IEM Katowice grand final preview

ENCE have already greatly exceeded expectations by surviving against the second and third best teams of the world at the Major, but the Finnish team's final boss battle against Astralis on Sunday will be like none other.

CS:GO Major history is filled with unexpected runs, from fnatic's at DreamHack Winter 2013 to Cloud9's at ELEAGUE Boston 2018. And ENCE's memorable campaign in Katowice will certainly go down as one of the most impressive runs, having come through the closed qualifiers and the Europe Minor to reach the grand final after winning five best-of-three series, two of which were against Liquid and Natus Vincere - the No.2 and No.3 teams in the world.

The team that has occupied the No.1 slot for almost 11 months now, more precisely since April 23, awaits ENCE in the grand final. Touted by fans and analysts alike as one of the best, if not the best, team to ever grace the CS:GO scene, Astralis arrive at the grand final as the defending Major champions. Nicolai "device" Reedtz and company tasted defeat at the start of the year as they were bested by Liquid in the iBUYPOWER Masters grand final, but they have looked indomitable in Katowice, losing only one map so far, which came in overtime.

Astralis are looking to make history

That loss could be a crucial piece of information as it was on Mirage, one of ENCE's best maps. Since picking up two losses on this map in the New Challengers Stage, against Renegades and Winstrike, they have played it four times, they have gone on an undefeated run, beating G2, AVANGAR, Liquid, and Natus Vincere. Still, Astralis' loss on this map came only in overtime and the aforenmentioned quartet that ENCE beat always managed to hit double digits. Picking Mirage doesn't give ENCE a huge advantage, but, then again, what does when you are playing against Astralis?

ENCE must definitely strike out Nuke with their first ban for obvious reasons as Astralis are on a 29-0 streak on LAN on the map. Astralis will almost certainly take out Cache, which neither team likes to play, as it makes little sense to go into uncharted territory when you are the favourites.

After the sides ban Nuke and Cache, we are quite likely to see Train picked by ENCE and Inferno selected by Astralis: the Finns have won the last nine Train games they played, while Astralis are unbeaten in twelve on Inferno. ENCE should then ban Dust2, which they have lost to BIG, HellRaisers, and Natus Vincere in Katowice, and on which Astralis have shown their dominance over the past three months. This leaves Mirage and Overpass as the two options for the final map and ENCE have been quite good on both so it will be a 50/50 for Astralis' final ban.

The Spodek Arena will host the 14th CS:GO Major grand final

The veto process is important but because Astralis are great on any given map, ENCE will have to fire on all cylinders when the final kicks off. They can't afford to have in-game slumps like Aleksi "allu" Jalli had against Natus Vincere when he went missing for a period of 35 rounds on Dust2 and Mirage. The Finnish player did come alive towards the end of the series but Astralis will not let that kind of performance slide and will exploit the weak points of ENCE to full extent.

Astralis reign supreme on almost all statistical departments. The Danes have a 58.3% opening duel success rate at IEM Katowice and convert 85.8% of these rounds to round victories. ENCE, on the other hand, have drawn first blood 53.6% of the time since the start of the New Legends Stage and gone on to win those rounds in 72.6% of the cases. The situation is similar when the teams can't get the first kill as Astralis outperform ENCE with a 12.9% difference in 4vs5s.

ENCE's best numbers are in the trading department as they are the third most successful team at IEM Katowice in terms of avenging fallen teammates. allu and company have done it 21.4% of the time, just behind Astralis, who have managed to trade 22.6% of their deaths.

ENCE are about to face their biggest test

ENCE's performances so far suggest that trouble awaits them in the pistol rounds. They are the second-worst team since the last-16 stage in this department, with only eight pistol rounds won in 28. They are not particularly great at winning the second round after losing the pistol either, having done it only three times in 20 opportunities. Astralis are on the other end of the spectrum with a 61.1% pistol round win rate (third best), and have a flawless round two conversion after winning a pistol.

Be that as it may, numbers aren't everything and ENCE wouldn't be in the grand final if they were. They give us an idea about how a team will perform in average conditions, but the final of the Major, against one of the best teams of all time, is far from being an everyday occurrence. It is worth remembering that ENCE started the New Legends Stage with two losses, which also impacted all of these stats. What is most impressive about the Finnish team is their ability to turn it on even when they look completely out of it. We had seen it against Liquid when they overturned an 8-15 deficit on Inferno to force overtime and we saw it again against Natus Vincere when they were thrashed 3-16 on Dust2 and had a shaky start on Mirage. Then, the cold-blooded Finns went on a 10-2 streak to close out the decider with a 16-14 final scoreline. It is always hard to count them out, making this final a great prospect.

