ENCE qualify for IEM Rio Major Legends Stage
ENCE have secured a spot at the IEM Rio Major after going 3-0 in the IEM Road to Rio Europe RMR B tournament. Clinching wins over HEET, Falcons, and BIG, the team around Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer have earned Legends status at the Brazilian Major, which means they'll skip the Challengers Stage.
Qualifying undefeated comes as a big relief to an ENCE squad that struggled with their new lineup leading up to the Regional Major Rankings, going 1-4 in the ESL Pro League S16 group stage and failing to qualify for the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown.
"I think we progressed a lot and I think we can see it here. Some would say we didn't have the hardest road, but it doesn't matter," Snappi said in a post-match interview on the official ESL broadcast. "I think we were very convincing in three of the maps we played and I'm super proud."
It was a hard-earned third victory in a match against BIG that pushed ENCE over the line. The Germans had their chances, but clutches from Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså and Pavle "Maden" Bošković on Dust2 as well as Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia on Nuke put a stop to BIG's advance in key moments.
Dust2 ended up being quite a one-sided affair. ENCE shut down BIG on the back of early forcebuy wins and pivotal 1v2s from valde and Maden later in the first half, which gave them the cushion to secure their opponents' map pick with ease once on the Terrorist side.
Nuke turned out a lot more closely contested, but in the end ENCE once again gave themselves enough space to be able to edge out the win in a nail-biting finish. A Snappi triple turned a near-impossible 2v4 situation around and SunPayus later stepped in with a quad-kill in a 2v5 to help ENCE get off to a great start on the Terrorist side and withstand BIG's response.
Another big clutch from SunPayus kicked off the second half and allowed ENCE to reach double digits first, and from there kept the pressure up on BIG. Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz's side remained in contention until the very end as they kept their opponents' economy low, but faltered at the final hurdle, when ENCE finally found an answer on the defense with three straight rounds, closing the map 16-14.
|ENCE||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|42 - 26||+16||76.1||1.32|
|39 - 31||+8||82.3||1.21|
|40 - 39||+1||77.5||1.12|
|33 - 39||-6||74.9||0.92|
|31 - 39||-8||60.0||0.83|
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|45 - 31||+14||81.5||1.27|
|42 - 42||0||89.0||1.17|
|31 - 37||-6||71.3||1.01|
|32 - 34||-2||53.5||0.86|
|23 - 41||-18||57.7||0.78|
Previously, FaZe, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Natus Vincere qualified for IEM Rio through the Europe RMRs with undefeated records in the Swiss groups, and in the Americas Liquid and Evil Geniuses secured the first two of six spots the region has on offer.
Below is a list of teams qualified for the IEM Rio Major, which will take place from October 30-November 13: