- NaVi and FaZe went up on stage at the IEM Cologne Final
- The battle was close, lasting through all five maps
- The event set an astonishing viewership record
With almost 1.25 million concurrent viewers at its peak, the IEM Cologne Final between NaVi and FaZe Clan set a new viewership record.
Records Were Broken
Last weekend saw the Final of IEM Cologne 2022 where FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere went on stage to fight for the honor of winning first place. Eventually FaZe emerged victorious from the duel, winning the grand prize of $400 000. But something else also happened at the event, that shows CS:GO esports continue to rise in popularity – the Final of IEM Cologne 2022 became the most watched non-Major CS:GO series in history.
According to Esports Charts, the best-of-five series final, which took place on July 17th, attracted almost 1.25 million viewers at its peak. With this number, the IEM Cologne final becomes the most viewed such event, surpassing the previous record holder the ESL event IEM Katowice 2022.
The faceoff between FaZe and NaVi also takes the place of the fifth most-watched CS:GO match of all time. Interestingly enough, this is the second time this year that both teams place a viewership record. Back in May the FaZe and NaVi Major final also marked a viewership record, becoming the second most-viewed CS:GO match ever.
Why Was This Event So Popular?
A couple of factors played in favor of the IEM Cologne final. First of all, both NaVi and FaZe are one of the most popular CS:GO esports organizations in the world and naturally they bring a lot of their fans with them.
Secondly, the IEM Cologne has a reputation of being one of the best-known CS:GO tournaments, surpassed by fame in Europe perhaps only by IEM Katowice. The first IEM Cologne was played in the summer of 2014.
The event is also placed at a good spot timewise as it is the last large CS:GO tournament before the summer player break. After it, organizations will go on hiatus before returning for S-tier CS:GO tournaments in late August with the BLAST Premier Fall Groups and the ESL Pro League Season 16. Fans have only the IEM Cologne 2022 to watch before the teams take a month-long break and the start of the BLAST Premier events.
Yet another reason for this event’s large viewership was the intense battle between the two teams. The match was very close, going all the way to the fifth map with incredibly close rounds throughout. More maps mean more airtime and more opportunities for viewers to tune in.
Lastly, the match was the culmination of a riveting story as NaVi was the number one team in the world going into the tournament, but FaZe was arguably the more successful team in 2022. Both teams performed well during this competitive season, grabbing many titles, so fans saw the Cologne final as the point at which these two titans would collide.