With a 2-1 victory over G2 Esports in the first round of the IEM Fall playoffs, ENCE has secured themselves a place at the PGL Stockholm Major via a Challengers spot. With this result, one team among Copenhagen Flames, Team Fiend, Movistar Riders, and potentially, FaZe Clan will end up missing out on Stockholm altogether.
The series started on Mirage, with a frustrating start for G2 as they struggled to get safe bomb plants down on their T-side. ENCE’s AWPs were hitting everything, but G2 rallied with some big rounds to close out the half, reducing the ENCE lead to just 8-7 before half-time. ENCE ended up taking their T-side pistol, and after G2 had their economy broken by some costly gun rounds, ENCE ended up stealing away G2’s pick of Mirage, 16-8.
G2 answered back in a big way on Nuke, jumping out to a 9-1 lead on their CT side before an ENCE timeout, eventually taking a monster 13-2 lead going into half-time. ENCE won a much-needed pistol round, slimming the G2 lead slightly, and a Snappi hold from the B site balcony in the first gun round gave the comeback on Nuke some life. But that got snuffed out rather quickly by some great G2 positioning and some quality kills from Niko, tying the series with a 16-7 Nuke win.
On Dust II, G2 won the opening pistol, but immediately got reset by dycha and his FAMAS as ENCE took control early, building an 8-2 leak on the map G2 picked. That lead increased to 10-5 before halftime. ENCE started the second half with an aggressive long A take to secure the pistol round but lost to a risky G2 force buy round right after. The two teams traded rounds back-and-forth, force buy after force buy before the 30th round, and a flawless G2 round against a broke ENCE side sent the game to overtime.
G2 continued their impressive CT-side, taking two rounds in the first overtime period. With the score tied 17-17, ENCE shut down a late A take through catwalk but lost to a broke, desperate B rush from G2 to go to another overtime. ENCE stayed on CT, and really put the pressure on G2 with a stalwart defense capped off with a doto clutch to take a 3-0 lead. Finally, ENCE crossed the finish line with their first T-side round of the second overtime, securing the series with an incredible 22-18 victory.
With the win, ENCE secures the points needed to jump the other teams who entered IEM Fall without any RMR points, enough to skip the Contenders stage and go straight to Challengers. Likely to join them in Challengers is G2, now that they’re guaranteed to finish no higher than fourth here at IEM Fall.
G2 can still sneak past Astralis in the rankings and snag a Legends spot depending on how the final IEM Fall brackets unfold, however. At the top of the rankings, NiP has locked in their Legends spots as G2 cannot pass them.
FaZe still has to sit and watch with their destiny out of their hands, as they continue to root for their former star NiKo and G2. The only way now for FaZe to miss the major is if G2 loses their next two series and finishes IEM Fall in eighth place.