The IEM Katowice 2021 playoffs will consist of all the 4 CS:GO teams from the CIS region that initially participated in the $1,000,000 USD tournament. While Na’Vi was a direct invite the other 3 teams - VP, Gambit, Spirit, made their way to the playoffs all the way through the Play-In stage. The CIS region is looking to make a statement in the top-tier professional CS:GO circuit as 4 out of the 6 playoffs teams are from that region. Na’Vi, Gambit, and Virtus.pro will start their journey towards the grand finals from the quarterfinals, while Team Spirit has obtained a head start and has directly qualified for the semifinals.
IEM Katowice 2021: CS:GO teams from CIS dominate
Na’Vi and Team Spirit secured their playoffs spots after winning 2 consecutive matches in their respective groups. While Na’Vi defeated VP and FURIA, Team Spirit defeated G2 and Heroic. However, Spirit stepped it up by directly managing to steal a semifinals spot by defeating Astralis in one of the biggest upsets of the group stage, something that Na’Vi missed out on after suffering a defeat against Team Liquid.
On the other hand, Virtus.pro and Gambit Esports after dropping down to the lower bracket following a first round loss, had to fight their way through to secure a spot in the playoffs. VP had to beat Ninjas in Pyjamas, Vitality, and FURIA, while Gambit defeated mousesports, Heroic, and G2.
Na’Vi started out strong in the Group stage, extending their 8 series win-streak to 10 before falling to Team Liquid in the Group B upper-bracket finals. Despite the loss, they will still play in the playoffs as they had already secured a spot by beating two teams in consecutive matches.
Team Spirit conquered Group A, going undefeated, and finished off the group stage with an upset win over Danish giants Astralis. Team Spirit is the only CIS team to immediately qualify for the semifinals and is one of the two teams in the tournament that still remain undefeated.
Virtus Pro fell early in Group B after losing in the first round to fellow CIS team Na’Vi. They fought their way through the lower bracket and eventually made it to the qualifying faceoff against FURIA. VP took the series in a commanding ‘2-0’ fashion, and qualified for the quarterfinals of the Playoffs.
Gambit Esports, like VP, dropped to the lower bracket early after facing a ‘2-0’ loss against Evil Geniuses. They fought hard to reach the qualifying match against G2 Esports and dropped the ball hard on the back of some polished play, eliminating last year’s runners-up.