ENCE and forZe qualify for ESL Pro League S17 Playoffs

The ESL Pro League S17 actions continue, and we have enjoyed two days of really intense but, above all,... Eduardo | 17. March 2023

The ESL Pro League S17 actions continue, and we have enjoyed two days of really intense but, above all, surprising matches. As a result, we have the favorites of Group D, NaVi, Astralis, and Team Liquid, playing for their lives in the Mid and Lower Bracket, while ENCE and forZe give a blow on the table and qualify for the playoffs.

We have only seen two days of games, and we are completely surprised by the level of the teams that, in theory, were the ones that would occupy the first and second place in the Group.

Below, we will briefly recap what happened on the second day of Group D in the ESL Pro League S17.

ENCE crushes Rare Atom and qualifies for the Playoffs

After a tough match in the quarterfinals of the Upper Bracket, ENCE managed to advance to the semifinals, and when we all expected them to face Team Liquid, the Chinese team, Rare Atom, pulled off the surprise by sending Liquid to the Mid Bracket.

In the semifinals, ENCE deployed all its available arsenal and achieved a resounding 2-0 victory against the Chinese team, with Guy “NertZ” Iluz and Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer, carrying the team, who finished with a rating of 1.52 and 1.37, respectively.

Russian duel is won by forZe, and qualification is achieved

The Russian team, forZe, is no fairy tale. First, they defeated the powerful NaVi on the first day of Group D of the ESL Pro League S17, and then, they applied the same dose on the second day, this time against Team Spirit with a 2-1 score. With this victory, forZe takes another available slot for the playoffs and leaves one of the big three (NaVi, Astralis, and Team Liquid) on the outside.

In this series, we could observe the power of both Russian teams that, in each of their Mappick, achieved convincing victories. On the other hand, in Mirage, forZe managed to turn the scoreboard around after the CT side won nine consecutive rounds to take the map with a score of 16-8.

In Anubis, Team Spirit crushed forZe in every way, with Robert “Patsi” Isyanov as the protagonist, who finished with a 1.98 Rating. Finally, Evgeny “r3salt” Frolov (1.56 Rating and 98.9 ADR) took forZe to the playoffs with a masterful performance on the decisive map, Ancient (16-4).

Team Liquid pays the piper with ATK

After losing to Rare Atom on Day 1 and falling to the Mid Bracket, Team Liquid unleashed all their fury against ATK to take a 2-0 victory that helped them advance to the Mid Bracket.

On the first map (Mirage), ATK tried to react on the TC side and got 13-12 at one point in the match. However, Keith “NAF” Markovic cracked ATK’s defense to lead Liquid to a 16-12 victory.

In the second map (Overpass), everything changed; Team Liquid achieved a partial victory, 9-6 on the T side, to finally block and stop each of ATK’s offenses and take the victory with a score of 16-7.

Astralis and NaVi gave us an early final of Group D

Although we expected to have this match in the Upper Bracket final to define the first place of the Group, for different reasons, we had it in the Mid Bracket, and we enjoyed it.

Ancient (Astralis), Overpass (NaVi), and Inferno (Decisive) were the maps that were disputed in this BO3 series, which was amazing.

NaVi struck first on Astralis’ map, Ancient, by deploying a spectacular T-side offense in the second half. Denis “electroNic” Sharipov deciphered at will every single defensive Astralis attempted on the map.

With the series 1-0 in favor, NaVi looked favored to win at Overpass, their Mappick. However, Astralis thought otherwise. The Danes, led by Christian “Buzz” Andersen (122.2 ADR and 1.90 Rating), managed to crush NaVi and ended the Ukrainians’ aspirations to sweep the series with an excellent 16-3 score.

NaVi arrived at the third and last map (Inferno) very beaten, as it was very noticeable in some defensive mistakes in the first half on the TC side. However, the team reacted in the second half and again with electroNic, with Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, NaVi got the 16-12 victory that keeps them in the Mid Bracket.

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