ENCE will make this a tough affair for Astralis, but both the eye-test and the underlying numbers point to a victory for the Danish team, who have looked their dominant selves throughout their run in Katowice. This is a particularly important occasion for Astralis because they could lift the Major trophy for the third time, catching up with Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, Jesper "JW" Wecksell, and Markus "pronax" Wallsten for the most Major wins. The Danes are already the most organized and well-drilled team of all time, but winning IEM Katowice could give credence to the suggestion that they are flat-out the best team in CS:GO history.

Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1403
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.13
Sweden Markus 'pronax' Wallsten
Markus 'pronax' Wallsten
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.89
Maps played:
1199
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Sweden Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1597
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Sweden Robin 'flusha' Rönnquist
Robin 'flusha' Rönnquist
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1502
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.18
Finland Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1391
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
Pick'em says: LET'S GO ASTRALIS Everything else says: EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:27
#6
 | 
Austria frazn 
king
2019-03-03 14:27
LET'S GO ENCE EZ
2019-03-03 14:28
#16
 | 
Finland neksu 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:28
#21
 | 
Europe EnceOverrated 
astralis win
2019-03-03 14:28
#ez4ence
2019-03-03 14:38
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:43
#ToTheStars
2019-03-03 16:18
ToTheStars
2019-03-03 17:23
ToTheAirport
2019-03-03 17:50
+1
2019-03-03 18:42
#47
 | 
Europe Kermac 
N♿rth
2019-03-03 14:41
#109
k0nfig | 
Liechtenstein mary69 
nice nick😜
2019-03-03 16:13
ez4ence?
2019-03-03 14:27
#55
Denmark _GG_ 
+1
2019-03-03 14:50
#11
 | 
Palestine MrZoldiK 
Ez4ence
2019-03-03 14:27
Hello my friend! Why are you always the first? CoolStoryBob
2019-03-03 14:28
Just luck
2019-03-03 14:38
Too much luck for a young man
2019-03-03 14:40
Where did you live in switzerland?
2019-03-03 15:35
#67
s1mple | 
Other zj2 
because he is using script for browser but blind admins dont care about a guy with 20 banned accs they would rather ban for saying something innocent
2019-03-03 15:02
#110
k0nfig | 
Liechtenstein mary69 
mad because MIBR_IS_OVERRATED actually has the most relevant opinions on #1
2019-03-03 16:15
#133
 | 
Brazil vass28 
Relevant opinions? Lol nice brain
2019-03-03 17:09
#156
k0nfig | 
Liechtenstein mary69 
LMAO🤣 nice brain hahahah and to answer your question: Yes!
2019-03-03 19:09
#48
 | 
France goulou_0 
I can't have more than gold (when I was doing my pick'em I put like a retard liquid winner of the major) so EZ4ENCE EZ4ENCE EZ4ENCE EZ4ENCE EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:42
Me too FeelsBadMan
2019-03-03 15:07
#131
 | 
France goulou_0 
FeelsBadMan
2019-03-03 17:03
#58
ropz | 
Germany 420stones 
Where do I sign?
2019-03-03 14:51
#63
HUNDEN | 
United States DervGuy 
+111
2019-03-03 14:55
ez4ence
2019-03-03 15:24
#92
 | 
Israel FRIsaac 
How are you the first in whole major theared
2019-03-03 15:35
+1
2019-03-03 15:39
#106
 | 
Russia Pon4iPay 
+1
2019-03-03 15:54
#107
 | 
Sweden iskalliskall 
same. i am fine with giving up my diamond for ENCE!
2019-03-03 15:56
+1
2019-03-03 18:16
EZ4ENCE DUMB
2019-03-03 19:03
ez4 ence
2019-03-03 14:27
EZ4AST
2019-03-03 14:27
nice
2019-03-03 14:27
#5
i am | 
Romania MrYikes 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:27
H
2019-03-03 14:27
#9
 | 
Czech Republic GoodGuySeba 
Almost first
2019-03-03 14:27
#77
 | 
Finland nexustron 
I feel you
2019-03-03 15:10
Same here , feelsbadman
2019-03-03 16:19
ArT1Co0L
2019-03-03 14:27
