AVANGAR beat ENCE to book IEM Chicago spot
The battle for the first European qualifying spot at the IEM event began on Mirage, AVANGAR's map pick. The Kazakhstani side, who had defeated Heroic and Gambit earlier in the tournament, jumped out to a 5-0 lead as Terrorists, but then ENCE tightened up their defence, losing just one more round before the break.
A strong start from AVANGAR in the second half saw them win the first two rounds, bringing the deficit to 8-9. ENCE then upped the pace, stringing five rounds together, and though the CIS side still tried to get back in the game, the Finnish team kept their composure and locked down the map at 16-11.
Next up was Inferno, where ENCE got off to a dream start, taking a 10-3 lead after preventing their opponents from building up an economy. The final two rounds of the half then went AVANGAR's way, and the Kazakhstani team showed a very strong T side, eventually hitting map point after constantly resetting ENCE.
A triple kill from Jere "sergej" Salo in the 30th round rescued ENCE and forced overtime, but it was all downhill from there. AVANGAR played the perfect 3-0 half as Terrorists following some great post-plant situations, with Timur "buster" Tulepov coming up huge in two of those rounds, before they won the first round as CT to level up the series.
The final map of the series, Train, also came down to the wire. Once again, ENCE closed the curtain down on the first half with the lead (9-6), only to let the game slip away after the break. AVANGAR's Terrorist side was far too hot for the Finnish players to handle, and they grabbed the win in the final round of regulation thanks to their stellar control of the economy throughout the half, inspired by a great showing from Dzhami "Jame" Ali, who was the team's top performer in two of the three maps of the series.
|ENCE||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jani 'Aerial' JussilaAerial||57 - 43||+14||91.3||1.38|
|Sami 'xseveN' LaasanenxseveN||42 - 42||0||77.8||1.04|
|Jere 'sergej' Salosergej||43 - 40||+3||77.5||1.04|
|Aleksi 'allu' Jalliallu||40 - 41||-1||68.1||1.01|
|Aleksi 'Aleksib' VirolainenAleksib||27 - 44||-17||62.0||0.81|
|AVANGAR||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Dzhami 'Jame' AliJame||53 - 36||+17||89.8||1.37|
|Aidyn 'KrizzeN' TurlybekovKrizzeN||38 - 41||-3||81.2||1.06|
|Timur 'buster' Tulepovbuster||41 - 41||0||68.2||1.02|
|Bektiyar 'fitch' Bahytovfitch||38 - 45||-7||71.6||0.99|
|Alexey 'qikert' Golubevqikert||40 - 46||-6||70.1||0.97|
IEM Chicago will run from November 6-11 at the Wintrust Arena, with 16 teams in attendance and a $250,000 prize pool. The team list for the event looks as follows: