ENCE have confidently beaten Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0 in the first semifinal of the ESL Pro League Season 15 today.
The Finnish team continue their admirable run through the tournament. In today’s game, their squad full of up-and-coming players were arguably the underdogs. With a firm showing on Nuke and incredible resilience on Ancient, however, ENCE advanced to their first ESL Pro League grand final.
The match began on ENCE’s pick, Nuke, giving NiP the option to choose the sides on which they would begin. With the first map being so CT-favored, NiP unsurprisingly opted to start on defense. Nevertheless, being on the attacking side at the beginning didn’t cause any issues for ENCE. They ended the first half with a 12-3 score, which was earned on the back of Spinx and dycha’s impressive showings. Their opponents grabbed a few rounds on their T-side as well, though ENCE still comfortably closed the first map with a 16-10 score.
Afterward, both teams shifted to Ancient, which was naturally the Ninjas’ pick. There, the fight was much more toe-to-toe. Spinx, dycha, and Maden again produced a couple of eyebrow-raising highlights, while NiP displayed much more cohesive communication and rotations. Both teams needed a full 30 rounds to close the map, which was finished by Spinx’s one-vs-one clutch against REZ.
ENCE began the event by being placed in the group of death among squads like FaZe Clan, Outsiders, Team Vitality and FURIA. They have, however, lost only one series so far in the EPL, against the latter opponents.
For ENCE, this victory marks the first grand final of such scale since Europe’s edition of IEM: Fall in October. The organization hasn’t added any important trophies to its case since it switched to an international roster, and the first chance will come tomorrow, when ENCE will play against either FaZe or FURIA Esports.
The second semifinal continues today, and you can catch the action on ESL’s Twitch channel.