HAVU move past ENCE Academy to qualify for Elisa Masters Espoo
The Finns didn't drop a single map throughout the eSM LAN to earn an Elisa Masters Espoo berth.
HAVU have qualified for Elisa Masters Espoo, the $200,000 LAN event set to play out in the Finnish city on November 29-December 3, after defeating ENCE Academy 2-0 in the Elisa Esports eSM grand final.
The event win also marks the end of Sami "xseveN" Laasanen's career within Counter-Strike. The 28-year-old previously announced his intention to hang up the mouse following the conclusion of the eSM LAN back in July, with the Finn giving his team the best possible parting gift by being a key piece in their qualification for Elisa Masters Espoo (1.17 rating in the final).
HAVU didn't drop a map en route to their first-place finish in the Elisa Masters Espoo-qualifying tournament, starting their run with a victory versus Enhanced (2-0) before picking up their first of two wins over ENCE Academy (2-0) to secure a spot in the grand final.
There, the Finns enjoyed a splendid start in their all-important rematch, putting 13 rounds on the board by the end of their CT-side effort on the Overpass opener. Even so, this dominant scoreline soon unraveled once play resumed, and it took all 30 rounds of the map for HAVU to clinch victory on their foes' map pick, 16-14.
HAVU were far more in control on Inferno. The Finnish squad, powered by a 21-kill performance from Otto "ottoNd" Sihvo, closed the series out following a comfortable 16-11 scoreline, earning their place at Elisa Masters Espoo in the process.
There are now just three spots left open at the event in Finland, all of which will be filled by way of invites handed out by the tournament organizer. The current team list includes ENCE, who have guaranteed a top-four finish at IEM Cologne, and the recently-revamped MOUZ, who were less successful at the $1 million event in Germany and bowed out in 9-12th place.
The current team list for Elisa Masters Espoo is: