After 20 days of the intense battles, painful disappointments, and huge surprises, we finally have the IEM Katowice 2019 Champion. The best CS:GO team in the world, Astralis, continues to dominate the scene beating the biggest surprise of the tournament, ENCE with ending score of 2-0 in the Grand Final.
ENCE vs NaVi
ENCE was the biggest underdgos in the tournament, but continued their magic along the way. After a huge surprise in the Quarters match between Team Liquid, ENCE made another big surprise. They faced Natus Vincere in the Semis, and again were underdogs in that duel. Fiennes picked Train as a first map in order to show everyone they are not intimidated. However, it didn’t start off very well for the Finnish side. NaVi’s player, Edward, opened the match in magnificent fashion, winning the pistol round by an Ace.
It was quite a tough situation for ENCE, and they desperately needed something to help them out. Moreover, they managed to do the exact same thing winning five out of the six remaining rounds in the first half. It looked like they were going to catch up the NaVi, but s1mple and company again clinched a pistol round. That placed them in a very comfortable position in the continuation of the match.
S1mple was on fire
In the 22nd round, ENCE was trying to catch up, but s1mple of NaVi just crushed them, sniping down four of ENCE’s players. The young AWPer from NaVi demonstrated his aggressive skills once again.
Teams then moved to Dust 2, where NaVi had a pretty easy job. NaVi won the pistol and second round. Afterward, Aerial got quad-kill to help ENCE to win third round. Aerial tried to chase down s1mple to get an Ace, but his teammate “stole” that last kill from Aerial.
ENCE never threw in the Towel
One thing that absolutely describes ENCE is endurance and determination. They were on the edge of elimination many times, and they just rejected to surrender. They showed CS:GO fans their mental strength once again, on the last map of the match, Mirage. ENCE stepped on Mirage in good fashion winning two first rounds. Regardless, they were the team who had to chase the lead on half-time, considering NaVi was leading 9-6. S1mple continued having phenomenal displays, proving he definitely was the best player of 2018.
NaVi doubled their advantage in 18th rounds, so the score was 12-6. Fiennes obviously had some problems with their economy, but that didn’t stop them to get back in the match. They won seven rounds in a row retaking the lead from NaVi.
The Ukrainian team equalized the score twice, but their effort was in vain. ENCE won the 29th round and had a match point. The pressure was on NaVi as they were T side, and they played against time. Time was ticking away, and no one wanted to risk too much. The audience wanted to see Overtime, so they loudly supported NaVi.
However, their wishes quickly vanished, when zeus was the last man standing on NaVi having to perform 1v5 clutch in order to prolong the match. But everyone knew it was impossible, so ENCE succeeded in scalping another big name on their path to final. Interestingly, s1mple had the best overall stats among all players, but it simply wasn’t enough.
MiBR vs Astralis
MiBR tried to surprise Astralis on Overpass
When MiBR made their first map choice, everyone was surprised as no one expected them to choose Overpass. Hence,MiBr knew that so they tried to ruin any type of preparation from Astralis. Nonetheless, Astralis showed everyone they are prepared for everything. They opened the match in a good way taking the first four rounds. But, MiBR started playing better conceding barely two rounds to the side switch. Dev1ce had some nice displays with his scout.
- Read more: Astralis Dominance Explained [CS:GO]
When Gla1ve and company started playing on the T side, they enforced attacks on B site. Everyone in Spodek venue, including commentators found that to be very unusual, but effective. The score quickly turned around and Astralis became the leading team. The situation in the last third of the match was quite intense. The match could have gone either way. In the last round, coldzera failed to finish off Xyp9x who was planting the bomb. That cost MiBR the first map. Therefore, the eventual IEM Katowice 2019 Champion won Overpass with score 16-14.
Astralis is master of Nuke, and Inferno, and Cache, and Dust 2…
The first map that MiBR banned was Nuke. No wonder, taking Astralis’ unbeatable streak into consideration. However, there is another map that Astralis is a monster on. The second map was Astralis’ pick, and it was Inferno. Although the Danes have some losses on Inferno, they played on that map more than any other in the last 12 months. Their stats on Inferno are beyond the comprehension of any other team.
