Team Liquid are the champions of DreamHack Masters Dallas after defeating ENCE today 2-1 in the grand finals. They won $100,000 and scored their second point toward the Intel Grand Slam, which gives $1 million to the team that wins four out of 10 ESL, DreamHack, or IEM tournaments this year.
The North Americans started with a strong 16-8 win on Mirage, ENCE’s surprising map pick for the grand finals. Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken led the way for Liquid with 27 kills.
ENCE turned things around on Overpass, however, as they battled for overtime and won 19-17. Jere “sergej” Salo continued to prove that he’s one of the top prospects in CS:GO by accruing 32 kills and 92.3 average damage per round in the second map.
The Finns seemed doomed on Inferno, though. They only won five rounds on their CT-side. But Sami “xSeveN” Laasanen won a one-vs-four clutch in the second pistol round to put ENCE back into the game. Liquid held their nerves in the end, however, to finally close out the series with a 16-13 win.
With this championship, Liquid have won their second premier event of the year along with IEM Sydney in May. They’re definitely stronger than they were in 2018, when they finished in second place six times. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski earned his first MVP trophy this weekend by playing a solid tournament. He played a crucial role in Liquid’s semifinal showdown against FURIA.
ENCE can be proud of what they’ve accomplished this year already, though. The Finns have become one of the best teams in the world after their second-place finish at the IEM Katowice Major in February and they’ve continued to deliver good Counter-Strike in the following events. ENCE are a solid top three team alongside Astralis and Liquid.
Both of these teams have put a little more pressure on Astralis, who have been the best team in the world for more than a year. The Danes lost their last two tournaments and will probably play against Liquid at the ESL Pro League season nine finals on June 18.