The IEM Katowice winners were knocked out in the second round of the semifinals. #ENCE has claimed their first major scalp since signing Guy #NertZ Iluz, beating #G2 2-0 in the round of 16 of the ESL Pro League Season17. Rasmus #HooXi Nielsen and companions were eliminated from the LAN in Malta by the European blend, which included their newcomer.
The new recruit has given ENCE more firepower; the Israeli currently leads the ratings list for his squad at this tournament with a 1.25. NertZ also led the attack against G2 with 1.49 ratings on Ancient (16-14) and 1.30 ratings on Vertigo (16-10), easily outperforming Nikola #NiKo Kova and dIlya #m0NESY Osipov.
The series began on G2’s choice of Ancient, a map on which both teams were undefeated prior to the contest. HooXi’s players came out firing on all pistons early on, taking an early 3-0 lead with a few fast-paced offensive rounds that originally threw off the defenders. Eetu #sAw Saha’s squad rapidly responded, and as Pawe #dycha Dycha and NertZ started to take over the server, the CTs took a close 8-7 advantage into the break.
Even after switching teams, the Israeli rifler continued to punish G2 and headed the line for ENCE on the T side. Marco #Snappi Pfeiffer’s team had to recoup from a pistol round early in the half, but they were able to win seven of the last ten rounds on their way to a close 16-14 triumph. A few instances of CT aggression late in the half appeared to place the game in G2’s hands, but ENCE kept their cool and effectively closed the map in the final two rounds. NertZ placed first on the leaderboard with a 1.49 grade and a 27-20 K-D.
G2 advanced to Vertigo and won their third pistol round of the series before an ENCE force purchase push on the B site soon handed Snappi’s men the lead. m0NESY momentarily held the ramp position, expertly blocking the attack from the A site for four rounds in a row. It took some time for ENCE to get past the Russian marksman, but once they did, they took full advantage, going undefeated all the way to intermission with a 10-5 score line.
Following their switch to the T side, HooXi and friends promised a recovery, claiming another pistol round and cutting the gap to 9-11 before the defense was able to find their stride. G2’s position rapidly deteriorated as dycha started to emerge, propelling the CTs to a 16-10 victory with a 1.64 rating in the second half.
ENCE will face Vitality in the quarter-finals on Friday at 19:00, headed by Dan #apEX Madesclaire and their ex-teammate Lotan #Spinx Giladi. It will be only the second time these two teams have met since the 22-year-old’s move, with the French team winning 2-0 the first time.