IEM Cologne 2021 Confirmed As First CS:GO LAN Tournament In 16 Months


IEM Cologne 2021 Confirmed as First CS:GO LAN Tournament in 16 Months

CS:GO is finally returning to LAN with IEM Cologne 2021.

Aditya Singh Rawat
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CS:GO is all set to return to LAN with the upcoming IEM Cologne 2021 after more than 16 months.
The last CS:GO event to be played in a LAN environment was IEM Katowice 2020 which took place in late February last year.
IEM Cologne 2021 will be played without a live audience as a studio event from 6-18 July, featuring a $1,000,000 total prize pool and 24 teams.

CS:GO is finally set to return to LAN with the upcoming IEM Cologne 2021 after more than 16 months. The last such CS:GO event had taken place in February 2020, as IEM Katowice was converted to a studio competition without any live audience mid-tournament. Since then the top-tier of competitive Counter-Strike has been played online, multiple teams claiming the throne but not a single lineup able to dominate for a long period of time. With the $1,000,000 USD in-person event all set to take place from 6-18 July in Cologne, teams are gearing up as CS:GO returns to LAN in less than two weeks time as a studio event.

IEM Cologne 2021 - CS:GO Event Confirmed to Take Place on LAN

IEM Cologne 2021 featuring a huge 1 Million USD prize pool is all set to take place as a studio event without a live audience in Cologne. A total of 24 teams will be participating in this tournament, 8 directly quafied teams along with 16 more that will be fighting through the Play-In stage to qualify ahead in the competiion.

Play-In Stage

The first phase of the tournament will take place from 6-7 July, with only 8 of the 16 competing teams making it through to the Group Stage. The Play-In's will be following a double elimination format, with all the opening matches being a single game decider. All the remaining matches will be undergoing a best-of-three series.

Group Stage

This will be taking place from 8-11 July. The 16 remaining teams will be divided into two groups of 8 teams each. Both these groups will be facing a double-elimination bracket and all the matches played in it will be a best-of-three series.

The qualification process will be as follows,

  • The two teams that win their respective groups will directly advance to the semifinals.

  • The runners-up will advance to the quarterfinals as the High Seeds.

  • The teams that take the third position will also advance to the quarterfinals, but as the Low Seeds.


The final stage of the tournament will take place from 16-18 July, following a single-elimination format where all the matches will be best-of-three series except for the grand final, which will be hosting a five game faceoff.

The participating teams will be earning both prize money and the valuable ESL Pro Tour, BLAST Premier circuit points. While all the 24 competing teams will get a piece of the total prize money, only the top 20 teams will be awarded ESL Pro Tour points, and the top eight BLAST Premier points.

Apart from IEM Cologne 2021, a live audience CS:GO tournament will also be taking place later this year in the form of IEM Winter 2021, scheduled to take place from 2-12 December in Asia.

Updated ESL Pro Tour CSGO Event Calendar

Updated ESL Pro Tour CSGO Event Calendar

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.