After a winning streak in 2018, many have slammed the success of professional CS: GO esports team Astralis and called it “boring” and “typical”.
Astralis was pretty much unbeatable when it won the FACEIT Major London 2018, the BLAST Pro Series: Lisbon 2018 and the Intel Grand Slam. They have stayed on the top spot of the HLTV rankings for 64 weeks since April 23 last year and currently rank first in the world.
Despite their success, they have been criticized for employing a boring play. Some have compared Astralis to Floyd Mayweather of Counter-Strike: the “best but boring to watch.” Others have compared the team with other teams such as Virtus.pro which, for them, exhibited a more memorable “plow.”
The fact that Astralis has been compared to underdog teams like Virtus.pro who ended up winning The International 8 shows that the audience was looking for great stories. That is understandable because watching tournaments more than anything needs a bit of entertainment. But of course, players participate in tournaments with one goal. And, that goal is to win, whether it means playing the game safely. In the end, Counter-Strike players have to be pragmatic and deliver the results.
It is also not as if Astralis has not made a name for itself. Looking back at its history, one will find that they have been determined. They had experienced losing team members. They had poor starts but they had worked hard to earn a pole position. Such grit should not go unappreciated.