Stuchiu Major Power Ranks: Top 5 Mirage teams

Stuchiu runs down the five best Mirage teams at the Major

Counter-Strike: GO's Icon Stephen Chiu · 7 Aug 2019


Photo via Adela Sznajder for DreamHack

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We are in the calm before the storm. The CS:GO player break has started, but once it’s over the Berlin Major begins. I’ve done some prep work for the Major and have decided to release it in the form of power rankings. In this first set of blogs, I'll be power ranking teams by map. In terms of criteria, I looked at overall results, with an emphasis on more recent results* and wins against top rated teams. I’ve also taken into account the overall strengths and weaknesses of each team relative to the field. I’ve ignored teams that aren’t at the Major (like Fnatic and Heroic) and teams that aren’t playing with a set 5 man roster (like MIBR and NiP).

*Map scores were counted using HLTV. The filters were by team, on LAN, in the last three months of play and were filtered on July 30th.

5 - NRG

Mirage was a hard map to rank, as a lot of the teams I associate with it have undergone roster changes and haven’t played the map enough times to establish themselves, have avoided the map completely, or have fallen off in recent months. For instance, teams like FaZe, NRG, and Na`Vi have historically been good on the map. FaZe have lost their strength on the map going 2-3 with recent losses to NRG, Mouz, and Cloud9. NRG are currently 2-1 with their lineup, and while my eyes tell me they look good, they’ve only played high level competition on it at ESL One Cologne. Na`Vi are in a similar boat where they went 1-1 on the map at ESL One Cologne as well. 

Two other teams I considered were Astralis and ENCE. Astralis were fairly good on this map during their era, but have avoided the map through 2019. ENCE are 4-3 on the map, but all of their wins come from CS Summit 4 or before. In more recent LANs, they’ve dropped the map to MIBR, Heroic, and Liquid. 

With so much ambiguity, I eventually picked NRG. They have the best results on the map in the most recent tournaments and they seem to have the best actualized firepower on the map compared to the rest of the teams I’ve listed.


Coming in fourth is FURIA with a 6-0 record. They have wins over AVANGAR, INTZ, Luminosity, Renegades, Astralis, and Fnatic. Their best victories are from ECS Season 7 Finals against Astralis and DreamHack Dallas against Fnatic. While the rest of their notches aren’t quite as impressive, the eye test and overall resume convinced me to rank them above the other teams.

Their aggressive style of play is well-suited for Mirage on both sides of the map. Their spread of firepower gives them a good level of consistency while their unique setups and flair gives them upset potential.

3 - Mouz

Mouz have made their new home on Mirage. They are currently 8-1 on the map with wins over North, Nochance, Sprout, FaZe, HellRaisers, Valiance, BIG, and B.O.O.T-d[s]. Their one loss is an overtime loss to MIBR at IEM Sydney. 

While the raw numbers are better than FURIA, the opponents they beat aren’t that much better. What clinched it for Mouz over FURIA was the recency of some of their victories (North, NoChance, and Sprout) at the EU Minors, and their overall setup.

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While FURIA have an aggressive unique CT-side style, it also comes with more risks. I believe Mouz’s double-AWP setup gives Mouz the same amount of map control and pick potential, but with less risk. The same thing applies to their T-side. While both teams have effective T-sides, FURIA’s feels like it has a lot more variance in its efficacy compared to Mouz. 

2- Vitality

The second best team on Mirage is Vitality with a 9-3 record. It’s been one of their best maps since the team came together under Alex “ALEX” McMeekin’s leadership. They’ve consistently beaten the majority of tier 1 and tier 2 opponents on this map including Heroic, Renegades, NRG, Fnatic, North, and Liquid at CS Summit 4. They have three losses on the map. One to Liquid at ESL One Cologne, and one to ENCE and Renegades, both at CS Summit 4. 

Overall, Vitality is brilliant on this map and arguably better than Liquid in terms of CS theory. Their tactics, setups, and teamplay is all top-notch and if Vitality upset Liquid at the Major, I believe Mirage will be part of that equation.

1 - Liquid

Liquid are once again the number one team on my rankings. They are currently 12-1 on Mirage and have beaten everyone. Their one loss comes from Vitality at CS Summit 4, but when they rematched at ESL One Cologne, Liquid smashed them. Liquid’s raw firepower completely overwhelmed the Vitality side.

While I’ve lauded Vitality’s tactics and teamplay, Liquid is no slouch in this department either. Through 2019, they’ve shifted roles on the CT-side and have shuffled some of the player spots on the T-side when it comes to taking map control. On Mirage, their roleless style comes to the fore a bit more than usual. This alongside their incredible form has given them a 12-1 record.

Previous Power Ranks:

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