Astralis, NaVi struggle with online play

Every single esport has moved to online play over the past week. CS:GO is no different as two large scale leagues are happening simultaneously in Europe and North America. Both the ESL Pro League Season 11 or Flashpoint host each of the global Top30 teams among their contestants.

The new competitive format is creating a new power dynamic between teams. Global powerhouse teams like Astralis and NaVi are struggling to perform well, while up and coming talent is striving. The result can soon be a complete overhaul at the top of the global standings, especially if the current trends continue.

Flashpoint / ESL Pro League

Running Troubles

Everyone rejoiced once all tournaments made the move to online play. Especially the teams, who were finding the season downtime as a huge problem. Once the tournaments started rolling, the usual suspects found themselves in a lot of trouble.

Up in the ESL Pro League Season 11, NaVi is facing a double defeat in their openers after dropping matches to both North and BIG. The team that just won IEM Katowice 2020 is one defeat away from being pretty much eliminated from the competition.

Two other Top10 teams are not finding much success either. Astralis got roflstomped in their season opener against NiP, but quickly rebounded in their second match against GODSENT. Fnatic also dropped a match against BIG and is now sitting at one defeat. They do have a chance to improve against Complexity tonight and save their Pro League showing.

Down in LA, Flashpoint is starting to develop a similar pattern. Expected group favorites Mad Lions and MIBR have both dropped their openers and are having problems keeping up. Although early to tell, the general trend across both competitions is with the bottom 15 beating the top teams in the world.

As both tournaments host matches daily on drawn out schedules, teams can prepare for every opponent in-depth. As a result we see the standard patterns of the best teams get exploited.

A good example was BIG just a few hours ago, while exploiting NaVi’s own tactics against them.

Impact on competitive season

With the global competitive calendar put on hold, we might be facing a reality where most of the season is played via online tournaments. Finals might be played in LAN, but not in front of an audience. This would mean that up until the Playoffs on any given tournament, there is more then a solid chance the current top teams find themselves out of the competition.

This is not all bad however. The CS:GO scene has seen its fair share of dominance by Astralis and Liquid this past 400 days. A change of pace and new blood among the top tier is more then welcome. Although, it might be at a cost of the viewership, especially now when viewer numbers are through the roof.

Read next: ESL Pro League Season 11: Changes, Structure and Favorites