March is drawing to a close, so I figured it was time for another one of these. I want to start updating them more frequently, so I can make sure I’m giving our readers the most up to date betting information I can, to help you all squeeze out every penny you can. The CS season is still just starting to ramp up, with several tier one tournaments in the coming months. Keep your ear to the ground, and make sure you’re following along. Check out my March 2019 Power Ranking.

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“Trophy #1 Astralis

Unsurprisingly, Astralis continue their reign of terror as the best CS:GO team in the world, and likely in history. They’re dominant in every part of the game, no matter how you look at it. Their stats as a team make them look like they’re smurfing at a Gold Nova level, and their teamplay and motivation (as best as I can tell from the outside looking in) has never been better. It really does look like the only people who are going to bring Astralis down are Astralis.

Here’s a blistering hot take for you. Does it feel like device is being underrated somehow? He is on an absolutely unbelievable run over the last six months, putting up stats that I have to double check to make sure they aren’t errors. For example, over the last six months on LAN, device has a K/D of 1.3. He has an opening kill rate of 1.5, has 11 1v2 wins, and takes more opening duels than s1mple does. He’s averaging .59 deaths per round, which is pretty incredible for someone with a usage rate like his.

And don’t even get me started on Xyp9x. Do you know how many clutches he’s on in the last six months? He’s won 22 1v1s, and lost 12. 15 1v2s, 3 1v3s, a 1v4 and a 1v5. That’s unbelievable. Not to mention he just doesn’t die, averaging just .56 deaths per round. He has to be one of the most valuable players in CS:GO right now.

Astralis’ talent tends to get undervalued because of their dominance and tactical excellence. They do have one of the better systems in place, but don’t let yourself forget they’re one of the most potent teams in the game. This is just your monthly reminder.

“Trophy #2 ENCE

ENCE lost one game at the BLAST Pro Sao Paulo, to Astralis. Due to round difference, they didn’t make it to the finals, but for my money they were the second best team in attendance. sergej is blossoming like you’d hope, Allu is turning back the clock, even xseven is stepping up for the occasional big game.

What’s funny is, they really are playing the Astralis blueprint. They’ve eschewed the multinational mix team strategy employed by FaZe and Cloud9, electing to build their team around homegrown talent. Whether that’s the reason behind their success or not, it certainly lends credence to the idea of staying local.

ENCE have come out of nowhere, and look like one of the few legitimate competitors with a chance to challenge Astralis. The big key for them will be keeping up their immaculate individual performances, as that’s the baseline to challenge the Danish juggernaut. Aleksib will need to keep a tight handle on this team, and keep the team play locked in.

“Trophy #3 Liquid

Liquid didn’t really take a step up here. MIBR just took a (big) step down. I still don’t trust Liquid in the clutch, or in any situation for that matter. Yes, they did take a map off Astralis in Brazil. But in the words of Thanos, they did “all that for a drop of blood.” EliGE had an incredible event sure, but it seems like the team still hasn’t figured out what to do with Stewie. He was their worst performer in the final, although EliGE was hot on his heels. Their best performer against Astralis was actually nitr0, which isn’t a winning recipe.

Nothing this team does matters unless they can beat Astralis. Those are just the cold facts of life. It seems silly to be this down on the team that I have ranked number three in the world, but I really haven’t been impressed with this team since they’re strange roster change.

“Trophy #4 Na’Vi

Na’Vi remains the hardest team for me to evaluate. There are few teams that have highs as high and lows as low, as far as how good the team is. They have s1mple on their team, who is the consensus pick for best player in the world, which gives them a solid floor. Na’Vi will never be incapable of qualifying for big LANs, they’ll always have a baseline performance that lets them hang with top 10 teams at least. But their team structure seems crippled, maybe beyond repair, they don’t have a real second or third star, it seems like Zeus doesn’t really have control of this team. These wouldn’t be easy problems to fix for anyone, although I have yet to see Na’Vi taking any real steps at all to combat these problems.

Their performance at Katowice was buoyed largely by Flamie’s overperformance. The Major was one of his best events in the last year, and I’d be surprised if he continued to trend upwards. Conversely, electronic had a middling event. He didn’t play up to his usual standard, which also isn’t a trend I think will continue. Realistically, I probably have Na’Vi placed a little low, while most other people have them a little high. I don’t trust them in a series against anyone above them on this list though, greatest player in the world or not.

“Trophy #5 MIBR

Sao Paulo was a major disappointment. To see a team this big flounder on their home stage is rarely fun, and flounder they did. There isn’t a lot of upside for the Brazilians, besides making most of their losses fairly close. They were thoroughly trounced, coldzera had his worst event ever, things don’t look great.

The only positive thing I can say about MIBR comes from the idea of statistical outliers. An outlier is a data point that’s so far outside the normal operational range, that it’s discounted as a fluke, and essentially ignored. That’s really the only way to spin this. MIBR were so bad, especially coldzera, that on some statistical level it makes sense to ignore Sao Paulo completely. StarSeries is coming up, and that will be the big test for FalleN and co. If they can get it together in time to make a deep run in Shanghi, and challenge for the title, I’ll feel a lot better about them as a team.

“Trophy #6 NiP

The Swedes are making yet another swing at top tier contention, with a new (old) roster move and a confusing IGL situation. Draken is being given another shot, and things are actually starting to look up with this roster, for the first time in a long time. Obviously losing dennis is less than ideal, as he’s historically been one of the best Swedish players, although he has been slumping recently.

The ninjas barely missed out on being in the playoff conversation at Sao Paulo, even if it came from dumping on FaZe and MIBR, the two worst teams at the event by a considerable margin. Hopefully NiP can start to pick up some steam in the coming months and make a real run at top 5 contention. CS is always more fun when NiP are good.

“Trophy #7 FaZe

The worst of the best, FaZe is a team in an identity crisis. They don’t have a real in-game-leader, they can’t get the best out of their players, and their roster doesn’t make much sense. They desperately need to make a run at a young, talented IGL, someone like hampus. Giving this team a shot of adrenaline like that, a young and hungry IGL, is what they need to bring themselves back into contention for best in the world. Likely one of Adren, Olof, and GuardiaN will need to go. Which, yes, is 3/5ths of the roster, but still. In their current for Adren and Olof take pretty similar roles. You’d have to move Olof to a more prominent, frag heavy role to keep them both. GuardiaN has floated the idea of retiring more than once, and he’s starting to get up there in years (for a CS player at least). Who knows how much time he has left?

The scene is still being shaken after the Major has completed. Rosters aren’t necessarily settled yet, and teams are just starting to build chemistry with their new teammates.Don’t make any judgments too early. StarSeries will be a big measuring stick for some of these newer rosters, which is perfect leading into the busy season.

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