ENCE eSports - The Storm no one saw coming at IEM Katowice 2019
The six-year-old Finnish organization had a rough sprint in its early days of foundation in 2013. Moreover, the tussle between the management and players forced the organization to retire pretty soon.
The European scene of CS:GO was scrambling with players when the then 22-year-old Aleksi 'Allu' Jalli made news with his AWPing. The Finn had first rendered its services to NiP. Following his departure, he moved to Liquid, ENCE, FaZe and Optic Gaming for the next three years. Let's not overshadow the departure of MIBR in the semi-finals, who were once two-time consecutive major winners.
ENCE eSports - Journey to Major
The return of Allu to ENCE was a game changer. He had returned to ENCE eSports just a year ago in March 2018. Having said that, ENCE's only significant victory in the recent past came in the Minor qualifiers for IEM Katowice.
The journey of ENCE at IEM Katowice began with stumping victory against Spirit and G2 Esports. They advanced to further stages amidst multiple defeats against Renegades.
ENCE qualified for the playoffs by beating AVANGAR 2-0 convincingly. They faced Liquid and Natus Vincere in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, beating them both in the best of three series.
The grand finals of IEM Katowice was more of a stampede for the beginners. It was the battle of the best where experience wins. Thus, leaving no ground for an underdog victory, Astralis, who did beat MIBR, Natus Vincere, FaZe and other mammoths of the game, mercilessly ended ENCE's journey with a 16-11, 16-4 win. ENCE's defeat was no surprise, though. The Finns had already exceeded expectations.
The final standings of IEM Katowice are as follows:
- Astralis - $500,000
- ENCE - $150,000
- Natus Vincere - $70,000
- MIBR - $70,000
- FaZe - $35,000
- Liquid - $35,000
- Renegades - $35,000
- NiP - $35,000