ENCE now has a chance to get in front in the Grand Slam Season 5 race.
ENCE beat Vitality in the first semi-final of IEM Cologne 2023 to guarantee their spot at the grand final of the Cathedral of CS:GO. This is the second consecutive final that the line-up reached in the Intel Extreme Masters circuit.
By eliminating Vitality, ENCE now has a chance to get closer to the Grand Slam Season 5 prize. Both teams have one IEM tournament to their name, with Vitality taking IEM Rio and ENCE winning IEM Dallas. To conquer a Grand Slam, a team must achieve four tournament wins within a 10 championships cycle.
Map by Map breakdown
Mirage was Vitality's pick for the match and they started in the T side, with three rounds in a row. Soon, ENCE recovered the score and started to equalize the game. However, the youngster Shahar "flameZ" Shushan helped his team control the first half and win by 9x6.
After changing sides, ENCE dominated at the beginning of the second half and turned the score around. Vitality was able to come back and reached 14 points, but Pavle "maden" Bošković had a plan and put in a huge performance in the last rounds to bring his team to a 16-14 victory.
After losing its map pick, Vitality needed a win in ENCE's pick, Nuke. They started on the CT side and with a great performance by Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, Vitality dominated the half with an 11-4 advantage.
In the second half, the story repeated itself and ENCE took advantage of the CT side too, round by round, to equalize the score. After that, both teams started trading points and Vitality arrived at the 15 first, and ZywOo, once again, shined to tie the series with a 16-14 win on Nuke.
Vertigo was the decider and ENCE started the map in the T side. In a battle that would decide who would play the grand final in the Cathedral of CS:GO, Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia shined to give his team a starting advantage. He cancelled out ZywOo and ENCE, finishing the first half with a 10-5 score.
After changing sides, Vitality still didn't perform well. SunPayus kept getting multi-kills and helped ENCE reach the Grand Final with a calm 16-7 win.
Where to watch IEM Cologne 2023?
The IEM Cologne 2023 event will be broadcast live on Twitch. We have also embedded the stream below for your convenience.
The other finalist of IEM Cologne 2023 will come from Astralix x G2 matchup, that happen this Saturday.