IEM Katowice Final Breaks Viewership Record


Spencer Smith, Writer

The IEM Katowice 2022 grand final will be one to be remembered, as it delivered intense action despite being a 3-0 sweep by FaZe over G2. The first two maps, Inferno and Mirage, went to overtime – the latter five times -, before the series ended in a thirty round affair on Dust2. The exciting grand final match in Katowice became the most viewed non-Major match in CS:GO history, breaking a new viewership record with 1.12 million people tuning in to watch the live broadcast. The final series was also notable for its many story lines playing out, as it became where Finn “karrigan” Andersen lifted a trophy at the Spodek Arena for the first time in his third grand final and where Helvijs “broky” Saukants earned his first MVP award. The IEM Katowice 2022 grand final was also where Justin “jks” Savage, who is currently benched in Complexity, became the first Australian to win a Big Event. 

He did so as a stand-in, first for Robin “ropz” Kool in the play-in and first group stage match and then for Havard “rain” Nygaard in the playoffs. The viewership record breaks a previous IEM Katowice record, set during IEM Katowice 2020, which was without a crowd due to the coronavirus pandemic and was the last event before the 2022 edition to be held at the Spodek Arena as the tournament had to be moved online in 2021. Back in 2020, the non-Major viewership peak record was set at 1 million viewers. The 1.12 million viewing peak during the IEM Katowice 2022 final makes this the fifth highest event in CS:GO history in terms of peak viewership, trailing four Majors: IEM Katowice Major 2019, ELEAGUE Major 2018, ELEAGUE Major 2017, and the most recent Major, PGL Major Stockholm, where a staggering 2.7 million viewers tuned in to watch G2 lose a grand final – that time against the unstoppable Natus Vincere force with star player Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev at the helm. This time, despite G2 looking to have more of a grip on the game itself, they still couldn’t prevail against the newly revamped FaZe Clan.

Despite IEM Katowice 2022 not being held as a major, it is still managing to break viewership records. A lot of this can be attributed towards the sheer popularity of the tournament, since it has been around practically since the beginning of professional CS:GO tournaments themselves. It also stands as the only S-Tier tournament being held in Poland, despite Poland being one of the biggest regions in terms of population in viewership for CS:GO. These viewership records can only be hopeful for the future of CS:GO, as viewership records continue to climb with every major tournament.