The second and last day of BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19 was true Counter-Strike history in the writing.
ENCE won the Grand Final against Astralis, beating the Danish team on the first map, Nuke, ultimately ending Astralis' 31-0 Nuke win streak. Shortly after ENCE closed out the final on Train
However, Astralis are back at the top of the Season Leaderboard again after their run in Madrid.
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The two Major finalists, Astralis and ENCE, met again in the Grand Final of BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19. ENCE were out for retaliation against the Danes who send them packing in Katowice back in February. The Finnish team showed up in Madrid stone cold, serving an even colder dish of revenge.
On the first map, ENCE ended Astralis’ year-long 31-0 streak on Nuke, in quite dominant fashion even, a 16-9 victory on Astralis best map.
The first map was foreshadowing a Finnish victory in Madrid as ENCE took the next map, Train, putting a big dent in the Astralis era with a 16-13 victory making them the winner of the third BLAST Pro Series tournament in the 2019 Season.
ENCE lifting the BLAST trophy after an incredible showing in Madrid.
For their historical victory against Astralis, ENCE’s coach, Slaava "Twista" Räsänen, had this to say:
- We are so calm. We don’t let them go to our nerves. We don’t think about the past.
- When I joined this team two months, me and “Aleksib” were talking and we agreed we’d be the ones to beat Astralis on Nuke.
To the fans in Madrid Arena, Slaava “Twista” Räsänen, had this to say:
- You guys are amazing.
Aleksi "allu" Jalli, player, ENCE:
- I do think we are having a really good time. It is hard to say if this is our time, but we will go on to improve and do our best.
"allu" seems ready for an ENCE era.
Jani "Aerial" Jussilawas was named the MVP of BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19 after a stunning performance throughout the series with 143 kills and an ADR of 86.4.
Jani "Aerial" Jussilawas played phenomenally throughout the tournament, making him the MVP of BLAST Pro Series 19!
ENCE came into BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19 as a wildcard team since BLAST Pro Series values bringing in great teams to improve the competition, so ENCE are not present on the Season Leaderboard.
Astralis might have lost the Grand Final, but their run gives them back the lead on the Season Leaderboard.
Take a deeper look into the great matches that lead up to the historical final:
Round 3 - The underdog bites back
The biggest surprise in the third round was the massive upset Vodafone Giants mustered against Ninjas in Pyjamas on Nuke. The qualifier team closed out the half 11-4 on the attacking side; not an easy feat on this particular map. After that, the Giants had no problem closing out the map with five consecutive rounds in the second half ending 16-4, never even giving the Ninjas a chance to catch up.
In charge of the monumental win for Vodafone Giants was Christopher “MUTiRiS” Fernandes who finished the match with 30 kills, 7 deaths and a rating of 2.25. The highest of the tournament so far.
Locally qualified Christopher “MUTiRiS” Fernandes showed the world that he can dance with the best teams.
ENCE strikes back; dupreeh continues being a menace
The Finnish team ENCE met the North American Cloud9 on Nuke in the third round. An equal force from both teams ended the half as close as a half gets, 8-7 for Cloud9. But as far as Nuke goes, Cloud9 struggled on the attacking side, losing control of the match losing 16-11 to ENCE.
Despite an impressive show of willpower from NAVI’s Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev, NAVI was not able to defeat the Danes with Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen once again showing up in full force.
The game ended 16-13 in Astralis’ favor.
Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev played his heart out for NAVI but it wasn’t quite enough.
Round 4 - Finnish dominance
The shocker of the fourth round was delivered by ENCE, who seemed hungry for the Grand Final spot. Astralis took a big lead at the beginning of the match, but when ENCE woke up they responded with more than 10 consecutive round.
ENCE fought their way to match point until Astralis made it interesting again. Just as it looked like a tie was imminent, ENCE won the game 16-13. This is the first time ENCE has ever won a map against Astralis.
Averaging about 20 kills each, the win was truly a team effort for the Finnish team.
Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, In-Game Leader, ENCE:
- It feels amazing to win against Astralis. We were choking a bit in the beginning but played brilliantly on the attacking side. “Magisk” and “dupreeh” plays a strong offense. Last time we played them on Dust2 we lost a lot of rounds on the B site against them, so this time we decided to focus more on A site and it worked.
Jani "Aerial" Jussila was named MVP of the match vs. Astralis for his lockdown on B site.
Cloud9 on a rollercoaster; Vodafone Giants gets a taste of their own medicine
Most of the Cloud9’s games have been incredibly close. Their game against Ninjas in Pyjamas on Nuke was no different but did not fall in the favor of the North Americans. Ninjas in Pyjamas edged out Cloud9 16-14.
Vodafone Giants, who came straight from a 16-4 victory against Ninjas in Pyjamas, lost 4-16 against NAVI. The Ukrainian team took no prisoners as they plowed through the qualifier team on Dust2.
Ricardo “rmn” Oliveira had almost twice as many kills as the rest of his teammates against NAVI. More is needed to take down the CIS powerhouse.
Round 5 - Winter is coming to Madrid
Ninjas in Pyjamas came close to the Grand Final but no cigar. The Swedish team beat NAVI on 16-9 on Dust2 but they needed ENCE to lose to Vodafone Giants to have a chance to advance. A dream that came close to happening as Vodafone Giants seemed to plow through ENCE on Overpass with 9 consecutive rounds before ENCE took back the game with 5 rounds on their own securing the Grand Final for themselves.
Patrick “f0rest” Lindberg, player, Ninjas in Pyjamas
- We underestimated ENCE. “dennis” has been playing amazingly, same with “REZ”. We are doing much better individually but we obviously need to be better.
Astralis took their BLAST Pro Series Grand Final spot after defeating Cloud9, 16-11 on Inferno. With ENCE booking the other spot, the two Nordic countries brought the winter to Madrid.
The final leaderboard for BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19 ahead of the Grand Final:
The BLAST Stand-Off
Ninjas in Pyjamas couldn’t get the Grand Final, but their performance throughout the tournament was enough to at least secure the third place which meant a spot in the BLAST Stand-Off against the home team, Vodafone Giants.
Here are the results from the entertaining 1 versus 1 show match:
Ninjas in Pyjamas put up a stronger individual performance, putting the final nail in the coffin for Vodafone Giant’s run at BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19. The Ninjas will be leaving Madrid with an additional 20,000 dollars in their pockets.
That’s it for BLAST Pro Series Madrid 19, see you in Los Angeles!
BLAST Pro Series’ debut in Spain was Counter-Strike history. For the first time ever, the arena was open to the audience from day 1 which was fully utilized by the passionate Vodafone Giants arriving in strong numbers. The first team to have ever qualified for a BLAST Pro Series, Vodafone Giants, beat Movistar Riders and went through to take on some of the best teams in the world. ENCE won their first BLAST Pro Series trophy and ended the longest running win streak on any map - against the best team in the world!
BLAST Pro Series returns in two months when the global Counter-Strike tournament comes to the entertainment capital of the world: Los Angeles on July 12-13 with July 13 taking place in Galen Center.
There are many exciting things planned for the US event which you can read much more about here.