Four key story lines for IEM Summer: Ancient's pro debut to NIP's potential
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IEM Summer kicks off on Thursday, and there is plenty to pay special attention to throughout the tournament. From Ancient joining the map pool to Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz and NIP’s improvement, here are four story lines to follow.

Ancient’s first esports appearance approaches

Earlier this year, Valve introduced Ancient into the CS:GO competitive pool, replacing Train. However, Valve revealed that RMR Events and the upcoming 2021 Major would not use the new map pool. As a result, most tournament organizers opted to keep using the old competitive pool. But, ESL chose to break from the mold, meaning each team will face off at this tournament for the first time on this map, ever. Keep an eye on the strategies and tricks pro teams use that amateur players may have missed.

dev1ce makes NIP a threat

With the recent acquisition of dev1ce, the Ninjas in Pjyamas are looking more capable than ever. The team made a deep, second place run at Flashpoint 3, where they fell to Mousesports. But the team has made some slight changes ahead of IEM Summer. Linus “LNZ” Holtäng will replace Erik “ztr” Gustafsson, who stepped up from the academy roster. Like ztr, LNZ is from the Young Ninjas — NIP’s academy roster — and has had a stellar past few months. With this extra boost of firepower and dev1ce, NIP could repeat their previous success at this tournament and possibly even take home the title.

Future of Evil Geniuses

At the North American RMR Event, Evil Geniuses bombed out in last place, losing to teams far below their level. Despite the acquisition of Owen “oBo” Schlatter and Michał “MICHU” Müller, the team still hasn’t performed at their previous levels. EG have made even more changes in the past week, dropping long-time coach Wilton “zews” Prado. This tournament gives the team a chance to prove their worth or face even more roster changes.

Virtus.Pro poised for a deep run at IEM Summer

In their first few tournaments of 2021, Virtus.Pro looked shaken as they struggled against every single team they played. However, at the recent CIS RMR event, the team looked back in shape. Both Timur “buster” Tulepov and Mareks “Yekindar” Gaļinskis looked very strong in the tournament, and VP also slightly changed their playstyle.

What made the team an easy opponent in the past is their slow playstyle. However, the team is now happy to play more aggressively, sending Yekindar and Alexey “qikert” Golubev into action quickly to catch their opponents off guard. This new playstyle is exactly what Virtus.Pro needed to give themselves more variety, so don’t be surprised to see the team capitalize on the change.



Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.