With the latest HLTV rankings now released, we thought we’d have a little fun with (and at the expense of) the top CS:GO teams in the world by trying to pair them up with the 80s pop song that most represents their current state in the game. Some of them are easy to figure out and others require you to have extensive knowledge of both Counter-Strike and the bubbliest decade of music. Can you guess them all?

10) NRG: Kids in America (Kim Wilde, 1981)

An impressive semi-final finish at Shanghai seems to have confirmed the long-term prospects of this project, which is quite nice to see if you consider how young the core of this side is: Ethan and CerQ are 19 years old, Brehze will turn 21 in May, tarik is 23 and even daps is not exactly on the ancient side with his 25 years. This team has a lot of time to develop, and it seems like they’ll get the chance to do so as well.

9) MiBR: One More Try (George Michael, 1987)

This was a pretty quick fall from grace since the Katowice major, wasn’t it? From exciting resurrection to VP 2.0-elect, there are now real questions to be asked about the MiBR project and whether it wouldn’t be a better idea to dip into Brazil’s impressively deep talent pool instead of trying to recreate the magic with the old guard.

8) Fnatic: The Land of Confusion (Genesis, 1986)

Just what the hell is up with this team, really? From back-to-back catastrophic showings at the major and WESG to a second-place finish at Shanghai with seemingly no tangible change in approach, it’s basically impossible to figure out both the floor and the ceiling of this current side. Perhaps the one constant is KRiMZ’s excellent individual performance. Then again, as the song says, “There’s too many men / Making too many problems”, with not much frags to go around sometimes, leaving me wonder what this team can truly accomplish going forward.

7) FaZe Clan: Money For Nothing (Dire Straits, 1985)

Not much has come from the NiKo experiment so far since karrigan’s ouster, and it remains to be seen whether there’s any life left in the current core of this roster. Rudderless and racking up embarrassing losses to teams like AVANGAR and Ghost, one has to wonder what these players are putting on the table in exchange for their considerable paychecks.

6) NIP: Kind of Magic (Queen, 1986)

I’ll be honest: I was one of those who was sure that the Ninjas will not be able to make it back to the top without making some difficult decisions about GeT_RiGhT and f0rest, but they were definitely vindicated by back-to-back playoff finishes at tough LANs even with a stand-in of sorts in the form of draken at the latter. It remains to be seen what the true ceiling of this line-up is, but there are legitimate arguments to be made about this being the best NiP side we’ve seen in a long while.

5) Renegades: Down Under (Men At Work, 1980)

Okay, this was a softball. Next!

4) ENCE: I’m So Excited (The Pointer Sisters, 1982)

Say whatever you will about how EZ it really is for ENCE, it’s been a monumental rise for a team founded just over a year ago, peaking in third place on the singles chart the HLTV rankings. Three strong showings against top-tier teams at different LAN events has now solidified them as real contenders going forward – the question is how the Finns can handle the heat considering the calm climate they’re used to.

3) Liquid: Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode, 1985)

Try as I might, I could not find an appropriate song that revolves around choking or losing to Finnish underdogs in the major quarter-final: though the silver boys finally managed to take down Astralis in a grand final at the beginning of the year, it’s been all huffing and puffing since then. It’s going to be really interesting to see them at the next non-BLAST event: hopefully we can get a good idea about how Stewie’s integration’s going by then.

2) Natus Vincere: Holding Out for a Hero (Bonnie Tyler, 1984)

More often than not, Na’Vi’s strategies seem to boil down to this song’s title, and s1mple tends to deliver on that front on a fairly regular basis. That ace clutch against ENCE in the quarter-finals will live long in the memory.

1) Astralis: You Win Again (Bee Gees, 1987)

I’ve also considered ABBA’s The Winner Takes it All and the impeccably bouncy Gold from Spandau Ballet, but there’s no way to top this one – just like there’s no way to top Astralis either, it seems.

+1: Everyone Else About Astralis: Waiting for a Star to Fall (Boy Meets Girl, 1988)

„I want to reach out and pull you to me / Who says I should let a wild one go free…”