eSports Tournament IEM Sydney 2023 Kicks off with Counter-Strike Group Stages

IEM Sydney 2023 returns after 4 years and features Counter-Strike 2's first LAN event.


  • IEM Sydney 2023 kicks off with the first-ever professional Counter-Strike 2 LAN event.
  • IEM returns to Sydney in 2023 after four years.
  • Winners of the IEM Sydney 2023 will be crowned champions and grab a prize of $100,000 USD.
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IEM Sydney, Australia’s most prominent esports tournament is back in Sydney after a hiatus of four years. IEM Sydney 2023 kicked off as the inaugural Counter-Strike 2 tournament of the year on October 16 and goes till October 22.


IEM Sydney 2023 is being held at the Aware Super Theatre in Sydney and is organized by ESL and sponsored by Intel, Predator Gaming, 1xBet, DHL, Monster Energy, Coinbase, and the U.S. Air Force.

The tournament features 16 teams going head to head for the grand prize of $100,000 USD and the total prize pool of the tournament is $250,000 USD. The winning team will be crowned Counter-Strike 2 champions as well as get closer to featuring in Intel Grand Slam V.


Esports Tournament IEM Sydney 2023 Commences With a Bang

IEM Sydney 2023 marks the first-ever International eSports tournament for Counter-Strike 2
IEM Sydney 2023 marks the first-ever International eSports tournament for Counter-Strike 2.

Valve recently released Counter-Strike 2 and it will replace CS:GO in eSports tournaments starting with IEM Sydney 2023. Counter-Strike 2 brings an overhaul to one of the most popular and competitive FPS games out there.

IEM Sydney 2023 is a part of the Intel Grand Slam Season 5 and features 16 teams with ESL Partner Teams and other teams who earned their place through qualifiers. The ESL partner teams are G2 Esports, MOUZ, FaZe Clan, ENCE, Team Vitality, and Natus Vincere.

The IEM Sydney 2023 Counter-Strike 2 group stage has a double-elimination format (GSL). The opening matches are Best of 1 and all the following matches are Best of 3. The top 3 teams from each group will head to the playoffs for a single-elimination round that will determine the champions with Best of 3 matchups.


The teams are divided into two groups, group A and group B with eight teams each. These are the groups:

Group A

  • Team Vitality
  • BetBoom Team
  • FaZe Clan
  • GamerLegion
  • Natus Vincere
  • Apeks
  • VERTEX Esports Club
  • MOUZ

Group B

  • ENCE
  • Lynn Vision
  • Cloud9
  • fnatic
  • Monte
  • Complexity
  • Grayhound
  • G2 Esports

The opening saw amazing performances with Natus Vincere (NaVi) claiming a victory over Apeks. The eSports tournament roster features teams like ENCE, FaZe Clan, and G2 Esports, and fans are excited to witness the incredible show of skills and strategy.

IEM Sydney 2023 returns after a four year gap after it was last held in 2019.
IEM Sydney 2023 returns after a four-year gap since it was last held in 2019.

The talent lineup for IEM Sydney 2023 has several local Australian eSports experts with popular tier-one personalities with hosts Tres “stunna” Saranthus and Freya “Freya” Spiers. The analysts are Janko “YNk” Paunović, Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović, Sudhen “Bleh” Wahengbam, and the casting team features Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill, Alex “Machine” Richardson, James “BARDOLPH” Bardolph, and more.


The competition is already underway and the matches start at 3:30 AM CET (12:30 AM ET). It is available for fans to watch on the ESL Twitch channel and B stream as the tournament features two matches at the same time during the Group Stage and Playoffs. Apart from the official ESL stream, renowned streamers such as ohnepixel, fl0m, and Gaules are also co-streaming the event on their respective Twitch channels.

IEM Sydney 2023 features popular teams such as MOUZ, Natus Vincere, and several others looking at the recent tournament and their results, the competition will be action-packed with these teams in the fray. MOUZ recently won ESL Pro League Season 18 against Natus Vincere and is one of the favorites to win the competition.

Although Natus Vincere lost the final against MOUZ in Season 18 of the ESL Pro League, the match was very close and anybody could have clinched the victory so it would be safe to say Navi’s s1mple and co. also could emerge as the winner. Other favorites include Vitality and ENCE as both the teams clashed in the finals at Gamers8 2023 in Riyadh while Vitality was crowned as the winner.


Vitality has been performing very well this year with a total of three big tournament wins and ENCE has won IEM Dallas 2023. Even though ENCE couldn’t defeat Vitality at Gamers8 2023, they are worth keeping an eye on. G2 Esports and FaZe Clan could also be the teams that could bring some unexpected twists to the tournament.

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Written by Rohit Tiwari

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Rohit Tiwari is a Gaming Journalist and Editor at FandomWire. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, Rohit combines academic insight with a passion for the games and the stories they tell. He is an ardent supporter of Real Madrid and when he's not busy playing games, you'll find him reading or idolizing the GOAT Cristiano Ronaldo.