The group stage of the IEM Winter is over and the race for the $100,000 prize money is getting more exciting. Only six teams are left and big names like Astralis, Team Liquid, Fnatic and Heroic have already been eliminated. What is the current situation in the bracket and what will happen next? A look at the last games might give us a clue.
In Group A, G2 Esports, Team Vitality and Ninjas in Pyjamas secured qualification by eliminating Team Liquid, OG, Astralis and others. In Group B, Virtus.pro and GODSENT, two teams that have been very quiet during 2021, and Gambit Esports, one of the tournament favourites, secured their ticket by beating FaZe Clan, Fnatic, Heroic, BIG and ENCE.
You have a favourite at IEM Winter? Find the odds and schedule, bet on them and watch them at Luckbox's CS:GO matches page.
Group stage is over, time for quarterfinals
Last night we saw four great games. In the first, G2 Esports defeated Team Vitality with a great performance. A complete best-of-three was played between these teams on Vertigo, Mirage and Inferno. The first two maps ended 16-14, both were very close and superstars NiKo and ZywOo did their best to keep their teams in the lead. However, NiKo's team helped him "more" on Inferno, winning the map 16-9 and ending the series.
The second match was Ninjas in Pyjamas against Team Liquid at Group A's lower bracket. Ninjas in Pyjamas annihilated Team Liquid with their dominant performance, winning the series in two games on Mirage and Inferno. After winning their opponent's map 16-9, device and his friends easily secured their ticket to the playoffs by bringing the series home with a 16-12 win on Inferno.
Next up in Group B was the match between Virtus.pro and GODSENT. As mentioned earlier, neither of these teams displayed anything that would excite fans in 2021, so it was a bit of a shock when they secured the finals. VP showed their strength by beating GODSENT 2-0 and winning Mirage 16-14 and Dust II 16-7. However, they could face some problems in the playoffs.
In the lower bracket, the "real" final took place between Gambit Esports and Fnatic. It was absolutely beautiful, with two maps going into overtime and one ending quite early. If you want to see any of the games today, watch either G2 vs VIT or this game. After Fnatic's 19-16 win on Inferno, Gambit tied the series on Vertigo 22-16. However, the fate of the series changed on the third map. Fnatic could not get more than 4 rounds and Gambit Esports ended the series very easily as they only took home 14 rounds on CT.
With these results, it was also decided what the bracket would look like. GODSENT will face NIP, the winner of which will face G2 Esports. On the other side, Team Vitality will face Gambit, a matchup so much better than the previous one, and the winner will face Virtus.pro.
What will happen next
As you may have noticed, I firmly believe that Virtus.pro is a little shaky and a notch behind compared to Team Vitality and Gambit Esports. However, Team Gambit beat Gambit 2-0 in the top round of Group A upper bracket, shocking everyone. Still, the winner of such a matchup as VIT vs GMB should be able to beat Virtus.pro and make it to the finals. If they fail to do so, it would be an amazing achievement by Virtus.pro and they would be my favourite for the finals with this confidence.
On the other side of the group, I expect G2 Esports to show that they are better than GODSENT or Ninjas in Pyjamas. However, NIP has one advantage: device. He has really taken NIP to another level, and he himself has been playing at another level lately. If G2 manages to stop him, they should make it to the finals. Nevertheless, we are used to seeing unusual things in CS:GO. GODSENT could put up an amazing fight against NIP, which they failed to do against VP, and claim their place in the final. That's the beauty of this game, all we can do is wait for the results and watch the best teams fight for tickets to the grand finals.
You can find the quarterfinals schedule below:
GODSENT (3.80) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas (1.20) - December 5, 16.00 CET
Team Vitality (1.95) vs Gambit Esports (1.74) - December 5, 19.15 CET
You can find the remaining IEM Winter 2021 matches, see the odds, bet on them and watch them at Luckbox's CS:GO matches page. If you have a favourite, don't forget to check that out.