The five most interesting CS:GO teams to follow in 2023￼
In 2022, the competition in CS:GO was fiercer than ever, with the top teams presenting a fantastic level of skill, while other squads also lived up to the challenge, handing upsets left and right.
For the first half of the year, FaZe Clan reigned supreme by collecting four significant trophies on their championship run, including the PGL CS:GO Antwerp Major. There were, however, other teams that snatched some trophies in that period, like Cloud9 hoisting the IEM Dallas 2022 silverware. Besides, many other teams posed a great challenge to FaZe all the time, with Natus Vincere facing them in the finals of Antwerp Major and IEM Cologne 2022, for example.
The second half of the year was much more unpredictable, with surprising teams like Outsiders and Heroic coming out victorious at IEM CS:GO Rio Major and BLAST Premier: Fall Finals 2022, respectively.
All in all, the fans of competitive Counter-Strike couldn’t complain about the lack of exciting tournaments and storylines throughout the year. With the trend of the level of competition rising every year in the game, nothing less should be expected in 2023.
While there are a bunch of powerful teams in the scene, there are a few certain ones that should be thrilling to follow for certain reasons.
Here are the five most interesting CS:GO teams to follow in 2023.
Photo via BLAST
Astralis saw a huge dip in form in 2022, though, they brought back one of the GOATs of the game in the form of Nicolai “device” Reedtz back to the roster, and the player crushed his first event after a year-long hiatus. Moreover, he did so alongside Benjamin “blameF” Bremer, one of the best players of 2022.
With one of the beloved players back in action and blameF still putting out tremendous numbers, Astralis are expected to come in swinging in 2023. While they might need some time to build a perfect synergy, their fans should expect them back on top sooner rather than later with the refreshed roster.
After the addition of Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis to the roster, Liquid began their evolution to a team that is once again capable of fighting for the most prestigious trophies in the scene, restoring the hopes of their fans and those rooting for North American CS. The squad already came close to securing some of them, as they reached the final of ESL Pro League Season 16 and BLAST Premier World Final 2022.
YEKINDAR’s signing shifted a few roles in Liquid here and there, and most of the players seem comfortable with their new tasks.
Once they get rid of inconsistency, which is natural after so many internal changes, Liquid should become one of the teams to fight for the biggest trophies in CS:GO in 2023. Even Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski admitted it, by claiming that they’re “the Grand Slam roster right now,” during BLAST Premier World Finals 2022.
Photo by Stephanie Lindgren via ESL Gaming
MOUZ NXT made a name for itself as the most prominent academy in CS:GO in the past two years. The team won four first editions of WePlay Academy League, the most important competition for feeder teams in the scene. Throughout 2022, MOUZ promoted three MOUZ NXT players to their main roster, and the results have been outstanding.
With the fresh blood in their ranks, MOUZ transformed from a second-tier squad to one of the most dangerous teams in the world. Their semifinal run at the Rio Major and clinching the fifth spot in HLTV’s ranking for multiple weeks in 2022 are other proofs of their potential. And when it comes to up-and-coming players from MOUZ, they can only get better in 2023, and we can’t wait to see them back on the server.
Fnatic have also been on the rise recently. The squad went through many roster changes in the past few years, struggling to find a recipe for success. However, the summer signings Nico “nicodoz” Tamjidi and Fredrik “roeJ” Jorgensen ended up being the game changers for Fnatic.
With the new roster, Fnatic qualified for their first Major since IEM Katowice 2019. They exceeded expectations at the Rio Major by making it to the quarterfinals. They continued their momentum by winning Elisa Masters Espoo 2022 just a few days later. Fnatic seem to have found what works best for them, and if they stick to their new winning ways, they should be a team everyone should be wary of in 2023.
Photo by Stephanie Lindgren via ESL Gaming
When Heroic won ESL Pro League Season 13 in April 2021 (the “online era”), everyone realized that they had what it takes to become a championship-winning team one day. Once the CS:GO scene returned to a LAN environment, though, they kept struggling in the playoffs of the most prestigious events.
That changed by the end of 2022. Heroic claimed BLAST Premier: Fall Finals 2022 after taking down FaZe Clan in the final. This triumph was a follow-up to their second-place finish at the Rio Major. Heroic seem to have learned how to deal with the on-stage pressure and how to avoid getting cold feet in important games. Therefore, their journey in 2023 could be full of trophies if they keep playing the way they have been by the end of 2022.