HLTV’s Top Five Ranked Professional Counter-Strike Teams For Beginning Of 2020

HLTV’s Top Five Ranked Professional Counter-Strike Teams For Beginning Of 2020
Credit: ESL Counter-Strike via YouTube

It’s been a relatively quiet two weeks of professional Counter-Strike after a nonstop train of action from September to December, and the teams are likely thrilled with the break of action that they’ve gotten to reconnect with their families and friends.  Yet a new year is upon us, and the action is going to begin revving once again as teams prepare for IEM Katowice with it’s massive $500,000 prize pool that’s up for grabs, BLAST Premiere with a $300,000 prize pool, and a slew of qualifiers and ‘Open Tournies’ that all begins tomorrow.

Before the song and dance begins anew, it’s worth taking a look at the top five teams as per HLTV’s rankings.  It doesn’t reflect the recent Mystic Cup that just finished due to the nature of the Cup, but it does bring the past three months of LAN’s and big tourneys that have occurred.  All good lists start with the bottom, and that’s good enough for us.

#5 – Evil Geniuses (507 Points)

Evil Geniuses went from an unstoppable show of force to a consistently weak showing, all with one patch dropping that brought an economic nerf to the Krieg after professional CSGO players openly aired their grievances with the weapon being so cheap, for so long.  Not necessarily the singular point of contention that brought the team to fifth place, with four wins from their last ten matches.  Their recent slew of top-five finishes keep them in the running as the top CSGO teams, but Vitality and 100 Thieves are both appearing on the upswing.  If Evil Geniuses don’t start pulling big wins soon, they may drop faster than most would want to believe.

#4 – Liquid (594 Points)

Team Liquid has a very specific Danish nemesis in the form of Astralis; any time they get close to first place, Astralis is there to shut them down.  In the past four finals of various leagues, Astralis has beaten Liquid five times; every time they meet.  The only other team with a victory against Liquid is fnatic for the ESL Pro Season 10 Finals, although NiP defeated them in early November.  Jake ‘Stewie’ Yip blamed himself a few times publically for Liquid’s failure to perform, but they’re close to #3 with a margin of twenty points.  They’re consistently on the cusp of greatness, and Stewie looked fantastic during the Mystic Cup.  Hopefully, they can iron out the kinks and put Astralis on the ropes once or twice this year.

#3 – fnatic (611 Points)

fnatic was seeded 28th as recently as September of 2019; they’ve come back swinging, delivering a brutal loss to Liquid in the ESL Finals.  JW is clearly on top of his game as a flawless AWPer, taking obscene angles and peaking into duels that he somehow walks away from.  Brollan has also been an absolute cornerstone in the team recently; at just 17 years old, he’s managing a 1.18 rating and is rated as the 19th best player in the world.  fnatic was dealt a crushing defeat in a clean sweep by mousesports, which ended up costing them the ESL Finals.  There’s a thin margin between them and Liquid, the smallest margin among the top five.  They could easily find themselves lower if they lose pressure in the first three months of 2020.

#2 – mousesports (712 Points)

mousesports struggled to get into the top ten for the majority of 2019, and then suddenly broke the top five with surprising ease while keeping the entire team together.  While playing with two stand-ins for cs_summit 5, they somehow came out on top against G2 without their in-game leader Karrigan who had to leave for visa issues.  Something drastically changed for the better for the European team, and they don’t show signs of stopping; of their past ten matches, they’ve lost only twice against Vitality (1-2 Bo3) and MIBR (7-16 Bo1).  2020 will let us see if mousesports can continue to contend with the hardest hitting teams of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

#1 – Astralis (1,000 Points)

The Danish team might be robots.  They’ve lost one match in their last ten, and it was against mousesports (1-2 Bo3).  Their win rate is 85.2%.  It is very unlikely that they drop their form any time in the near future, so other teams are going to have step up their game somehow by watching the tapes.  Their positioning in maps such as Nuke and Mirage are impeccable, and it seems like they win rounds before a single round is fired.

Counter-Strike will begin tomorrow with renewed vigor, with the IEM Katowice qualifiers.  It’s about time, too.