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What is the mark of a truly successful computer game? Most units sold? Biggest grossing franchise? Most dedicated fan following? As a title which has sold over 25 million copies to date, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CS:GO, for short) certainly ticks all of those boxes and more, since it’s one of the best-selling games of the Steam era.

However, the advent of eSports has taken gaming to a whole new level. With tournaments devoted exclusively to revealing the best CS:GO players on the planet – and with an entire eSports betting infrastructure springing up around those events – the definition of a successful computer game has certainly evolved in recent years. Undoubtedly, CS:GO fits the bill, but which teams are the most accomplished worldwide?


Ninjas in Pajamas

As well as boasting one of the most fun names on this list, Ninjas in Pajamas (or NiP) have also had some of the finest talent in eSports among their ranks. Between 2012 and 2019, they had GeT_RiGhT (real name Christopher Alesund) leading the charge, who is regarded by some as the best CS:GO player of all time. Nowadays, they have Nicolai Reedtz at the head of operations, who is a deserving heir to Alesund’s crown by any measure.


Heroic

One of the least experienced names on this list, Heroic have made quite a name for themselves in the five years they’ve been up and running. They have recorded an astonishing number of victories in that time, with their meteoric rise only stopped by Gambit in an EPL final rematch at DH Masters. Though their win rate is among the most prolific in the industry, the fact that many of their triumphs have been recorded in lesser tiers does mean their success is somewhat qualified.


G2 eSports

Since their establishment in 2013 and their focus on CS:GO from 2015 onwards, G2 have been as impressive as anyone. They’ve snagged a mammoth $2.5 million in prize money and consistently rank among the top teams on official lists compiled by ESL Gaming. With new(ish) recruits NiKo and JaCkz now settling into their stride and gelling well with their teammates, G2 are guaranteed to be a force to be reckoned with in future competitions.


Natus Vincere

When they’re on form, Natus Vincere (or NaVi) have demonstrated that they have what it takes to beat anyone. That was in abundant evidence at the Dreamhack Masters in spring of 2021, when they dispatched some of their biggest rivals (including Heroic and Gambit from this list) on their way to the prize money. However, NaVi’s inconsistency lets them down badly; after romping through a tournament one month, they’re prone to falling away the next. Frustrating.


Gambit

Like Heroic, Gambit didn’t enter the CS:GO fray until 2016. However, they’ve wasted no time in establishing themselves as the team to beat. Not only do they consistently attain high rankings and reach the latter stages of competitions, but they have bagged more than $2 million in prize money and harbor ambitions of winning much, much more. Bet against them at your peril!

CS:GO is not just a fantastic game to play, but it’s also one of the most entertaining to bet on. These are the top teams in the world right now.