Liquid won't be facing Astralis in the grand finals.
ENCE have shocked Liquid in the second quarterfinal matchup of the IEM Katowice Major, eliminating the North American roster — who were tipped for a spot in the grand finals alongside Astralis — from the competition.
The series began on ENCE's pick of Mirage, with the Finnish team taking the first two rounds of the map to start in the lead on their T side. A force-buy from Liquid allowed for them take a streak of four rounds for themselves, helped by a four-kill retake round by Jake "Stewie2K" Yip. ENCE were quick to reply with four rounds of their own, tearing through Liquid's mid and A site defenses to regain the lead at 6-4. Liquid continued to fight back to steal away another trio of rounds, but ENCE were the ones to emerge ahead at the end of the half with an 8-7 scoreline.
Three kills from Nick "nitr0" Cannella in the second half pistol round granted Liquid early control, which they used to take another round for themselves. Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen helped his side get back on the board, winning four of the next five rounds and resetting Liquid's economy to pull ahead 12-10.
A saved AWP allowed for Keith "NAF" Markovic to secure himself an incredible sniper ace, but Liquid were unable to maintain any momentum and found themselves reset in the ensuing round as ENCE pushed their way to the end of the map, taking the series to Inferno with a 16-11 win on Mirage.
Liquid grabbed themselves their second pistol round win of the series on Inferno, but were dealt another economic reset by ENCE as the Finns moved up to a 4-1 lead. Liquid managed to take another round for themselves before ENCE countered with one of their own, dealing another blow to the Liquid economy, but this time Liquid remained in the driver's seat and cruised to a 10-5 half finish after a 1vs3 clutch by Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken.
ENCE narrowed that margin by three rounds with a pistol round win of their own, but Liquid continued to fight for control as they held and retook bombsites to attain match point at 15-8. ENCE didn't make it easy for Liquid to close out the game however, and the North Americans found themselves unable to put a stop to the ENCE onslaught as the Finnish team won seven rounds straight to take the map to overtime. There, Liquid managed just a single round in the first half, with ENCE winning three straight to win themselves their first Major quarterfinal.
|0 - 2||
|de_mirage||11 - 16||de_mirage|
|de_inferno||16 - 19||de_inferno|
Liquid have been eliminated from the IEM Katowice Major in stunning fashion, with ENCE now securing a spot in the semifinals against Natus Vincere. The final two quarterfinals are set to play out tomorrow, with the matchups (and times in EST) looking as follows:
|MIBR -vs- Renegades||10:00 AM|
|Astralis -vs- NiP||12:30 PM|