Finnish side ENCE Esports continued their improbable run in Cologne, eliminating another big name team.
After demolishing Swedish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive legends in Ninjas in Pyjamas in the lower bracket of Group A, ENCE once again showcased their impressive form against tournament contenders mousesports.
Consisting of veteran Finnish players like Aleksi “allu” Jalli and almost untested new faces like Jere “sergej” Salo and Jani “Aerial” Jussila, ENCE were able to expel mousesports from ESL One Cologne after defeating the team in two straight maps.
The team had to fight extremely hard for each of their victories, however. The best example came on opening map Inferno, where a dominant 11-4 half for ENCE as Terrorists quickly fell apart in the second half of the map. Both Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný and Chris “chrisJ” de Jong pushed mousesports to win ten rounds in the second half, and forced the map into overtime.
The Finns steeled themselves during the overtime, however, and ended the match with 19-17 in mapscore.
Mirage was the second map, and seemingly still carrying momentum from the comeback on Inferno, mousesports quickly got off to a strong 6-0 lead on the first half. The game balanced itself out on the seventh round, however, and ENCE ended up on trailing mousesports by one round at halftime. Once into the second half, it looked easy for ENCE. The team quickly pulled away from mousesports in terms of rounds, and despite mousesports staving off ENCE in two impressive retakes. It proved to not be enough, and ENCE closed out the match by a score of 16-10.
On both maps, the highlight for ENCE continued to be sergej. The 16-year-old rifler amassed a total of 62 kills across both maps in a world-class performance.
ENCE will now play the winner of Na`Vi vs. Cloud9 tomorrow. Another win will put ENCE directly into the semifinals of the tournament.