concluding three days, where matches will be played in front of a live audience at the Aware Super Theatre.

Here is a breakdown of the total prize pool in USD, as well as each of the competing teams and broadcasters:

Prize Pool Breakdown (USD):

  • Total Prize Pool: $250,000
  • 1st: $100,000
  • 2nd: $42,000
  • 3rd-4th: $20,000
  • 5th-6th: $10,000
  • 7th-8th: $6,000
  • 9th-12th: $5,000
  • 13th-16th: $4,000
The CS2 IEM Sydney 2023 poster

Competing Teams

  • ENCE (ESL Partner Team)
  • FaZe Clan (ESL Partner Team)
  • G2 Esports (ESL Partner Team)
  • MOUZ (ESL Partner Team)
  • Natus Vincere (ESL Partner Team)
  • Team Vitality (ESL Partner Team)
  • Cloud9 (ESL World Ranking)
  • Fnatic (ESL World Ranking)
  • GamerLegion (ESL World Ranking)
  • Monte (ESL World Ranking)
  • Grayhound.Rivalry (Local Hero Invite)
  • Apeks (European Qualifier)
  • BetBoom Team (European Qualifier)
  • Complexity Gaming (North American Qualifier)
  • Lynn Vision Gaming (Asian Qualifier)
  • VERTEX Esports Club (Oceanic Qualifier)

Event Broadcasters

  • Tres “stunna” Saranthus (Desk Host)
  • Freya “Freya” Spiers (Desk Host)
  • Janko “YNk” Paunović (Analyst)
  • Sudhen “Bleh” Wahengbam (Analyst)
  • Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović (Analyst)
  • Anastasija “Heccu” Tolmačeva (Sideline Reporter)
  • Alex “Machine” Richardson (Caster)
  • Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill (Caster)
  • James Bardolph (Caster)
  • Alex “Hawka” Hawkins (Caster)
  • Mitch “Conky” Concanen (Stage Host)
  • Jordan “Elfishguy” Mays (Caster)
  • Mitchell “pilski” Pilipowski (Caster)
  • Geordie “Mac” McAleer (Caster)
  • James “jimNeso” Cowan (Caster)

When is the CS2 IEM Sydney 2023 Event?

The CS2 Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023 event takes place between Monday, October 16, and Sunday, October 22. You can find a full schedule for the event below:

Schedule and Format:

  • Group Stage (October 16 – 18):
    • Features 16 teams, with the top six advancing to the Playoffs.
    • Adopts a double-elimination format.
    • Opening matches are best-of-one, and subsequent ones are best-of-three.
    • Winners progress to the Semifinals; runner-ups and third-place teams advance to the Quarterfinals.
  • Playoffs (October 20 – 22):
    • Follows a single-elimination format.
    • All matches, from the Quarterfinals to the Grand Final, are best-of-three.
Player shooting a gun down a hallway in CS2

Additionally, the fan-favorite Caches showmatch returns to IEM Sydney for its 4th iteration. This legendary match serves as a precursor to the IEM Sydney Grand Final and will see Team Australia square off against Team UK. Scheduled for 16:30 AEST on October 22nd, expect sparks to fly as Chad ‘SPUNJ’ Burchill and Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer reignite their legendary rivalry.

How to Watch the CS2 Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023

You can either watch the CS2 IEM Sydney 2023 event in person or through online broadcasts via the ESL Counter-Strike’s official Twitch and YouTube channels.

Tickets for IEM Sydney 2023 go on sale June 22, 2023, at 4:30 PM AEST. Prices are A$159 for a 3-day General Admission, A$199 for General Admission Plus, A$279 for Premium, and A$1,399 for ‘God Mode’.

Counter Strike 2 gameplay

If you have a Sydney Platinum (A$1,495) or Games (A$1,095) badge from SXSW, you can also attend all three days of the event. Seats are reserved for badge holders at the Aware Super Theatre. Buy badges at SXSW Sydney’s site.

Anyone preferring to watch from the comfort of their own home will find broadcasts packed with exclusive content live-streamed on ESL Counter-Strike’s official Twitch and YouTube channels. For those with time constraints, worry not, as all matches will be accessible on-demand, free of charge, via YouTube.

What Is ESL and the Intel Extreme Masters?

Formerly known as the Electronic Sports League, the ESL is an eSports organizer and production company that hosts events for the leading eSports games. The Intel Extreme Masters is an eSports tournament that’s been running since 2006.

The ESL has been operating for over 20 years and has had a huge part in helping elevate eSports to the immense popularity it enjoys today. Some of the more notable events they host include the likes of ESL Pro Tour and Intel Extreme Masters. These events let players show their skills, and fans enjoy great games. ESL is a main part of the ESL FACEIT Group, a top company in gaming and esports.

Originating in 2006, the Intel Extreme Masters stands as the longest-standing global professional esports tournament series. Pioneered by Intel in partnership with ESL, it showcases the world’s best gamers in the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II, and many more. With an almost two-decade-long heritage that has featured multiple record-breaking moments, the Intel Extreme Masters is widely regarded as the most prestigious eSports tournament in the world. Make sure to check out our Games Hub for all the latest news and guides on Counter Strike 2.

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