IEM Summer 2021 has been a great refreshing event and with many events treating it as a practice event we have seen a variety of changes, upsets, and new storylines. With top teams like Heroic, Astralis, and NIP getting eliminated early and teams like OG and EG making deep runs in the event, IEM Summer 2021 Playoffs are bound to give us exciting and unique matchups that we haven’t seen so far.
EG and OG complete upset runs to reach playoffs
Coming into the event Evil Geniuses were the second lowest-rated team in attendance, and after a terrible showing at CS_Summit 8 where they were eliminated in the last place, in an NA-only event, no one expected the team to do anything at this event. The recent removal of two-time major winning coach Zews from the team meant that fans of the squad were hoping for a miracle to save their team and Stanislaw’s troops have delivered.
From the get-go, the team delivered fireworks in the server with oBo and MICHU fragging out and a rejuvenated CeRq giving the team the extra punch they needed to take down teams like Spirit and Heroic. They managed to go through the upper bracket only losing to OG as they reached the playoffs of a big event for the first time since Pro League Season 10. If they can continue their strong performance into the playoffs, they might give Gambit a run for their money, but it would be a huge shock for them to beat the CIS Giants.
After a last-place finish at the EU RMR at Flashpoint 3, OG was in a dire state with issues surrounding them. With the squad being in a Bootcamp, AleksiB’s players seem to have regained form and their communication problems seem to be much improved. The team had a superb run in this tournament starting off by defeating Flashpoint 3 Runners Ups NIP with AWPer mantuu and young gun flameZ carrying the team through the match. They continued their strong performance in their matches against Virtus.Pro and Evil Geniuses and booked their spot in the semi-finals as they topped their group. Though they had a slightly shaky end to the first map vs EG they bounced back and absolutely smacked the NA team as they closed the series out. If mantuu and flameZ continue their unreal performances OG might get a straight berth to the Finals.
Vitality Returns to Good Form, G2 Continue Good Results.
Two-time World No.1 ZywOo has returned to top form as Vitality look refreshed heading into IEM Summer 2021 Playoffs. The team made short work of Complexity in the opener and went on to decimate Gambit with ZywOo delivering fireworks and the young additions misutaaa and Kyojin taking turns to help him out. Despite beating the best team in the world with ease, the French squad was unable to move past G2 as NiKo and huNter took their team through to the playoffs, while ZywOo had a quieter game than usual.
G2 themselves had a much easier run through the event as they faced NA team Extra Salt and went on to face the international squad of FunPlus Phoenix, defeating both teams with strong performances from NiKo and huNter supplemented with big impact from AmaNEK and JaCkz. Only Maden gave them any resistance and he got shut down as his team only won the first map of Ancient off the back of a career-best performance from him. G2 faced Vitality for the group first place decider and was able to beat the French Team team and guaranteed a Top-4 spot in IEM Summer 2021 Playoffs.
Shaky Results for CIS Teams
IEM Katowice 2021 finalists Gambit and Virtus.Pro had shaky runs through this event where both were surprised by teams they regularly beat. For Virtus.Pro their defeat came at the hands of OG who managed to keep the CIS team quiet and didn’t let anyone on the team get 40 frags in the whole series. Luckily they faced Team Spirit who they have had a winning record against. Qikert finally showed up and closed down the match with a double AWP setup with Jame. They faced NIP in the group stage decider game and the game started off super close with the teams picking their map picks up and went onto the decider map of Overpass where Jame and Yekindar chilled as Qikert, Buster, and SANJI all popped off and dominated NIP in a 16-4 win. They will face ZywOo powered Vitality and if Buster and Qikert can deliver this performance again, they should be able to beat them and proceed to the Semis.
World No.1 Gambit started off with an easy win over Sprout but immediately ran into trouble as ZywOo stomped them out of the game with sh1ro and Ax1le having a quiet game which led to them being knocked down to the lower bracket. In the lower bracket, they got an easy game against Astralis where the team was able to reset themselves and quickly eliminated the Danes from the event. Their group stage decider was versus Complexity where the CIS team started off strong with a 16-7 win but Complexity bounced back and BlameF and poizon’s double AWP setup on Overpass didn’t let Gambit get into the game. The final frontier was Vertigo where both teams delivered huge performances but Gambit edged the series out and managed to continue their playoffs streak.
Playoffs Bracket and Predictions
The Playoffs will start with Gambit taking on EG and Vitality taking on VP. Despite their unreal Cinderella story, Gambit shouldn’t give EG any chance in the Quarter Finals and the CIS squad should be able to move on to the Semi-Finals with ease. The other Quarter Finals will be much closer as Vitality and VP will face off. The star AWPers for both teams ZywOo and Jame will almost always deliver their numbers and the match will come down to which team can support their Star the most. With that said, if ZywOo drops another 1.65 rating game VP won’t stand a chance in the game.
My predictions are that Gambit will reach the Finals with ease but G2 has a chance at an upset if Ax1le or sh1ro don’t show up. On the other side of the bracket, the field is wide open and it will all end up down to whether ZywOo shows up or not. If ZywOo goes god mode then nobody can stop this team and they might even take the whole event, but if he disappears then I’d pick Virtus.Pro to get to the finals and set up a rematch of the Katowice finals.