Thorin’s 10 Best Teams in CSGO Today – 8th May 2023

Thorin 2023-05-08 03:56:20
  This is not a world ranking based on placements and opponents beaten. That's what my old CS:GO ranking was and it served its purpose for many years until HLTV levelled theirs up enough to become a reasonable guide in line with my assessments. This is a 100% biased opinion-and-eye-test-based ranking of the 10 best CS:GO teams as of today. Criticism and discussion is not just tolerated but encouraged.  

10. OG (degster, flameZ, F1KU, niko and NEOFRAG) [NEW]

The 10th spot again proved tricky for who is actually good right now or would win games right now. VP, NiP and BIG could probably all make a claim for this final spot on my list but I decided to go with OG. As bizarre as their IGL-less period, without nexa, has been the team always had strong fire-power and that has enabled them to upset bigger names and give good showings for themselves. ruggah must be doing a good job but degster also continues to chug along as a sleeper star of Counter-Strike simply not on a big enough team to really earn comparisons with the likes of m0NESY. If you like betting on underdog teams you are going to find a lot of angles from OG and thus I'll bet on them myself here. ----------------------------------------------------------

9. FURIA (KSCERATO, yuurih, arT, saffee and drop) [NEW]

arT's flaws are apparent when FURIA plays, even if he still can throw out a big performance himself from time to time, but KSCERATO has justifiably earned his reputation as contender for the best rifler in all of CS:GO. That combined with some good play from yuurih and the ever reliable drop has FURIA in position to be a dark horse and upset some very big names. If they get hot FURIA can make deep runs and they are able to play some of the trickier maps in the pool, albeit it not very reliably. The definition of a puncher's chance. KSCERATO just never seems to turn in a bad series. ----------------------------------------------------------

8. ENCE (NertZ, SunPayus, dycha, Maden and NertZ) [NEW]

Despite their Pro League run I think ENCE are heavily slept on in CS:GO. The emergence of NertZ as not just the next Israeli star but more on the Spinx end of the spectrum than flameZ, in terms of legitimacy for such a title, has propelled them into dark horse status at tournaments and they have outplayed some much bigger names. With NertZ as a star and SunPayus delivering star AWP numbers it has left dycha as one of the better third men in world Counter-Strike and Maden is far from a bad player when we extend the line-up. Puppeteering the unit is Snappi, who has been in a career renaissance that makes him looks like karrigan Jr and ensures he will start CS2 as someone whose career can continue for many years. Unassuming, hard-working and with a fresh set of star names. What's not to like about ENCE? ----------------------------------------------------------

7. Team Liquid (NAF, YEKINDAR, EliGE, oSee and nitr0) [-3]

(Courtesy: ESL)

Team Liquid went from one of the game's elite teams, despite some obvious flaws, upsetting big names left and right to floundering and delivering some of their worst results in years. The players haven't changed and EliGE is even sometimes showing better form, but TL can run hot and cold. The quality is still there in the line-up, nitr0 is going to call a predictable but solid game and the coaching seems an area often underappreciated. The map pool work should see them right and I expect a group effort to again have TL challenging for a top five spot. ----------------------------------------------------------

6. Cloud9 (Ax1Le, sh1ro, HObbit, buster and nafany) [+2]

(Courtesy: ESL)

Cloud9 still underdeliver when they are needed most, as the semis of Rio and the RMR showed so emphatically. Even so, sh1ro is one of the best players in the world at any role and Ax1Le remains a contender for best rifler in the world if not the guy himself. The rest of the line-up still has some issues and the buster move has just flat out not added whatever the team felt they were missing. This squad reminds me of old Team Liquid and Astralis line-ups in the sense they have real psychological issues in the big matches. A roster move seems an obvious gamble but the question remains 'to replace who?' When they're off their game a lot of teams can steal a win from them. When they're on they can beat anyone in the game. Especially prior to the semi-finals! ----------------------------------------------------------

