Of all the professional CSGO teams who are playing right now, who are you going to be rooting for in the coming tournaments? Astralis is already a given. After all, their current run puts them right up there as the best in CS:GO history and they’re not done yet. Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, and ENCE are all close seconds, while both FaZe Clan and MiBR have enough star power in their rosters to make them worth following despite the lack of wins.
But, CS:GO’s best teams aren’t the only ones worth following. Even when we isolate the teams who have little to no shot at making some noise, we can find a handful of squads that, like ENCE in the past, are worth following because of their quality play, and intriguing levels of upside.
Again, you’re not going to find your typical professional CSGO teams here.
However, if you look closely enough, you might just find a new team to root for in the lead-up to the StarLadder Berlin Major.
Funny how a few months can take your team from being one of the best CS:GO teams in the world to being an underdog, but that’s what happens when you gut half of your roster and add in new players.
It’ll be a while before we see how newcomers Özgür ‘woxic‘ Eker, David ‘frozen‘ Čerňanský, Finn ‘karrigan‘ Andersen, will look against quality competition at a LAN setting. So far, the only confirmed invite they’ve received so far is at IEM Sydney 2019 on April 30 to May 5, although we are going to see them play against regional teams at the European Qualifiers of the ESL Pro League Season 9 in a few weeks.
Regardless of when we’ll start seeing mouseports play, it’s arguably already safe to say that we should expect great things from them. Both the potential floor and ceiling of this roster is just too good for this team to not achieve some form of success, especially if the 16-year-old frozen starts improving rapidly under the tutelage of a veteran like karrigan.
Renegades had a memorable run at IEM Katowice 2019. They may not have won, but they captured the hearts of CS:GO fans all over the world. Not to mention, they put themselves on the radar of other professional CSGO teams.
Showing good templay, structure, tactics, and role balance, Renegades showed that it is possible for a team who doesn’t have an established nor up-and-coming superstar to succeed. Sure, Justin ‘jks‘ Savage did more than his fair share of lifting for the Australian side, but, as a whole, the team relied more on their ability to play off of each other than the play of a singular player to make it to where they did.
Now, the onus is on them to replicate the form that they showed at the Katowice Major.
There’s a huge difference when other professional CS:GO teams aren’t paying attention to you, and when their play is being analyzed for counter-play potential, which is likely to happen going forward, starting at the StarSeries & i-League Season 7.
If Renegades can survive the week-long tournament in Shanghai and show that their play is consistent enough, they’ll have solidified their place among the most dangerous teams in CS:GO right now.
If we are to single out the biggest dark horse playing at the StarSeries & i-League Season 7, there’s a good chance that we’ll go with Team Vitality.
Literally every team in the tournament is beatable for French squad, and without any standout CS:GO teams like Team Liquid and Astralis playing, they’ll have every bit of a shot at making a deep run and turning a lot of heads.
As with the other professional CSGO teams on our list, consistency is the biggest problem for this squad. They give off the same vibes as the old Virtus.Pro squad, who could literally beat anyone and lose to anyone, sans the titles and championship runs.
If they can prove to be good enough to beat some of the best CS:GO teams in the world, there’s no reason why Team Vitality cannot establish themselves as one of the most entertaining teams to watch in CS:GO.
BIG’s rise to the top has been so slow and has taken so long that it’s only fair to wonder if they’re ever going to make there. There’s been so much talk about how good potentially this squad could be, and yet, they’ve got nothing to show for it. Even when they added Can ‘XANTARES‘ Dörtkardeş, the team failed to show any signs that they were ready to contend anytime soon.
But, we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss them anyway. BIG have been in this position before, and we all know just what kind of damage this team can do and have done in the past if teams start sleeping on them.
A Top 4, or even a Grand Finals appearance, is not out of the question at the StarSeries & i-League Season 7 is not out of the question for BIG if they pull themselves together.
Even if they did end up flaming out early, you can bet that BIG will be right up there battling against the big names once again sooner or later.
A team supposedly on the cusp of contention, NRG Esports went from being close to challenging Team Liquid in North America to breaking up their roster after a lackluster showing at IEM Katowice 2019. But, maybe, it was all for the better, because, the team was probably already close to reaching its ceiling if it already hadn’t — and their ceiling wasn’t really looking too good.
With Cloud9 standout and former ELEAGUE Boston Major MVP, Tarik ‘tarik‘ Celik, on the roster, NRG Esports might finally start breaking through their previous ceiling and start contendering against top CS:GO teams for real.
What other lesser known professional CSGO teams do you think would be fun to watch in the coming months? Do you have other favourites? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.