Counter-Strike has emerged in this post-pandemic world as the world’s undisputed video game. Experiencing a two-year growth in revenue across just two months, the game has become the most hotly watched game on Twitch and YouTube, broke over a million concurrent active players several times over the course of the past couple months and now possesses the most stacked competitive calendar of any Esport in the world.
Ever since their first Major triumph in 2018, Astralis has been the untouchable dominant force in the game. The Danish side has won the past three Major Championships in a row and became the only side in history to win four in total after their win at StarLadder Berlin last September.
However, their time at the top has come to an end. The departure of in-game leader Gla1ve and clutch-master Xyp9x has led to some of the worst results ever seen by Astralis fans, and the team have already dropped out of the world’s top three best sides in the official rankings.
With Astralis’ crown now up for grabs, here’s our take on the three sides best placed to reclaim top spot in the world of Counter-Strike.
Whilst they have moved away from their French players-only approach, G2 has only gone from strength to strength this year. Their second-place finish at the Road to Rio qualifiers stunned CSGO betting markets everywhere and, whilst they ultimately fell short in that competition, look set to strongly challenge in the upcoming tournaments after wins against Astralis, Faze and Natus Vincere.
Whilst they might not have the trophy cabinet of other teams in the scene, G2’s claim to the top comes from the fact that they are easily the most consistent side in the top ten right now. Previously dominant sides such as Mousesports or Astralis are in free-fall right now, and the likes of Fnatic, Faze and Na’Vi still seem plagued by inconsistencies. There every chance that KennyS and co. could capitalise on that and sneak in with a few more event wins.
Natus Vincere (Na’Vi)
Known throughout the community as being the ‘nearly men’ for way too long, Na’Vi entered 2020 with a bang at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championships in Katowice. Dismantling Astralis in a way never seen before, they were catapulted to the top of the world rankings following their win at the event and remained there for nine weeks before dropping out after a middling Pro League and Road to Rio performance.
However, they’re still a reasonably fresh roster that has plenty left to give to the scene, find themselves back at the top of the rankings following Astralis’ dip and still possess arguably the best player to ever play the game in S1mple.
If you were going to pass the title of the best side in the world on by default, Na’Vi would probably be the best place to turn to.
ESL Pro League Season 11 winners and three-time Major Championship winners, Fnatic are Esports royalty and have, after a disappointing run this time last year, finally begun to find themselves back in contention as one of the world’s best teams. Their current roster with Golden as the in-game leader finished in the top five of their first six events together, with wins at Dreamhack Malmo and the Pro League, and they have remained in the top three world rankings since the 20th April.
The perfect blend between steely experience, youthful energy and showboating flair, the Swedish side’s use of unorthodox methods makes them one of the hardest teams to play against and their vast experience of being at the top for much longer than their rivals could make them a good shout to becoming the very best again.