Astralis was proclaimed the champion of the IEM Katowice 2019 after beating ENCE by 2-0. By lifting this titles the Danish side won its third Major. The Danes were favorite to win the tournament, did not disappoint their fans and fulfilled expectations.
ENCE already surprised us in this event by qualifying for the first time in the history of Oceania for a final playoff of a Major. Nobody in their wildest imagination could predict that ENCE would sneak into the grand final. Considered as a tier 3 team before the competition, the Finnish team destroyed every team in the playoffs.
ENCE the wildcard
ENCE participated in its first Major and started as a candidate to be eliminated in the first phase. The arrival to the final of ENCE was not produced by being on a simple side of the bracket. Since no matter whom they played in the playoff stage, everyone thought ENCE will go out without a fight. What we could see were really extraordinary comebacks, like in the matches against Liquid and Natus Vincere.
The story has concluded and what a journey it became.
Thank you to everyone – YOU made it special ❤️
— ENCE (@ENCE) March 3, 2019
Train was the first map of the series, where ENCE did not lose since the EPICENTER 2018. The change of sides was reached with an 11-4 in favor of Astralis, and when the score stood out 14-7. ENCE tried again that miraculous comeback that had already exhibited in the previous phases. Aleksib’s boys went on to make the score 14-11 but finally lost the 16-11 map.
Astralis the champions
Astralis proclaimed its title in the second map, Inferno. The Danish team swept unceremoniously and crushed ENCE by a convincing 16-4.
Emil “Magisk” Reif lifted the title of MVP of the event. The Danish player made an exceptional tournament in individual terms, achieving a ratio of 1.28 in the grand final. This triumph allows Astralis to match fnatic as the only two teams in CS: GO history with three Majors in their showcases.
Incredible run form the start
Despite falling into the grand final, the Finns completed an outstanding feat in IEM Katowice 2019. ENCE arrived in Poland after qualifying for the Europe Minor. There the side finished first by surpassing teams like mousesports or North. With this milestone achieved, ENCE just had to enjoy the experience of participating in a Major.
However, ENCE showed that they were not on a walk in Katowice. In the first phase of the tournament, they went on to the next round with a 3-1 aggregate. They did the same in the second round, this time with a 3-2 finish. With this run, the team made it to the top 8 of the IEM Katowice 2019.
Beating the best
If this was already a surprise, there were still two bullets left in the ENCE arsenal. Team Liquid, the second best team on the planet, succumbed to the Finns in the quarterfinals by 0-2. One of the favorites was out and it was the turn of Natus Vincere, third in the world. In the semifinals, ENCE was able to compete with the company and qualified for the Major final after winning 1-2.