Announcement Of IEM Winter 2021: Tournament Format And Chances Of CIS Teams

Alisa Barladyan
04 Dec 2021

Natus Vincere won the BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021. The unchallenged champion of recent tournaments will rest for at least two weeks. But the rest of the teams are a little too early to take a vacation. In the absence of the world leader, the battle for the championship at IEM Winter 2021 will be very fierce. 

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BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021

Tournament Format

Participants' List
Participants' List
  • The top lineup of participants. 16 top teams. The entire world top (excluding NaVi);
  • Two groups of eight teams each;
  • The format of groups is double elimination. That means, to be dropped out of the tournament, you must lose two matches;
  • The winner of each group goes straight to the semifinals of the tournament, and teams ranked second and third in their groups will start the playoffs from the quarterfinals stage;
  • The playoffs will take place in a single-elimination format. If you lose, you are out;
  • The first matches in groups will occur in a best of 1 format. The tournament's Grand Final will be played on five maps, and all other matches will be played in best of 3 format.
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Arrangements in Group А

Group А
Group А

TyLoo is the clear outsider of Group A. The Chinese team has been in Europe for some time now, training with local teams. They played qualification for the tier-2 championships, took part in commercial tournaments. They seem to be good. They progress: they shoot tough as usual, but tactical preparation is still lacking.

The remaining seven teams will equally claim the three playoff slots. It will be interesting to watch G2 Esports, which recently changed coaches. Also, kennyS will be playing for the team at IEM Winter 2021. Nexa had visa problems, so the Serb couldn't make it to Stockholm.

An interesting match in the first round of OG versus Team Liquid. A kind of battle of styles. There are a lot of rumors about possible replacements and transfers for both teams. However, it's curious to see how the teams live out their last days in their current lineups differently. If Team Liquid stopped practicing after the Majors, the OG just recently finished another bootcamp in Copenhagen.

Ninjas in Pyjamas versus Astralis. It's a new round of the principal battle. If in Copenhagen at the stadium in front of a crowd of 12 thousand people, Astralis lit up and did not leave a stone unturned from the Ninjas, in Stockholm, the crowd will already be cheering for NIP. Yes, the first matches will be played without an audience. Yes, the NIP players have confirmed that they cannot yet communicate in the new lineup. But they will do everything possible to give a fitting farewell to their coach, Threat, who will play his last tournament as a coach at IEM Winter 2021.

MOUZ versus Team Vitality. Another interesting pair of rumored teams. IEM Winter 2021 might be the last tournament for mice, not only for this year but also the last one for their current roster. Ropz may leave, frozen is interesting to different teams. There is a very hot couple growing up in the youth squad. Dexter doesn't unlock the potential of the crazy shooters he has at his disposal. Substitutions to be made. The mice probably won't be able to keep the entire lineup in the coming major reshuffle. That's why we'd like to win at last.

As for Team Vitality, there's nothing to talk about. At the PGL Major Stockholm, they lost to NaVi and dropped out. At the recent BLAST Premier, they lost to Natus Vincere in the final. A couple of months ago at the ESL Pro League, another loss to s1mple and company in the finals. At IEM Winter 2021, they are the main contenders for the trophy. The guys will try to use their chance.

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Arrangements in Group В

Group В
Group В

Two CIS teams will play in Group B. This is good, as the average level of teams in the second group is much lower than in the first. Judge for yourself, Ence with the substitutions; Fnatic, although not bad in qualifications, but it's a tier-2, and here the serious rivals are waiting; unstable Brazilians from GodSent with Taco as the head; BIG and Faze Clan, who are not famous for stability and obviously cannot find the balance in their squads.

The only team that can seriously contend for the tournament is Heroic, not counting CIS teams. The Danes play steadily cool, develop their map pool and increase the number of strategies on each map. At BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021, the young players lacked the experience of playing with such an active public. There should be less frustration now.

The guys from Gambit Esports went to a gamer festival in Hungary and won 150 thousand euros for first place in the tournament V4 Future Sports Festival - Budapest 2021. We felt the audience enjoyed the atmosphere, won a good tournament, and got an important experience. The young guys are in good shape now. They're rested and trained. Everything is cool. The team is on the rise. If they go well, if they don't get scared and light up from the crowd, Gambit is quite capable of claiming victory at IEM Winter 2021.

Since the Majors, hasn't been on the competitive scene for nearly a month. The guys took a rest and had a productive training camp. They focused on finding the optimal roles for each player and building the team's integrity, which they lacked in the Majors due to last-minute substitutions. We adjusted, corrected the roles, and worked on the strategies. We need to get off to a good start, and then it will go.

It's a pity that if both of our teams win their opening matches, they will face each other quite early, and only one will make it to the semifinals while the other will have to fight in the lower net of Group B. But everything that happens happens for good.

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Tournament coverage

Karrigan is on the spot
Karrigan is on the spot

Maincast studio will traditionally cover the tournament in Russian for ESL competitions. Find detailed statistics, up-to-date information about teams' lineups, team uniforms, and match histories, and assess bookmakers' quotes and watch live broadcasts of the tournament matches on our portal

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