Against all odds, the ENCE eSports won the Team Liquid on Thursday night. The side secured qualification for the semi-finals of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice Major 2019. This is the first Major tournament Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) of ENCE’s Finnish team and the victory was historic. The team won the best three-game series (BO3) 2-0, with 16-11 and 19-16.
The Finnish team’s next challenge is Natus Vincere, who defeated FaZe Clan 2-0. The Brazilian MIBR (Made In Brazil) played later against Renegades while Astralis will play quarterfinals against Ninjas in Pajamas (NiP). Here are the highlights of the ENCE eSports series against Team Liquid.
First map (Mirage)
The Mirage map had a first-half balanced: ENCE took the first pistol, Team Liquid sought redemption and then ENCE managed to turn the score to 8-7. Despite former MIBR Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip and Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic showed decent performances, ENCE’s collective game was superior. With good performance from Jere ‘sergej’ Salo, the team won the first game of the series by 16- 11.
Second map (Inferno)
In Inferno, the game began more favorable for Team Liquid. Although ENCE gained a good first-half lead, Liquid turned 5-2 to 10-5 with an empowering winning streak.
In the second half, ENCE surprised. With the score at 15-8, the Finns won seven straight, changed the game and forced overtime at 15-15. The good performance was capitalized by ENCE and their potential star Aleksi “allu” Jalli who decided to turn his frustrating game to close it 19-16 for ENCE.
The Natus Vincere started the series on the front foot. In the map of choice of FaZe, Inferno, the Ukrainian team went to the interval behind on the scoreboard with only five maps won. In the second half, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and his team-mates turned over and beat the map by 16-13.
At Mirage, the game for the Ukrainians was quieter. The first half was balanced, but with a three-rounds lead for s1mple and company. After the turn of sides, the Na`Vi played on the CT side. The CIS side gave no chance to the opponent, who secured victory in one round. With the victory, the Ukrainians advanced to the semifinal.
The IEM Katowice 2019 is the first CS: GO major of the year 2019. The tournament began on February 13 and has a final scheduled for March 3. In all, 24 teams qualified for the Major, but after days of competition, only eight that followed for the playoffs and obtained the title of Legends, guaranteeing the presence in the next Major of the game. The total award of Katowice is US $ 1 million.
Team Liquid will now be looking for a fresh start as this was not the game that anyone expected the team to be eliminated. Meanwhile, on Saturday, both semi-finals are played, and Sunday is the day we get the winner of the major in the grand finale.