The European Minor is done and dusted and ENCE have secured themselves a spot at their first ever Major tournament. The event will start off with the “New Challengers Stage”, which takes place between 13th and 17th of February, with 16 teams fighting for 8 spots to qualify into the “New Legends Stage”
After what people consider the most difficult Minor by far (and Twista deeming the Challenger stage easier) means that ENCE are gearing up to have a good chance at advancing deep into the tournament. We take a look at how they got there and what comes next for the team.
“Three years ago, when we first got back into CS:GO with ENCE, our goal was to bring Finnish Counter-Strike back on the map and playing in the Majors. Seeing the boys evolve throughout this year and build their own legacy has been amazing to witness. We’re very excited to see the team compete at the pinnacle of the game and hopefully we can have a deep run in the tournament.”, says Joona Leppänen, Marketing Director at ENCE
Jani “Aerial” Jussila was one of the standout players for the team on their way to qualify for the Major
Heading into the Minor ENCE were one of the favourites to secure a spot through the two available slots. Due to some upsets on other games and impressive displays from the Finnish team they came out as the top team. The Tournament was off to a great start for ENCE as they managed to secure themselves a 2-0 in Group B with comfortable victories over Ex-Space Soldiers and Windigo.
Heading into the playoffs the team were paired up against surprise opponents Valiance who had previously taken down Mousesports to secure their playoff spot. Things got off a shaky start on Dust2 where ENCE would lose 9-16 and find themselves down in the series and needing both remaining maps to advance. Not letting the loss hold them down they steamrolled ahead with a 16-11 Mirage and 16-9 Train to move ahead and face Danish side North in the upper bracket Final.
Sami “xseveN” Laasanen focused in during the European Minor
The series was off to a nail-biter as ENCE and North went into Double OT on Train with a back and forth exchange. Eventually the team came out on top with a 22-20 victory and put themselves one map away from the Major. The second map would be no contest as ENCE picked North apart on Inferno securing a substantial first half and eventually closing out the map 16-7 and the series 2-0, confirming their spot at the IEM Katowice Major.
“Our excitement to play in the Major can’t be measured, we will set the bar high for ourselves and aim for a top 8 finish atleast!”, says Slaava “Twista” Räsänen, Head Coach of ENCE CS:GO
- ENCE – $50,000 – Major Spot
- Vitality – $15,000 – Major Spot
- North – $5,000 – 3rd spot Play-in
What comes next
ENCE now find themselves in the New Challengers stage with 15 other teams consisting of Regional Minor qualifiers, Third place winners and the existing Challengers. Teams like Fnatic, NiP, G2 and others may stand in their way but with 8 out of 16 teams in this stage advancing to the New Legends stage ENCE are feeling confident that they can secure one of these spots. The stage will be played in the Swiss Format with an all new seeding rules being integrated for this Major.
If you missed any of the Behind the scenes you can catch the first and second episode below!
The event will start February 13th with the Challenger stage and we hope that you will cheer the team on as they look to show off their brand new Top 10 ranking by advancing to the New Legend stage. Along side the event you will also soon be able to purchase the long awaited ENCE stickers, that you will be able to proudly display on your favourite in-game weapon.