The BLAST Premier Global Final kicks off next week, with eight of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams competing for a prize pool of $1 million. With the scene predicted to experience substantial map changes in the coming months, we thought we would take a look at the maps currently in the pool, and which sides you should be backing with your money or support when the action kicks off.
Team To Back: Team Vitality
One of the most famous maps in the entire history of first person shooters, Dust II has been present in the Counter-Strike series ever since the launch of 1.6.
The map has been in the competitive pool ever since 2017, and has historically been a favorite map of most CIS sides such as Natus Vincere over the years. However, over the course of 2020 French org Team Vitality have established themselves as the go-to team to back on the map following the addition of Nivera as a sixth man on the side who substitutes in when the map is picked. Vitality have built one of the fiercest double pivots on Dust II with ZywOo on the A Bombsite and Nivera holding the B bombsite.
Team To Back: G2
Another longstanding map that is a favorite for pros and casuals to pug on and practice their reflexes with deathmatches. There is something for every play style on the map, which is why it is often left as a decider between two teams in a best of three or best of five series.
For his sheer aim alone, Mirage has always been a favorite map for Niko and his arrival at G2 has led to Mirage becoming one of the org’s most popular picks over the past six months or so. Though the team’s results have been patchy since Niko’s arrival, their win percentage of 75% is comfortably their best tally of any map in the pool.
Team To Back: Team Liquid
The latest map to be added into the competitive circuit, Vertigo replaced Cache back in March 2019 and is easily still the most divisive map pick in the game.
However, whilst plenty of sides make it their auto-ban, a couple of teams have sensed an opportunity to fill the void and become the masterminds behind the map’s meta and have it as their go-to. Astralis might have bested them numerous times, but Team Liquid should still be the side people first think of when they hear Vertigo being mentioned.
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Team To Back: Astralis
Another one of the classic maps from the early days of Counter-Strike, Inferno is a really strategic and utility-focused picks that reward the bold calls from in-game leaders and cohesion produced by in-synch teams.
And with no side are these things more true than Astralis, the best side to ever touch the game in its history. The Danes are amongst the highest earners in Esports, proving that you can make money playing games, their win percentage of over 85%.
Team To Back: Team Vitality
Overpass is another fairly new addition to the map pool, only being added in the winter of 2013 along with Cobblestone, and the map still feels like an ambitious and untapped map currently in competitions and events. Nordic sides such as Fnatic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Heroic and Godsent have all enjoyed a fair amount of success on the map, but it might be surprising to see that Vitality are the highest ranked side with the best win percentage of any side in the top ten and BLAST Global Premier finals.
Team To Back: Furia
Train has been in the game since its launch in 2012 and had various predecessors in the series previous, however it’s always been something of a map that teams have never really flocked to. It’s a highly technical map that is prone to huge romps on the CT side, though the likes of Mousesports in the past have shown its potential as a powerful map pick.
However, in more recent times, the tight corridors and long straights have become an aggressive AWPers playground, and few sides in the world can match FURIA for aggression. Art in particular stands out on the map with an AWP in hand, contributing hugely to the team’s 100% winning run over the past three months.
Team To Back: Natus Vincere
Nuke was a polarizing map for years in the CS community, breaking the norm for a defusal map by having two bombsites stacked on top of one another. It took some time, with the map going through a remodeling and spending some time outside of the competitive pool.
However, since then, the map has gone onto become a real favorite for teams right at the top of the world rankings. The likes of Liquid, Astralis and Vitality have all done extremely well in recent times, but all of their records fall short of Natus Vincere’s record of 78% in the last three months. Ref