OG CS:GO team defeated ENCE in the opening fixture of ICE Challenge 2020 CS:GO tournament, which marked a monumental win for Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, who faced off against his former team for the first time since he got benched by ENCE in September 2019.
ICE Challenge 2020, is a GG.Bet-sponsored A-Tier tournament, which features US $250,000 in prize pool and eight CS:GO teams who compete for the spoils. The tournament began this Saturday, February 1, at ExCeL London arena with a grudge match between ENCE and OG, who made their first appearance in the CS:GO scene in December, when they signed their first-ever CS:GO roster, which consists of Aleksib, Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt, Valdemar "valde" Bjørn, Issa "ISSAA" Murad and Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski.
While an important match on its own, as it was the opening fixture of Group B, there was much more to this clash than what meets the eye. The In-Game-Leader of OG, Aleksib, is a former member and IGL of ENCE, who benched him in September 2019 and later let him go to join OG, meaning he had a lot to prove against his former employer.
The series kicked off on Train, which was ENCE's map pick. The Finns started slow and lost the opening two rounds, however, managed to take advantage of OG's poor economy to rally and grab a 4-2 lead six rounds deep. Things were looking up for ENCE, however, they failed to use their momentum, which would allow them to extend their lead. In round seven valde and mantuu stepped up and won a crucial 2v4, which allowed OG to turn the tides of the match and started their seven-round winning streak. In round 14, Aleksi "allu" Jalli clutched a 1v3 to help his team clinch the final two rounds before the switch.
OG entered the second half 9-6 up, which set them up nicely to close out the series in seven rounds, however, things did not go as planned for Aleksib and his squad. After the switch, ENCE won five rounds in a row, to get themselves in an 11-9 lead. At that point, the game went back and forth with teams exchanging blows. ENCE saw slightly more success and got themselves 15-12 up, but were unable to convert the lead and instead got forced into overtime, where OG used the momentum they gained in the last three rounds and claimed the spoils (19-17) on opponents' map pick.
The second map of the series was Overpass, where OG grabbed a strong 5-1 lead on CT side. Despite ENCE's best attempts, the Finns failed to close out the gap and finished the half with six rounds under their belts - just like on Train.
Teams swapped sides with the scoreline showing 9-6 lead for OG, who pocketed the opening two rounds in the second half, thanks to NBK- and his triple-kill, thus further extending their lead to 11-6. ENCE responded with a defuse in round 18 to reduce the gap to 7-11. Despite allu's best efforts, his team failed to stand up against OG, who won the last five rounds and ended the match with a confident 16-7 win, to seal the series at 2-0.
Allu was the best player across the series. He finished the series with 61 kills, 45 AWP kills and 1.44 average rating. While his performance on Overpass was far from impressive (0.86 rating), Allu had a breath-taking 1.85 rating on Train. Despite his incredible performance, however, it was Aleksib who got his revenge as he managed to lead his new team to an upset win against ENCE.
With this win, OG are now set to play in the Group B winners' match against the winner of Natus Vincere versus GODSENT match. Should OG win the said match, they would advance directly into the ICE Challenge 2020 semi-finals and get themselves one step closer to claiming their first CS:GO title in the organization's history.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.