What’s Next For Competitive CS:GO After IEM Cologne 2023?

After the conclusion of IEM Cologne 2023, fans are keen to discover the future of CS:GO in the competitive scene. We’re here to discuss what competitive CS:GO has in store for the rest of 2023!

Next Tournaments

For much of IEM Cologne 2023, it was touted as the “last CS:GO tournament” for Tier-1 teams. With CS2’s release date still unclear (despite the “Summer 2023” deadline), the future of CS:GO remains shrouded in mystery. However, we can infer some information from what we do know for sure.

competitive CS:GO

Credit: Adela Sznajder | © ESL

The next planned competitive CS:GO tournament is Gamers8 2023, with 16 teams competing in Saudi Arabia for a huge prize pool of $1,000,000. It’s entirely possible that Gamers8 2023 will be played on CS:GO regardless of whether the new game releases or not, given the huge prize fund on offer. It would be a massively controversial choice to switch games with so little notice at this point.

It’s ironic to think that despite the likes of ESL and BLAST maintaining dominance over the competitive CS:GO scene, the final tournament of the game could instead be held by Gamers8.

Looking one step further into the potential future of CS:GO, we find ESL Pro League Season 18. After IEM Cologne 2023, Pro League is perhaps what most would consider the next “big” competitive CS:GO tournament. Beginning August 30th, there’s a very good chance we have a full release of Counter-Strike 2 by then. ESL Pro League Season 18 is a total toss of the coin. Due to it finishing on October 1st, it’s over a month of competitive Counter-Strike to commit to.

There are positives and negatives to both sides. Stick with CS:GO, and you know you’ll see a high level of play, but it’s old news! Move to CS2, and not every strat will work exactly the same, which could result in worse matches. However, due to its long length, it would be a real crash course of competitive play for the new game. Our recent interview with EPL Commissioner Alex Inglot hinted that he believes little will change in the competitive scene, and it will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition.

Intel Grand Slam

Even with all of this, there’s still the small matter of the Intel Grand Slam for competitive CS:GO to acknowledge. Even if we did move over to CS2 with immediate effect, all of Vitality, ENCE, and G2 have one notch on Intel Grand Slam Season 5.

competitive CS:GO

Credit: Helena Kristiansson | © ESL

While nothing is officially confirmed at this moment, it’s presumed that those Grand Slam points will carry over to Counter-Strike 2. They certainly wouldn’t wipe the slate clean, given the potential financial value of the Intel Grand Slam.

What will be more interesting is the effect of the new game on the future winners. The new mechanics of CS2 could result in other teams improving at a swift rate, which would mean new names competing in the Intel Grand Slam. Competitive CS:GO was already close enough, and time will tell if CS2 will close that gap further.

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