Astralis have beaten ENCE 2-0 in the grand final of the IEM Katowice 2019 Major, adding a third Major title to their trophy cabinet.
It proved to be a David versus Goliath match-up which no-one could have predicted at the start of the competition. ENCE – a team which produced a dream run in their first ever Major, having felled three top teams in BIG, Liquid and Navi to reach this point – found themselves up against an imperious Astralis to whom finals are merely a regular fixture.
What a story for @ence. From minor qualifier to major grand final. No one expected you to get this far but you still delivered again and again versus the worlds best teams.GGs ️#IEM pic.twitter.com/d3mgD7FdXj
Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) March 3, 2019
The match kicked off on Train, with ENCE rushing to a 2-0 lead and looking to build momentum from there. Astralis had other ideas, however, as dupreeh rattled off an instant double kill, which was quickly followed up by frags from the rest of the team – the Danes weren’t messing about.
From here on out, Astralis locked down the map time and time again, giving ENCE very little room to manoeuvre. As the teams changed ends the result stood at 11-4 in Astralis’ favour, and the gap between the two sides only grew from there.
As Astralis raced to a 14-7 lead it looked as though the first map was already secured but, as ENCE proved time and time again throughout the tournament, you can never rule them out until the final result. Sergej pulled off a 1 vs 2 clutch which seemed to revitalise the Finnish side, then they promptly brought out the double AWP setup and went to work, swiftly bringing the scoreline to 14-11.
Again, just as ENCE seemed to be getting back into the match, Astralis shot them down. Xyp9x (a.k.a The Clutch Minister) pulled off an outrageous 1 vs 2 clutch to take the first map 16-11.
ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 3, 2019
The next map was Inferno, and Astralis were simply too strong for ENCE. It was a one-sided affair, sealing the victory and the Major title with a comfortable 16-4 scoreline.
With back to back Major titles, Astralis have now equalled fnatic’s record as the organisation with most Majors to its name.
Many are now hailing Astralis as the greatest CS:GO team of all time, and it’s hard to disagree with the assessment. Not only do they play almost perfectly as a team, they back that teamwork up with incredible individual play as well.
The question remains: Who can beat Astralis on the big stage? Right now, the answer appears to be no-one.