#12
 | 
United Kingdom kanezz 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:27
#70
 | 
Brazil r0rschach 
Hell yeah!
2019-03-03 15:05
#14
 | 
Asia NOORZ1 
Ugh
2019-03-03 14:28
#15
 | 
Turkey headshotk1ng 
EzforENCE
2019-03-03 14:28
#17
 | 
Ukraine keonazer 
ez4NAVI lol
2019-03-03 14:28
#18
 | 
Russia Nikosimus 
Hope ENCE go all the way, Astralis are dull, the scene is fed up with them
2019-03-03 14:28
this whole life is a sick joke
2019-03-03 14:28
#65
xccurate | 
Indonesia k1yo_ 
+1
2019-03-03 14:57
Ouch , salty NiP fan. Astralis had to beat them 16-0 , rez lucky...
2019-03-03 16:20
#126
 | 
Russia Nikosimus 
NiP has nothing to do with Astralis being boring to watch fans need emotions and thrill which Astralis doesnt have both inside and outside the game And I've been thinking like that even before the quarterfinal so no salty NiP fan here
2019-03-03 16:33
So are Ence ? Ence are even more stone cold than Astralis. With that being said , may you hate all Nordic teams. Astralis and Ence act much more professional than russian teams / Fnatic (touching their pubes in camera)
2019-03-03 19:50
#158
 | 
Russia Nikosimus 
I'm an NiP fan since DHW14 so no, no hate towards Nordic And I hate NaVi so hard because of all the CIS attention that leaves nothing for other teams I just dislike Astralis players and see nothing you can like in them, they are boring and not likeable for me
2019-03-03 20:36
Astralis gonna lose this match ez 4 Ence
2019-03-03 14:28
Bot allu, ez for astralis
2019-03-03 14:28
#23
KRIMZ | 
Romania moetxxx 
Ence pls win
2019-03-03 14:28
#25
 | 
Russia zLex67 
ez4astralis 2-0
2019-03-03 14:29
#26
 | 
Europe EnceOverrated 
gg astralis
2019-03-03 14:29
#27
 | 
Russia SonixRush 
Astralis stop ENCE plz
2019-03-03 14:29
#28
 | 
Switzerland Tiiger 
EZ4ASTRALIS
2019-03-03 14:34
#29
ScreaM | 
Tunisia Gon12 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:31
#30
 | 
Romania xBlackDragon9 
LET'S GO ASTRALIS!!!
2019-03-03 14:31
#31
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
Where's the showmatch I'm not watching this boring final
2019-03-03 14:31
#61
 | 
Spain G3CK0 
Flag checks out
2019-03-03 14:52
#147
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
#146
2019-03-03 18:05
Boohoo go cry
2019-03-03 15:19
#149
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
#146
2019-03-03 18:05
And you'd watch a showmatch which is the most boring shit ever.
2019-03-03 17:17
#146
 | 
Ukraine s1v9mple 
I don't want to watch device hold the same fucking angle for 2 hours
2019-03-03 18:05
Whats this hate? Pissed cuz device more mvps than simple?
2019-03-03 21:20
#32
Estonia rYm 
will be boring 2-0 for astralis :/
2019-03-03 14:31
Imagine 32-0 ... Astralis was the first team to win 16-0 on major (and they did it twice). How about 32-0 in Grand final ? LEGENDS
2019-03-03 16:22
EZ4Ence
2019-03-03 14:33
#34
 | 
Poland Astoner55 
Ez 4 ence!
2019-03-03 14:33
#35
 | 
Indonesia nicojaewpunk 
The most ez major for winner
2019-03-03 14:33
#36
 | 
Portugal NipplesKing 
I really want ENCE to upset Astralis and make history.. but I don't think they have the experience to make it happen, so I'm going with a 2-0 for Astralis.
2019-03-03 14:33
If ENCE has a good overpass, they could win
2019-03-03 14:37
One of their best maps. But, its astralis we talking here no one can win them.
2019-03-03 17:19
#37
 | 
Other Phinks 
16-6 and 16-11. Astralis.
2019-03-03 14:34
#38
 | 
Indonesia Exodd 
Astralis to contiue domination and win me my diamond pick em
2019-03-03 14:35
Im not even mad if astralis win, ence was great
2019-03-03 14:37
#41
 | 
United Kingdom EKersh 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:37
+1
2019-03-03 15:31
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:39
Good Luck Ence
2019-03-03 14:41
waste of time just give the trophy to astralis already
2019-03-03 14:46
nem
2019-03-03 17:45
#51
 | 
Germany Vini_1337 
please mr ence save csgo :(
2019-03-03 14:48
