theScore esports Daily (Jan. 21): HLTV names s1mple best player in the world, Liquid finally topple Astralis at iBUYPOWER Masters

by Dimitri Pascaluta Jan 21
Thumbnail image courtesy of CSGO Premier / ELEAGUE Gallery

theScore esports Daily is a once-a-day briefing covering the top news stories from around the world of esports.

ENCE, Vitality victorious at Katowice's European Minor

On Sunday, ENCE eSports and Team vitality placed first and second respectively at the Europe Minor Championship for the upcoming IEM Katowice Major to qualify for the Major itself.

The Finnish roster earned their spot after edging out North (22-20 on Train, 16-7 on Inferno) in the Winners' Final.

North went on to face Team Vitality in the Losers' Final, where they fell 2-1 (16-12 on Mirage, 5-16 on Nuke, and 8-16 on Inferno), making Vitality the second European team to qualify for the Major.

Liquid win iBUYPOWER Masters, end losing streak against Astralis

After more than a few attempts, Team Liquid have finally managed to beat Astralis in a grand final.

On Sunday, the North American organization became champions of iBUYPOWER Masters IV with a scrappy 2-1 victory (4-16 on Inferno, 16-11 on Dust II, and 16-11 on Overpass) over Danish powerhouse Astralis.

This victory marks the end of a losing spell for Liquid, given that they'd lost their last six matchups against Astralis — at IEM Chicago, the London Major, the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, playoffs at Season Five of ECS, and Season Seven of the ESL Pro League — five of which were in grand finals.

This also marked the successful debut of Liquid's newest roster addition, Boston Major winner Jake "Stewie2k" Yip, who put on a performance that's bound to get Liquid fans excited going into Katowice.

s1mple named best CS:GO player in the world, dev1ce the runner-up

After a historic year, Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev has officially secured the number one spot on HLTV's Top 20 Players of 2018.

s1mple is often reckoned to be the greatest player in the history of CS:GO, and 2018 marked his single most impressive season to date.

Coming in at number two was Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, star player of Astralis, who had a historic season of his own. After Astralis' year got off to a tumultuous start, dev1ce lead his team to a whopping 10 first-place finishes, where his performances earned him more MVP awards than any player in the history of CS:GO.

RELATED: theScore esports Awards 2018

Dimitri Pascaluta is a content creator for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.