Blog: Who is the third best CS:GO team of all time? Part Two

May 15th, 2017 20:44
Hello HLTV! Lightning here with another blog. Today I’ll be continuing this short series looking at the teams who could claim to be the third best of all time. This part will continue along the CS:GO timeline, featuring more great teams and players and offering my judgement on them.

Natus Vincere 2015-16

Roster: Zeus, Edward, GuardiaN, flamie, seized

Dates: 17th March 2015 (flamie joins; starix becomes coach) – 4th August 2016 (s1mple replaces Zeus)

Major record: Four appearances

ESL One Cologne 2015: Quarter-finals
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015: Final
MLG Columbus 2016: Final
ESL One Cologne 2016: Quarter-finals

Other notable tournaments won: Starladder Starseries XIII, ESWC 2015, IEM San Jose, Dreamhack Leipzig 2016

Playstyle: Slow, methodical, map control style; very much the philosophy of Zeus and starix

Storyline: One of the most dominant orgs in the latter era of 1.6, NaVi had an inauspicious start in CS:GO. It wasn’t until 2015, when young talent flamie joined and 1.6 legend starix became coach and then latterly the IGL, that the team really took off, reaching the #2 spot in the world. If Cluj came too early in their evolution as a team, then Columbus was snatched away by GuardiaN’s injury, and their hand was forced into a roster move by Ukrainian wild child s1mple dominating the org he idolised in the Cologne playoffs.

Star man: GuardiaN became the best AWPer in the world after kennys’ decline, and routinely opened up the game on both sides of the map. How cruel that injury should affect both him and his team so badly.

What counts against them? Failure to win a major or $250k+ tournament, although had GuardiaN been fully fit then Columbus was certainly there for the taking. They also never beat either Fnatic lineup of their era in a Bo3 series.

Valid claim? No. It’s the lack of a big tournament win that’s the real killer here. They are the only lineup to reach consecutive CS:GO major finals without a title to their name, a record I’m sure they’re not proud of.

EnVyUs 2015-16

Roster: kennys, apEX, kioShiMa, NBK, Happy

Dates: 20th July 2015 (second French Shuffle) – 8th March 2016 (DEVIL replaces kioShiMa)

Major record: 2 appearances

ESL One Cologne 2015: Final
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015: Winners

Other notable tournaments won: IEM Gamescom 2015, Gfinity Champion of Champions, Gameshow Global eSports Cup Season 1

Playstyle: Loose in the extreme

Storyline: Unlike the first French shuffle, there was no doubt which team should be the best this time round. Recruiting star AWPer kennys and highly skilled entry fragger apEX seemed a slam dunk for success, and they stormed to a major final on only their second LAN together. A stirring Fnatic comeback on the first map knocked the stuffing out of them that day, but their hot form carried through to Cluj, where they beat Fnatic, G2 and NaVi in the playoffs to lift the trophy. Unfortunately this was the beginning of the end for this team’s success. Their performance at Katowice 2016 was worryingly bad, and by the time they reached MLG Columbus a roster change had been made, and “the problem” benched.

Star man: Though kennys had fallen off from his insane peak level of early 2015, he was still a very good AWPer during their successful run, and their best rated player in the Cluj triumph.

What counts against them? How quickly they burnt out after their first six tournaments. Whether it was a lack of motivation, or a failure to change either their tactical approach or their map pool, is open to debate, but to go from first place at Cluj to last place at Columbus (with a different player) was unacceptable for a roster of this much talent.

Valid claim? No. Good teams win, but great teams continue to win, and this team couldn’t do that.

Fnatic 2015-16, 17-present

Roster: olofmeister, dennis, krimz, flusha, JW

Dates: 12th November 2015 (dennis replaces pronax) – 15th August 2016 (1st Godsent trade)
4th February 2017 (2nd Godsent trade) – present

Major record: Two appearances

MLG Columbus 2016: Quarter-finals
ESL One Cologne 2016: Semi-finals

Other notable tournaments won: FACEIT Stage 3, ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2, Starladder Starseries XIV, IEM Katowice 2016

Playstyle: Very loose. “YOLO” is almost an understatement.

Storyline: pronax left the team post-Cluj due to disagreements over their playstyle. In came dennis, former teammate of olofmeister and krimz in LGB, and they won six international LANs in a row off the bat, leaving analysts scratching their heads as to the secret of their success. Olof’s injury just prior to Columbus killed their prospects when they came in as favourites, and internal quarrels, along with no further trophies, led to the first Godsent trade after ELEAGUE Season One. After the ELEAGUE Major, the band got back together, just without the instant success they saw last time, and are currently fighting to restore both their former status and the Fnatic fear factor.

Star man: olofmeister regained his status as the best player in the world during their crazy LAN run, and remained their key playmaker despite all the skill around him.

