Photo by: ESL
ENCE Esports join Natus Vincere in the semifinals after a shocking performance in the round of 8. The Finns upset Team Liquid — arguably world’s #2 — in a 2-0 series, leaving fans and pundits gasping at the result.
Mirage: ENCE win 16-11
Seen by many as the second best team in the world behind Astralis — and North America’s brightest by far — Team Liquid were stunned in the first map of their quarterfinal series against ENCE. The Americans entered the series confident in their firepower but faced a tight-knit and structured Finnish side, capable of much of the same individual heroics.
Despite stellar fragging from Stewie2k and insane moves by NAF, Liquid struggled to find cracks in the Finnish armor on Mirage. ENCE won the first half as T and put on a clinic of defense in the second half, giving Team Liquid but four rounds. The game became xseveN’s and sergej’s show, the duo outscoring everyone on Liquid by a significant margin.
ENCE put a full-stop to Mirage in the 27th round, as their four-in-a-row streak spelled a 16-11 scoreline. The Finns were ready to enter Liquid’s choice of Inferno with the morale boost on their side.
Inferno: ENCE win 19-16
ENCE opened the map strong once again, taking a 5-2 lead, but by round 8, Team Liquid had returned to form. The Americans won 8 in a round to close to half at a convincing 10-5. With EliGE and Twistzz putting high fragging numbers, it seemed the favorites were about to equalize the series.
ENCE won the pistol in the next two rounds, but Liquid rallied to win the next 5 and arrive at matchpoint at 15-8. This meant seven chances to tie the match and force an Overpass — and Liquid failed all seven.
Riding the hot streak, ENCE entered OT believing they can deliver the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Five rounds later, when the scoreboard spelled 19-16, they had achieved it. Team Liquid were out of the tournament.
This sets up an ENCE vs. NaVi semifinal, after the CIS side bested FaZe in a 2-0 series. With ENCE having beaten arguably the best team in the world behind Astralis and with NaVi star s1mple being rather quiet against FaZe, CS:GO fans should expect a tight semifinal on Saturday.