This has been one of the most uneventful CS:GO seasons in recent memory. The two Majors got canceled and we haven’t seen a live event in more than 6 months. But that doesn’t mean that great tournaments and matches aren’t taking place anymore. In fact, quite a lot is happening in online CS:GO tournaments, and in this article, I’m going to take a look at the best five teams of the moment and their accomplishments in 2020.
Team Vitality began this year as the 6th best team in the world. And for the first 5 months, they either stagnated or dropped in rank. At their lowest point, they were 13th. This happened on May 11th. But since then, they have climbed all the way up to 1st place. And in fact, they attained a top 3 position toward the end of June. But what happened during this time?
The reason why Vitality struggled to maintain its rank during the first 5 months of this year is simple: they finished 7th – 9th at BLAST Premier: Spring 2020 Regular Season, 9th – 12th at IEM XIV World Championship, and 7th – 9th again at ESL Pro League Season 11: Europe.
Then they started to play well again and their results improved dramatically: 4th place at ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe and 2nd place at 3 consecutive events. More recently, Vitality finished 2nd at DreamHack Open Fall 2020 and 1st – 3rd at BLAST Premier: Fall 2020 Regular Season.
As you can see, it wasn’t trophies that got Vitality to where they are now, but consistency. In the current professional scene, with so many strong but inconsistent teams trying to win tournaments, being able to always finish in the top 4 is sufficient to climb all the way up to the top of the rankings table.
Of course, given that this is possible, the immediate question is the following: should this even be possible? How can a team that doesn’t actually win the biggest number of trophies be ranked 1st? That’s a matter of debate. In traditional sports such as tennis, this doesn’t seem to be a problem.
In its last 12 matches, Vitality won 10 times. That’s really impressive at the tier 1 level.
Heroic is currently ranked 2nd and that’s not something we see very often. This is a team that usually oscillates between rank 10 and rank 20. To see them near the top is totally surprising. You almost want to ask the question: what is everyone else doing?
Many players in Heroic’s roster are relatively unknown: b0RUP, stavn, and even TeSeS. The most well-known is probably cadiaN, but even he is not a superstar. But in spite of these deficiencies, Heroic is now a formidable team. And keep in mind: on May 18th this year, they were ranked 36th. Imagine how much they had to climb, both in skill as well as rank to get to where they are now.
One interesting fact about Heroic is that they changed their entire lineup in April this year. Another interesting fact is that their coach, HUNDEN, has been suspended for exploiting the coach-spectating bug that has put an ugly stain on CS:GO’s reputation. Given the massive jump in rank, the relatively modest roster, and the fact that every tournament took place online during the last 6 months, it’s hard not to suspect that HUNDEN’s illegitimate actions might have contributed a significant amount to Heroic’s success. We don’t know yet, but time will tell.
Just like Vitality, Heroic won 10 out of its last 12 matches. And most of its opponents were exceptional teams: Astralis, NiP, BIG, Vitality, and North. And keep in mind, this happened after the bug scandal. So who knows? Maybe Heroic’s progress really is legit. But in that case, I must say, it’s quite impressive what they’ve achieved in such a short period of time.
Astralis is back to its standard formula. The players that won Major after Major are now reunited and eager to succeed again. Back in August, the team was ranked 17th. Now it’s ranked 3rd. And to be fair, I think we should expect Astralis to continue to climb until they reach the top again.
Since October, gla1ve and his crew obtained one title at ESL Pro League Season 12: Europe, the 3rd place at DreamHack Open Fall 2020 and a 4th – 6th place at BLAST Premier: Fall 2020 Regular Season.
In its last 23 matches, Astralis won 19 times. That’s a very impressive win rate and it’s hard to be optimistic about their opponents’ chances when you know these numbers.
This is another unlikely team on this list. BIG is currently ranked 4th and they were even ranked 1st for a while, back in July – August. These are by far the highest placements in their history. However, since that 1st place at DreamHack Open Summer 2020: Europe, BIG’s performance has dropped quite a bit. Their next tournaments saw them finish in the top 6, but not better than 5th – 6th. Personally, I’m surprised they even got this good. Their roster is not comparable to that of other world-class teams such as Astralis or Vitality.
And finally, we have Natus Vincere, the CIS powerhouse that used to be ranked 1st at the end of June. The strength of this team comes from its world-class players and their synergy. No doubt, communication works well, simply because everyone is from Russia, with the exception of s1mple. In rest, it’s not difficult to see why Na’Vi is in the top 5. Apart from the fact that s1mple and electronic are in the top 5 at the individual level, the team’s results over the last 5 months have been very consistent. It’s true, they only won a small tournament, but they did finish in the top 4 in 5 others.