What counts against them? Failure to win a major, although Columbus saw circumstances beyond their control and they fell victim to the Team Liquid fairy tale in Cologne. I’m not counting their results since reforming against them, as in my opinion they can’t tarnish their legacy an awful lot; they can only fail to add to it. There wasn’t much tactical depth to the team during their successes, which is something they are working to improve now; you need your brain on the days when your aim isn’t on fire.

Valid claim? Not for me. They may have been the most skilled roster to ever play CS:GO, and maybe the most feared, but the game is about more than headshots.

This concludes part two of this series. If you enjoyed this blog or have any thoughts, questions or opinions, feel free to comment below; I’ll be reading! If you would be interested in seeing some content in video form on YouTube in the future, you can also let me know. The final part will follow soon, where hopefully we can offer some form of answer to the original question.
hahahahaha stopped reading at NaVi LMAO this team won nothing important
2017-05-15 20:46
United Kingdom DJ_Nr8 
+1 Their biggest Tournament was ESL NY and it was carried by s1mple anyway...
2017-05-15 21:16
If you had read the article, I pointed out the fact they never won a big tournament so can't be considered as the third best, but the previous Navi lineup has been better overall than the current one, I don't think that's an unfair statement. Whilst they couldn't beat Fnatic (again, as I stated), on LAN they beat EnVyUs regularly after Cluj, they beat Luminosity (later SK) basically every time before GuardiaN's injury, they would generally beat TSM/Astralis as well; that's pretty much every other elite team of their era. They won six international LANs and made two major finals; they wouldn't have lost to Misfits in a Bo3 on LAN that's for sure. Current NaVi aren't even guaranteed to get out of groups. The only other CIS team who could maybe be considered their equal in CS:GO history is the 2013 Virtus Pro with Dosia etc.
2017-05-15 22:42
United Kingdom DJ_Nr8 
they beat many good teams many times but they never beat good teams in finals of big tournament. Not saying that current NaVi are better of course they are not but old navi wasnt much better as well.
2017-05-15 22:44
Starladder Starseries 13: beat EnVyUs in the final (the one with shox/SmithZz who admittedly were beginning to drop off, but an elite team at the time) ESWC 2015: beat C9 (on a hot run of form but not really an elite team) IEM San Jose: beat TSM (elite team, although the choking history is there) Deamhack Leipzig: beat LG (who were becoming elite) Counter Pit Season 2: beat Astralis (top 5 team) I'd say that's a decent list of teams they beat. Remember Fnatic with dennis beat LG in their first LAN as a team in one final, and a pretty weak NiP in another final during their hot streak, so they didn't always play the best either.
2017-05-15 22:51
Germany official_k_den 
penta sports
2017-05-15 20:45
87-0. Enough said.
2017-05-15 20:48
As I said in part one, original NiP is widely considered the 2nd best team ever, so they're not the focus of this series.
2017-05-15 22:34
?????? better than this fnatic or navi xD baiter noob
2017-05-17 19:45
it feels like that by seeing the results of first 6 lans of EnvyUs and fnatic, they can both claim the 3rd best team title but how they burned out is an unexplainable fact. Also, I see the EnvyUs lineup having a significantly greater claim to 3rd spot than LDLC due to the simple fact of 2 major finals by this roster and no slam on their major victory due to any controversy. For me, fnatic won Dreamhack 2014 due to Boostmeister controversy. Fnatic was the indisputable best team during LDLC winning times but during the envyus era, they were the indisputable no1 for those 6 LANs. Even the legendary Fnatic lineup was underdog to them in Major Finals and had that cobble game not been so ugly for kennyS, maybe we had talked about kennyS as no1 player of 2015 and not olofmeister
2017-05-15 20:54
Fnatic there's one obvious reason; olof's injury took away their best player and key playmaker. With him out of the picture and then off form when he came back, they missed his aggression since JW was in a relative bad patch, krimz was never really an entry fragger and dennis/flusha are both fairly passive players. With EnVyUs, it's probably a combination of the things I mentioned. The players lost some motivation so they played less, meaning their skill fell of and they couldn't improve their map pool, but they had no tactics to fall back on even on their good maps, and the team basically died as a result. I don't think it's fair to say Fnatic were underdogs in the Cologne 2015 final. EnVyUs had only played one LAN before this so no-one really knew for sure what their map pool or peak level was, whereas Fnatic were tried, tested and already major winners. Even had EnVyUs won Cobble the third map would have been Fnatic's backyard, Inferno. Your points are fair but I would edge towards the original LDLC/EnVyUs as the better team overall, in my humble opinion. You are of course welcome to yours :)
2017-05-15 23:01
Didn't read but Cloud 9 x)
2017-05-15 21:17
2017-05-15 22:43
Denmark lucasgm5 
Navi really???
2017-05-15 22:51
United Kingdom Jonty04l32 
Ignore the haters who didn't actually read the blog. As always, it's amazing and I love the generalisation you portray in an open, informational-bias format. Look forward to reading the next one... :)
2017-05-17 04:44
2017-05-17 20:08
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.