By the time you read this post, CS2 will either be out, or incredibly close to being out. After a decade on the shelves, Valve finally look set to release the long-awaited follow-up to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The fourth major entry in their FPS series, CS:GO has dominated the Esports world ever since its launch back in 2012, helping to shape the industry on the back of its incredible depth and skill ceiling. It’s a game that has seen countless historic moments in the server, so we thought we would pay homage to some of the greats of the game as it prepares to pass the torch over to CS2 with the greatest CS:GO teams of all time.
NIP Go 87-0
The first greats of the CS:GO era were the two Swedish powerhouses, Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP). Both rosters boasted a number of high-profile legends that had dominated the game’s predecessors, and Fnatic won the very first CS:GO Major against their domestic rivals at Dreamhack Winter 2013.
However, prior to that, NiP would register one of the most incredible runs the gaming world had ever seen. With the legendary roster of Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson, Adam “friberg” Friberg, Richard “Xizt” Landström, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, and Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, the Ninjas would go on an incredible 87-map winning run, an unprecedented achievement that is still yet to be matched. The org only allowed 6.9 rounds to go against them per map during this run, winning 10 events in the process before the streak was finally broken in August 2013 by Virtus.Pro.
FalleN Leads Brazil To Glory
Prior to 2016, CS:GO had been a game dominated by European-based orgs. However, that all changed with the 2016 MLG Major in Columbus where an all-Brazilian lineup led by Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo would stun the world with the first non-EU Major win. Lacking a lot of the infrastructure and finances of other more established orgs at the time, the core quadruple of Fallen, Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, Marcelo “coldzera” David and Fernando “fer” Alvarenga would cobble together their own journeys to tournaments and blitz their opponents with some of the most unorthodox playstyles the game had ever seen.
Under the banner of Luminosity Gaming and then SK Gaming, the Brazilians would win back-to-back Major Championships, as well as picking up tournament wins at IEM Katowice, ESL One Cologne, ESL Pro League and IEM Sydney. Coldzera would be named HLTV’s #1 Player two years in a row, whilst FalleN would be named Esports Personality of the Year in 2016.
Astralis Reset The Standard
By the time 2018 rolled around, CS:GO was beginning to find its feet as a leading light in the Esports world, and a game that every major org wanted to be a part of. More and more was being invested into training facilities, nutrition, coaching and the conditioning needed to compete at the top level, and an array of different teams found themselves scooping up the biggest prizes in the calendar.
Which makes the subsequent domination by Danish org Astralis all the more frightening. Having already won the ELEAGUE Atlanta Major in 2017, the Danes would equal Fnatic’s record of three Major wins at FACEIT London and IEM Katowice. By now, Astralis were dominating the CS:GO odds at Unikrn ahead of every competition they entered, and would become the first team in the history of the game to win four Majors and three in succession when they dismantled Avangar at the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019.
Which Side Was The Best?
When it comes to the greatest side in CS:GO history, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a side that matches the legendary legacy of Astralis. Not only do they hold the records for the most prize money earned as both an org and individuals, but the quality of opposition they took down was unlike anything other teams in this list had to contend with. Team Liquid had won an Intel Grand Slam, whilst sides like Natus Vincere and Team Vitality boasted stars in Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev and Mathieu “Zywoo” Herbaut coming into their own as the best players on the planet.
And yet, the way in which this group of five led by Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander held an untouchable dominance at the top table of the game for has led to a legacy being forged in the CS:GO history books that no side has ever come close to matching.