Play Hard, Make History.

HLTV.org recently published their Top 10 CS:GO Teams of 2019. As I was scrolling and taking a look at the lead graphic for each team showing prize earnings and medals won during the year I thought...this can't be right. That doesn't make any sense. I understand HLTV are using their own world ranking system to conclude their list, but surely Team Liquid should be atop that list? (they are currently ranked 4th on the list due to tournament decay)

So I went to check.

1. 2019 Tournament Results At A Glance

At first glance, Team Liquid is well ahead of Astralis. That is until...

you take into consideration two things: B-Tier do not count in this comparison. And...

2. Context: Astralis is MIA

Team Liquid does have a larger number of better results. However, when you factor in the simple fact that the two teams did not attend the same amount of tournaments, nor did they even technically attend the same tournaments very often, a clearer image begins to appear.

Chart showing Astralis versus Team Liquid 2019 competition results.
When the two attended the same tournaments, Astralis > Team Liquid 9 to 5, respectively. 

As you can see, Astralis attended 21 S/A-Tier tournaments, whereas Team Liquid attended 23. Additionally, of the 23 S/A-Tier tournaments Team Liquid attended, only 14 of them aligned with Astralis. This leaves 9 tournaments where Team Liquid would not be under attack from their close rival - Astralis.

Additionally, it is important to note that of those 9 extra tournaments, 6 are where Team Liquid picked up first place.

A chart comparing the difference in events Astralis and Team Liquid attended but the other did not.
Astralis took fewer regional events, and missed a few IEM events.

Which then leads you to wonder - but when they did meet, who won!?

3. Astralis > Team Liquid

When taking a look at all the times the two juggernauts met each other in 2019, it is alarmingly clear that Astralis has Team Liquid's number. And then some.

List showing each time Astralis played Team Liquid, and the result. Astralis won 9 to 3 versus Team Liquid.
Astralis vs Team Liquid: 9-3 in 2019

As you can see, Astralis won handily over Team Liquid in 2019. Handily.

4. I'd Still Rather Play for Team Liquid

If Im honest, I would still much rather play for Team Liquid. If not just for the fact I would have taken home more money and won more tournaments; there is a clear goal - destroy Astralis.

Both Team Liquid and Astralis are lightyears ahead of the next best CS:GO team (by the numbers). The only thing standing in Team Liquid's way from total world domination is Astralis. Astralis provides the perfect motivation and hunger for Team Liquid to get better and not get complacent.

Astralis has everything to lose at this point. Not a position I would necessarily want to be in going into 2020. Then again, third time's the charm - maybe Astralis will make it a three-peat.

5. 20/20 Vision - All Eyes On Team Liquid vs Astralis

Regardless of who you cheer for, 2020 is shaping up to be a massive year for both teams. We will be keeping a close eye on these two teams to see who edges out a better year in 2020. And who knows, maybe a dark horse will emerge from further down the rankings to take 2020 by storm.

Who are you betting on to be crowned king at the end of 2020?