IEM Summer 2021 Groups and Format
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May 21, 2021

IEM Summer 2021 Groups and Format

Today, ESL released the groups for Intel Extreme Masters Summer 2021. IEM Summer 2021 is a premier Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) esports event featuring 16 teams, 12 of which occupy top-20 spots in ESL’s world rankings. The group stage takes the form of two, eight-team groups with double elimination brackets to determine which three teams from each group advance to the playoffs.

IEM Summer 2021 Groups

Group A is highlighted by Gambit, who comes in as the top team in the world ranked by both HLTV and ESL. The resurgent G2 Esports, who recently defeated Heroic and Astralis, also competes in this group. They will be joined by Team Vitality, Complexity, Astralis, FunPlus Phoenix, Extra Salt, and the winners of the ESL National Championships Global Playoffs.

CS:GO esports team Heroic sits atop Group B. They battle South American representative Imperial in the first round while North American Evil Geniuses (EG) take on Team Spirit. Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), having acquired Nicolai “Dev1ce” Reedtz in April, face OG Esports. Fnatic will confront Virtus.pro, who struggle to find form after their IEM Katowice Grand Finals run in February.

IEM Summer 2021 Group Stage kicks off on Thursday, June 3, with Grand Finals on Sunday, June 13. The 16 teams compete for their share of $250 thousand and a victory in the Intel Grand Slam circuit. The winners of each group proceed directly to the semifinals of the single-elimination playoffs. The second and third-place teams in each group compete in the quarterfinals.

Storylines to Watch

Recent roster moves, struggles, and a game update make IEM Summer 2021 an important tournament for the CS:GO esports scene. Following the transfer of Dev1ce from his long-time home at Astralis to the iconic NiP brand, both teams look to establish their places in the CS:GO pecking order. NiP will also be looking to move past recent controversy regarding their replay of the final map against Anonymo Esports in the opening round of Flashpoint Season 3.

Team Vitality and Evil Geniuses faced recent roster changes and need to bounce back in CS:GO esports with this. Vitality swapped out veteran Cédric “RpK” Guipouy for 22-year-old Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van in April. Similarly, EG filled their empty fifth man spot with Owen “oBo” Schlatter in March. Both teams sit outside the top 10 in the HLTV and ESL world rankings and hope to kickstart a return to that list here at IEM Summer 2021.

With the absence of CIS powerhouse Natus Vincere, this tournament represents a chance for Virtus.pro and Team Spirit to step up and represent the CIS region behind Gambit. Both teams saw impressive results this year, placing four CIS teams in the top ten of world rankings.

Finally, ESL also confirmed that IEM Summer 2021 and its group stage will be the first premier CS:GO esports tournament to feature the new competitive map pool. Ancient replaces Train, potentially changing the strategies of teams who play Train often, such as Fnatic. Fans will also receive their first glimpses of top-tier play on the classic map which Valve has retooled for CS:GO.

Written by Mason Blackburn

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