Rivalries are one of the most important aspects of any esports or traditional sports. Without big rivals, there are no big games. Fortunately, CS:GO had plenty of rivalries. Here are the 5 biggest rivalries in CS:GO history.
5 Biggest Rivalries in CS:GO History
5) NiP – VeryGames
At the beginning of the CS:GO Pro scene, NiP was dominating the field. The Swedes had an 87-0 winning streak and no one could really challenge them in 2012, and at the beginning of 2013. However, there was one team who tried to beat NiP more than others. It was the team who built foundations of the French CS:GO scene, VeryGames. This squad, led by NBK and SmithZz, faced NiP on more than 20 maps in the first two years of CS:GO.
They played against each other in 5 LAN finals and in the Semi-final of the very first Major. It was the first big rivalry of CS:GO and definitely one of 5 biggest rivalries in the entire CS:GO history. However, it seems like it lacked competitiveness as NiP won the majority of their duels. Very Games won only 5 maps, and only one LAN final.
4) Fnatic – Astralis/TSM
As one of the most legendary teams, Fnatic had many big rivals throughout their history. At times, the fire was sparkling between Fnatic and Team EnVyUs/Team LDLC. They also had one more big rivalry that is also going to find a place on our list of 5 biggest rivalries in CS:GO history. However, their rivalry with TSM/Astralis has always been of those quiet rivalries with not so much hype about it. However, this also has been one of the biggest rivalries in historical context.
These two teams have always been at the top, and their meetings in the late stages of events were inevitable throughout the years. Fnatic and Astralis met each other on more than 150 maps, which puts this rivalry among the greatest ones. Despite the dominant period of Astralis recently, Fnatic is the one who leads in their head-to-head meetings, but their lead is not so big.
In matches for titles, they met each other only four times, and TSM/Astralis actually leads 3-1. However, they met each other a number of times in Group Stages and two times in Major Playoffs. Astralis also leads in Majors 2-0.
3) Astralis/TSM – NaVi
Astralis and NaVi also had one of the biggest rivalries in CS:GO. Although there wasn’t a clear narrative to support their rivalry, these two teams met each other on over 80 maps, and many of their meetings were in late stages of the event. Astralis had an edge in this rivalry as they won 16 maps more than NaVi. They faced each other 5 times in Grand Finals, including the Grand Final of FACEIT Major.
When it comes to Majors, Astralis encountered NaVi three times in Play-offs and they lead 2-1 in their Major Play-offs encounters. With all said, the rivalry between Astralis and NaVi must be one of 5 biggest rivalries in CS:GO history.
2) Astralis – Team Liquid
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These two rivals haven’t met many times in comparison to other mentioned rivalries, but their matches have mainly been historic ones. It started in 2017 but peaked last year when Astralis became the most dominant CS:GO team. Prior to 2018, Astralis and Team Liquid faced each other on 12 maps, which Astralis won 8. Later on, Astralis’ lead in head-to-head matches became even bigger.
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Astralis and Liquid played against each other in 7 Grand Finals. The North American team managed to beat Astralis only once in the Grand Final, and it was at the warm-up event, iBUYPOWER Masters IV. Gla1ve and his teammates bested Liquid six times to win 5 big trophies and BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo. Additionally, Astralis and Liquid faced each other twice at Majors, and both matches ended in Astralis’ favor.
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In total, these two teams played each other on more than 50 maps. The domination of Astralis in this rivalry is more than clear. The reason why this is one of 5 biggest rivalries in CS:GO is that Liquid was always behind Astralis in 2018, and if there was no Astralis, they would definitely be the best team. This year, it proved to be true as they completely crushed the field meeting Astralis only once. On top of that, Team Liquid is the first NA team who was able to challenge top CS:GO teams and eventually to claim the number one spot.
1) Fnatic – NiP
Having this rivalry on top of our list is the only logical way to go. The rivalry between Fnatic and NiP is the same thing as El Classico in soccer. Both Swedish teams had their own eras and both of them faced each other a number of times. In total, they played on over 100 maps against each other. They both were there from the very beginning of this game. They confronted each other 6 times in Grand Finals, including three Major finals, which of Fnatic won 2. Therefore, these two teams played more Major Grand Finals against each other than any other two teams.
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Fnatic won only nine maps more than NiP, which makes this rivalry well balanced. These two teams gave the best player of 2013, 2014, and 2015. They provided us with countless epic matches, such as match in Quarter-final of IEM Sydney this year, that was just unforgettable.