Now that Astralis were sent packing by Furia, it's no longer in doubt that avoiding top-tier competition for an extended period of time has a detrimental effect on your performances, regardless of how well you schedule your travels. But just how far back were the Danes compared to the rest of the field when it comes to best-of-three series in 2019? Which team grinded out the most of them? Take a look:
Click on the image for the full-sized version - note that the ECS S7 finals are not included here
Astralis' slacking is especially clear in the post-major period, being the only team to not even reach ten best-of-three series after their win at Katowice. However, the statistics don't exactly line up with deep runs in prestigious events: part of the grind pulled off by teams like ENCE and Vitality featured lower-level online leagues and other smaller competitions. Still, the graphs make it clear how much the circuit has ramped up since the major and how little Astralis participated in it in these recent months - a clear explanation of their ring rust that led to their unexpected loss to FURIA at the ECS Season 7 finals.
It's also worth noting that Na'Vi have the second-lowest number of best-of-three appearances despite going all the way at the StarSeries &i-League Season 7 finals at Shanghai: in their case, a long-overdue roster move likely disrupted their schedule in ome capacity. It's also interesting to see how NiP, a team which famously skipped competitions to gear up for a good major showing, has ramped up its presence ever since, snatching multiple playoffs finishes at prestigious events.
Do you agree with these observations? Anything else worth pointing out? Let us know at @RivalryGLHF on Twitter!