Polish Playoffs at IEM Katowice – ENCE Break an 8-Year Record
After a shocking string of performances against the world’s best, ENCE have punched their ticket into the IEM Katowice playoffs – the first Polish team to do so in eight years, harking back to Virtus.pro. Let’s take a closer look at their journey.
We’re taking a look at how they managed to make play-offs at their home event, while only being together for such a limited amount of time. If you’re interested in betting on the matches, make sure to check out our IEM Katowice betting guide.
Building the ENCE CS2 Roster
Despite 2023 being a very successful year for the international version of ENCE, due to unprecedented transfer market movement, the Finish organization was forced to sell four of the five members of their squad, including the coach.
Following said moves, only Paweł “dycha” Dycha and newly acquired in-game leader Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander remained on the active lineup.
To make up the rest of the squad, ENCE decided to make the team a Polish-majority roster by bringing over the core of 9INE, a Polish team that made waves in the first half of 2023.
ENCE at IEM Katowice – Ups & Downs
ENCE kicked off their IEM Katowice 2024 campaign in the Play-in stage, making their official debut on LAN. They got off to a bad start, falling short in the first BO1 to BIG.
Following the defeat, ENCE were to play Astralis in an elimination match, where they were the massive underdogs, touted to leave Katowice without a win under their belt.
In a miraculous turn of events, ENCE destroyed Astralis, carrying this momentum forward to take down The Mongolz in the following game and qualify for the main draw. At this point, making it out of the Play-in was considered a success for the Polish-majority side.
Gobsmacking Group Stage (So Far)
Opponents didn’t get any easier in the main tournament, as they faced the world’s top CS2 team in Vitality in their opening matchup.
Not given much hope before the game, ENCE somehow managed to do the impossible and outlast Vitality over a three-map series and advance further into the competition.
Now, only G2 stood in their way of playing in front of their home crowd in the Spodek Arena. With so much on the line, one would have expected the ENCE players to feel the nerves, especially since they are a new and inexperienced roster.
Despite all odds, gla1ve and the Poles alongside him put on an absolute clinic, dominantly defeating G2 and booking themselves a spot in the Spodek, writing Polish Counter-Strike history in the process.
ENCE at IEM Katowice is a storyline which the fans are falling in love with – let’s see how far they make it with further matches later this week.