5. Natus Vincere (s1mple, b1t, Perfecto, electronic and npl) [+1]

(Courtesy: BLAST)

s1mple's return to form, seemingly closing in on the top spot again with inevitability and the usual battle for the best with ZywOo, has transformed Na'Vi again into a dangerous side. Alas, their form and times at which they lose have shown they can be that danger to themselves too and some of their collapses have been disappointing and concerning. Ending CS:GO with npl and the electronic IGLing mess is so brutal to observe as an outsider but s1mple is still s1mple and that makes Na'Vi a compelling team with a big puncher's chance. ----------------------------------------------------------

4. FaZe Clan (ropz, Twistzz, broky, rain and karrigan) [-1]

(Courtesy: BLAST)

FaZe continues to either look like an event winner or a borderline play-off team and the aggregate drop-off from last year continues, even if the ceiling is still winning the trophy. What allows me to trust FaZe are still a threat is that they have four players all capable of showcasing strong skills and so they can on many occasions be saved even when games are getting out of their control. The map pool is still there and karrigan remains a contender for the best caller. Questions will be asked about their motivation in light of the enormous titles and accolades they've acquired but at a minimum they should be up for the biggest events and gunning to finish CS:GO forcefully! Under-estimate FaZe at your own risk! ----------------------------------------------------------

3. G2 Esports (NiKo, m0NESY, huNter-, jks and HooXi) [-2]

(Courtesy: BLAST)

G2 was never going to stay number one and winning trophies with such ease. The player strength is there and their map pool has gotten so much stronger. Still, HooXi is not a genius caller and NiKo has some kind of bizarre problems in the play-offs at times despite still being one of the world's best riflers. When you have the depth of star talent G2 has you can beat anyone and theoretically win any and every trophy. The biggest question becomes if the team can show as much at a major and win the game's most coveted prize, key to NiKo's legacy, in their final outing at the world championhip in CS:GO. It's certainly not impossible but I'll need to see greater mental fortitude in tough games and not just wild fire-power fixing problems for them. The latter never lasts no matter how stacked your line-up is! ----------------------------------------------------------

2. Team Vitality (ZywOo, Spinx, Magisk, dupreeh and apEX) [+3]

(Courtesy: BLAST)

Vitality continues to steadily climb the ranks overall and had their big explosion winning IEM Rio. A stadium event but not a prestige event, it must be noted. ZywOo might be the best player in CS:GO but in the prestige events he has had some drop-offs at key times. Spinx has been powering up all year and had his pop-off in Rio to almost earn legitimate MVP honours on a team featuring ZywOo - an unthinkable thought in any prior line-up! If he can show good form for a star then the apEX and dupreeh problems can be somewhat neutralised. Vitality's map pool has improved in strength and reliability and so zonic has some tools to play with outside of just ZywOo when it comes to trying to win his fifth major as a coach. It's hard to bet on them to do it but the game is in such a state and the field is so wide open Vitality must be given their cretin as an elite side. ----------------------------------------------------------

1. Heroic (stavn, TeSeS, sjuush, jabbi and cadiaN) [+1]

(Courtesy- ESL)

Heroic are the best team in Counter-Strike and has been ever since G2 showed signs of mortality again. Their issue is that they don't win finals. Even the one they did is the exception that proves the rule, as their opponent was inches from the finish line in a very tight series. Tactically nobody bests Heroic right now. Team-play-wise they stand alone, especially in terms of how their pieces complement each other. cadiaN isn't the player who is going to take over a final with his AWP, though, and stavn is a world class rifler any day other than the big matches nowadays, tragically. Even the map pool is superlative and gives the team so many options to match up with whoever they face. The biggest battles remain in their minds and with confronting some of the weaknesses of the line-up while their window to win remains open. This is a team that could have potentially ended CS:GO with an era and instead is seeking a second trophy of any merit. Best in the world any day but the finals day is a brutal position to be in but here they are. ---------------------------------------------------------- I will return to update my 10 best CS:GO teams in the world at a later date. (Editor's Note, you can find the previous Top 10 on March 3rd, 2023 here.)

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