Top five rosters in CS:GO history

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    Across the ten-plus years of CS:GO’s release, legendary rosters have risen to the top of the rankings and written their names into history forever.

    From the beginning of the game to its end, these rosters have all dominated for periods, crushing the opposition and becoming immovable objects at the summit of the professional landscape.

    As we look towards the release of Counter-Strike 2, here at BLIX, we’ve been ranking some of the best in history, and after nations, riflers, and AWPers, rosters are now in line.

    Starting with the honorable mentions, let’s go through the list and see which roster will win out and become our greatest of all time.

    HM: fnatic (2014-2015)

    A roster consisting of Robin “flusha” Ronnquiest, Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer, Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Markus “pronax” Wallsten, and Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson, fnatic were one of the strongest teams in the early years of CS:GO.

    While they won their first Major without the inclusion of KRIMZ and olofmeister, it is with these five that they would go on to win two Majors in 2015. They would miss out on the chance to win all three Majors in 2015 with their quarter-final loss to Envy at Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca, and their year would ultimately become overshadowed by the infamous olofboost incident at Dreamhack Winter, but they deserve their mention due to becoming the first team to win at consecutive Major Championships.

    JW of fnatic | top five rosters in CS:GO history Image Credits: ESL

    HM: NAVI (2021-2022)

    The most talented roster to ever come out of the CIS region, the squadron of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Kirill “boombl4” Mikhailov, Denis “electroNic” Sharipov, Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy, and Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy led Counter-Strike out of the turmoil of the Online Era and back into the safe haven of LANs.

    The first team to win a Major without dropping a map, they were incredibly successful and befitting of a team that includes the greatest player of all time. This does come with its caveats, however.

    Considering their Intel Grand Slam run was majority online, it stands out as a Mickey Mouse run next to the other winners, Astralis, Team Liquid, and FaZe Clan. As for their Major win, while impressive, it came at a time when many players were still learning to play on LAN, and teams were still figuring out their rosters. Stability was a huge positive for them at the time.

    They could easily be on this list, but sadly outside events and the breakout of war in Ukraine forced changes in the team, and for that reason, we will never know how long their dominance could have continued.

    simple of Natus Vincere | Top five rosters in CS:GO History Image Credits: Stefan Petrescu/PGL

    #5: NIP (2012-2014)

    Where better to start our list than with the best team in the early years of CS:GO? Consisting of Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson, Adam “friberg” Friberg, and Richard “Xizt” Landstrom, their escapades at the start of CS:GO are still unmatched today.

    The most prominent of these escapades, their 87-0 LAN map winning streak, is a streak so great that people have to degrade it by questioning the level of opposition just to even have a conversation about the win streaks of teams in the modern era. Discounted as G2 went on their own winning streak at the start of 2023, it is a record no team could ever hope to come close to.

    Mentioned far less, however, is their presence in all three Major championships they had the opportunity to play in. They may have only won one of those, but even then, that is another feat that has only been achieved on one other occasion. Although further Majors were without the presence of Fifflaren, it was also a streak that extended for the following two Majors with Mikail “maikelele” Bill and Aleksi “allu” Jalli.

    We may have criticized those who degrade the level of opposition NIP faced previously. However, it is a path we must also take to explain why a team with such dominance only places fifth. In a far less competitive era when the overall playstyle of teams was far less developed, you only have to watch a game from the era to see why it was possible for them to dominate. For that reason, they are worthy of a placing on the list, but they can not be higher than fifth.

    GeT_RiGhT of NIP Image Credits: Stephanie Lindgren/PGL

    #4: Team Liquid (2019)

    The only team on this list to not win a Major, Team Liquid's roster of Russel "Twistzz" van Dulken, Nick "nitr0" Canella, Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, Keith "NAF" Markovic, and Jake "stewie2k" Yip is without a doubt the greatest roster in the history of North American Counter-Strike.

    Their dominance may have been short-lived, though regardless of that, what they achieved during that time is a record that will likely never be beaten. Only four teams in history have won an Intel Grand Slam, and Liquid won theirs in just 63 days. A swashbuckling adventure in which they won six trophies, with five of those in a row; for that short period, their dominance was even greater than that of Astralis the year prior.

