Astralis ends dream run for ENCE to win IEM Katowice Major

Astralis cements its era by winning its third World Major Championship after raising the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII - Katowice Major 2019 trophy 2-0 against ENCE.

The Danish group came to the finals almost unblemished, dropping nothing but a single map across their while Major campaign. Their rivals meanwhile, ENCE captivated the globe with how they managed to make their way all the way to the finals that began at the closed qualifiers of the European Minor. They took down enemies one by one including two of the world’s highest ranking teams namely Team Liquid and Natus Vincere at the Champions stage.

But the biggest challenge was to face Astralis, who now established themselves as one of the greatest CS squads of all time by winning 3 Major titles and a back-to-back with IEM and FACEIT London Major, along with the ELEAGUE Atlanta Major they won in 2017. They become the third team ever to win back to back titles – first Fnatic when they took both ESL One Katowice and Cologne in 2015 and the Brazilian core that played under the SK and Luminosity Gaming organizations that won the MLG Major Columbus and ESL One Cologne in 2016. The Danes also tied Fnatic for most championships with three under their belt.

Astralis asserting dominance

The much anticipated series turned out to be a lopsided one favoring the Danes. Kicking off in Train – a map where ENCE had not lost since October at EPICENTER, the Finns had a jumpstart by claiming the pistol round. However as soon as their first buy attempt came, Astralis went on with choking tight defense to dominate the half 11-4.

Switching sides, ENCE found themselves winning another pistol round – a rare occurrence with the fact that they are the 2ndto the worst team in terms of pistol success among the top 16. Astralis would still stretch their lead 14-7, but Jere "sergej" Salo kept the Finns alive for a while with a 1v2 clutch that helped them take 3 more rounds until Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth shut them down to close out train 16-11 for the Danes.

The meltdown for ENCE kicks in at Inferno – another comfort map for Astralis with a record that now stands 15-0. The Danish squad bulldozed their way with well-knit executions that carved through the ENCE defense to take a gargantuan 14-1 lead. ENCE will still take the pistol round and a handful of ecos come the switch but Astralis eventually closed out 16-4 to win the IEM Katowice Major and assert their dominance as the finest team in this era.

Emil "Magisk" Reif takes the MVP Award from HLTV.org by listing a 1.28 rating at the grand finals and a team high 1.37 playoff rating.


MN | Neil Martinez

MN | Neil Martinez

A former editor and writer for a university publication, Neil has incorporated esports to what he does best. He is Mogul’s CS go-to guy and TNC Pro Team’s graphic artist and social media man.

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