Team Liquid lose out on semi-final spot to ENCE at IEM Katowice 2019

Possibly one of the most memorable clashes in esports history, ENCE have caused ructions within Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) circles this week by defeating world renowned winners, Team Liquid at the IEM (Intel ExtremeMasters) Katowice Semi-Finals.

The shock comes as not many CS:GO fans would have taken the bet that ENCE would triumph above all others as during the New Legends Stage the team only made it through by the skin of their teeth. Having come face to face with Team Liquid in the quarter-finals, the overall expectation for Liquid to come out on top was overwhelming, particularly when considering their recent success over Team Astralis at the iBUYPOWER Masters. The likelihood of ENCE defeating Team Liquid was somewhat disregarded by fans in a sense, so the outcome was surprising.

To understand a little more about how the games played out, here is a brief reminded of how the day panned out. The first map chosen for battle, selected by ENCE, was the Mirage map, that Team Liquid are relatively familiar and comfortable with and so this was of further reassurance to Liquid fans that the title was likely in their hands. However shocks came short and fast when, due to quick, rehearsed tactics, ENCE managed to safely secure their position in the next round, leaving their opponent almost unaware of what happened and viewers in awe of the defeat. Round two of Mirage during the second half gave ENCE a powerful starting position and concluded with them winning a 16-11 match, with the help of AUG rifles and player ‘Allu’s trusty AWP used throughout.

Fighting for the comeback, Team Liquid had a strong 10-5 lead coming up to halftime when playing the second chosen map of the tournament, ‘Inferno’, and this lead progressed to become 15-8 shortly after that point.  However it was potential lack of judgement or just not the right tactics to go with that cost Liquid greatly from that point and ENCE began to show us a glimpse of their winning moment by succeeding in every round from then on. After managing to secure overtime, this fiesta Finnish team were able to pick a further two rounds of action that would see them be crowned the winners and Team Liquid cast aside as second place champions.

The IEM Katowice Semi-Final between ENCE and Na’Vi is now eager to commence this coming Saturday 2nd March at 15.00 GMT, and could quite easily become another memorable moment for the books, ENCE have the potential to send another team packing if they play their cards right, but will their opponent have different tactics up their sleeve? The excitement is all to come.