In what was considered the most unlikely of match ups, newcomers ENCE will battle the Danish fury that is Astralis in the grand finals of Intel Extreme Masters XIII – Katowice Major 2019.
A tail of opposite sides of the coin with experience leading the charge against the passion of reaching new heights.
Astralis, the reigning world champions and most dominant team in CS:GO history have earned their renown time and time again. Since the addition of Emil “Magisk” Reif in February of 2018, the team has dominated the CS:GO scene. While many viewers may not be a fan of the less flashy and more methodical style of play shown by the Danish powerhouse, none can deny its strong hold over the opposition.
Led by Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, Astralis would trample through 2018 with their new lineup taking home 5 trophies including the FACEIT Major in London where they officially cemented the Astralis era. Across the life of this 5-man lineup, Astralis would cultivate a 138 / 0 / 38 win-tie-loss record.
Astralis has had matches that looked way too comfortable for being against tier one opposition as well as fought with their backs against the wall, showcasing the absolute resilience this squad has. Astralis has been in every position and managed to come out on top time and time again. A story of experience, dominance, and attitude.
ENCE, the Finnish squad that started April 4th, 2018 has had to fight tooth and nail the whole way through, a task many thought they did not have the strength to complete. Starting in the Minor, ENCE took down the favorites in securing their place in Katowice. Things started off well before becoming worse for the Fins. Going 0-2 in the Challengers stage, they were written off. Told that their run was good enough, that they had done better than expected and should be happy with their result. They weren’t.
ENCE pushed on, defeating all that stood in their way. It was not always an easy path either. They would lose many rounds, a map, and even have to pull off a major come from behind map three victory over Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev’s Natus Vincere in the semifinals to be where they are. A story of passion, resilience, and determination.
The giant that stands before ENCE is nothing they’ve ever faced before and on a stage such as this it will be the most difficult task yet. ENCE, however, has shown to be more than meets the eye and will come ready to go to war against the titans.
Will the coin show heads for the face of modern day CS:GO or tails for the come from behind story of ENCE.
Only one side of the coin ends up on top.