The last six months have seen a dearth of truly top tier competition. Astralis barely attended any events, Liquid and Na’Vi missed each other several times. While it is disappointing when we miss out on the clash of the titans, these thinner events can serve as a great way to showcase and nurture young and inexperienced talent. High level reps can be hard to come by, and when you’re a tier two team, those high level reps are incredibly important.
With that in mind, here are some of the teams that have really impressed me over the last six months. Keep these teams in mind while CSGO betting.
Furia are easily the most surprising team on this list. While the other two teams have some championship pedigree, and veteran leadership, this team was a big unknown up until earlier this year.
They bottomed out at the Katowice Major before rebounding at DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro, taking second place. Furia followed up on that success with a second place at ECS North America and DreamHack Masters Dallas. The ECS Finals cemented their place in tier one, as they battled their way to a second place finish, falling short to Vitality in the Grand Finals.
What’s most amazing about this team is that they were put together in early 2018. They toiled in obscurity pretty much the entirety of that year, taking the occasional series off of tier two NA and SA teams. Normally big jumps in skill like this are precipitated by a roster change, but this isn’t the case for Furia.
They also play a very aggressive style, which isn’t popular at the highest levels. While I don’t know if this is a sustainable playstyle for a tier one team, as it can get a little predictable, it’s certainly impressive that they’ve managed to keep it up for so long.
Furia have the biggest chance to fall off within the next six months, compared to ENCE and Vitality. Those other two teams both have players who have been on long runs of success, unlike Furia. There’s still a real chance that these guys are just a flash in the pan. Only time will tell, but I’d suggest using caution when betting on Furia.
It feels like forever ago now, but there was a time when ENCE was a meme team. EZ 4 ENCE was something you’d see spammed every time they were on a stream, but now that they’ve turned into legitimate title contenders, you see it less and less.
ENCE were a big surprise this year. I had them as a dark horse coming into the Major (KATOWICE MAJOR PREVIEW LINK HERE), but they surpassed my expectations with a second place finish, falling just short to the Danes of Astralis.
Since then they’ve been serious contenders at every tournament they’ve attended. They won BLAST Pro Madrid over Astralis, took a second place at DreamHack Masters Dallas, and lost to the eventual champions Na’Vi at StarSeries.
This team just seems to mesh perfectly. They’re the perfect example of what great chemistry, structure, and system can do for a talented team. They play smart, they make the right decisions, they help each other out. Playing Counter Strike the right way pays off in a big way, especially when you’re as talented as ENCE are.
Allu and sergej are a supremely talented first and second option for a team. Sergej is evolving into a top five talent, and Allu has reminded the scene at large why he played on NiP, who were at the time one of the most talented teams in the game.
ENCE, more than either of the other teams on this list, have a roster change to make. suNny, one of the best Finnish players of the past two years, is sitting on Mousesports’ bench right now. I’d be amazed if ENCE went into the Major with this roster. Aerial has routinely underperformed in big spots for this team, and putting suNny in his place should make the team better instantly. suNny seems like a pretty flexible player, although it feels like aleksib’s system is pretty accommodating, which means it likely wouldn’t matter.
Not to mention Allu and sergej are two of the most accommodating stars in the scene. Neither guy requires a ton of resources to be successful, with sergej playing a pretty simple role on the team and Allu being Allu. Both of those guys would be successful playing with just about anyone, much less a talent like suNny.
Vitality have perhaps the single most talented player in CS:GO right now in ZywOo. While we didn’t know he was this talented when the year began, he was certainly surrounded by a fair amount of hype, which makes Vitality’s success appear pretty predictable in hindsight.
Vitality has surrounded ZywOo with veteran players, which was originally a reason I was bullish on this team. Unfortunately the team has been succeeding, for the most part, in spite of their veteran players. RPK especially has been a black hole on this team since its inception, and he’s going to be the next player out, if I had to put money on it.
It’s almost impossible to overstate how good ZywOo is. He has a 1.33 rating over the last six months, and has consistently looked like the best player on whatever server he’s on. The craziest part for me is that he might get even better. Players generally aren’t close to being fully developed when they’re 18 and have played just a handful of tier one LANs. It doesn’t seem unreasonable that ZywOo may make another leap before the end of the year, and start putting up even crazier stats.
Vitality is a team that I would almost always be comfortable taking the over on, especially if they make a roster change in the coming months. Replacing RPK with a competent rifler would help elevate this team even more, and would make them exponentially more dangerous.