An expert is confident in Cloud9's victory over ENCE - a prediction for the semifinals of EPL S17

An expert is confident in Cloud9's victory over ENCE - a prediction for the semifinals of EPL S17

On March 25th, Cloud9 will face ENCE in the playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 17 for CS:GO. In an exclusive comment for, Oleksandr Shoker Osheka stated that Vladislav nafany Gorshkov's team is most likely to win this match.

Teams' paths to the EPL semifinals

Cloud9 was one of the first teams to start their journey in EPL S17. Vladislav nafany Gorshkov's team went through the group stage, losing only one map and earning a spot in the competition's quarterfinals. It seemed that C9's players had reached their best form, the newcomer had fully adapted to the roster, and they were ready to win trophies. However, the quarterfinal match against MOUZ proved to be more challenging and demonstrated that Cloud9 can still make mistakes.

The team [Cloud9] still has ongoing psychological problems, as mentioned by Hobbit in a post-match interview. The tense atmosphere persists, and it is precisely related to psychology. I think they will be able to fix this when they get confident matches in the playoffs. Also, buster joined them, and it will take some time for him to adjust.
Oleksandr Shoker Osheka

For ENCE, the group stage draw of Group D worked out in the best possible way, allowing the team led by Marco Snappi Pfeiffer to easily advance to the playoffs of the championship. And then the real sensations began. First, ENCE shocked the entire CS:GO community by eliminating the best team in the world at the moment, G2 Esports, from EPL, and did not stop there. In the quarterfinals, after overcoming a diligent opponent, Snappi and the company defeated Team Vitality. Whom we certainly did not expect to see in the top 4 of ESL Pro League Season 17, but here we are.

Before the start of the playoffs, I didn't see them as a serious threat to other teams, but now the situation is somewhat different. Although the team still has problems with the map pool, they are part of the "club" of seven maps.
It was possible to predict their victory over G2, since the "samurai" team is forced to eliminate ENCE's sixth map. In turn, Snappi & Co eliminated Inferno, and there was no super comfortable map for G2, on top of which Vertigo was imposed. In general, ENCE did well.

I believe they have found an excellent fifth player for themselves. Nertz not only boosted the team's game but also takes a lot of initiative and wins important clutch rounds. Just remember the 1v4 situation against Vitality. There can be no underestimation, the victory over G2 speaks for itself. The main thing is that they continue to show similar and even better performances over the long haul. Currently, the team is going through the so-called "honeymoon" period.
Oleksandr Shoker Osheka

Map selection

As for map statistics, Cloud9 feels great on Vertigo, Overpass, and Mirage with win rates of 80%, 78%, and 79%, respectively. At the same time, they permanently ban Nuke and periodically Inferno. ENCE prefers to ignore Overpass and also, like C9, Inferno. They play Nuke decently and have a 63% win rate on this map. ENCE also demonstrates a good level of CS on Mirage and Ancient.


Matches history

Relatively recently, the teams already met in the Play-In stage at IEM Katowice 2023, and even then, Cloud9 had difficulties with ENCE. The confrontation ended with a score of 2:1 in favor of the team led by nafany - 16:10 on Anubis, 8:16 on Inferno, and 16:13 on Vertigo. Since then, ENCE has strengthened by signing Guy Nertz Iluts, and after that, the team has been constantly progressing.

Shoker's prediction:

Although Cloud9 is the favorite according to the odds, it won't be an easy match. On the other hand, ENCE has problems with their map pool. Two maps, Overpass and Inferno, cannot be considered their strong points yet. If Nuke is not in the map pool, it will be very difficult for the Europeans. I think Cloud9 should win, but if SunPayus and Nertz play as well as they did against Vitality, it will be easier.

I see the map veto going like this:

ENCE bans Inferno 
Cloud9 bans Nuke 
ENCE picks Ancient 
Cloud9 picks Overpass 
ENCE bans Mirage 
Cloud9 bans Anubis 
Vertigo is left over
Oleksandr Shoker Osheka

Detailed pre-match statistics for Cloud9 and ENCE are available at the link.

EPL S17 takes place from February 22 to March 26 in Malta. The teams compete for a prize pool of $850,000. You can follow the tournament schedule and results here.