The best CS:GO teams of 2022

2022 was a great year for professional CS:GO. Teams played all the big events on LAN after surviving the online competitions that had to take place in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fans from all around the world had the opportunity to cheer for their favorite players in multiple S-tier tournaments.

The 2022 season of CS:GO esports was also one of the most balanced ever in the history of the game. Sure, FaZe Clan dominated the first half of 2022, but the second semester was full of surprises and not a single team managed to win more than one S-tier event.

Our list of the best CS:GO teams of 2022 won’t only rank them based on their achievements, but will also take into consideration whether or not these teams were consistently good throughout the year.

The best CS:GO teams of 2022

11) Fnatic

Photo by Adela Sznajder via ESL Gaming

There’s no doubt that Fnatic is back. The organization that won three CS:GO Majors between 2013 and 2015 qualified for their first Valve-sponsored tournament this year after missing out on the biggest CS:GO event since IEM Katowice in February 2019.

Fnatic had a shaky start in the first half of 2022 and missed out PGL Antwerp Major, which led to roster changes that ended up fixing the squad. The organization signed the former Copenhagen Flames duo of roeJ and nicoodoz to play with KRIMZ and mezii, and rounded out the roster with Dion “FASHR” Derksen for the remainder of the season. Fnatic not only qualified for IEM Rio Major, the second Valve-sponsored tournament of the year, but they also reached the quarterfinals of the $1.25 million event.

The Brazilian Major showed what this new version of Fnatic are capable of doing and they ended the year on a positive note, having won the $200,000 Elisa Masters Espoo in November. The challenge is to keep progressing throughout 2023 and try to win a bigger tournament.

10) MOUZ

Photo by Stephanie Lindgren via ESL Gaming

MOUZ offered one of the most interesting storylines of 2022. The German organization opted to bet on players from its academy setup MOUZ NXT and finished the year with three prospects in the main team—Ádám “torzsi” Torzsás, Jon “JDC” de Castro, and Dorian “xertioN” Berman—plus the head coach Dennis “sycrone” Nielsen, who was the coach of MOUZ NXT.

All this new blood in MOUZ helped the squad to make consistent great appearances in S-tier tournaments. The young squad reached playoffs of IEM Cologne in July, made it to the quarterfinals of ESL Pro League season 16 in September, and surprised just about everybody at IEM Rio Major, topping their year with a semifinal run. MOUZ didn’t win a single tournament in 2022, but they proved to be a scary adversary in three of the biggest events of the year.


Photo via PGL

ENCE had great results in the first half of 2022, when they still had the Israeli star Spinx playing for them. The international team led by Snappi were runners up of ESL Pro League season 15 in April, made it to the semifinals of the PGL Antwerp Major in May, and finished in second-place at IEM Dallas in June.

ENCE unfortunately fell of a cliff in the second half of the year after they lost Spinx to Vitality, while also having to readjust their game with SunPayus in place of the former AWPer hades. They did well at the European RMR, but didn’t make past the Legends Stage of IEM Rio Major, which showed they have lot of work to do in 2023 to go back to their previous heights.

8) G2 Esports

Photo by Adela Sznajder via ESL Gaming

G2 wouldn’t have made this list if they didn’t win the $1 million BLAST Premier World Final in December. Their year was full of frustrating showings aside from winning the last S-tier tournament of the season and reaching the grand finals of IEM Katowice in February. The lack of consistency and more deep runs in the first half of the season led to G2 swapping in-game leader Aleksib with former Copenhagen Flames captain HooXi and replacing JACKZ with Australian star jks.

The changes helped G2 reach the semifinals of ESL Pro League season 16, but it backfired in October when they were eliminated at the hands of GamerLegion from the Europe RMR of IEM Rio Major. When everybody thought that this would be the last straw of the HooXi era, G2 came alive after missing the Brazilian Major and won BLAST Premier World Final after beating Vitality, FaZe Clan, and Team Liquid in the playoffs thanks to the firepower of m0NESY, huNter-, and jks. We can’t tell as of now whether this event was a fluke or if G2 will be a serious contender heading to 2023.

7) Cloud9

Photo by Adela Sznajder via ESL

C9 didn’t play too many events this year but they were a decent team in most of them, other than being knocked out in the Legends Stage of PGL Antwerp Major to huge underdogs in the form of FalleN’s Imperial. The Russian squad powered by AWPer sh1ro had an incredible run at IEM Rio Major in November, coming back from an awful start in Challengers Stage and reverse-sweeping NAVI and FaZe Clan in the Legends Stage after terrible first halves. They were knocked out in the quarterfinals and finished the event on a positive note despite not winning it.

The highlight of C9’s season was winning IEM Dallas in June, which helped the squad recover from their early elimination from the PGL Antwerp Major in May. The Russians thrived in the online era and have shown signs that they still need to adapt to the pressure of the LAN environment. Playing more events in 2023 will be helpful for their development.

6) Team Liquid

Photo by Stephanie Lindgren via ESL Gaming

Liquid are the only American squad that made our list of best CS:GO teams in the world in 2022. They had mediocre results in the first half of the year while they had the French legend shox in the lineup, but this changed after the organization secured the services of the former Outsiders superstar YEKINDAR in July, initially as a stand-in.

