VP Product Development at ESL: "We're building a platform for players to put on a show"
VP Product Development at ESL Michal Blicharz shared his impressions of the recent IEM Cologne 2023 in an interview with the Polish publisher Onet. In particular, he noted that the annual tournament in Cologne is a kind of platform for putting on the best show in Counter-Strike for both players and fans at the arena.
I often say that we're building a platform for players to put on a show. They evoke emotions in the audience, the fans react and support them, and the players in turn get more fans, and then the magic of Cologne happens. As of now, we're doing well. We also had great stories like device coming back after a break and advancing to the semi-finals, which no one expected. I will definitely remember this tournament well, so will the fans.
We don't have any "protocol for organizing IEM Cologne". We are constantly learning, improving and looking for new solutions. There are no instructions for preparing such an event. In fact, we just created it and, like scientists, we are constantly researching and trying to improve it.
IEM Cologne 2023 took place from July 26 to August 6 at Lanxess Arena with a 20,000 seating capacity. G2 secured the title of the prestigious tournament and $400,000 in prize money.
Notably, the recent tournament in Cologne from ESL became the most viewed event in 2023 apart from the Majors. The final between G2 and ENCE peaked at 727,415 viewers.