The skill cap at the top of the Counter-Strike pyramid is more stacked, competitive, and diverse than ever. Whilst Astralis might have been the undisputed titans of the scene for the past two years, their time at the top could be under immense pressure. More teams and more teams are starting to flex their muscles, with Fnatic’s recent win at DreamHack Malmo showcasing the unpredictable nature of the first-person shooter title at the moment.
With more and more success now coming to teams outside of the game’s ‘big two’ of Liquid and Astralis, we thought now would be the best time to go through some of the rosters that most deserve some love going into the new phase of Counter-Strike.
Formerly known as ‘NRG’, this North American roster was recently acquired by Esports giant Evil Geniuses on the eve of their triumph at ESL One New York earlier this year. Undoubtedly a skilled side, Evil Geniuses were a team that was always knocking on the fringes of success without genuinely being able to stamp their authority on the scene.
That changed in New York, where ‘EG’ saw off competition from both Astralis and Liquid and romped to the title. If there is one team that stands a good chance of disrupting the top two teams in the world, it’s undoubtedly Evil Geniuses.
Fnatic is an absolute titan in the Esport world and originally led the way as one of the world’s best teams in the early years of CS:GO. 2019 has been a mixed bag for the Swedish org, with their failure to qualify for the second major of the year at Berlin, putting the team at an all-time low.
A quick roster change, however, saw the side bring back team legends ‘Flusha’ and ‘Golden’, and within a month, they shocked betting markets everywhere as DreamHack Malmo champions, beating no.1 side in the world Astralis on their way to victory.
Fnatic has won nearly two hundred competitions and has amassed over $10 million in prize winnings, with their CS teams providing a considerable percentage of that amount over the past few years. With their established successful side now fully back together, Fnatic can finally look forward to a much brighter looking future.
Led by in-game leader ‘ALEX’, French side Vitality feels like a side that is well and truly on the verge of greatness. Possessing one of the brightest talents in the entire game in ‘ZywhOo’, Vitality has seen their stock and expectations slowly rise in recent times.
They made it to the final eight in the latest major in Berlin and most recently finished DreamHack Malmo as runners up, falling at the final hurdle against Fnatic 1-2. With the addition of French superstar ‘shox’ to the side, Vitality is undoubtedly looking at kicking on and delivering on the talent they have at their disposal.
Originally from Ukraine, Natus Vincere ‘NAVI’ is one of the community’s most established and respected orgs active in the game currently. Routinely ranking amongst the top ten teams in the world, NAVI has consistently delivered strong performances in major tournaments and is always looking to secure a severe scalp against either Liquid or Astralis.
NAVI arguably possesses the greatest player to ever play the game in the legendary ‘S1mple’ as well. The Ukrainian superstar has carved out a reputation for delivering moments of inhuman genius for his side, clutching rounds that would have otherwise been lost. Whilst they have struggled for form in more recent times, the tools and means are more than available to NAVI in their quest for the top.
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