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CS:GO in 2020: The teams looking to close out the year on top

The CS:GO calendar is nearing its end, with only several weeks of competition remaining. With that in mind, lets highlight exactly where teams are as the season comes to an end. Specifically, who are the top 5 teams vying for position as the top dogs of CS:GO in 2020.

The top 5 teams internationally

Using HLTV’s world rankings system, the top 5 are all set for big events. There’s a lot of familiar faces: Astralis, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Team Liquid and 100 Thieves are all gunning to show they’re the best.

The top two

Astralis wracked up wins in CS:GO in 2020.
Astralis lifting the IEM Beijing trophy @ Bart Oerbekke

Astralis’ recent victory at IEM Beijing accelerated their position back to first. This, along with earlier results has positioned them as a consistent top performer. Astralis has been victorious in the Pro League Finals, Blast Global Finals, and ECS Season 8. These three events have several of their close rivals attending, as well as teams looking to resurge. For a team that has only recently regained control of the number one spot, they must do everything they can to secure it. The challenge for the next six weeks will involve whether another top-5 team can catch them. If not, the Astralis era may roar once again as we enter a new decade.

Evil Geniuses is the only team realistically challenging Astralis for the top spot. They too have huge wins recently, although, when they choke, they choke hard. EG will use their remaining events to try and cement themselves over Astralis and clear up whatever hiccups they’re currently facing. The other challenge for the Evil Geniuses is to maintain their grasp as NA’s #1. Team Liquid still maintains a top four spot and has been on a break, with internal problems affecting their performance on the server. EG needs to stay one step ahead of Liquid in this department or the race for first in NA will once again reignite.

The come backs

Fnatic’s recent resurgence is a gift from a time long passed. The team dominated the European scene in 2014/2015, before succumbing to the Luminosity/SK period and the Astralis era. In more recent years, the team has returned to form using their early 2018 roster. Yet, for some reason, the team broke apart and has since not been the same. With the team reunited, the roster has come back into full swing, all changed from their results in professional and in real life. This maturer Fnatic roster looks super capable, and they are making up for the lost time.

Team Liquid at ESL One Cologne, CS:GO 2020
Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Team Liquid in 2020? @Rich Lock Photography

As alluded to, Team Liquid once sat on top of the world prior to the player break in August. Since then, the team has slumped. Although, the biggest embarrassment for TL is that they missed out on the Berlin Major trophy, which should have been theirs to take. Now the team has showed signs of slumping at ESL One New York and Blast Pro Series Copenhagen. They have a few more big events left to attend and their mission is to address their issues before ECS and Blast Global Finals. Good results at those events will restore confidence in the roster, otherwise we may be looking at some drastic roster moves in 2020 after an incredible late-2018 to mid-2019.

Finally, there’s 100 Thieves. The Australian roster has been well and truly reformed in recent months, after a short slump in the middle of the year. Their most recent appearance in the finals of IEM Beijing was a great return to form, even despite the hard win Astralis had over them (16-14, 16-5, 16-4). The Aussies recently pulled out of the DreamHack Winter open, meaning they only have the ESL Pro Series Finals to attend. Given their current projection, they should be in the top eight. That’s nothing to scoff at either considering the weakness of global consistency at the moment. And for a team hailing from Australia, this is incredible given their regional opposition.

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