The Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2022, one of the most renowned esports tournaments in the world, has officially come to an end. Over nine days, 24 of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams battled it out for $1 million in prize money and the coveted title of IEM Cologne Champion. The associated press release provides information on this Tuesday.
After nearly three years, ESL Gaming was finally able to welcome fans to the LANXESS Stadium in Cologne, who cheered on the top six teams live on site during the playoffs. After an exciting match, FaZe Clan finally managed to take home the IEM Cologne trophy for the first time. In the final against Natus Vincere, the team prevailed 3:2 and thus secured their second ESL Pro Tour Championship title this year.
The exciting course of the tournament
For the sixth time, CS:GO fans were able to follow exciting games for almost two weeks, starting on July 5 with the kick-off stage and finally moving on to the group stage. The tournament ended with the playoffs as a live tournament from July 15-17. The German team MOUZ and the Danish professionals from Astralis gave an exciting start in the LANXESS arena, better known in the international community as “The Cathedral of Counter-Strike”. Astralis cleverly prevailed and took on Natus Vincere, the winner of IEM Cologne 2021, in the first semi-final of the tournament.
The second quarter-final between Movistar Riders and Team Liquid was especially stressful, with the Spanish Riders emerging victorious after an exciting heads-up match. Soon after, they had to prove their skills in the semi-finals against FaZe Clan, winners of IEM Katowice 2022 and the CS:GO Major in Antwerp.
Movistar Riders’ debut on the big international stage had an inopportune ending when, like Astralis, they were eliminated in the semi-finals despite their great performance. In the final FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere faced each other. Both teams wanted to win the trophy at all costs and fought for each round, keeping the excitement until the end.
Clutches, comebacks and extensions
Only after five maps filled with clutches, comebacks, and extensions was FaZe Clan able to prevail with a 3:2 victory and claim the IEM Cologne 2022 title for the first time. This makes the team the first to win IEM Katowice, a CS:GO Major Championship, and IEM Cologne in one year. It also earned them their third career Intel Grand Slam point, putting them just one win away from the $1 million prize pool.
Finn ‘Karrigan’ Andersen of the winning team FaZe Clan live on stage:
“Our stated goal is the last point remaining for the Intel Grand Slam. For us, this challenge is now our top priority and we will do our best not to leave our previous efforts untested in the coming season. I look forward to the next vacation, but after that it’s over [Intel] Grand Slam is definitely the ultimate goal for the upcoming tournaments.”
After the long break, CS:GO fans from 69 countries were beyond excited for the LANXESS arena to open its doors again. The ESL event in Cologne sold out for the fifth time in a row. The “Cathedral of Counter-Strike” registered 35,000 spectators in three days, who watched the best matches live at the venue. They supported their favorites with all their passion, making them go through a real roller coaster of emotions.
Those who did not make it to Cologne watched the tournament via streaming. At times, over 1.25 million fans watched the show at the same time (“Peak CCU” according to Esports Charts). This makes IEM Cologne 2022 the most watched CS:GO tournament outside of the majors, even surpassing the record set by IEM Katowice 2022. It was a remarkable event for both players and the global community.
With the conclusion of IEM Cologne 2022, all eyes are now on the highly anticipated Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022, the first CS:GO Major Championship 2022 in South America. The competition will be held from October 31 to November 13. Fans can be there at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro from November 10-13 when the next title is fought live at the venue.
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