It is the final weekend at the IEM XVI Winter 2021, and the finalists are here: ZywOo’s Team Vitality and dev1ce’s Ninjas in Pyjamas. While Team Vitality didn’t struggle to get to the finals, Ninjas in Pyjamas managed something incredible. Without their main asset, dev1ce, who felt under the weather and missed the semifinals, NIP defeated NiKo’s G2 and advanced to the grand finals. What do we know about the teams before the final match? Let’s have a quick tour.
dev1ce was replaced by NIP’s secondary team Young Ninjas’ 19-year-old AWPer phzy. There isn’t any information about whether dev1ce will play today, but even without him, Ninjas in Pyjamas managed to defeat a team as G2 Esports. Team Vitality, on the other hand, secured IEM Katowice 2022 group stage spot. You can find the details about the semifinals and the grand final matchup below.
If you have a favourite at the Team Vitality vs Ninjas in Pyjamas grand finals, click on that link and visit Luckbox’s match page to find the odds, bet on them and watch the game. You can also find the odds for the game at the bottom of this article.
Semifinals at IEM Winter 2021
The semifinals started with the much more predictable matchup of the day, Virtus.pro vs Team Vitality. Although VP has shown a significant performance during the group stage, VIT was still Vitality. They had a hard task, and although they did challenge ZywOo’s squad, they couldn’t stop them from getting to the 16th round.
During the pick-ban phase, Vitality picked Mirage, Virtus.pro picked Vertigo and the decider was Dust II. Mirage’s first half went very close, it was in favor of Virtus.pro 8-7 but you could feel two powers challenging each other. In that first half, I even thought I underestimated VP and this could go to three games. VP started the second half with a 5 win streak, giving them a significant advantage.
However, Vitality wasn’t here to joke around, they won nine rounds straight to recover the series from 13-7 to 16-13. With this confidence boost, they moved on to the second map: Vertigo. We saw a similar first half there, ending 8-7 in favor of Virtus.pro. However, this time, Vitality started the second half better, taking it to 12-9. VP’s four round win streak wasn’t enough to stop a misutaaa who had a great form and 59 frags this series, another 16-13 meant that VIT will advance to finals with 2-0.
The second match was the belle of the ball. NIP’s pick was Nuke, G2’s was Dust II and the decider was Inferno at G2 vs NIP. Nuke went incredibly fun: G2’s 10-5 start on CT side was answered by NIP’s 10-5 CT side in the second half. Overtime went better than expected for NIP, they won Nuke 19-16 with REZ’s 34 and hampus’ 29 frags performance beating NiKo’s 34 kills resistance.
G2 wasn’t joking around on their base, Dust II. huNter- and NiKo showed up with great performances, dominating the first half for their team 12-3. Although NIP started with a 7 round win streak in the second half, all G2 needed was 4 rounds, and they got that to close the map 16-10, moving on to Inferno.
Inferno: an amazing map. This is my must-watch of the day. In the end, huNter- and Niko had 29 and 22 kills respectively, while NIP’s best performance was es3tag and hampus’ 22 kills. However, NIP stole that one. NIP started the first half with an advantage of 8-7. G2 answered on the CT side, getting 6 rounds straight to make it 13-8. It didn't end, NIP answered with an even better win streak of 7 rounds to take it to 15-13, the match point. Although G2 stopped that streak, hampus’ play below secured the map and the series for his team.
The grand finals
IEM Winter 2021’s grand finals will be played between Team Vitality and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Both teams had an incredible series at the semifinals, and it is hard to determine a favourite here. Although I must say I believe that Team Vitality is a slightly better team. I haven’t forgotten about their performance in 2020 and what ZywOo can do when he sets his eyes on something. Their confident and skilled gameplay also affected their odds for the grand finals below.
On the other hand, NIP really did improve themselves a lot during 2021, and they are no easy opponents. You shouldn’t underestimate them, especially because IEM Winter has seen a lot of upsets, and because NAVI isn’t here, everyone considers this a chance to win “at least” something. I expect a full best of three and a rollercoaster of a performance from these teams. They both make mistakes and they both make incredible plays. Hopefully, we will watch an unforgettable series tonight.
You can click on the link below to visit Luckbox’s match page for the grand final directly. You will be able to find the odds, bet on them and watch the games there. If you have a favourite, don’t forget to check that out.
Team Vitality (1.18) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas (4.00) - December 12, 16.00 CET