The best teams in the history of CS:GO
Published: October 27 2021
Last updated: September 6 2022
With PGL Major 2021 underway, we thought it was time to look back at the history of CS:GO. Who are the best teams to ever play the game and what made them so successful?
Launched in 2012, CS:GO was the main FPS in the multiplayer scene for years without any competition. It had one of the biggest esports scenes in the world, with tournaments all around the year with top teams from all around the globe.
The format of the CS:GO competitive scene allows independent tournaments organizers to do their events throughout the year. Only the twice-yearly CS.GO Majors is an "official" tournament organized by Valve, the creators of the game.
This means that we have a lot more tournaments than, for example, in League Of Legends, and we constantly see the best teams in the worlds battling against each other every month more than once.
With this format, staying the best team in the world for a long period of time is difficult. For a start, there are a lot of tournaments; teams can't go to all of them. The competition is also very fierce, with the top teams battling each other in the final phases of the tournaments. Teams might win one event and then not even make it to the finals of the next one.
So let's talk about the biggest dynasties in CS:GO competitive history: teams that proved they were above everyone else for a substantial period of time and that they were almost unbeatable.
Astralis the best team in the history of CS:GO
Image source: Astralis
The first team on the list had to be Danish side Astralis. Astralis is seen by many analysts, pro-players, and fans as being the best team of all time, and there are numerous factors to why.
Before they were seen as the best team ever, Astralis were seen as the gatekeepers of the finals: the team would always fall on the semifinals and could never make it over the fence. The team was seen as a meme by parts of the community, but Astralis' future would quickly wash away the misfortunes of the past.
Astralis won their first Major in 2017 by defeating the historically tough team Virtus.Pro, but after that, their performance dipped. A few months later, the MVP of the Major finals, Kjaerbye, left the team to move to Danish rivals North. However, Magisk came from North to Astralis, and this is where the dynasty began.
Astralis won their first Major in Atlanta in 2017. Image source: Astralis
With Magisk, dev1ce, gla1ve, Xyp9x, and dupreeh as the core, and zonic as the Head Coach, the team dominated CS:GO for almost 2 years. In 2018 Astralis won back-to-back Majors, the Intel Grand Slam, Dream Hack Masters Marseille, and much more.
The team dominated the CS.GO scene and were levels ahead of everyone else. Their utility use was considered the best in the game's history, and never was a team able to be so dominant for such a long period.
In 2019 Astralis continued to dominate in the early parts of the year. Despite not being at the same level as 2018, the team was still able to win big tournaments, most notably the StarLadder Berlin Major. This made them the first team in the history of the game to win three Majors in a row and the organization with the most Majors in history with 4, surpassing Fnatic, which had 3.
This roster is without a shadow of a doubt the best roster in the history of CS:GO.
NIP the team that dominated the early days of CS:GO
Image source: NIP
If Astralis is the best team ever, their Nordic brothers, NIP, have a solid case for taking second place.
The Swedish organization Ninjas in Pyjamas has been synonymous with Counter-Strike since its inception. In the early days of the competitive CS:GO scene, NIP completely dominated the scene.
NIP's core was Fifflaren, friberg, Xizt, GeT_RiGhT, and f0rest. Most of these players were 1.6 legends who also became CS;GO legends. Players like friberg, f0rest, and GeT_RiGhT were considered some of the best players in the world. They were consistently in the HLTV top 20 players of the year list, with GeT_RiGhT claiming the first place twice, the first in 2013, and the second in 2014.
Image source: NIP
During the early days of CS:GO, NIP was considered impossible to beat. The Swedish side still holds the record for the biggest map-winning streak on LAN, with the team going 84 maps undefeated until they fell to Virtus.Pro on March of 2013.
The team won almost all the events they attended between 2012 and 2013. Just like Astralis, NIP was much better than any of their opponents. Other teams entered tournaments with the second prize on their mind since most of them knew it was virtually impossible to beat the Swedish powerhouse.
The dominance they showed and the numerous tournaments they won make them one of the best teams ever and, in my opinion, the second biggest dynasty in the history of CS:GO.
Fnatic and their era
Image source: Fnatic
Fnatic is one of the oldest and most historical esports organizations in the world. As well as having one of the best CS:GO teams, they also have one of the best League of Legends teams. Naturally, the European giants have left a big mark in CS:GO history.
From the end of 2014 and throughout 2015, Fnatic was the best team in CS:GO, and it wasn't even close. The Swedish team won most tournaments they attended and were the dominant force at the time.
Fnatic won 7 tournaments between 2015 and 2016. Image source: HLTV.org
In a time where CS:GO was getting bigger and bigger, and the competitive scene was already cemented, Fnatic filled the place left by NIP as the next dynasty.
The roster was composed of five CS:GO legends, coach Devilwalk (later replaced by vuggo), legendary awper JW, fusha, in-game leader pronax, KRIMZ, and of course olofmeister who was seen throughout many years as one of the best in the world. Olofmeister received the award for best player in the world in 2015. Like most of his teammates, he was featured in various top 20 players of the year lists by HLTV.
This team was known for being able to win rounds that seemed almost unwinnable, and the fans loved their aggressive and flashy playstyle.
With this roster, Fnatic won both Majors that took place in 2015, becoming the first team in history to win back-to-back Majors. With multiple tournaments successes and staying rank 1 of HLTV for two years, this team left their mark in the CS:GO scene and is one of the most beloved teams in the game's history.
These are just some of the teams that made their mark in the history of the CS:GO competitive scene. Stay tuned for more CS:GO teams that defined their era.
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