Chicago-City Showdown: Liquid vs. ENCE

Alex “Waldo” Waldherr is a CSGO connoisseur and valued member of the Luckbox community. This is his final prediction piece, live from the event, with analysis of the final between Team Liquid and ENCE. He will also be providing regular updates from the United Center via the Luckbox Twitter account.

Yesterday's semi-final action

The semi-finals saw Liquid dispatch Vitality 2-0 in very convincing fashion. As a spectator in the United Center, you could feel the excitement building throughout the day, overflowing when the North American powerhouse came out of the tunnel and peaking when the NA faithful watched their team oust the French. Liquid fed off of the environment and rode that energy to an easy 16-11, 16-9 sweep on Dust II and Overpass respectedly. Twistzz, NAF, and Elige unintentionally seem to be making the event more interesting, as the contest for which of the three of them will get the MVP medal has been closer than some of the matches we've seen thus far. Look for them to make a big impact tomorrow!

ENCE however struggled out of the gate, needing to heat up as the match went on, eventually reverse sweeping MiBR and end their improbable run at IEM Chicago. On Mirage it seemed like only Jere "sergej" Salo had shown up to play, but as the series progressed, ENCE steadily began looking more like the team that they were in Katowice. Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen and Aleksi "allu" Jalli came alive on Train and were a huge part in the Finnish team's success in the latter two games of the series. It has not been #EZ4ENCE, but perhaps that's good. For a young team to succeed they need to learn to grind out those not pretty wins, as well as the easy ones.


IEM Chicago 2019 finals

Both teams enter the grand final having convinced me that they have played some very high level CSGO against worthy opponents and appear to be in good form. Sadly though, there can only be one winner. Let's break down this best of five grand final and see who will be kicking of their Intel Grand Slam Season 3 journey in less than 24 hours.


The veto

I don't think Liquid want to face ENCE on Train. It's usually a ban for them anyway, and in my opinion ENCE is the best Train team in the world right now. Conversely, I don't think ENCE want anything to do with Liquid on Vertigo, a sentiment that is a combination of most teams not being well practiced on it in addition to Liquid appearing pretty comfortable playing it. So I think the veto will look more or less like this.

  1. ENCE remove Vertigo
  2. Liquid remove Train
  3. ENCE pick Nuke
  4. Liquid pick Overpass
  5. ENCE pick Dust II
  6. Liquid pick Inferno
  7. Mirage is left over

The predictions

Of these maps I would favor ENCE on Nuke and Liquid on Dust II, Overpass, Inferno, and Mirage. ENCE looked shaky on Mirage against a depleted MiBR, but I don't think Liquid will want to let the series get that far anyway. If the veto above happens, or something like it, I would expect ENCE to take Nuke and Liquid to reverse sweep.

Predicted Result: 3-1 Team Liquid
Predicted MVP: Twistzz if Liquid wins, sergej if ENCE wins

I'll be rocking the new blue and white Complexity jersey in the stands tomorrow. If you're at the event, come say hi! And if you are attending IEM Chicago, I sincerely hope that you're having as much fun as I am! Good luck to both teams, I'm looking forward to amazing CSGO tomorrow!

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