IEM Cologne

IEM Cologne Breaks Non-Major CS:GO Event Viewership Numbers

The recently finished Intel Extreme Masters Cologne has delivered more than just one of the most exciting Big Event finals of the year.

The recently finished Intel Extreme Masters Cologne has delivered more than just one of the most exciting Big Event finals of the year. The tournament also emerged as the most-watched non-Major CS:GO event in the history of esports.

IEM Cologne Sets A New Record

The IEM Cologne 2022 grand finals match between Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan was arguably one of the most entertaining CS:GO Big Event finals in history. And not only that, but the match also peaked at 1.25 million viewers, making it the most-watched best-of-five non-Major CS:GO match in history.

The previous record belonged to the IEM Katowice finals match on February 12, when approximately 1.12 million viewers tuned in to watch FaZe Clan defeat G2 Esports. Overall, the FaZe vs NaVi IEM Cologne finals was the fifth-most watched CS:GO match in the history of the game, behind the ELEAGUE Major 2017 and ELEAGUE Major 2018.

Although impressive figures, the IEM Cologne still fell short of the PGL Major Antwerp and PGL Major Stockholm. The Antwerp Major, which happened earlier this year, had over 2.113 million concurrent viewers, whereas the Stockholm Major posted over 2.748 million concurrent viewers.

A Phenomenal Ending To The Event

The IEM Cologne grand finals between FaZe and Natus Vincere was an epic spectacle that raised the bar of what Big Event CS:GO finals should look like. The spectacle saw two of the world’s best teams go at it in a five-map series, which featured everything from individual displays of skill, throws, unbelievable comebacks, and heartbreaks.

The teams looked evenly matched throughout the eight-hour affair, with the series eventually decided by the smallest of margins. In the end, FaZe Clan proved to be the superior team at Cathedral of Counter-Strike, edging out a victory on Nuke to pocket another big trophy.

Regardless, Natus Vincere proved to be just as impressive with their showing and a strong testament to the team’s quality, coming close to winning the title despite playing with a stand-in. The CIS powerhouse did fall short in the end, but they remain regarded as one of the world’s top CS:GO teams.

For FaZe, winning the IEM Cologne marked just the icing on the case of a phenomenal season. The squad became the first international roster to win a CS:GO Major in Belgium, to which they added a Pro league title, a trophy from Katowice, and now the IEM Cologne silverware – effectively winning some of the most prestigious CS:GO tournaments of the year.

Interestingly, no team in history managed to win Katowice, Cologne, and a Major title in the same season. By claiming the three, FaZe Clan are now eyeing the Intel Grand Slam – a $1 million bonus prize pool for winning four of 10 consecutive events of the IEM Circuit.

And given their success over the season, FaZe now have six chances to seal the deal and potentially add another Major title at Rio Major in October.

S1mple Wins MVP

Despite FaZe Clan’s incredible performance at IEM Cologne, it was Natus Vincere star player Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev who got recognized as the most valuable player of the event.

The 24-year-old superstar has earned it, though, as he was dominating the tournament from the start of the group stage all the way to the grand finals.

The Ukrainian CS:GO pro was the driving force behind NaVi’s road to the finals with his consistency and individual flashes of greatness. Notably, he dropped a 1.36 and 1.31 rating against MOUZ and Movistar Riders in the group stage and has looked just as good in the playoff stage.

S1mple ended the tournament with an average rating of 1.25, had the highest K/D (+95), KPR (0.84), while also shining in other categories, including clutches (2nd), headshots (3rd), and opening kills (4th).

By winning the MVP, s1mple now leads in the all-time tournament MVPs with 21, followed by dev1ce at 19, ZywOo at 12, GeT_RiGhT at 10, and kennyS at 10.