“Are Team Liquid the best CS:GO team in the world right now?”
That’s the question on everybody’s mind right now. After all, why wouldn’t it be? They’ve consistently won the biggest tournaments in CS:GO over the past three months, beating all opposition, both by outplaying and by out-aiming them.
Now, HLTV’s rankings are by no means definitive. It only takes into account recent performances. It also punishes teams heavily for not having performed well in the past few months. Or, in Astralis’ case (more on them later on), not having played in a single big event in, well, three months. But, if we were to go by their latest rankings, then yes, Team Liquid are the best CS:GO team at this very moment.
How Team Liquid Played Their Way into the Conversation
The problem with the title of the “best CS:GO team in the world” is that it’s almost always subjective.
There are no fixed categories or statistics to be a considered first before a team is labelled as such. But, one thing that most within the community can agree on is that the title is given to teams who have had a string of success over a long period of time. Or, in Team Liquid’s case, over a year.
Yes, over a year.
If you’ve been following the CS:GO competitive scene closely, you’ll know that Team Liquid have spent the better part of 2018 and 2019 chasing the stars that are Astralis. Sure, they may have fallen short more times than they’d like and there was that one time at the IEM Chicago 2018 that they fed the memes that have so long haunted them, but they were right up there among the very best.
Even if the memes would like to paint a different picture, the fact is, Team Liquid were successful, lack of titles be damned.
Now that they’re starting to win titles, which is, no doubt, a byproduct of their decision to break up their previously-successful roster to bring in Jake ‘Stewie2K‘ Yip to serve as a wildcard and Eric ‘adreN‘ Hoag as their coach, the “Team Liquid can’t win” or “Team Liquid are chokers” argument is no longer valid.
This lineup is easily the best iteration of Team Liquid yet and the results speak for themselves.
Who Are the Other Contenders in CS:GO in 2019?
2018 made it easy to pick out the best CS:GO team in the world, with the honor belonging to Astralis.
Now? Not so much.
Whereas the all-time Danish powerhouse once ticked every box one could possibly use to analyze success in the game, they are starting to look a lot less like their dominant selves as the rest of the scene has slowly but surely caught up to them.
Case in point, after winning the IEM Katowice Major, Astralis have put their legacy in jeopardy by skipping multiple big events and failing to win the LANs that they did choose to attend.
While we won’t really go into detail about how detrimental it is to Astralis to decide to skip nearly three months’ worth of notable LAN tournaments, what we can say is that, by doing so, they’ve allowed themselves to be overtaken if not leapfrogged by other CS:GO teams, in particular, by Team Liquid.
Now, Team Liquid have successfully played their way into the conversation and it looks like they won’t be going away anytime soon.
Outside of these two CS:GO teams, there aren’t really others that are worth mentioning. ENCE are a great team, and there’s no doubt that they’ll go even further than they have right now, but they haven’t yet proven themselves consistently enough over a long period of time over elite competition. Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan are both going through a transition, while MIBR‘s latest lineup are just one early exit away from being officially labelled a bust.
The Rivalry Is On
In the months prior, calling the matchup between Team Liquid and Astralis a rivalry seemed like a joke.
After all, to call the historically one-sided matchup it a rivalry would be to imply that Team Liquid actually were pretty even with Astralis. But, they weren’t. Far from it, actually. However, as 2019 went on, the rivalry started to shift towards Team Liquid’s favour, and with the way things are right now, the only way to settle the debate is for Astralis and Team Liquid to square up, preferably with a LAN title on the line.
Unfortunately, we won’t be getting a chance to see this rivalry heat up even more soon.
Of the multiple big LAN events scheduled for June and mid-July, the only tournament where both Astralis and Team Liquid will be playing at will be at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals in Montpelier, France on June 18-23.
It’s a huge tournament with 16 teams playing, so there’s no guarantee that we’re going to see Astralis and Team Liquid match up against each other.
So, for now, we’re just going to have to settle with which CS:GO team ends up winning more tournaments.
Team Liquid currently have the edge in that aspect, but if their recent run managed to lit a fire under Astralis, then things are about to get interesting.
At the end of the day, we could all be making much ado about nothing.
Yes, Team Liquid are the best CS:GO team right now according to HLTV’s rankings. But, the question is, until when? A lot of people seem obsessed to follow who’s in that top spot every week, but you can’t really call yourself as the “best in the world” if you can’t hold on to that said spot for several weeks if not months.
Best-case scenario, we could see Team Liquid and Astralis trading the number one spot in the next couple of weeks, with no other team even coming close.
Either way, the onus is now on Team Liquid to own that spot.
Astralis have already had their run, built by holding on to the spot for a year. Even if they spend the next couple of months (if not years) coasting and winning the occasional big LAN tournament (preferably the StarLadder Berlin Major), they’ve already secured their legacy — they’re now just playing to widen the gap between them and everyone else.
In short, what matters is for Team Liquid to now prove that they are the best CS:GO team in the world over a long period of time.
Do you think that Team Liquid are the best CS:GO team in the world right now? If not, then which team do you think deserves that title? Be sure to let us knwo your thoughts in the comments down below.