Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man along with Sherpa Tensing to scale the heights of Mount Everest, once said that “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things”.
And in the world of esports, at the moment, there are a small number of teams that are doing precisely that. Achieving a previously unheard-of level of dominance in their chosen esports discipline to the point where they are setting new records and achieving new heights on a regular basis.
Of course, it is difficult to compare teams across different esports disciplines. It is like comparing apples to oranges to pears when trying to measure the merits of the top Overwatch, CS:GO or League of Legends teams against each other.
However, you can ascertain a team’s level of dominance by measuring their performance over time within their chosen discipline and then compare the volume of wins and top-level performances against other teams and in this article, this is what we intend to do.
So, let’s begin by taking a look at some of the contenders and some of the teams that perhaps would have been contenders at one point, but who now seem to have been usurped by other teams taking the game on to new levels.
Contenders and those who missed out
Before we bring you our list of contenders for the most dominant team in esports right now, let’s take a look at those teams who missed out. In League of Legends, a few years back SK Telecom T1 would have undoubtedly been on this list, but over the last couple of years, the three-time World Champions have found it tough going both in their Korean LCK qualifying section and the LoL World Championships itself.
Indeed, any of the once utterly dominant Korean-based LoL teams have seen teams from Europe, North America and China emerging to offer a stern challenge to their dominance and in 2018, the Korean stranglehold on the World Championship title in League of Legends was broken with Chinese team Invictus Gaming claiming the title from Europe’s Fnatic. No Korean team made it past the quarterfinal stage of last years tournament.
In the Overwatch League, the London Spitfires were the first winners of the inaugural season, but it is fair to say that although they won the overall title, over the season as a whole, the Spitfires didn’t exert a huge amount of dominance, indeed it was New York Excelsior who had the stronger record over the qualifiers, but they then lost out to the Philadelphia Fusion in the semifinals of the playoffs.
In Dota 2, it is perhaps the Dota Pro Circuit which gives us the best indicator of which teams have been most dominant over the top tournaments over the course of the season but at the moment, with just two Majors in the bag this season, Team Secret and Virtus.pro have the same number of points following those two events, with Evil Geniuses and PSG.LGD also not too far behind.
So while there may be no single dominant team in Dota 2, League of Legends or Overwatch, there is an argument that there is one team dominating CS:GO at the moment and that is the Danish team Astralis. Similarly, this past weekend, the Rainbow Six World Championships saw another team clinch a legacy with their second world title in two years in G2 Esports and these two teams are our potential contenders for the best team in esports at present.
Let’s see how each have performed over the course of the past two years.
CS:GO – Astralis – Two Year Performance
- 1st – ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals – $250,000
- 1st – Esports Championship Series Season 5 Finals – $250,000
- 1st – ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018 – $500,000
- 1st – FACEIT Major London 2018 – $500,000
- 1st – Esports Championship Series Season 6 Finals – $250,000
- 1st – ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals – $250,000
- Intel Grand Slam Winners – Season 1 – $1,000,000 bonus (4 wins in 9 successive tournaments)
They may have been pipped into second place at the recent IBUYPOWER Masters IV in January in Los Angeles by Team Liquid, but there is no doubt that Danish team Astralis are still THE team to beat when it comes to top-level CS:GO esports gaming.
The five man team, plus their coach zonic, all hail from Denmark and are based out of the country and they have been the dominant force in CS:GO esports gaming over the last 18 months or more, culminating in them clinching the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam bonus in late 2018 after clinching their fourth Intel Grand Slam tournament victory in ten events (they actually did it in just nine).
The team comprises of:
- Dev1ce (Denmark)
- Dupreeh (Denmark)
- Xpe9x (Denmark)
- Gla1ve (Denmark)
- Magisk (Denmark)
Their rise to the top began with the departure of their former player Kjaerbye, who joined North and when they signed Magisk to replace him, suddenly the team began to flourish culminating in an outstanding run of victories at many top CS:GO events and of course, that million-dollar jackpot prize, which was shared equally between the five team members.
Rainbow Six – G2 Esports – Two Year Performance
- 1st – SIX Major Paris 2018 ($150,000)
- 1st – Pro League Season 8 – Europe (11/2/1 record)
- 1st – Cyberathlete Championship Series Season 4 – Europe (6/0 record)
- 1st – Pro League Season 8 Finals – ($75,000)
- 1st – DreamHack Winter 2018 – ($25,000)
- 1st – Six Invitational 2019 – ($800,000)
After a stunning performance in the Six Invitational this past weekend, which netted them their largest ever cash prize of $800,000, G2 Esports have dominated Rainbow Six top esports events over a two-year period.
The German-based team, is one of several that represents G2 Esports across a range of esports, but few have been as successful as their Rainbow Six side comprising of five European-based players
- Pengu (Denmark)
- JNSzki (Finland)
- Goga (Spain)
- Fabian (Sweden)
- Kantoraketti (Finland)
It is not just the number of victories that the team produces, but the manner of them too. In the recent Six Invitational 2019, the team won all five of its matches, losing just one leg in the process, winning 3-0, 2-0, 2-1, 2-0 and 2-0, dominating each game in the process to the point where any other team facing them are usually the massive underdogs in the game.
So who is the best out of the two teams? It seems churlish to be forced to pick one over the other, but for me I think that in terms of consistency over a longer period and the manner of their victories and the ease with which they achieve them Rainbow Six’s G2 Esports team just shade it.
However, there is no doubt that either team is entirely deserving the label as the best esports team in the world at the present moment in time and it will be interesting to see whether any other team in any other esports format comes to the fore to challenge them throughout 2019.
Photo credit: flickr / LoL Esports