It was another big year for CS: GO in 2021, with the return of both offline events and the illustrious major after a break of more than two years. As we approach 2022 and have more offline than online events, let’s take a look back at the teams that performed the best in both environments.
The top name on the list should come as no surprise, but here are the best CS: GO Teams from 2021.
Born to win
What else can we say about Na’Vi’s incredible 2021 campaign? When personal events took a break in 2020, Na’Vi topped the IEM World Cup in Katowice, brushing aside the 3-0 NiKo G2 squad in an empty arena. Their base stumbled a bit after going online in 2020 with nothing else to show, but they came out firing in 2021.
After promoting academy player B1T to the main squad, Na’Vi firmly established himself as the best team in the world and the best team superstar s1mple has ever played with during its heyday. They arguably claimed the two greatest prizes in all CS: GO this year in the Intel Grand Slam and then in the Major Trophy. It’s also Na’Vi’s biggest year to date in terms of prizes, with $ 3 million earned between PGL Stockholm, the Intel Grand Slam / IEM Cologne and the BLAST Premier Global Final alone. They even set a record by winning the major without dropping a card, making them the first team to do so.
For the time being, Heroic Astralis has torn the coat of the “top team from Denmark”, while the three-time major winner has redesigned his squad. But Heroic’s game that year was downright heroic.
Almost everything that led to the core of their 2021 campaign indicated they were going to fall away: a slow end of 2020, a surprise squad swap, and an ugly controversy over a disgruntled former coach. But despite all that, they still fought their way into the grand finale of ESL Pro League season 13 and delivered what is arguably the greatest clutch of all time in the last hour of card five. They ended their year with a semi-final in the major, which was just a few rounds from reaching the grand finale.
When the Gambit Organization promoted its Youngsters Academy team to the main squad, expectations of the young core, led by veteran major winner Hobbit, were raised. But there are few people who could claim they expected Gambit to hit the heights like it would in 2021. On their first real taste of the international competition at IEM Katowice, they recovered from a surprise loss to Evil Geniuses and won six series in a row against players like Na’Vi, Heroic and G2 to claim their trophy.
Your gain didn’t stop there. They collected trophies for the IEM Summer and the BLAST Spring Finals and also took first place in two different CIS RMR events. Like Heroic, they reached the semifinals in the end, where they fell against Na’Vi, which is no cause for shame given the year that Na’Vi had. Sh1ro became one of the highest rated players in the world again this year, right at the top with players like ZywOo and s1mple. Gambit can do a lot more in the years to come.
More notable teams in 2021
- G2 sport: While the squad struggled with consistency at times, they looked almost unstoppable when they occurred. If Na’Vi weren’t there in Stockholm, it would be very likely that NiKo and Co. would be the ones with the Champions autograph stickers.
- Team vitality: Vitality’s start to 2021 has been miserable given the talent on the team, but its resurgence towards the end of the year is certainly remarkable. In both the ESL Pro League and PGL Stockholm they looked like a team that could compete with players like Na’Vi, and they did so at both events.