    An era that will always be dismissed due to the lack of a Major win. Who knows what would have happened if a player break hadn't killed their momentum prior to the Starladder Berlin Major.

    A roster that brought pride to a region with a record likely never to be broken, this list could not be complete without them. Sadly though, the lack of that all-important Major prevents them from being any higher.

    Former IGL of Team Liquid in 2019, nitr0 Image Credits: Helena Kristiansson/ESL

    #3: FaZe Clan (2022-)

    A roster now tainted by the categorizing as being inconsistent, people easily forget the stranglehold they had over the tier-one landscape in the first half of 2022.

    The addition of Robin “ropz” Kool to a team that already involved Finn “karrigan” Andersen, Russel “Twistzz” van Dulken, Harvard “rain” Nygaard, and Helvijs “broky” Saukants completed that team and transformed them into a superteam that the original FaZe superteam could only dream of being.

    In a single season, the roster managed to win ESL Pro League Season 15, IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne, and the PGL Stockholm Major, and while they wouldn’t complete their Intel Grand Slam in the remaining months of 2022, they would finally do so with a victory at ESL Pro League Season 17 this year.

    With three premier trophy wins, no one can take the achievements of this roster away from them, and although they may have become inconsistent since they were the last team to truly become dominant in the modern era. Considering how competitive CS:GO has become, that is a feat that demands such a high placing on this list.

    Karrigan of FaZe Clan Image Credits: Stefan Petrescu/PGL

    #2: Luminosity Gaming/SK Gaming (2016-2017)

    One of the greatest rosters in the history of CS:GO, the Brazilian team consisting of Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Marcelo “coldzera” David, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Epitacio “TACO” de Melo, and Lincoln “fnx” Lau became the first team from outside of Europe to win a Major in 2016.

    Winning their first Major at MLG Columbus, partly thanks to coldzera’s near-impossible, iconic jumping AWP play against Liquid in the semi-finals, they followed up with a second under a different banner at ESL One Cologne. Though they only won one other notable tournament that year, ESL Pro League Season 16

    They are a unique team on this list, mostly due to how little nitr0 actually did AWP for Liquid. They’re the only team on this list to actually have an AWP IGL. They’re also the only team we’re going to count for events that occurred after a roster change, but that’s mainly for the reason that they only needed a warm body for a fifth player. That being said, while 2017 wouldn’t feature a Major win for them after the arrival of Joao “felps” Vasconcellos, they did win five tournaments, including ESL One Cologne, IEM Sydney, and ECS Season 3 Finals.

    Featuring the best player in the world across those two years, an incredible IGL, and dominance across two lineups, the LG/SK core partway redefined Counter-Strike due to their usage of an AWP IGL, the best team across two years, their placing in this list is more than deserved.

    falleN of Luminosity/SK | Top five rosters in CS:GO History Image Credits: Joao Ferreira/PGL

    #1: Astralis (2019-2021)

    Who else could top this list other than the greatest team of all time? A roster formed almost by accident due to Markus “kjaerbye” Kjaerbye’s abrupt departure, Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, Nicolai “device” Reedtz, Emil “Magisk” Reif, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, and Andreas “Xyp9X” Hojsleth became a roster matched by none during 2018 and 2019.

    The only team to win three Majors in a row, they were untouchable during their runs at the FACEIT London Major, IEM Katowice, and the Starladder Berlin Major. Not just that, but they became the first team to win the Intel Grand Slam thanks to victories at Dreamhack Masters Marseille, ESL Pro League Season 7, IEM Chicago, and ESL Pro League Season 8.

    A team that changed CS:GO forever, their meticulous utility usage, less strict roles, and paint-by-numbers playstyle revolutionized professional play, creating a trickle-down effect that forced every other team to play like them in order to even attempt to defeat them.

    With dominance that spanned a length no other team came close to, and everything they did for the game as a whole in mind, there is no way that any other team could ever have been placed as number one on this list.

    device of Astralis Image Credits: Michal Konkol/BLAST
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    Copyright © 2024 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.