The Rise of the Eastern European Region in CSGO

March 11, 2021 | 0 | 19| |

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports scene has seen the rise and fall of many teams. Along with those, we also have seen many regions and countries getting more relevant, or completely disappearing. In 2021, CSGO is seeing four CIS teams overtaking the game. Along with them, the Eastern Europe region which was once considered one of the weakest regions of the global CSGO scene, is now rising quickly.

This resurgence comes as Gambit, Spirit, Virtus.Pro and Natus Vincere quickly climbs the global ladder. These four teams are carrying their region, and there’s a real possibility that 2021 will see all of them among the ten best squads in the world. As pointed by Liquipedia, IEM Katowice is a perfect example of this resurgence

So, who are these four teams carrying the rise of the Eastern European scene in CSGO? We have a deep dive for you right below.

Gambit: Returning to the Top

The current Russian roster of Gambit only shares one player with the roster that won the PGL Major Krakow years ago. That roster, of course, felt apart shortly after winning the Major.

After years back in the shadows, Gambit has finally returned. In October 2020, the squad won the LOOT.Bet Season 8 cup and one month later they also won Nine to Five 6. Comes December, and Gambit takes another two trophies.

In 2021, Gambit is aiming higher, and reaching the playoffs of IEM Katowice 2021 is no small feat. Yet, their tournament history doesn’t fully explain how good this squad can be, and how high is their ceiling.

Gambit has discovered two incredible players with Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov. The two young players have been performing extremely well, and they improve each tournament they play.

Of course, they aren’t the only ones pushing Gambit forward. “Hobbit”, the remaining player from the Major-winning roster is being key to their success as a support player along with “interz”. It’s fair to say that “nafany” is doing a superb job as a captain, too.

Overall, as long as nafany keeps improving as a leader, Gambit will keep surprising and rising through the rankings. The mix of experience and new star players is key for this Eastern European resurgence, and Gambit does it right.

Spirit: The Result of Years of Grind in Eastern Europe

Team Spirit has been an interesting organization in Counter-Strike for a couple of years already. The team is going into its fifth year in the Counter-Strike scene, after all.

However, Spirit never had a success phase as big as the one they are going through right now. One possibly reason for that is that since 2020, Spirit has only done one roster change besides adding a sixth player.

This shows how much the team wants to invest in their current roster. The team, led by “chopper” has a very interesting combination. In Spirit, any player in the squad can be on the top of the scoreboard as they are all highly-skilled.

Chopper, the team’s captain, is also surprising many. The player which once was a star for VEGA Squadron took the leadership role much better than expected. He certainly has been a key element for Spirit’s highly unpredictable mid-round actions.

Spirit is now amongst the ten best teams in the world, according to the HLTV World Rankings. Considering their performance at IEM Katowice 2021, the team won’t be leaving their position any time soon.

Virtus.Pro: Leading the Eastern Europe Revolution

If there’s one key team for the current Eastern European resurgence in CSGO, that’s Virtus.Pro. The brand which once housed the most successful Polish roster in history now is home to one of the most dangerous teams in the scene.

Virtus.Pro acquired AVANGAR’s roster in late 2019. Since then, the team did a couple of roster changes that helped the team reach the spot they are now. The core of AVANGAR remains, however: “Jame”, “qikert” and “SANJI”.

Out of this trio, the most known player certainly is “Jame”, their captain, AWPer, and one of the stars of the team. The all-around player is one of the best in the whole Eastern European region. Along with YEKINDAR and qiker, he is a key factor for VP success.

Right now, Virtus.Pro is one place above Spirit in the world-rankings, sitting at 6th. However, Virtus.Pro has once been among the best five teams in the world, and certainly they aim to retake that place.

Virtus.Pro has already won one event in 2021, with cs_summit 7. Now, there’s a real chance of them being one of the most successful teams of 2021. There are few teams looking quite as good as Virtus.Pro at the moment.

Natus Vincere: Taking the Crown

Out of the four teams listed as part of the Eastern Europe resurgence, there’s one that has always been representing their region among the top teams in the world. This team, of course, is Natus Vincere.

The organization has a long history with Counter-Strike, and they are a trademark in CSGO. More recently, however, they are known for being home of one of the best players to ever touch the game, “s1mple”.

Since being added, s1mple and Na’Vi have been in various news, and some controversies. Fans won’t forget the situation with MiBR, in which s1mple wanted to move to FalleN’s roster but Na’Vi blocked the move, for example.

However, after years of facing issues and never having all pieces of the Na’Vi puzzle, the organization finally reached a good level to be. Na’Vi entered 2021 by winning BLAST Premier Global Finals, and they did a great campaign in IEM Katowice 2021.

Sure, Na’Vi still have a couple of issues to iron out at the moment. Flamie’s performances, for example, are worrisome. However, even with a couple of small issues, Na’Vi is already one of the best teams in the world. In fact, they have already occupied the place of best team in the world once, and they are very close to get it again.

Follow your favorite teams with us

While these four teams from the Eastern Europe region are giving all they have to climb the ranking ladders, other teams won’t stop. In order to keep up with everything CSGO, make sure to follow us, and keep an eye on our Predictions page here!

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I'm a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

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