Astralis and ENCE CS:GO Teams Qualify For IEM Dallas 2023 Playoffs


Both the Astralis and ENCE CS:GO teams made short work of IEM Dallas 2023 Group B, qualifying for the Playoffs with ease. In a group featuring the likes of FaZe, Liquid, and Cloud9, it’s a brilliant achievement from both teams, who came in as underdogs.

Astralis Are Back, For Real This Time


Brothers back on the server. Credit: ESLCS on Twitter

Don’t jinx it, but we think Astralis are well and truly back. We had them among the surprise favorites of IEM Dallas 2023, and they’ve certainly looked up to the challenge so far. After almost a year since they last made a LAN Playoffs at IEM Cologne 2022, Astralis have another big stage opportunity.

Everything just seems to be going perfectly for Astralis – dev1ce looks among the very best players in the world once again. The team’s top gun looks like he was never gone after his hiatus last year. IGL gla1ve has been in the lab cooking up some new strats, and he looks rejuvenated and ready to compete at the top, where he belongs.

You only have to look at their utility to see where it’s going right for them. It’s finding more impact and more damage in general, and is often the difference on the server.

The removal of Xyp9x in favor of academy prospect Altekz was a massive risk, but it has immediately paid dividends. Altekz looks every bit a Tier 1 player, frequently winning out duels with much more experienced pros. Question marks still loom over Buzz. However, if he can become more consistent, he’ll be part of the solution rather than the problem.

Their route to the Playoffs was not easy, either. Astralis had to beat both Liquid and Cloud9, arguably two of the better teams at IEM Dallas 2023. They weren’t particularly close victories either – Astralis have looked dominant on every map so far. Their grinding in the online Tier 2 tournaments was IEM Dallas news to consider pre-tournament, and it seems to have helped the team improve ten-fold since Altekz’ arrival just six weeks ago.

If they make the Semi-Finals in Dallas, you’d have to consider Astralis serious contenders going forward. It’s good to have one of the most decorated teams ever back. CS:GO is just better with dev1ce and gla1ve feeling it.

ENCE Bounce Back


EZ4ENCE. Credit: IEM on Twitter

Much of the IEM Dallas news was focused on how the ENCE CS:GO team needed a big bounce-back after their disappointing Paris Major performance. This Intel Extreme Masters tournament was the perfect opportunity with teams like Vitality and NAVI missing.

They couldn’t have wished for a better start. Snappi called his men to an easy win over Complexity, with each player contributing. Up next was FaZe, which in theory should have been a much greater challenge. No one told the ENCE CS:GO roster that, as they brushed aside one of the best teams at IEM Dallas 2023 2:0. FaZe haven’t been in the best form of late, but it’s impressive how ENCE managed to neutralize their firepower to the point where only broky went positive across the entire series. Comparatively, SunPayus, NertZ, and Maden all went positive from the ENCE CS:GO team.

We know how good ENCE are when they’re feeling the game. There’s absolutely no doubt about the mechanics of these players. It’s just the consistency that can be called into question. They’ve got another chance to prove that now. The ENCE CS:GO team will face off against Astralis for a spot in Semi-Finals, with the loser dropping to the Quarter-Finals. It’s an enormous test for both, and it’s sure to be a banger of a matchup.

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