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Published: February 3, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam


  • C9 and ENCE meet again after the IEM Dallas 2022 grand final
  • Although C9 emerged victorious, the match was a very close one
  • ENCE will have another chance in the event’s lower bracket

Cloud9 advances to the group stage at the IEM Katowice following a 2-1 victory over ENCE at the event’s play-ins.

C9 Defeats ENCE

Cloud9 and ENCE clashed at the IEM Katowice Play-In which resulted in the former’s victory. This was ENCE’s chance to take revenge on C9 following the IEM Dallas 2022 grand final, where Cloud9 lifted the trophy above their heads. Unfortunately for ENCE, the team was not able to avenge their loss as the match ended in a 2-1 advantage for their opponents. Now ENCE has one more chance to make it to the group stage through the play-in’s second round of the lower bracket.

Cloud9 came into the match with a new roster. It was Timur “?buster?” Tulepov’s first day of official matches with the Russian squad. “it’s a huge difference in Cloud9 between interz and buster,” said buster’s teammate Vladislav “?nafany?” Gorshkov after C9’s victory. This match proves what Cloud9’s Sergey “?Ax1Le?” Rykhtorov said the other day when he explained his team is ready and willing to perform much better this year.

How Did the Match Go?

ENCE were first to pick a map and decided on Anubis, probably to try and surprise C9. However, Cloud9, led by Marco “?Snappi?” Pfeiffer, were having none of it and led their opponents 7-1 off the gate. ENCE snapped out of their trans and two multi-kill rounds by Pawel “?dycha?” Dycha managed to shorten the distance, However, this was all for nothing as ENCE could not keep this counter momentum going. 

The second half was not much different, with Dmitry “?sh1ro?” Sokolov and Sergey “?Ax1Le?” Rykhtorov amassing 17 kills each on the defense. The star AWPer and buster then won a key 2vs3 clutch to hit 14 after a 3-0 start by ENCE in the second half, which inched them close enough to secure their foes’ pick 16-10.

On the second map, Inferno, ENCE defended and hoped to get back in the game. However, the map was a slugfest with neither team gaining the upper hand. But ENCE’s hopes were renewed when the team won a pistol round and this time managed to keep the momentum. Inferno ended with a decisive 16-8 victory for the European roister.

With everything to play for, both teams started the final map, Vertigo, the same way as Inferno. The score was tied at 4-4, but individual performances managed to keep ENCE afloat. By the half, Cloud9 was trailing one round behind. However, the team won the final pistol round of the game with a defusal, taking lead in the last half. The teams traded rounds but a few good defenses from the side of Cloud9 ensured the team won a close 16-13 victory on Vertigo, winning the match 2-1.

While C9 moves forward, ENCE will have to fight the winner of Complexity vs. Permitta in the second round of the lower bracket in order to get back into the thick of the competition.

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