IEM New York CIS Preview

The likes of NaVi and Spirit are set to duke it out in IEM New York CIS. We give you a run-down of the format, break down the form of the teams, and give you some betting tips in our preview of the event.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
13th Oct, 2020·☕️ 5 min read

The likes of NaVi and Spirit are set to duke it out in IEM New York CIS. We give you a run-down of the format, break down the form of the teams, and give you some betting tips in our preview of the event.

Competition Information

With the European and North American competitions drawing to a close, it is time for the CIS region to enter the fray. $50,000 in prizes including RMR points will be up for grabs in this event. The format is identical to the North American competition, utilising a round-robin format as opposed to the GSL style group stage used in the European event. 

The twelve teams have been split into two groups of six, and will play a best-of-three against each team in the group. Once the group stage has concluded, the three best teams in each group will advance to the single-elimination play-off bracket. All matches in the play-offs will be best-of-three, except for the grand final which will be a best-of-five.

In addition, there will be matches played for third and fifth place.

The groups are as follows:

Group A

  • 🇺🇦 Natus Vincere
  • 🇷🇺 forZe
  • 🇰🇿
  • 🇰🇿 K23
  • 🇷🇺 Cyber Legacy
  • 🇷🇺 ESPADA

Group B

  • 🇰🇿 Winstrike
  • 🇧🇾 Nemiga
  • 🇷🇺 Ethereal
  • 🇷🇺 Spirit
  • 🇷🇺 Gambit
  • 🇷🇺 HellRaisers

IEM New York kicks off October 13th and runs through October 25th.

The Current Season


Record: 31 / 0 / 18
Most Played Map: Dust (69.2%)
Best Map: Inferno (100.0%)
Worst Map: Overpass (42.9%)

Gambit Youngsters, the academy team of Gambit, have been promoted and will be playing under the name of Gambit going forward. They have since bolstered their roster with the acquisition of Hobbit from Winstrike, who is re-uniting with the organisation whom he represented when they won the major back in 2017. This team has gone from strength-to-strength over the past year, having won seven online tournaments, beating respectable names such as Natus Vincere and in the process. sh1ro is one of many exciting AWPers in the CIS region and if Gambit want to challenge for the title, they are going to need several big performances from the young gun.


Record: 140 / 0 / 73
Most Played Map: Dust2 (66.0%)
Best Map: Train (78.3%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (40.0%)

Spirit have comfortably positioned themselves as the best team in the CIS region outside of NaVi, having won ESL One: Road to Rio CIS, as well as a number of online tournaments over the last few months. There is some serious fire power on this team and they also have a solid map pool, which makes them one of the few teams that can match up against s1mple & co in NaVi.

Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere
Record: 66 / 0 / 51
Most Played Map: Dust2 (55.6%)
Best Map: Mirage (63.6%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (0.0%)

NaVi have climbed back up to third place in HLTV’s world rankings after a runner-up finish at the coveted ESL Pro League. This team has crazy upside with players like s1mple and electronic, but the latter has found it difficult to play up to his incredibly high standards online. We have seen Natus Vincere struggle against CIS competition before, so it is definitely not a given that they win this one, but there is no question that they should be the favourites.
Record: 13 / 0 / 7
Most Played Map: Inferno (50.0%)
Best Map: Dust2 (80.0%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (50.0%) has undergone a few changes over the past year, with the talented Latvian player YEKINDAR coming in to replace buster, who chose to take a break from the game. buster is now back to active roster, and will be replacing AdreN who has departed from the team. This team is now pretty stacked in terms of individual skill, and they still have a solid supportive element in the form of SANJI. I could definitely see this team making some waves in the not so distant future, as they have all the right pieces to be competitive even internationally. So far, they have played eight matches with buster and have won six of them, only losing to Gambit Youngsters (twice.)


Record: 36 / 0 / 28
Most Played Map: Nuke (31.2%)
Best Map: Mirage (75.0%)
Worst Map: Nuke (31.2%)

Winstrike were dealt a big blow with Hobbit choosing to leave the team in favour of Gambit. They chose to bring in Nickelback as his replacement, and while he isn’t quite at the level of the Kazakh veteran, he has done a solid job so far for Winstrike. Solid enough, in fact, that they were able to take down Vie Legend Series over the likes of Heretics, Secret and Nemiga. They will face a far tougher field of opponents in this tournament, but if El1an shows up, they could prove to be hard nut to crack even for the better teams in the tournament. 

Betting Tips

There is no question about it, Natus Vincere are big favourites to win this event, but they will face tough competition from Spirit. I would also say that both Gambit and have realistic chances of upsetting either of those teams, as they both have enough quality to take down the bigger names in the region.


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