With the ups and downs of the Group stage behind us, the six remaining CS:GO teams are heading to CS:GO IEM Summer 2021 play-offs. This round of explosive combat is set to begin at 16:45 CEST on 11 June — join us as we take a look at last week’s most memorable moments and preview the upcoming Intel Extreme Masters Summer 2021 play-offs.
CS:GO IEM SUMMER 2021 — GROUP STAGE RECAP
The opening matches were played Bo1, and all of the following matches in Groups were Bo3. Despite a hefty amount of cash and EPT points on the line, some of the top CS:GO teams struggled to keep up with the competition; let’s have a look at some of the most eventful matchups of the first IEM Summer 2021 stage.
The first day of action saw plenty thereof, with four of the teams — Sprout, Complexity, Astralis and Extra Salt — relegated into the Lower Bracket at the end of the day. The second day dropped a bombshell on the fans, as IEM Katowice 2021 champions, Gambit Esports, fell from glory straight into the Lower Bracket after a crushing defeat at the hands of Team Vitality.
Not all hope was lost, as Gambit effortlessly eliminated Astralis on the following day and faced Complexity for the last spot in the play-offs. After a comfortable 16-7 win, Gambit got a run for their money when Complexity crushed the IEM Katowice champs 16-8 in the second game. That was the wake-up call that Gambit desperately needed, as they inched their way to victory in the last match with early rushes, a solid T-side and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, who kept the round alive in the game’s crucial last moments. The too-close-for-comfort game ended 16-14 for Gambit, securing their quarter-finals spot.
➤ In a battle for the high seed into play-offs, Team Vitality faced off against G2. Vitality had a strong early lead in both matches but wobbled as the games progressed. The team’s new pickups — Kyojin and misutaaa — picked up the heavy-duty load in 1v5 and 1v2 clutch plays, but that wasn’t enough to push through to victory against the 2020 IEM World Championship runners-up G2 Esports.
In a surprising turn of events, Group B played out with striking similarities to Group A. The first four relegations were Imperial Esports, Team Spirit, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic, followed by 2021 IEM Katowice runners-up Virtus.pro on the second day of competition.
Virtus.pro ploughed their way through the Lower Bracket and faced Ninjas in Pyjamas in a scrimmage for the low seed. The first game was extremely close, ending in a 14-16 for NiP, but VP quickly bounced back over the next two games. Despite YEKINDAR’s relatively weak performance (presumably due to recent health issues), his teammates qikert, buster and SANJI popped off on Inferno and Overpass, securing the 16-11 and 16-4 victories for Virtus.pro.
➤ Evil Geniuses — one of the oldest esports teams still active on the scene — went up against the relatively young OG in a bid for the semi-finals spot. The first game was a close call, ending 14-16 for EG, but the Overpass and Inferno rounds were brutal for the US team, as the Danes made quick work of them and kept up the insurmountable lead in both games. The advantage was in OG’s court through and through; EG would have to pull all the stops to extend play. Burned out, out of position and catching flak left and right, Evil Geniuses did not pull through and ceded the high seed to OG, losing 6-16 and 5-16.
CS:GO IEM SUMMER 2021 PLAY-OFFS FORMAT
- The top three teams from each group advanced to play-offs: upper-bracket winners advance to the semi-finals; runners-up and the lower-bracket winners advance to the quarter-finals.
- Single-elimination bracket.
- The quarter and semi-finals are Bo3; the Grand Final is Bo5.
CS:GO IEM SUMMER 2021 PLAY-OFFS SCHEDULE
Quarter-finals — 11 June
Semi-finals — 12 June
Grand Final — 13 June
CS:GO 2021 IEM SUMMER PLAY-OFFS BETTING
The quarter-finals will begin at 16:45 CEST on Friday, 11 June. The opening matchup will see favourites Gambit Esports, at 2/7 (1.28) to outmanoeuvre their opponents, go up against Evil Geniuses, who are at 20/7 (3.85) to find gaps in Gambit’s defence. The winner of this matchup will battle G2 Esports in the semi-finals.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.