Vitality crowned IEM Winter winners

Elliott Griffiths
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Vitality winning IEM Winter 2021

Illustration by NovaH. Source: ESL

Maybe there's a reason NiP paid $1m for dev1ce. Maybe the reason is that in a Grand Final against one of the best players to ever play the game, you need a superstar to match him?

At least that's how it feels after watching Vitality absolutely bully NiP in three straight maps to win IEM Winter, $100,000 and their first title of 2021.

We're not even going to draw it out to keep you in, NiP were never even close.

Led by a revitalized shoxiejesus and ZywOo with +52 kills combined for the Grand Final, Vitality was never really in the ropes at any point.

In fact their 2nd halves were absolutely dominant:

  • 9-2 as T on Inferno
  • 10-2 as CT on Dust 2
  • 8-6 as T on Nuke

It wasn't like phzy got smashed in the AWP duel against ZywOo (which ended 2-5), it was that he just didn't really AWP. When your primary sniper gets 11 frags with the big green in three maps, you know it's been a tough game.

The teams now get a breather, and then potentially go head to head again on Thursday at Blast Premier World Final 2021. We hope that the million-dollar man is back for that one.

The biggest question is: Can a new rendition of this Vitality team actually do better than this?

December 12, 2021

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