ENCE and Astralis fall flat in Malta

Harry Richards
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After Vitality and G2 topped Groups A and B in ESL Pro League Season 16 it was only fitting that MOUZ, another international squad, came out in first place of Group C. With frozen in ice-cold form, and xertioN impressing on debut, dexter’s boys went some way to proving their IEM Cologne run was no fluke.

Elsewhere, Heroic qualified for playoffs on Saturday, meaning their game against Astralis on Sunday was a dead rubber for Denmark’s second favourite team.

Not that anyone told cadiaN, of course. Despite Heroic’s qualification for playoffs they didn’t let anything slip. Unlike Astralis, who let cadiaN sneak past k0nfig into Secret on Nuke with just a p250 and no armour to kill blameF and give Heroic a 15:13 lead on map three. What is it with this guy and p250s in Pro League?

Finishing it off with an A Rush, Heroic got themselves a confidence-boosting win — and shattered Astralis’ mentality while doing so. gla1ve’s men were a shambles for parts of the series, losing to force buy after force buy.

And they can’t even blame Farlig, who performed far better here than before the summer break. If device is somehow pried away from NIP, Astralis will still have many a problem to fix.

ENCE, too, struggled for form. Which maybe shouldn’t be a surprise: Snappi’s men have struggled since Dallas in truth, and losing star rifler Spinx hardly helps.

Still, they should have won more than two maps in this group. They even lost 2:0 to Complexity, for god’s sake.

Sure, a misfiring Astralis can lose to NA. We expect that.

But ENCE? This is like when the goody-two-shoes at school gets caught cheating on their homework. We thought you were better than this, lads.

Complexity, for their part, have been impressive. Their wins over Astralis and ENCE were nearly as good as our Fall Out Boy references on Friday, with Grim finally looking like his pre-Liquid self. They even looked okay in losses against serious(ish) teams like MOUZ and Heroic, something that could not be said before hallzerk joined.

Will they do anything in playoffs? Probably not, but at least we won’t have to see blameF drop 25 kills in a 16:10 loss again. So thank you, NA.

Don’t get cocky, though: EG are in Group D, so we will return to our regular programming shortly. It’ll take centuries before NA goes two Pro League groups without embarassing themselves.

  • MOUZ 4-1
  • Heroic 4-1
  • coL 3-2
  • Astralis 2-3
  • ENCE 1-4
  • HEET 1-4
September 19, 2022

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