CS:GO

Why is the Astralis vs Team Liquid Rivalry so one sided?

by Alan Bernal
Dexerto

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The CS:GO rivalry between Team Liquid and Astralis is stacked against the NA team, and looking at the various strengths from the Danes paints a much clearer picture as to why.

In 2018, Astralis established their hold on the competitive CSGO scene with a historic run of tournament wins. They looked flat-out unbeatable for much of their streak, and it wasn’t even close with other orgs in the Top 10.

Team Liquid’s 2018 campaign, on the other hand, was promising but never resulted in anything but good placements without noteworthy hardware. That was until they added Jake ‘Stewie2k’ Yip to their lineup.

StarLadder
Astralis have been a consistent thorn in Team Liquid's side.

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Almost overnight, TL took their rightful spot near the top, and outright claimed the World Number 1 rank shortly after. But something, or rather someone, was missing from a lot of the top tier events in the first half of 2019.

At the time, Astralis had been taking a selective approach when deciding where and when to compete, leaving their throne largely up for grabs. Surprising still was that when they would enter an event, they wouldn’t make it to the final – something that was standard for many events the year before.

The StarLadder 2019 Berlin Major would be the first time both teams would go up against each other with significant implications on the line. Astralis were looking to prove doubters they were still top dog among the elite, and Team Liquid wanted to cement their spot as the most dominant team with their first Major title.

ESL
At StarLadder and events after that, Astralis vs Team Liquid has been the premier CSGO matchup.

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In the group stage, TL looked lackluster and Astralis looked dominant. TL had to fight for their spot in the playoffs, and Astralis stumbled along the way but ultimately breezed into the New Champions Stage.

The results worked out in a way where the CSGO kings of 2018 and the kings of 2019 (up to that point) were going head-to-head early; a matchup with the hype of a Grand Final was going to be played out in the first round of playoffs.

Astralis eliminated Team Liquid, 2-0.

This is the story of why a rivalry between two of the most dominant forces in modern Counter-Strike has been heavily one-sided, and what’s been separating Astralis from Team Liquid on the big stage since.