CS:GO, Content Strike, Global Offensive is one of the premier eSports games. Just like any competitive sport, teams come and go. New players join existing teams, while others move on. The competitive nature of CS:GO, coupled with the high prizes and lucrative sponsorship deals mean we will always see amazing performances by the teams. The most consistent teams slowly climb up the world rankings, winning competitions on the way. Some of these teams have phenomenal followings and legions of fans. Choosing a team to back and wager on can be lucrative, and the lower ranked teams can have favorable odds.
Choosing a CS:GO Team
So which team should you support and why should you bet on them. The easiest thing to do is back the number one world ranking team, with low and unfavorable odds. A more exciting prospect is to back an up and coming team with high potential and considerably better odds. 2018 has thrown up some surprises and unexpected results, yet the most consistent and top ranking team has been Astralis. Other lower ranked teams have shown promise during the year winning prestigious tournaments and defeating higher ranked teams along the way. Let’s take a better look at the teams that performed best over the last year.
TyLoo: The Chinese Dragon Awakes
TyLoo is the most well-known Chinese CS:GO team at present. They have proved that Asian Competitive eSports has great potential and can perform successfully on the international stage against any opposition. TyLoo reached the semifinals of the IEM Sydney and achieved 3rd position at the CS:GO championship in Asia. The team consists of experienced players like Ke “captainMo” Liu, who recently returned to the team, and Hui “DD” Wu. Another star player is Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand, who is widely considered to be the best professional player in Indonesia and Asia. Although not ranked that high, the team shows massive potential and an attractive prospect to bet on with pretty favorable odds.
NRG – Mighty North Americans
Another highly rated team is NRG, regarded as one of the best North American teams. Showing great promise in competitions like the Starseries I-League Season 5, as well as the ECS Season 5 Finals, NRG has had a positive season so far. The team has some brilliant players like Jacob “FugLy” Medina, considered to be one of their best players due to his anchoring play style. He is joined by Canadian Damian “daps” Steele, an experienced in-game leader, who previously held the position of coach of the NRG’s CS:GO roster.
Another team to watch out for is BIG, which means Berlin International Gaming. The team is led by ex-NRG player Faith “gob b” Dayik, and his colleagues Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz, and Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić. The latter is also the team coach. Although they may not be that high in the world rankings, recent form and some exceptional performances show the team is really going places. Having reached the ESL Cologne finals, BIG could be the revelation of 2019, creating major upsets and beating higher ranked teams. The team recently added Englishman Owen “smooya” Butterfield, an offensive CS:GO, player, giving the team more power up-front.
Natus Vincere – Hot Winning Streak
Natus Vincere hardly needs much introduction to eSports fans. The team was the only one ever to accomplish the feat of winning three major tournaments in one calendar year. A constant tier one team, Natus Vincere is a real challenge to top teams like Astralis and FaZe Clan. Winning the 2018 ESL One Cologne and the Starseries I-League Season 5, has cemented the team’s stronghold and boosted its reputation. The team includes Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, who is in brilliant form this year, and Denis “electronic” Shripov, who has impressed with his stellar performances. Watch out for Edward “Ioann” Sukhariev, who has been in the team since 2013, making him the longest-serving player.
Astralis: Highest Ranked Team
Astralis is the undisputed number one team in the world, with an impressive portfolio of accomplishments in 2018. Led by charismatic Danish captain Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, the team also includes Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, Emil “Magisk” Reif, and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth. Can they keep up their unbeaten winning streak in 2019? That is the question on everyone’s lips. They will have strong challengers from the teams mentioned above and the likes of Cloud9, another team to keep an eye on in 2019.
2019 Dark Horses – Cloud9 & FaZe Clan
Cloud9 was the celebrated winner of the 2018 ELEAGUE Boston, CS:GO Major Championship. The first time finalists won $500,000 of the $1 million prize pool. Ranked around number 17, Cloud9 could surprise a few people and create a few upsets. They might be a good bet with relatively favourable odds due to their lower placing in the world rankings. FaZe Clan is another highly regarded team set to burst onto the scene in 2019. The team includes Norwegian Håvard “rain” Nygaard, joined by rifler Finn “karrigan” Andersen, and Nikola “NiKo” Kovač. Niko gained notoriety and fame with his skilful gameplay while with competing team mousesports. He is renowned for his precise aim and leadership qualities. Although FaZe Clan were ultimately beaten by Cloud9 in the Boston ELEAGUE major, big things are expected of them in 2019.
Get Informed & Choose Wisely
Supporting any team is a personal decision not always based on logic. The teams mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are other ‘good’ teams out there. It is worth mentioning that other ranking teams are also in with a realistic chance of winning big in 2019. Teams like mousesports, fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas have performed pretty well. As with every other major sport, the unexpected can happen, less known opponents can defeat top teams. Having said that, a better understanding of the game, the teams, and their past results will help to choose the best CS:GO team to back and support in 2019.