When it first launched in 2012, CSGO almost immediately became an international sensation. Counter-Strike had built a firm foundation as a franchise, but CSGO would truly become a global masterpiece. In the years that followed, countless professional Counter-Strike teams entered the space, and today, there are hundreds battling it out. With that in mind, we’re here today to discuss the best CSGO teams in the world.
It’s a diverse and exhilarating landscape, with the CSGO top 10 teams climbing and falling in the rankings with each passing contest. Today, CSGO is one of the most valuable esports titles in the world, and it’s well and truly loved by millions. Most of the teams on this list have been competing in CSGO for many years, and they’re instantly recognizable. However, some of them are a little newer, and they’ve still got plenty to prove in the space.
List of the Best CSGO Teams in 2023
6. Team Liquid
1. Team Vitality
More About CSGO Top 10 Teams
Let’s take a look at the best CSGO teams in the world in 2023. We’ve included their active roster at the time of writing.
Perhaps Virtus.pro is a team you were expecting to see higher on a CSGO team rankings list. We’d happily put them there if it wasn’t for one particular problem.
While we believe that Jame and his Virtus.pro associates are among the best CSGO players in the scene today, they haven’t really had the chance to prove their mettle by facing heavyweights like NAVE, FaZe, or G2 after winning the 2022 Rio Major. They failed to even qualify for the Paris Major after losing to three underdogs (B8, Into the Breach, and MOUZ) in the European RMR A.
Still, we think Virtus.pro is among the top CS:GO teams in the world. Winning the IEM Rio Major versus Heroic in the Grand Final was a commendable feat. We’re most definitely not saying that they won’t resurface in a stronger form in CS2. We’re just saying that the picture isn’t complete until they’ve proven once and for all that their Major win was no fluke.
At one time in the past, Cloud9 has been the house of some superstars. The org has signed Hiko, Skadoodle, shroud, Stewie2k, tarik, and even TenZ, whose name is now elevated, seemingly, to that of a Valorant deity. Maybe the success of the whole can be summarized by merely looking at the success of its parts.
That said, Cloud9 brought home the ELEAGUE Boston Major in 2018 and has since been lingering on the fence. They would miss or miss big for the next 4 years, finally fishing the IEM Dallas S17 in 2022. By then, the team had been mainly Russians after the org had acquired the Gambit roster on 24 April, at which point the Russian invasion of Ukraine was bringing dire consequences to Russian esports groups like Gambit and Virtus.pro.
Gambit was one of the best CSGO teams in the world in 2021, performing at a level that could seize a million-dollar event like the IEM Katowice 2021, and finished no lower than 5th-8th only on 4 occasions throughout an entire CSGO season.
If you were betting on CSGO before Paris Major, you would know that bookies did still consider them a favorite until their loss in the European RMR Decider. Had they assumed their 2021 form qualify to the Paris Major, they would have fared better on our CSGO team rankings.
The 2022 IEM Rio Major happened in Brazil, the home turf of FURIA. There we saw arguably South America’s strongest team perform with a roaring Brazilian crowd behind their backs. The roar was especially louder when FURIA kicked NAVI in the quarterfinals and they advanced one step closer to their dream of a 3rd Major brought home by a Brazilian team.
KSCERATO, arT, and yuurih have been playing together since they got signed around early 2018, only several months after FURIA was founded. They were a tier-two team at the time, who got their first shot at the Major in Katowice in 2019. They left the event miserably after only 4 series, 3 of which they lost. They would go through the same disappointment at the Berlin Major later that year (20th-22nd).
In 2022, they fared better, never finishing a tournament lower than 9th-12th place. In IEM Dallas S17 and IEM Rio Major, they bowed out in 3rd-4th place. The pattern spells a reasonable assumption: FURIA’s best days are ahead.
And in 2023, we can’t overlook their highly competitive series against Heroic in the quarterfinals of the IEM Rio and their Legends Stage qualification in the Paris Major. It might be to the surprise of all that FURIA didn’t win a single series in the event, but what we can be certain of for now is that the team will be SA’s champion all the same moving on to CS2.
ENCE popped off at the beginning of the Paris Major, winning BO1s against FaZe and NIP and even taking a BO3 against FaZe. Alongside G2, they were the only team that won all their series in the event’s Legends Stage.
While their luck didn’t get carried over to the Legends Stage, where they lost to Vitality, Into the Breach, and NIP, ENCE’s notoriety has long been felt especially in the Tier 2 sphere of CSGO esports.
After Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia and Guy “NertZ” Iluz joined the team in late 2022 and early 2023, ENCE quickly assumed their top form, finding some success in the ESL Pro League S17 (where they finished 3rd-4th) and eventually qualifying to the Paris Major.
It’s interesting to think how the CSGO odds for ENCE would change as the league shifts to CS2. Will they finally solidify themselves as a Tier 1 team worthy to be among the best Counter-Strike teams? Or will they continue to teeter-totter?
