Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

It’s nice to get rewarded for consistency in CS:GO. And that’s just what NAVI has been over the past year. By locking up the ESL Pro League championship, NAVI wins the Intel Grand Slam and a cool million dollars on top of all their tournament winnings. The accomplishment makes NAVI only the third team to complete the Grand Slam along with Astralis and Team Liquid.

A Grueling Run

The Intel Grand Slam is a unique prize in esports. It exists only in CS:GO and puts a team through the most rigorous of trials before the $1,000,000 prize. To clinch it you have to win four ESL Pro Tour Masters events inside of ten. Some of those brackets include the toughest competitions in the world like IEM Katowice and DreamHack. Its difficulty is akin to the pro tennis grand slam where one must win the US, French, Australian Opens, and Wimbledon in a single year. A combination of travel, fatigue, and differences in court surfaces make it one of the hardest things to complete in sports. The Intel Grand Slam makes travel, latency, and differences in competition its hurdles. So for esport athletes, it’s just as taxing.

Natus Vincere (for real)

NAVI’s run began all the way back in March of 2020 at the IEM Championships. It was the last event before the world shut down due to COVID-19, which canceled six majors in 2020. But 2021 would become the Ukraine-based team’s year. NAVI won Deamhack in May, IEM Cologne in June, and ESL Pro League last weekend. Combined with that early 2020 win, and they’ve etched themselves in the pantheon of CS:GO teams.

NAVI’s Counter-Strike star, Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostyliev, continued to solidify his legend as he wins yet another major tournament. Now, with a Grand Slam under his belt, there is little argument against his GOAT status. With the grand slam and the million now locked in, NAVI is poised to keep their top spot. With more resources and a winning pedigree, they can be poised to remain as the best team in CS:GO for a while.

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images