Blaze 'Draulon' Lengyel, December 22, 2016

The Best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Matches of 2016

The Major qualifiers are over, our new challengers have been selected and competitive Counter-Strike finally gets a few weeks' break before the action starts again. While preparing for the holidays, we looked back on 2016 and compiled a list of some of the best, most memorable matches we saw during the year.

Natus Vincere vs Luminosity at IEM Katowice

While not an incredibly important match, this was certainly one of the most entertaining. Na’Vi and LG gave the series an incredible start on Overpass, where both teams performed amazing boosts, clutches and plays which kept all viewers on their toes. While Luminosity won it by a small margin, the first map defined the playstyle of some teams on Overpass for a long while, and the series goes down as one of the most intense games of CS:GO.

Liquid vs Luminosity at MLG Columbus

Depending on which team you were cheering for, this match was probably either one of the best, or one of the worst memories of the year for you. While on one hand, Team Liquid made it to the semifinals of a Major (a huge accomplishment for the North American scene), they lost in a heartbreaking way to Luminosity, who performed a comeback on both maps and won them in overtime, even though Liquid had match point on both. The match is also known for coldzera’s insane AWP play, which turned the tide in Luminosity’s favor.

Luminosity vs G2 at ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals

For me, this series is a contender for the greatest match of the year. The ferocity, the intensity, the energy of this match was almost too much to handle. The return of shox and ScreaM propelled G2 into a form that could very well challenge the dominating Brazilians and give them a run for their money. The match can be described as two bulls locking horns and not letting go.  The series went to all five maps, with godly plays from both sides, including shox’s 1v4 clutches which left all viewers in disbelief. If you want someone to experience professional Counter-Strike, show them this match.

Team Liquid vs Fnatic at ESL One Cologne

Liquid appears on this list once again with a semifinal series at a Major. While the game didn’t go to all three maps, it goes down as one of the most important matches in North American CS:GO, as Team Liquid, assisted by Ukrainian superstar s1mple, took down Fnatic in an incredible two maps and became the first North American team to make the grand finals of a CS:GO Major. S1mple’s incredible 1v2 clutch on Cache also resulted in Valve adding graffiti to the map to commemorate the play.

SK Gaming vs Virtus.Pro at ESL One New York

The SK Gaming/ex-Luminosity roster is a recurring theme in most of these top matches, but for this match they were on the losing side. Mounting an incredible comeback, the experienced players of ground SK Gaming down and showed everyone they are still a world-class team who can beat even the best. Fans of the Polish side had the chance to revel as all five members of Virtus performed incredible plays which brought the semifinals back in their favour.

Blaze 'Draulon' Lengyel

Blaze is a student who currently lives in Europe and has a great interest in Counter Strike and competitive games. He spends his time hitting the gym or working on various game dev projects where he has a role in management or 3D graphics. You can follow him on twitter @draulon