Following Team Liquid’s success at ESL Pro League Season 9: Finals, the North American team has now established a massive gap between themselves and the last reigning kings, Astralis. Meanwhile, G2 also climb the ranks in the top 10 region, while Na’Vi trails all the way back to spot #13.
#1: Team Liquid may sit at the top for a while
While Liquid did not have the best of starts to 2018, especially at IEM Katowice Major, the team has recomposed themselves and put up some very impressive results. Although they failed to triumph at both BLAST Pro Series Miami and BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo, they were runners up at both events. What came after was a true showing of strength, however. Jake “Stewie2K” Yip and his teammates found success at IEM Sydney, defeating fnatic in a very tight match. Team Liquid then later found success at two subsequent events. DreamHack Masters Dallas went their way after they defeated ENCE. At that point, Team Liquid had already surpassed Astralis.
The real breakthrough, though, was when the NA team won the recent ESL Pro League Season 9: Finals in a hectic best-of-five against G2. Now, the team is sitting at the top with 1000 (maximum) points. No other team even comes close to contending for the #1 spot. How long will this reign last? Will it even be a reign? Only time will tell.
#2: Astralis look jaded
Astralis saw a phenomenal start to 2019, especially at IEM Katowice Major, which continued from their dominant 2018. It looked as if the Danes would continue their reign of glory well into 2019. However, what we saw recently from Astralis may very well be the end of their lengthy run. The team has lacked the edge in the last couple of showings.
After finding success at BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo, Astralis failed to show the same kind of edge at the following events that they’ve attended. BLAST Pro Series Miami was a fluke, as the Danish side failed to live up to expectations and finished in a disappointing 4th place. The next BLAST event in Madrid saw a better Astralis. However, ENCE got their revenge in the final for the IEM Katowice Major and defeated the Danish side.
The last two events went terribly for Astralis. At ECS Season 7 Finals, Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz and co. didn’t even make it out of the group stage. Things took a turn for even worse when Astralis failed to live up to expectations at ESL Pro League Season 9: Finals. Yet again, they were knocked out by none other than Team Liquid at the quarter-finals.
Now, Astralis has to bridge a massive gap of nearly 500 points to catch up to Team Liquid. To make things even worse, ENCE is very close behind at just 20. To sum it all up, things are looking bleak for Astralis. Unless they can get back on track fast, we are looking for the rest of the year to be Team Liquid’s.
#8: G2 returns with kennyS back in business
The French Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene has recently focused on Vitality’s success and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut’s rise as a young star. Overshadowed, G2 has finally made a breakthrough, becoming a major threat to Team Liquid at ESL Pro League Season 9: Finals. Perhaps the most impressive throughout was Kenny “kennyS” Schrub. Known for his extraordinary AWPing capabilities, the Frenchman demonstrated that he’s still got it in him. While getting through to a final of such an event is fantastic, if G2 really want to make a statement, they still need to clinch a victory at a LAN event to show that the French dream remains alive.
#13: Na’Vi enter a transition phase
When having the world’s best player on-board, a team is expected to perform and contend at the highest possible level. Naturally, this player is Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, and it would be unwise to question his overall abilities. However, the team has recently had trouble with internal problems. Most notably, this took the form of them replacing Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev, one of the few remaining legendary players of Counter-Strike, with Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, a 20-year old talent.
Na’Vi’s results this year are lackluster. However, they did manage to win StarSeries i-League Season 7, where they demolished fnatic in a best-of-three final. Apart from that, there haven’t been any notable results for s1mple’s squad. Hopefully, the rest of 2019 will be a much brighter part for them and we’ll see them climb back up to the top 10 once more.
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