We all have a good idea which are the best teams in the game, but what about the different nations? The center of Counter-Strike gravity tends to shift over time between the countries and continents, and it can be difficult to identify who’s truly the best. We’ve crunched the numbers and busted some myths for you based on the recent HLTV rankings – here’s what we found:
The Scandinavian narratives are not entirely accurate – Remember how everyone was saying that Swedish Counter-Strike isn’t what it used to be, and the insane depth of Denmark is the model to be commended? Well, this may not entirely hold up to scrutiny. While Astralis are clearly the best-ever CS:GO team (at least where 2018 is concerned), the rest of the Danish delegation keeps falling further and further behind. Even in terms of young talent, Sweden seems to be holding more promise with Brollan and REZ.
Size does not matter – The recent explosive growth of Finland and Bulgaria shows that you don’t have to be a massive nation with hundreds of millions of people to become part of the CS:GO elite. It might take some time – Anders famously called it in early 2018 that 2019 could be a breakout year for Finnish Counter-Strike – but strong foundations can definitely get you to the top.
What’s up with the fabled CIS depth? – For all the talk about the strength and depth of the region with many talented players waiting for a chance, it’s not like many players managed to make the cut for this list. Na’Vi’s insistence on the old boys might be more rational than is seems, and you could make a similar argument about Virtus.Pro sticking to Poland.
Polish CS is down the toilet – OK, maybe not that one. The only reason the country even makes the list is because of NEO’s shock move to FaZe (denoted by an asterisk because of the temporary nature of his position). With TaZ’s Aristocracy down to 28th at the time of writing and AGO in 30th, there are few signs of long-term improvement.
Not subject to change – Unlike the team rankings, these data points are fairly stable. We’ve actually had a version of this ready for publication a few days ago but decided to hold our fire until the rankings update – as it turns out, it made no material change whatsoever to this list!
Countries are ordered by the number of players they have in top 20 teams. In case of a tie, the nation with the player in the highest-ranked team was ranked ahead. When the players are on the same team (like in the case of FaZe Clan and mousesports), seniority (ie. time spent on the team) applied.