This semifinal matchup is without a doubt a shock to many. This is down to ENCE pulling off the biggest upset of the tournament so far. We’re all in for a treat when this series kicks off.
Old familiar, they’ve made it to yet another semi-final at a Major. NaVi entered IEM Katowice 2019 at the Legends Stage. Meaning they had an extra week or so to prepare while Challengers took place.
They came out of Legends with a 3-1 record, with their only loss coming to Team Liquid. They picked up wins over G2, Avangar, and Vitality. In their quarterfinal match, they faced off against FaZe. FaZe had just about scrapped their way into Champions stage but being a powerhouse team; you can never take them lightly.
The series started tight as expected. With each team trading blows and swinging rounds back and forth. NaVi came out on top 16-13 and took this momentum into the next map where they blew FaZe away 16-7 and booked a spot in the semi-final.
Not many expected them to make it into the final eight teams at this Major, never mind find themselves in a semi-final. The Finnish squad has been battling to get here since the Europe Minor Championship. They then had to fight through both Challengers and Legends Stage.
They found themselves with an 0-2 record to start Legends. This meant they had to secure victories against BIG, G2, and Avangar to ensure their place in the semi-final.
Then came the biggest challenge of them all. They were facing off against Team Liquid in the quarter-final of the Major. Liquid was expected to make it all the way to the grand final. Everyone wrote ENCE off, but they seem to love being underdogs.
They took the first map 16-11. A shock that left Liquid backed against the wall as expected Liquid came back strongly. Liquid held a 15-8 lead in the second map. Then it happened — an extraordinary comeback from ENCE to push the game to overtime and eventually win.
I’m following the underdog hype all the way. ENCE have defeated Liquid. There’s no reason why they can’t topple NaVi. ENCE currently have odds of 2.55 to win the series. If you think they’ll pull off another 2-0 victory, you can grab odds of 4.93.
The only loss NaVi have suffered thus far came to Liquid, with ENCE performing that strongly yesterday, I believe they can book their place in the grand final.