2018 has just started and as few weeks ago with the ECS finals in Cancun, Mexico the last big CS:GO event of the year has been completed, it is a perfect time to look back on what a year 2017 has been for competitive Counter-Strike.
We will have a look at the best performing teams, biggest surprises and biggest upsets we have seen over the last 12 months in CS:GO history. We will mainly focus on the premier events, as they brought us the best CS:GO teams the world has to offer.
A year in results
As wins and high placements is all what the teams are playing for, it is important to look back on last years results by all the teams. We have broken down the results of all the bigger tournaments that have been organised over the last year, with a prize pool above 100.000 USD. As expected, the two strongest teams of the moment, SK Gaming and FaZe, are topping the list.
|Counter Logic Gaming||0||0||2||2||$134.940|
* Prize money is based on https://www.esportsearnings.com
These teams can look back to a good year
On top of the list we unsurprisingly see SK Gaming. the team who managed to get 9 tournament wins in bigger tournaments this year together with several other top 3 placements. Gabriel ‘Fallen’ Toledo, Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga, Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David and Epitácio ‘TACO’ de Melohave overall been playing consistent throughout the whole year. While felps became inactive in October after internal struggles, Ricardo ‘boltz’ Prass (ex-Immortals) has been proven a valid replacement, helping SK to win Epicenter 2017, the Blast Pro Series in Copenhagen and the ESL Pro League Finals in the last few months. Despite the good results, SK did not manage to reach the finals in any Majors, with a 3rd-4th place finish in Atlanta and 5th-8th in Krakow after defeats against Virtus.pro and Astralis respectively.
Second on the list we see FaZe, the team that has always been a force to be reckoned with. This year the force got even bigger, accompanied by some of the most important transfers that have been made in CS:Go in 2017. Currently Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard and Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen are the only remaining players of the FaZe squad of 2016. In February 2017 FaZe has acquired the Bosnian Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač and with the addition of Ladislav ‘Guardian’ Kovács (ex-Natus Vincere) and olofmeister (ex-Fnatic) in August the team seems to be at its highest strength. The current roster has won the ECS finals, the Eleague Premier and ESL One: New York over the last few months, making them the strongest team at this point. However, just like SK, FaZe has significantly underperformed in Majors, with a 5th-8th place in Atlanta and a last place in Krakow.
Another team that definitely cannot be left out on this list is Gambit Gaming. The team currently consisting the Kazakhs Dauren ‘AdreN’ Kystaubayev, Rustem ‘mou’ Telepov, Abay ‘Hobbit’ Khassenov, Bektiyar ‘fitch’ Bahytov and the Russian Mikhail ‘Dosia’ Stolyarov have accomplished the biggest set-up of CS:GO history by taking down the title in the PGL Major Krakow by defeating Immortals 2-1 in the final. Before the tournament they were seen as one of the big underdogs. One of the major players in this win was Daniil ‘Zeus’ Teslenko, who had left Natus Vincere for the Kazakh squad to lead them to victory as an IGL, only to move back some time later after internal struggles.
These teams will hope for a better 2018
One team that can look back to perhaps one of the most disappointing years is Natus Vincere. The predominantly Ukrainian squad is home of perhaps one of the best CS:GO players in the world, Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev. Even though he keeps performing well consistently in his matches with a HLTV player rating rarely going under 1.00 it seems that his teammates are not able to catch up with him resulting in a bad year for NaVi. The Ukrainian team has somewhat seemed to get back on the right track however by adding the young Russian talent Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov to their line-up in November. With the new line-up they managed to take the victory in DreamHack Open Winter by defeating Mousesports 2-0 in the final.
A second team that completely fell apart in 2017 was Immortals. Even though the performances of the Brazilian team were solid in the beginning of the year with a 2nd place in PGL Krakow and some podium places in Dreamhack Opens Austin and Summer, the team was undergoing a lot of internal struggles, both with the team management and between the players. The old Immortals squad with the brothers Henrique ‘HEN1’ and Lucas ‘LUCAS1’ Teles and Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe will take their Legend status acquired in Krakow with them to their new team 100 Thieves, leaving Immortals empty handed.
Team ranking development
These rankings are based on HLTV rankings and are based on multiple factors such as results and current form, both in online and offline matches.
When looking at the ranking progression compared to the beginning of the year and throughout it has been a constant battle between SK, FaZe and Astralis for the first place. Even though Astralis has been dominantly on the 1st spot over the 1st half of the year, it has been mainly FaZe and SK battling head-to-head the last months. Other notable risers in the top 10 are Swedish teams NiP and Fnatic, who after a year of struggling yet managed to get them back there due to recent results.
We see a significant drop in ranking for Virtus.pro and NaVi who have been struggling throughout the year. Even though Optic Gaming falling out of the top 10 might seem a bad thing, it is important to know that it is currently only the Spanish Óscar ‘mixwell’ Cañellas who remains from the original squad. The squad is now formed as a European mixed team with a lot of experience and have worked their way to the 11th position based solely on their own results.