6. Team Liquid
Team Liquid entered the competitive scene in 2015 and has since solidified itself as one of the best CSGO pro teams in the world. Their highest points include winning IEM Sydney 2019, DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019, ESL Cologne 2019, and Intel Grand Slam Season 2, the crown jewel of all CSGO events.
While Team Liquid hasn’t sunken their teeth into anything meaty for a while (except finishing 2nd in the 2022 BLAST Premier: World Final) they’re the team who can go for an entire season without getting into serious trouble. Their series of harsh losses are almost always compensated by a series of small—if not considerable—triumphs.
The team made it to the playoffs of the Paris Major despite starting at a disadvantage in the Challengers Stage. They fell to Norwegian org Apeks in the quarterfinals, granted, but not before revivifying NA CS on the international stage.
5. FaZe Clan
For a long while before 2022, FaZe mostly competed on the sidelines, living off tier-two events and failing at the main stage. They only caught stimulus in January last year, when ropz finally entered the lineup. From that point, FaZe went on to win 3 of the biggest CSGO annual events, which included IEM Katowice 2022, PGL Antwerp Major, and IEM Cologne 2022.
On top of that, they finished 1st in ESL Pro League S15, 2nd in Fall Final, and 3rd-4th in World Final, where they put up a gritty fight against G2. By the way, we’re overlooking their little disaster at the Rio Major because everyone is bound to have a bad event.
As for their run in the last CSGO Major ever, it showed FaZe’s unwavering spirit more than anything else. On a couple of occasions, the team dug themselves out of elimination by making a surreal comeback. The most notable example was their 9-15 comeback on a third map that reached double overtime against NaVi—the win that miraculously landed them a playoffs seed.
NAVI. Natus Vincere. Slogan: “Born to win.” And for many years, they’ve been proving the prophecy correct.
The org has been competing since 2010, although the big bucks didn’t come until 2016, the year that coincided with CSGO’s peak popularity (which would remain unsurpassed for 4 years). This was the time when s1mple was still playing for Team Liquid, and GuardiaN was tearing up the league.
Yet with all the changes the org has undergone, the spirit of winning persists. With s1mple and electroNic being the pillars of the team, they continue to earn new accolades, the most recent ones include being champion of PGL Major Stockholm 2021 and BLAST: World Final 2021. They also reached 2nd place in PGL Major Antwerp and IEM Cologne in 2022.
NAVI is, without a doubt, one of the top CS:GO teams in the world today. They certainly have one of the best CSGO players of all time, whom many regard as the GOAT.
We know they were a bit underwhelming in the Paris Major after losing 0-2 to the underdog Monte in the Legends Stage, but in the final analysis, NaVi has already accomplished a lot of what can be accomplished in CSGO.
“Don’t bet against G2” could almost make it our CSGO tips for beginners. The team has recently been dubbed the “most entertaining of all CSGO pro teams” although that’s only half the truth. Over the last few months, G2 has also been one of the most dominating teams in the game, winning the 2022 BLAST Premier: World Final and the 2023 IEM Katowice shortly after.
Yes, they left the Paris Major prematurely, but their loss to Bad News Eagles and Fnatic are two of the biggest upsets in the entire event. G2 not making it to the playoffs simply wasn’t supposed to happen, not when they had the highest win rate going into the event (78%) and certainly not when they had strong momentum behind their backs.
Remember, this is the team who won 16 consecutive maps to start off their final CSGO season. We’re not expecting a lesser performance once the Samurai returns.
Most of Heroic have been playing together since early 2020, with Rasmus “sjuush” Beck and Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard joining only in early 2021 and mid-2022. Looking at how much they’ve accomplished in the many months leading to the Paris Major, it’s safe to assume they have one of the most effective chemistries in the league—honed from hundreds of maps.
Not to mention, each individual player’s rating is through the roof, which is a clear sign that everyone’s carrying their own weight. Even under pressure during high-stake matches, the team’s masterful mechanical skills and coherent execution are what allow them to keep coming out on top.
If you did some CSGO betting on teams during the Paris Major, you know Heroic is second only to Vitality in terms of outright odds, although they could have easily been the first and biggest favorite if the event had been held in Norway instead of France.
Unfortunately, the underdog GamerLegion got the best of them in the playoffs, but this doesn’t take away anything from their time-proven consistency.
1. Team Vitality
After many exhausting and fruitless CSGO tournaments, Team Vitality has done it: the org has won its first CSGO Major, fittingly, on its own French soil. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut rose to the occasion by becoming the event’s MVP and fulfilled many expectations that have been building up since he became a CS superstar.
In 2023 alone, Team Vitality has a stunning win rate of 77.5%, even though they only fought high-caliber Tier 1 teams like G2, NaVi, and Heroic. Going into the Paris Major, the team has a 2-series win streak, which they would go on to extend to 8, culminating in an undefeated run in the tournament—literally not losing a single map in the playoffs.
What was the cause of their newfound strength? Was it the boost the home advantage gave? Was it Lotan “Spinx” Giladi arriving as the final missing piece in late 2022? We don’t exactly know for sure.
In any case, we’ll surely see more of the team in Cs2.
Image credits: WallpaperAccess