IEM Summer has seen exciting matches, and the first round of games using the newest map in the pool, Ancient.
Whilst the teams through to the playoffs enjoy a few days of spare time to unwind, or perhaps just spam practices for 4-5 days straight, 10 teams have already packed their bags, with $4,000 to $6,000 to dry their eyes with depending where they came in the 16th to 7th position. Those include the likes of NIP, Heroic & Astralis, who suffered an initial shock defeat to FunPlus Phoenix on the new map Ancient. Speaking of, Ancient has so far been played 5 times, with 1 possible one that didn't occur as the best of three ended before the third map. One thing is for certain, a lot of the early strategies demonstrate how balanced the map can be from the get go, unlike the likes of Vertigo which spent many months before Valve got it 'right'. If you're looking to learn plays for the map yourself, you'd do well to look up some of the matches where it was played in this event, there are so many things you can learn from them.
FunPlus Phoenix appears to have spent a lot of time practicing the map and learning the ins and outs and many corners that the map offers, given their first match took down Astralis in a BO1 with it, and in the next match they won G2 on it too, before suffering a defeat to them on Dust2 & Inferno. With the map being so new, it was amusing to hear the commentators on the official IEM Summer stream struggle to name places, something that'll undoubtedly pass as the time becomes entrenched in the game as much as all the other maps in the competitive pool.
With Gambit, Evil Geniuses, OG, G2, Virtus.pro & Vitality through to the playoffs, everyone can expect to see more fireworks in the future, when IEM Summer goes back into action on Friday with the quarter-finals. G2 & OG came from the upper brackets, and therefore have been put directly into the semi-finals, where G2 will await either Gambit or Evil Geniuses, and OG will patiently look on for either Virtus.pro or Vitality. Will the brute force of the current CIS legends Gambit manage to take down the well-performing Evil Geniuses, who since the start of 2021 have been limping behind in events, with their best of the year so far being 3-4th position at Snow Sweet Snow 3. Whilst in the other quarter-final, yet another CIS team will attempt the downfall of Vitality, whose star AWPer ZywOo combined with misutaaa to pull off many great rounds in the route to the playoffs. The only downside of these matches, at least one of the CIS teams are going home, could this event rumble the rise of CIS teams in 2021?