How to watch IEM Summer 2021

The first tier-one championship with Ancient in the map pool is about to kick off.

Image via IEM

Sixteen CS:GO teams will play at IEM Summer starting on Thursday, June 3 at 5am CT.

The tournament will be played entirely online from Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there will be two teams from North America and one squad from South America participating in it. IEM Summer will be the first tier-one event to feature Ancient in its map pool, the new map that replaced Train in early May in Valve’s Active Duty pool. That means viewers will be able to see how some of the best teams in the world are approaching the map.

The team list includes six squads from HLTV’s top 10 and another six teams from the top 20. Fnatic, Sprout, Evil Geniuses, and Imperial are the only ones outside of the top 20. Everyone will be fighting for their share of the $250,000 prize pool that ESL is offering for IEM Summer.

Here’s everything you need to know about IEM Summer.

Stream

IEM Summer 2021 will be broadcast on ESL’s two Twitch channels since there will be two matches live at the same time depending on the day. If your favorite team isn’t playing on the main broadcast, you can follow them on the second channel.

Format

IEM Summer has split the 16 teams into two double-elimination GSL groups of eight teams each. The tournament organizer will use best-of-one series in the opening match, but the remaining group matches are best-of-threes. Only the top three teams from each group will make the playoffs. The group stage winners will advance straight to the semifinals, while the runners-up and third-place teams will have to play in the quarterfinals.

The playoffs will feature a single-elimination bracket. All of the matches will be played as best-of-three series apart from the grand finals, which will be a best-of-five.

ESL will distribute $250,000 in total, with the winner taking $100,000, the runners-up earning $42,000, and the semifinalists getting $20,000 each.

Teams

Group A

Gambit

  • Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov
  • Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov
  • Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov
  • Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov
  • Timofey “interz” Yakushin
  • Coach: Konstantin “groove” Pikiner

G2

  • Nikola “NiKo” Kovač
  • Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač
  • Nemanja “nexa” Isaković
  • Audric “JaCkz” Jug
  • François “AmaNEk” Delaunay
  • Coach: Damien “maLeK” Marcel

Astralis

  • Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander
  • Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen
  • Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth
  • Emil “Magisk” Reif
  • Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen
  • Coach: Danny “zonic” Sørensen

Complexity

  • Benjamin “blameF” Bremer
  • Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke
  • Valentin “poizon” Vasilev
  • Justin “jks” Savage
  • William “RUSH” Wierzba
  • Coach: Jamie “keita” Hall

Vitality

  • Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
  • Dan “apEX” Madesclaire
  • Richard “shox” Papillon
  • Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier
  • Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van
  • Coach: Rémy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam

Extra Salt

  • Joshua “oSee” Ohm
  • Justin “FaNg” Coakley
  • Johnny “JT” Theodosiou
  • Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek
  • Edgar “MarKE” Maldonado
  • Coach: Tiaan “T.c” Coertzen

FunPlus Phoenix

  • Martin “STYKO” Styk
  • Jesse “zehN” Linjala
  • Pavle “maden” Bošković
  • Asger “farlig” Jensen
  • Luka “emi” Vuković
  • Coach: Jonatan “Devilwalk” Lundberg

FunPlus Phoenix

  • Timo “Spiidi” Richter
  • Josef “faveN” Baumann
  • Denis Howell
  • Marko “kressy” Đorđević
  • Fritz “slaxz-“Dietrich
  • Coach: Niclas “enkay J” Krumhorn

Group B

Heroic

  • Casper “cadiaN” Møller
  • Martin “stavn” Lund
  • Ismail “refrezh” Ali
  • René “TeSeS” Madsen
  • Rasmus “sjuush” Beck
  • Coach: Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen

Virtus.pro

  • Dzhami “Jame” Ali
  • Alexey “qikert” Golubev
  • Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis
  • Timur “buster” Tulepov
  • Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev
  • Coach: Dastan Akbayev

Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz
  • Nicolas “Plopski” Zamora
  • Hampus Poser
  • Fredrik “REZ” Sterner
  • Linus “LNZ” Holtäng
  • Coach: Björn “THREAT” Pers

Team Spirit

  • Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov
  • Victor “somedieyoung” Orudzhev
  • Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov
  • Nikolay “mir” Bityukov
  • Boris “magixx” Vorobiev
  • Coach: Nikolay “Certus” Poluyanov

OG

  • Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen
  • Valdemar “valde” Vangså
  • Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski
  • Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen
  • Shahar “flameZ” Shushan
  • Coach: Casper “ruggah” Due

Fnatic

  • Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson
  • Jesper “JW” Wecksell
  • Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin
  • Maikil “Golden” Selim
  • Jack “Jackinho” Ström Mattsson
  • Sixth player: Peppe “Peppzor” Borak
  • Coach: Andreas Samuelsson

Evil Geniuses

  • Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte
  • Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov
  • Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz
  • Owen “oBo” Schlatter
  • Michał “MICHU” Müller

Evil Geniuses

  • Fernando “fer” Alvarenga (stand-in)
  • Caio “zqkS” Fonseca
  • Gustavo “SHOOWTiME” Gonçalves
  • Cristopher “ckzao” Chalus
  • Arthur “f4stzin” Schmitt
  • Coach: Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu

