The coronavirus pandemic caused major changes to the professional CS:GO scene in 2020. Firstly, the championships went online and were divided by regions, and by the end of the year all the top teams of the discipline started gathering in Europe, where all the top events are now being held. Not all teams psychologically coped with the lockdown: some of them failed during the online era, while others felt more comfortable. All this affected the ranking of the most popular teams in the world.
More people started to watch tournaments In 2020, so viewers' attention to teams increased: many top squads gained significantly more Hours Watched compared to 2019. Most of the teams saved their spots in the rankings, but their positions have changed.
Compared to 2019, Ninjas in Pyjamas and ENCE dropped out of the ranking., as both teams struggled in terms of results. Also, the last member of classic NiP roster f0rest left the team at the beginning of the year while the Finns collapsed after the departure of Aleksib and completely revamped their lineup. On the contrary, BIG had quite a successful year and OG also gathered a lot of viewers: they were close to get into the top 10, but still lost to other teams.
Natus Vincere became the most popular CS:GO team. S1mple’s roster became much more stable in online, and its main success was the victory at IEM Katowice 2020, the only top LAN of the last year. At the tournament, NAVI set a record among non-major championships by Peak Viewers: over a million people watched Natus Vincere beating G2 Esports in the final.
In general, NAVI showed very impressive results: the team's total Hours Watched increased by 80% in a year, amounting to 61M. Thanks to success in the discipline, the club even took 2nd place in the overall ranking of esports organizations for 2020.
Also Read: Most Popular Esports Organizations 2020
2019 leader Astralis dropped to the 2nd place. The team improved its total Hours Watched (but not as much as NAVI): almost 42.9M vs 36.7M in 2019. Note that the team did not play with the common line-up for some time: Xyp9x and the captain Gla1ve took breaks from the competition for several months.
Brazilian teams showed significant progress in viewership statistics. The region is now represented by two clubs: MIBR and FURIA. The first ones rose from 5th to 3rd place (34.1M Hours Watched in 2020); FURIA took 7th place (29.1M), although last year it was absent in ranking. The progress of the Brazilian teams was facilitated by their compatriot Gaules, who regularly casts top tournaments and gathers thousands of Brazilian CS:GO fans on his broadcasts.
Fnatic also moved up in the ranking (from 10th to 8th place) with 26.4M Hours Watched in a year. At the same time, the team's results were not the best after the SG 553 nerf: in more than 10 tournaments the Swedes have finished in the top 3 only twice.
Vitality proved to be very stable by both esports results and viewership statistics. The French squad retained their 4th place in the ranking, although they grew by 15% in Hours Watched over the year (over 33M in 2020), and ZywOo was named the best player in the world by HLTV.org for the second year in a row.
After the successful first half of the year G2 Esports moved up in the ranking (from 6th to 5th place), gaining 32.9M Hours Watched in a year. Probably, the team's stats will continue to grow in 2021 as it now has NiKo, one of the most skillful and popular athletes of the scene.
FaZe Clan showed positive dynamics as well, gaining 47% more HW compared to 2019 (31.4M in 2020). The team only had a couple of wins throughout the year, but the overall popularity of its players brings a lot of viewers: FaZe took 6th place in the rating (+3 positions in a year).
Another newcomer in the rating is mousesports: the 9th place and 24.2M Hours Watched. The quarantine revealed the team's problems: it began 2020 on the 2nd place in the HLTV.org rating and fell out of the top 10 during Summer and Fall. The European team has already started the 2021 season with reshuffle: veterans karrigan and chrisJ left, and acoR and dexter came to replace them.
Of the top teams, 2020 was not particularly successful for Team Liquid, which fell from 3rd to 10th place in the ranking, losing 27% in total Hours Watched over the year (23.3M in 2020). The team lost its leadership not only on the world, but also on the local American scene. Moreover, Liquid has lost its experienced captain nitr0 at the end of Summer, who switched to Valorant. Now FalleN is called upon to remedy the situation.
Other ratings of 2020: