by Ciaran Jackman in
eSports Betting News

The first S-Tier Counter-Strike event for 2023 will be Intel Extreme Masters Katowice in Poland at Spodek Arena, and the 24 invited teams have been announced by ESL, with eight gaining direct invites and 16 gaining play-in spots.

Three of the eight direct invites were already confirmed, as FaZe Clan won IEM Cologne, Team Vitality won ESL Pro League Season 16, and Outsiders won the IEM Rio Major in 2022.

As well as those three direct invites, there were two confirmed play-in invitations going to Fnatic, who won the Elisa Masters Espoo, and Permitta, who won the ESL Polish Championship Autumn.

The other five direct invites to IEM Katowice have come as no surprise to many, with Heroic, Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, MOUZ and G2 Esports all earning their spot due to consistent performances throughout 2022.

As for the other 14 play-in invitations, six spots were given out to teams based on their overall world rankings, and the final eight were handed to teams based on their region-specific ranking, with three going to European teams, two to North American teams, and one each to South American, Asian and Oceanic organisations.

One big name that is missing from either of the invitation lists is that of two-time IEM Katowice champions Astralis, who had to win either CCT Central Europe Series 4 or Elisa Masters Espoo at the back end of the year to stay in contention.

FaZe Clan have opened as the early favourite at +400 with esports betting sites.

The direct invites for IEM Katowice are as follows:

  • Outsiders
  • Team Liquid
  • FaZe Clan
  • Natus Vincere
  • Team Vitality
  • MOUZ
  • G2 Esports
  • Heroic

The invites for the play-in are as follows:

  • Fnatic
  • ENCE
  • Permitta
  • Spirit
  • Complexity
  • MIBR
  • IHC
  • OG
  • Grayhound
  • Sprout
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Cloud9
  • paiN Gaming
  • BIG

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