Over the next week or so I will be writing up detailed profiles of the top teams in CS:GO, going over their map pools, their players, their outlook, and what sets them apart from the crowd. The scene is already beginning the slow build-up to the next StarLadder Major in September 2019, coming off of several roster shakeups, and there are a lot of teams that bettors need to keep their eyes out for.
All the stats presented will be from the last six months, to ensure all the data points are relevant without restricting the sample size too much.
Astralis have been the uncontested number one team in Counter-Strike for a little over a year now. Ever since the additions of Magisk and Gla1ve, the team has been on a rampage through tier one Counter-Strike, winning 11 of the last 15 tournaments they participated in.
The Danes have put on a tour de force, showing off exemplary team play and individual performance. They are securing their spot as the best team of all time, and by the end of this year, it may not even be close. They’re some of the best in the world at just about everything a team needs to be good at in CS:GO, be it map pool, opening kills, flashes, they can do it all.
Astralis came into 2019 with the best map pool in CS:GO, and with a serious argument for best map pool of all time. They were on a historic win streak on Nuke, which they’ve now extended to 30 games. They’re one of the best teams in the world on Inferno, they have a solid Train, a great Overpass. In 2018 they kept every map over a 60% win rate, including their permaban Cache, which they played 11 times. Their top five maps were all over 70%, with Inferno and Dust 2 over 80%.
It seems as though things are only going to get better for Astralis, as Valve removed Cache from the map pool in favor of Vertigo, which was recently redesigned and made its debut in the map pool. Cache was a fairly popular map, especially amongst NA teams, and it no longer presents a problem to Astralis. They can either start banning Train or Mirage, and pick up Vertigo, or make Vertigo their new permaban while floating against teams that are worse than them.
If I had to guess, I would say Astralis will start playing Vertigo. They have one of the best IGL Coach duos in CS, and I get the feeling they enjoy theory crafting for new maps like this. They were one of the first teams to really dig into the Nuke redesign, and it has obviously fared well for them.
K/D Ratio: Device 1.25
Device somehow manages to be one of the most underrated star players in Counter-Strike, which is pretty silly considering he’s unanimously a top 3 guy. He’s a top AWPer who has gone up against the likes of FalleN, GuardiaN, other AWPers with capital letters at the beginning and end of their names. He’s had a storied career already, but he’s kicked it up a notch since the addition of Gla1ve.
The remarkable thing about Device is his efficiency. While carrying the burden of being the star fragger on the number one team in the world, his deaths per round are some of the lowest in the scene, at only .6 per round.
This stat can be at least partially attributed to how good Astralis’ system is. They manage to put Device in the best possible situation in most rounds, and he will generally have a buddy with him to keep him safe. But Device is an invaluable talent, one whose talents are being backed up by one of the best teams and systems in CS history.
Flash Leader: Gla1ve
Astralis is one of the best in the world at team play, and it shows in their flash stats. Gla1ve and Xyp9x throw almost a flashbang per round, with Gla1ve having .07 flash assists per round. Gla1ve has an average enemy flashed time of 2.45 seconds, which can be monumental in a game of seconds like CS:GO.
What these stats reveal is the stratification and optimization of Astralis. They have a fairly rigid team structure which enables the success of device because he can trust his teammates to throw flashbangs and to back him up.
They don’t call him the clutch minister for anything. Over the last six months, Gla1ve has won 30 out of 47 1v1s, giving him a 63% win rate. The rest of his resume is equally impressive, with 18 1v2s, 5 1v3s, 2 1v4s, and a 1v5 ninja defuse.
Xyp9x’s incredible capacity for clutches is one of the pillars on which this team is built. Astralis can never be counted out as long as Xyp9x is alive, which serves both an in-game and a psychological purpose. Seeing Xyp9x alive on the scoreboard strikes fear in the opposition on reputation alone, which can be a powerful asset to have in a 1vX situation. That same feeling empowers his teammates to make plays, knowing that they have arguably the best clutch player in the world backing them up.
Opening Kills: device
Opening kills is another statistic that reveals the system set in place by Gla1ve and zonic. Dupreeh takes 22.5% of their opening duels, Gla1ve and dev1ce take 21.8%, Magisk takes 18.5%, and Xyp9x takes 15.2%. This distribution of duels is in line with the way Astralis wants to run their team. Xyp9x is kept safe, so he can be put in a position to clutch out rounds. Magisk is second lowest so that he can thrive in the mid-round, maximizing his aim. Gla1ve is used very aggressively for an IGL, which he can do because he is backed up by some of the greatest players in the game. Dupreeh is used the most aggressively, which makes sense given his skill set.