IEM Winter 2021: Group Stages and Quarter-finals review

December 8, 2021

NiP, G2, Vitality and Virtus.pro make it to the semi-finals.

The first half of the IEM Winter 2021 is over and we have our final four teams remaining from the original 16. Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), G2, Virtus.pro and Vitality have made it to the semi-finals and will be eyeing to emerge victorious at the second-last premier event of 2021.

Group Stages

  • The Group Stages saw eight groups allotted in two groups with the opening matches being Bo1 following which all were Bo3.The top three teams from the two groups would advance to the Playoffs, with the Group Stage winners gaining direct entry to the semis, while the runners-up would play the quarter-finals as High Seeds and the third-placed teams would play the quarter-finals as the Low Seeds.
  • It was the new-look Astralis who got the tournament underway against the Ninjas in Pyjamas in the Bo1s. NiP had no trouble brushing aside the Danes on Nuke, winning convincingly with a 16-8.MOUZ, who were probably playing the last tournament together, played the French heavyweights Vitality and pushed them to overtime on Overpass, although apEx and shox proved to be too much for MOUZ, with Vitality pipping them 19-16.

    Major runners-up G2 were up next against TYLOO, and although the Chinese team showed promise on Mirage, eventually, G2 were just too good for them.

    Liquid managed to overcome the OG challenge on Mirage, while Gambit brushed aside fnatic on Ancient with a 16-9 win.

    pro had to dig deep against ENCE to get their first win on Ancient, while BIG went to overtime too against FaZe on Mirage.

    It was GODSENT, though, who created the first major upset, beating Heroic 16-13 on Mirage.

  • Day 2 saw Vitality brush aside the home team NiP, while Astralis clean swept MOUZ. G2 didn’t face too much trouble demolishing Team Liquid

    TYLOO fell once again, this time to OG, but fnatic kept their hopes alive with a 2-0 sweep of ENCE.The troubles continued for the Danes, as FaZe managed to beat Heroic 2-0, while Astralis got beaten 0-2 themselves by a rejuvenated Team Liquid, who beat Astralis 16-1 in the opening map pick of the Danes on Nuke.

  • Day 3 saw pro run through Gambit, while NiP kept their Playoffs hope alive with a 2-1 win over OG, with their star AWPer device once again bailing the Swedes out.GODSENT continued their trend of causing upsets as they edged out BIG 2-1 in a thrilling encounter, while fnatic made sure BIG‘s tournament ended there itself, defeating the Germans 2-1 on overtime in the decider on Nuke.

    Gambit rounded out the third day with a scraped-past victory against FaZe, with the latter throwing multiple match points to let Gambit come back into the series.

  • NiP confirmed their Playoffs spot with a clean 2-0 win over Team Liquid to kick things off on Day 4, while G2 were pushed all the way by Vitality, but it was the former who came out on top in the battle for French supremacy.With their win over Vitality, G2 secured a semi-final spot.

    pro made easy work of the GODSENT challenge with a clean 2-0 sweep to secure their own final-four spot, while fnatic fell to Gambit 1-2, which ensured the CIS squad a quarter-final spot.



NiP‘s in-game leader, hampus, and device ran havoc in the opening map pick of GODSENT on Nuke, which saw the Swedes take the map 16-10.

Heading into NiP‘s map pick of Overpass, it looked as if the Swedes would wrap up the first quarter-final inside two maps.

But the Brazilians had other plans. GODSENT won the opening seven rounds to kick things off and ended their CT half with a 12-3 lead. Although NiP managed to pull a few rounds back, the Brazilians, with the help of some solid play from felps and b4rtiN made sure the series went to the third map, taking the second map 16-8.

NiP, though, wasted no time on the decider on Ancient, with device leading from the front once again to see his team through to the semi-finals against G2.

Vitality v Gambit

The French team, who were on their last couple of tournaments together, faced the ever-consistent Russian side Gambit in the second quarter-final.

Buoyed by misutaaa and shox on the opening map of Dust2, Vitality demolished the CIS team 16-5.

Gambit, though, fought back on Vertigo, and assisted by interz and Ax1Le, the CIS team managed to take the series into a third map, picking up the second map 16-9.

The decider on Mirage saw Vitality seemingly run away with the map after an 11-4 lead in the opening half, but Gambit made an epic comeback with the help of nafany and shiro to take the series decider to overtime.

The Russians, though, fell short, as the French team saw their talisman ZywOo step up and drop an insane 36 kills to help Vitality set up a date with Virtus.pro in the second semi-final.

The semi-finals will be held on December 11 in Stockholm, with the Grand Final scheduled for the following day.

Although the teams will be in the studios for the LAN event, there won’t be any crowds for IEM Winter 2021, unlike the Major.

NiP will be hoping to avenge their quarter-final loss in the Majors against G2 when they face the French once again in the first semi-final, while the other French outfit of Vitality, who have been playing with no pressure, will look to end their tenure as a roster together with a trophy in the bag.

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