by All About Games in

Valve’s decision to release Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) at the end of September caused major shockwaves across the global eSports community.

Tournament operators in Australia were most notably impacted, with the ESL announcing it will switch to CS2 from IEM Sydney 2023 onwards.

The tournament is scheduled to get underway later this month, which gives little time for players to get to grips with the new edition.

With CS2 now confirmed as the title which will be played in Sydney, we take a closer look at the upcoming event before assessing how the news could impact the tournament.

IEM Sydney 2023 – Teams

The following teams will participate at IEM Sydney 2023:


  • Tim ‘nawwk’ Jonasson
  • Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad
  • Martin ‘STYKO’ Styk
  • Damjan ‘kyxsan’ Stoilkovski
  • Aleksandar ‘CacaNito’ Kjulukoski

BetBoom Team

  • Vladislav ‘nafany’ Gorshkov
  • Aleksandr ‘KaiR0N-‘ Anashkin 
  • Pavel ‘s1ren’ Ogloblin
  • Aleksandr ‘zorte’ Zagodyrenko
  • Danil ‘danistzz’ Roslyakov


  • Dmitriy ‘sh1ro’ Sokolov
  • Sergey ‘Ax1Le’ Rykhtorov
  • Abai ‘Hobbit’ Hasenov
  • Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov
  • Ilya ‘Perfecto’ Zalutskiy

Complexity Gaming

  • Ioannis ‘Johnny’ ‘JT’ Theodosiou
  • Ricky ‘floppy’ Kemery
  • Michael ‘Grim’ Wince
  • Håkon ‘hallzerk’ Fjærli
  • Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski


  • Marco ‘Snappi’ Pfeiffe
  • Paweł ‘dycha’ Dycha
  • Pavle ‘maden’ Bošković
  • Alvaro ‘SunPayus’ Garcia
  • Guy ‘NertZ’ Iluz

FaZe Clan

  • Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard
  • Helvijs ‘broky’ Saukants
  • Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken
  • Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen
  • Robin ‘ropz’ Kool


  • Freddy ‘KRIMZ’ Johansson
  • William ‘mezii’ Merriman
  • Fredrik ‘roeJ’ Jørgensen
  • Aurélien ‘afro’ Drapier
  • Christopher ‘dexter’ Nong

G2 esports

  • Nemanja ‘huNter-‘ Kovač
  • Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač
  • Ilya ‘m0NESY’ Osipov
  • Justin ‘jks’ Savage
  • Rasmus ‘HooXi’ Nielsen


  • Isak ‘isak’ Fahlén
  • Frederik ‘acoR’ Gyldstrand
  • Nicolas ‘Keoz’ Dgus
  • Sebastian ‘volt’ Maloș
  • Janusz ‘Snax’ Pogorzelski

Grayhound Gaming

  • Simon ‘Sico’ Williams
  • Joshua ‘INS’ Potter
  • Alistair ‘aliStair’ Johnston
  • Jay ‘Liazz’ Tregillgas
  • Declan ‘Vexite’ Portelli

Lynn Vision Gaming

  • Niu ‘westmelon’ Zhe
  • Zhang ‘z4kr’ Sike
  • Ye ‘Starry’ Lizhi
  • Tang ‘EmiliaQAQ’ Junjie
  • Ji ‘Jee’ Dongkai


  • Volodymyr ‘Woro2k’ Veletnjuk
  • Serghij ‘DemQQ’ Demchenko
  • Szymon ‘kRaSnaL’ Mrozek
  • Viktor ‘sdy’ Orudzhev
  • Alexander ‘br0’ Bro


  • David ‘frozen’ Čerňanský
  • Ádám ‘torzsi’ Torzsás
  • Dorian ‘xertioN’ Berman
  • Kamil ‘siuhy’ Szkaradek
  • Jimi ‘Jimpphat’ Salo
  • Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyljev
  • Valerij ‘b1t’ Vakhovsjkyj
  • Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen
  • Ivan ‘iM’ Mihai
  • Justinas ‘jL’ Lekavicius

Team Vitality

  • Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire
  • Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut
  • Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif
  • Lotan ‘Spinx’ Giladi
  • Shahar ‘flameZ’ Shushan

VERTEX Esports Club

  • Jordan ‘pz’ White
  • Toby ‘BRACE’ Barnes
  • Liam ‘malta’ Schembri
  • Christian ‘ADDICT’ Pendleton
  • Jared ‘HaZR’ O’Bree

IEM Sydney 2023 – Format

The 16 teams will compete in two groups of eight teams each in a GSL-style double-elimination format. The opening matches are best-of-one series while the remaining matches are best-of-three.

The top three teams from each group advance to the play-offs. The top team goes directly to the semi-finals. The second-best team goes to the quarter-finals as the upper seed while the third team is the lower seed.

The winning team takes home $100,000.

IEM Sydney 2023 – Latest News

While the release of CS2 has generated plenty of excitement in the gaming community, it has also drawn criticism from several leading exponents of the game.

NiKo was among a plethora of professional players who said the game is not ready for competitive play, sparking an impassioned response from the ESL.

They released a state urging the CS community to work with them to identify any issues with the game so they can be eliminated.

“Bugs and issues are to be expected, and we will adapt accordingly,” the statement read. “We encourage you to report any and all bugs, exploits and issues to us so that we can work together to identify, attempt to develop any potential solutions and conclude on rulings.”

“Additionally, with a new game comes new challenges in the form of pixel boosts/walks. As with CS:GO, we will be working to categorise these into a publicly available list of what is and is not legal to use within our tournaments.

“This will be a living document that evolves alongside future patches and updates to CS2. More information on the use of bugs and glitches within the EPT ecosystem can be found in the EPT CS Rulebook, Section 2.10.4.”

While the ESL seems confident that potential issues with CS2 can be quickly eradicated, their stance undoubtedly has a significant impact on other sectors.

They include the online gambling industry, which has been offering odds on CS:GO leagues and tournaments for the past few years.

Leading eSports betting sites in Australia and overseas are scheduled to publish markets on IEM Sydney 2023, but may find it tough to offer accurate odds given the uncertainties surrounding the new game.

Previous form lines will potentially go out of the window – a factor which could lead to savvy punters securing some sizeable returns if they keep a close eye on CS2 developments.

Tournament organisers and online sportsbook operators will be hoping the event runs smoothly, particularly given the massive global interest in the Counter-Strike series. 

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