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IEM Cologne 2021 takes place offline in a five-star hotel and lasts from Tuesday, July 6 to Sunday, July 18.

IEM Cologne will be the first major offline event for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As announced by IEM on July 2, the event will take place offline at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Cologne. 24 teams have qualified for the event, with eight of those teams already advancing to the group stage. The remaining 16 teams will battle to the death in the play-in stage until only eight teams remain.

IEM Cologne officially begins with the play-in stage which will last from July 6 through the 8th. After the play-in stage concludes the group stage will begin with the remaining 16 teams competing for a spot in the playoffs. Only four remaining teams will advance to the playoff for the chance of winning the $500,000 first-place prize. The top eight teams will also receive Pro Tour and Blast Premier points.

Where to watch IEM Cologne 2021

CS:GO fans will be able to take part in the action of IEM Cologne by watching from the safety of their own homes. The streams will be available on both Twitch and YouTube under the ESL’s channel. ESL is the tournament organizer for almost all of CS:GO’s events which is why they stream the tournaments. If fans happen to miss a stream due to time-zone differences, the videos from these streams will be posted on ESL’s channels.

Despite allowing the players to compete in a LAN setting, COVID-19 is still preventing tournament organizers from allowing fans to attend. Other esports, such as the Overwatch League, are beginning to integrate fans in smaller settings. However, due to the fact that CS:GO is so global, it will be difficult to get fans from across the globe in one spot. That is why ESL needs to host streams on two different platforms to reach a wider audience.