YEKINDAR helped turn Liquid around as they immediately reached the quarterfinals of IEM Cologne in July and most notably were runners-up to Vitality at ESL Pro League season 16 in October. The bar was set high for the IEM Rio Major in November, but unfortunately for North America, Liquid fell in the Legends Stage and didn’t make the playoffs in Brazil. The showing at IEM Rio Major wasn’t ideal by any means, but Liquid compensated with another second-place finish, this time at the BLAST Premier World Final. They don’t seem ready yet to win a big tournament, but the foundation is surely there.

5) Vitality

Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL Gaming

The star international lineup headlined by French AWPer ZywOo did only alright in 2022. They qualified for the two Majors of the year but didn’t go past the Legends Stage in either of them. Middling results at IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne in the first half of the season led to the organization replacing misutaaa for Spinx in hopes of adding more firepower to the mix.

The addition of Spinx improved Vitality, and although they left the Brazilian major in disappointing fashion in November after a 2-0 loss to ENCE, they showed what they are capable of at ESL Pro League season 16 in October. The ESL league is one of the most difficult CS:GO events because of its length, and Vitality had a memorable campaign. They won the $835,000 tournament with a flawless group stage and defeated Outsiders, G2, and Team Liquid to lift the trophy. This is the performance Vitality will look back on and try to replicate in 2023.

4) Heroic

Image via PGL

From Heroic onwards, there are only the truly best teams of the CS:GO scene in 2022. The Danish squad led by cadiaN started the year with a semifinal run at IEM Katowice in February, reached playoffs of ESL Pro League season 15 in April, and finished top eight at the PGL Antwerp Major in May, which were all solid results.

The organization wanted more and replaced refrezh with Copenhagen Flames youngster jabbi for the second half of 2022, and the roster change slowly started to bear fruits. Heroic most notably finished runners-up at the IEM Rio Major in November and followed that great campaign with their first S-tier title on LAN at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals in the same month. They’re a solid contender heading into 2023 and should not be discredited anymore.

3) Natus Vincere

Photo via BLAST Premier

We can only imagine what NAVI would be capable of in 2022 if it wasn’t for the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, which changed the lives of players such as s1mple and b1t and head coach B1ad3 forever. The war started during the IEM Katowice playoffs and likely impacted NAVI’s performance versus G2 as they were eliminated in the semifinals after a 2-0 loss.

NAVI did OK at ESL Pro League season 15 in April, losing to FaZe in the quarterfinals, and played their best Counter-Strike at the PGL Antwerp Major in May. The CIS powerhouse could have become back-to-back Major champions, but FaZe got the better of them in the grand finals. This was the last time NAVI’s long-time captain Boombl4 played with them as he was removed shortly after due to bringing “high reputational risks” to the organization.

The removal of Boombl4 prompted huge changes in NAVI, as electroNic was moved to in-game leader and the organization signed sdy to be a stand-in. It worked in the beginning, as NAVI won the BLAST Premier Spring Finals in June, their first event with sdy, and reached the grand finals of IEM Cologne in July, where they were once again defeated by FaZe.

NAVI never again reached the same heights with sdy that they achieved in those two tournaments. They always made the playoffs, including at the IEM Rio Major, but never delivered their prime form again. There’s uncertainty going on in the squad as the organization seems unclear of what the next step is. NAVI played some maps with their academy player npl at the BLAST Premier World Final in place of sdy, but no one knows who will be their fifth for 2023.

2) Outsiders

Photo by Michal Konko via ESL Gaming

The Russian in-game leader and AWPer Jame is one of the biggest winners of 2022. The 24-year-old was kind of a meme despite all his individual talent and in-game leadership capability because of the way he plays CS:GO, which involves saving his AWP in several four-versus-five situations and calling for his team to save as well, instead of going for more retakes.

After an underwhelming first half of the season, Jame had to rethink the whole lineup after YEKINDAR and buster departed the team, and the organization brought in fame and n0rb3r7, two unproven players in tier-one, to replace them. Well, it worked. Outsiders showed their best version without YEKINDAR and won the IEM Rio Major in November after besting Fnatic, FURIA, and Heroic in the playoffs of the $1.25 million tournament. Even though their year wasn’t one of the best, winning a Major is simply too significant.

Jame was the MVP of the tournament and most of the meme stuff that surrounded him is now put to rest. The question is whether he and Outsiders can do it again next year after a 0-2 campaign in the group stage of the BLAST Premier World Final in December.

1) FaZe Clan

Photo via PGL

Recency bias may make some fans not see it properly, but FaZe were undoubtedly the best CS:GO team of 2022. The international powerhouse led by karrigan received the addition of former MOUZ superstar ropz for this year and the roster change worked wonders for them.

With ropz, FaZe won IEM Katowice in February, ESL Pro League season 15 in April, IEM Cologne in July, and most notably lifted the trophy of the PGL Antwerp Major in May, effectively banishing the demons rain and karrigan had from ELEAGUE Boston Major in 2018, when FaZe lost the grand finals to C9.

The rest of the season wasn’t great for FaZe, as some of their players, mainly broky, had difficulties pulling the same individual numbers they did in the first tournaments of the year. Without the firepower on point, FaZe’s flaws were exposed and they had a terrible campaign at the IEM Rio Major in November. They arrived in Rio de Janeiro for the Legends Stage and were sent home with a 0-3 record, including a loss to Bad News Eagles in their final match.

FaZe showed improvements at the BLAST Premier Fall Final in November, reaching the grand finals and losing to Heroic. The big question mark at the moment is if they’re capable of having a magical year and winning more S-tier tournaments in 2023 after they rest and reset at the end of 2022.