Love that name m8
2019-03-03 18:05
#52
f0rest | 
Albania SayS 
Ence champ
2019-03-03 14:49
ez4astralis
2019-03-03 14:49
If the finns somehow win this, their stickers will go through the roof.
2019-03-03 14:50
#59
 | 
Portugal Pfar 
Let's go Ence, smash them! Astrashit filhos da puta!
2019-03-03 14:51
Are you sure you wish to report this post?
2019-03-03 16:23
#60
 | 
Brazil victoorH 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 14:52
#62
 | 
Spain G3CK0 
Ez4Astralis
2019-03-03 14:52
#64
 | 
Finland nostache 
We need to see the Allu from Inferno against team Liquid to make this happen. Hopefully papallu will be on the server tonight, ready to pull the matto alta.
2019-03-03 14:55
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 15:01
So many slavs is picking astralis because ence beat navi lol
2019-03-03 15:03
#72
 | 
Denmark Zorrondo 
i'm feeling thank you
2019-03-03 15:07
#69
EliGE | 
Albania Matawi 
OMG, it makes no sense that astralis bans cache, we are most likely to see them ban train first rotation. #L2veto
2019-03-03 15:04
You were saying?
2019-03-03 19:06
#71
 | 
Latvia tibr0 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 15:06
#74
 | 
Denmark Zorrondo 
boring 2-0 for Astralis. DANISH SUPREMACY BOIS.
2019-03-03 15:08
Astralis 2-1 ENCE
2019-03-03 15:09
#76
f0rest | 
Sweden S3bluen 
Can ANYONE tell me when the showmatch begins??
2019-03-03 15:09
#78
 | 
Brazil igster 
ez4ence
2019-03-03 15:11
#80
 | 
Portugal Pfar 
If Astralis wins this major let's all stop watching the upcoming events to make a huge loss of viewers! This way the staff can understand how depressing people are about seeing always the same winners. This game is about the fans, is about multicultural people getting along and enjoy an entertainment show, is about a balanced competition where there's enthusiasm to see who's going to win and lose. Numbers say that this game has been declining and that's due to just one thing: Astralis supremacy. I ask you all to get together and manipulate the system and TRY TO GET CSGO BACK!!
2019-03-03 15:16
#82
 | 
Germany xkillua 
Portugal best CROWD in the world, never forget blast pro lisbone
2019-03-03 15:18
Youre a fucking idiot. Boycott the majors because Astralis is winning fair and square? When the time comes a better team will beat them if you dont have time to wait then too bad.
2019-03-03 15:23
#91
 | 
Portugal NipplesKing 
Completely agree.. The other teams must step up their game.. until then let's see happens
2019-03-03 15:33
#89
 | 
Portugal NipplesKing 
I have other way of seeing things.. If Astralis are so dominant, there's only one thing to do.. The other teams must step up their game! There's nothing valve or the viewers can do.. Astralis game is just a step ahead of the other teams.. like fnatic were some time ago..
2019-03-03 15:26
#122
 | 
India MihirX27 
To be fair, ENCE, Renegades and AVANGAR are proof, that the Others ARE stepping up their game in the T2-T3 Scene, and they will fiercely compete for the top tier of Competition. On the other side, teams like OpTic, mouz and BIG have been sidelined by these newer teams. One day, either these newer teams will directly Dethrone Astralis, or, they will provoke the T1 teams to step up.
2019-03-03 16:29
And what was that going to accomplish again? You think tournaments would ban Astralis from playing?😂 UEFA: Real Madrid, you’ve won the last 3 champions league in a row now. The people wanna see different. We unfortunately can’t have you in next years champions league (even though you qualified) “We wish you all the best” That would be hilarious
2019-03-03 15:46
#121
 | 
India MihirX27 
+1 for the Comparison. WP
2019-03-03 16:26
#100
Romania jDT 
astralis shall retire that you can look again at CS:)))? I bet that you have donkey ears ...logic -2.
2019-03-03 15:47
they play to win, not to entertain you.
2019-03-03 15:49
#125
 | 
India MihirX27 