Schedule

Thursday, June 3

  • 5am CT: Gambit vs. Sprout
  • 5am CT: Complexity vs. Vitality
  • 6:10am CT: Astralis vs. FPX
  • 6:10am CT: Extra Salt vs. G2
  • 7:20am CT: Heroic vs. Imperial
  • 7:20am CT: Spirit vs. EG
  • 8:30am CT: NiP vs. OG
  • 8:30am CT: Virtus.pro vs. Fnatic
  • 9:40am CT: Group A upper bracket first semifinal
  • 9:40am CT: Group A lower bracket round one first match
  • 12:55pm CT: Group A upper bracket second semifinal
  • 12:55pm CT: Group A lower bracket round one second match

Friday, June 4

  • 6:30am CT: Group B lower bracket round one first match
  • 6:30am CT: Group B lower bracket round one second match
  • 9:45am CT: Group A lower bracket first semifinal
  • 9:45am CT: Group B upper bracket first semifinal
  • 1pm CT: Group A lower bracket second semifinal
  • 1pm CT: Group B upper bracket second semifinal

Saturday, June 5

  • 6:30am CT: Group B lower bracket second semifinal
  • 9:45am CT: Group B lower bracket first semifinal
  • 1pm CT: Group A lower bracket final

Sunday, June 6

  • 6:30am CT: Group B upper bracket final
  • 9:45am CT: Group A upper bracket final
  • 1pm CT: Group B lower bracket final

Friday, June 11

  • 9:45am CT: First quarterfinal
  • 1pm CT: Second quarterfinal

Saturday, June 12

  • 9:45am CT: First semifinal
  • 1pm CT: Second semifinal

Sunday, June 13

  • 9am CT: grand final

Key storylines

The main storyline heading into IEM Summer 2021 is the debut of Ancient at a tier-one championship. The map was added in early May but has been barely played even in tier-two and tier-three events so far. Anonymo and Sangal played it on Tuesday, June 1 in an ESEA Premier season 37 Europe match and the latter squad won it 16-14, with both teams performing better on the CT side. IEM Summer will be many fans’ first chance to get a glance at how their favorite teams are playing on the map and watch out for professional grenade line-ups, bombsite executions, defensive setups, terrorists’ defaults, and the best aggressive plays.

Gambit and Heroic, the current first and second-ranked CS:GO teams in the world according to HLTV, have been developing quite a rivalry since the Danish powerhouse defeated the Russians in the ESL Pro League season 13 grand finals in April. They met again at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown later that month and Gambit got their revenge, beating the Danes in the semifinals and earning the final spot in the BLAST Premier Spring Finals. Will they make a deep run at IEM Summer? Can they meet each other in an elimination match again? If so, we’ll see who will win the third encounter.

EG’s CS:GO team is in shambles. The organization made its third roster change in 2021 when head coach Wilton “zews” Prado officially left the North American squad on Wednesday, June 3 over a difference of opinion regarding the team’s direction. EG, who have been in a slump since the end of 2020, lost star player Ethan Arnold to 100 Thieves’ VALORANT in February, brought in oBo, and replaced Tarik Celik with MICHU in April. With zews leaving ahead of this tournament, it seems likely that EG will once again have poor results unless something magical happens.

NiP recently impressed at Flashpoint Three, the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament for Europe in 2021, which was also their first tournament with one of the best CS:GO players of all time, dev1ce. He was the 10th best-rated player of the event (1.12 rating), mostly because he played more maps (20 in total) than everyone placed above him. Plopski told Expressen, a Swedish media outlet, that the Danish star is an easy person to play with since he’s so experienced and knows almost everything about the game. He also said dev1ce is helping everyone and teaching things. Even though the team finished as the runners-up to mousesports in the RMR championship, NiP decided to replace Erik “ztr” Gustafsson with another player from the Young Ninjas project, Linus “LNZ” Holtäng. We don’t know if he’ll become a permanent part of the roster or if NiP will continue to rotate academy players into the main team. It’s weird that the organization splashed lots of money to buy dev1ce out of his contract but don’t have a definitive fifth player. Many fans will be curious to see if LNZ can perform better than ztr, who averaged only a 0.85 rating during his three months with the first team.

G2 are playing better since they brought JaCkz back into the lineup and benched star AWPer Kenny “kennyS” Schrub. The French-Balkan lineup made deep runs at both DreamHack Masters Spring and Flashpoint Three but didn’t make it into the grand finals on both occasions. The organization certainly expects trophies after the arrival of NiKo in October since it made a huge investment to buy him out of his FaZe contract. They’re not far away from achieving something bigger, though. The lower bracket final against NiP at Flashpoint Three was close (16-14 to NiP in the third map). But now, G2 will likely aim to reach the grand finals at IEM Summer.

Four months have passed since Virtus Pro lifted their last trophy at cs_summit seven in Europe. The Russian squad had some great performances, most notably a runners-up finish at IEM Katowice in February to Gambit, but also mixed results in the ESL Pro League season 13 and FunSpark ULTI Europe Final. They performed well in their last tournament, Epic League CIS RMR tournament, where they were once again defeated by Gambit in the grand finals. They’re a squad that has the potential to go far at IEM Summer, but the team seems to heavily depend on YEKINDAR’s opening frags to win matches. If his aim and game sense are on point, we might see VP in the grand finals of a tier-one event once more.