One of the biggest question marks before IEM Katowice was how Timur "buster" Tulepov would slot into the Cloud9 squad. The Kazak has replaced Timofey "interz" Yakushin on the CIS team for the 2023 season.
Initially, it looked comfortable for Cloud9. On ENCE’s own map pick of Anubis, it was sh1ro and Ax1Le completely running the show. A 12-3 lead at the break was converted to a 16-10 win.
Then it was time for Inferno. Here it was clear, that some of the positions at Cloud9 have changed. Abay 'HObbit' Khassenov was playing the role of a lurker on the team. On their T-site, it looked fine for the CIS team, but on their CT side, everything fell apart. Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer called a great game and played a great map averaging 100 ADR per round. ENCE won 16-8.
Vertigo was left as the decider. Here the game turned into a true nailbiter. ENCE had a 12-8 lead during the second half, but then C9 got activated. Six consecutive rounds were won on the CT side to give themselves a 14-12 lead, which they managed to turn into a 16-13 win.
ENCE drops down to the lower bracket, where they will get another chance of qualifying Friday.
Cloud9 – ENCE 2-1 | IEM Katowice Play-in
MVP: Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov - 1.20 rating / 61-41 K-D / 74.3 ADR