Danes again showed their power on Inferno. After the first third of the match, the scoreline was 8-2 in Astralis’ favor. MiBR succeeded in reducing such a big gap up the end of the half time. The result on the side switch was 9-6. The ultimate IEM Katowice 2019 Champion continued controlling Banana on CT side as well. They would rather give away their homes than Banana. Utility damage they brought to the game, as well as utility control is at completely another level. MiBR just couldn’t do much about that.
In the 18th round, Astralis won the eco round. Usually, when the team goes full eco, they practically give up that round. But not the IEM Katowice 2019 Champion. They know how to win the round even if the pistol is their sole weapon.
IEM Katowice 2019 Champion
Astralis ended ENCE’s fairy tale
Astralis came into the final as a front runner. Given that they won almost everything in the last 12 months, ENCE was the absolute underdog in the Grand Final. Nevertheless, no one could write ENCE off because of all what they had done before.
ENCE again picked Train, and Danes again picked Inferno. The eventual third map was Overpass. However, Gla1ve and his teammates did everything in order to prevent the match from going on Overpass. Fiennes kicked off in good fashion winning pistol and following round. The eventual IEM Katowice 2019 Champion punched back in the same manner taking the next three rounds. In the fifth round, ENCE tried to rush B site, but dev1ce waited there with his AWP. He sniped four ENCE’s player to hold the B site.
ENCE planted the bomb four times until the end of the first half, but only two of those tries were successful. Therefore, Astralis had the huge lead already on half-time with scoreline 11-4. No one had enough courage to say that it was over considering ENCE’s recent comebacks. Indeed, ENCE kept fighting and they got an early advantage in the second half clinching opening three rounds.
As a result, IEM Katowice 2019 Champion struggled a little bit to build a sustainable economy. Interestingly, Danes always found a way to damage an opponent’s economy even in eco rounds. Astralis then planted a bomb three times and won those rounds due to the explosion.
Afterward, sergej from ENCE won 1v2 clutch and eventually defused the bomb. Namely, Astralis successfully planted the bomb, and youngest participant of the Grand Final eliminated Xyp9x. Then, he left alone in a 1v1 duel with dupreeh who was low. Dupreeh tried to approach the site from high ground, but sergej spotted him and killed him by a headshot. Young Finn stayed cold-blooded and defused the bomb in the last second. He demonstrated how mature a player he is, and showed us his immense potential.
That good display helped ENCE to start riding on momentum in the next three rounds. But in the end, IEM Katowice 2019 champion had a full buy round, and they finally finished the first map with a positive outcome for them with score 16-11.
Pure dominance on Inferno for Back-to-Back Major title
As said, Astralis’ pick was Inferno. Although ENCE resisted persistently, fans pretty much saw the same scenario from Semi-final duel between IEM Katowice 2019 Champion and MiBR. Furthermore, Astralis was even more dominant on Inferno this time. ENCE had to wait for one-third of the match to pass to win the first round. That was the only round they won in the first half. Astralis even had few grenade kills, which became their trademark on Inferno. At one point, ENCE’s squad could do nothing more but ironically laugh at their incapability to damage Astralis firm game.
When teams switched sides, ENCE gave up for the first time at the event. They just started rushing mid hoping they could make something out of it. Truly, they won the initial three rounds of the second half, but it was far from sufficient. Danish team was just two rounds away from the Major trophy, and they accomplished to win them at last.
In the last round, ENCE and Astralis got engaged in close combat at top mid, and IEM Katowice 2019 Champion again was the better team. Aerial couldn’t do anything alone against three remaining Astralis’ players.
All members of Danish squad jumped with smiles on their faces, celebrating big victory together with their coach zonic.
Astralis on Top
In the end, Astralis will leave Katowice with another trophy in their cabinet. Also, they will bring $500,000 to home in pockets. After IEM Katowice finished, Astralis stayed at a very top of highest-earning CS:GO teams with approx 6,500,000 total winnings with no one anywhere around them. On top of that, Magisk won the MVP award as the best player of the event. According to his words, that award came as a result of his hard work.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 3, 2019
ENCE also got a very nice amount of money as they earned $150,000. This was a great event and a magical journey for them. They came to Katowice after winning the Europe Minor Qualifier, and after going through three Stages of competition. They were on edge of elimination a few times, however, they absolutely have a bright future.