Astralis winning is not their fault. If People leave the CS scene, just because one Team is Dominant, then those viewers are being unfair to the team that has invested so much for the Players. If others could train their team like Astralis, I completely believe that all Teams will be Somewhat balanced at the Top Tier.
2019-03-03 16:32
So shooting people through the smoke is fair? Oh I'll add consistently shooting people through the smoke.
2019-03-03 19:08
#161
 | 
India MihirX27 
Get real, the bug is gone
2019-03-05 06:53
Still shooting people through the smoke. Get Real
2019-03-05 07:20
#81
 | 
Germany xkillua 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 15:18
#84
 | 
Finland lasarus 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 15:20
#85
xeta | 
Netherlands Cebix 
Why so much hate on Astralis?They simply play the best cs right now, why would you hate them?
2019-03-03 15:22
+1 people just salty
2019-03-03 15:24
congratulation Astralis, Again EZ 2-0 16-5, 16-2/3
2019-03-03 15:36
#95
ropz | 
Russia Odegov 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 15:37
astralis is easy to anti strat .... just throw no smokes and glaive and xyp9x are useless, ez
2019-03-03 15:42
#123
 | 
India MihirX27 
I'd argue that people like You and Me could defeat a Pro team, provided Smokes are banned for that Pro Team, but I don't wanna get ahead of myself until I'm sure.
2019-03-03 16:30
na just for ence or other pro teams lul normal people would still have 0 chance since they still have 10 x times better aiming and teamplay
2019-03-03 16:48
Astralis has huge pressure, cuz they know that everything is easy for ENCE. But, lets hope that they will get from somewhere a good form for the grand final.
2019-03-03 15:43
#102
 | 
Finland JOP3 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 15:50
Sorry But it ENCE here #Tothestars #Godvicesoon3major #S1mplestill0major #Nik0major
2019-03-03 15:50
!!!!!!!!!!!EZ4ENCE!!!!!!!!!!!
2019-03-03 15:51
ence got this
2019-03-03 15:52
If ENCE play drunk, maybe Astralis have a change, otherwise EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 16:12
let's go back home ENZE ! GOOOOOOOOO ASTRALIS
2019-03-03 16:19
#114
 | 
Austria gex0r 
i really doubt the veto will turn out like in this preview -ence also permaban cache normally -ence seem to think they are good on nuke i think astralis will ban train first, and there's a possibility ence won't ban nuke anyway, astralis will win quite easily :]
2019-03-03 16:20
#120
 | 
India MihirX27 
Thorin stated in a YouTube Video, that, if Allu & co. Have the balls to challenge Astralis, they will NOT ban Cache, and, if Astralis too, wishes to win, thy must NOT ban Cache until the Very End, Instead, they should take away Train from ENCE.
2019-03-03 16:25
It turned out as I predicted it would
2019-03-03 19:06
#117
 | 
Hong Kong Sample_ 
Come on astralis, make revenge for navi, 16-0 those guys!
2019-03-03 16:22
#119
 | 
India MihirX27 
Any idea what does this Article reference by saying the words "Eye-Test"? I've heard that term thrown around everywhere in the community, and yet, never really understood it.
2019-03-03 16:24
#124
ckN | 
India SinghSir 
What's the meaning of trading?
2019-03-03 16:30
#127
 | 
Romania seVeNz 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 16:36
#129
 | 
United States OREOBK10 
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 16:43
EZ4ENCE
2019-03-03 17:06
#134
 | 
Denmark ChirosK 
1.Ence ban Nuke 2.Astralis ban Train 3.Ence pick Overpass 4.Astralis pick Inferno 5.Astralis ban Mirage 6.Ence ban Cache Dust 2 was left over Astralis 2-0 ¬ Overpass - 16:11 ¬ Inferno - 16:6
2019-03-03 17:15
Astralis may win this major but Ence will always have my respect to what they have achieved in this major. Hope Ence would tare apart Astralis. Best team wins all the time but for me Ence is already a winner.
2019-03-03 17:47
#144
 | 
Denmark devexCS 
Gl Hope ence will put up a fight
2019-03-03 17:55
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