I'm pleased to present the first edition of my CS:GO World Rankings report for Dexerto, breaking down exactly where some of the best teams in the world currently stand.
When I originally launched my CS:GO World Rankings concept in 2014 there were no other attempts at a global ranking, regularly updated, of the world's top teams. Other rankings have since risen up and over time been tweaked to provide an accurate and reliable charting of the rise and fall of the many teams in the scene.
What is lacking is an expert's eye, to adjust for factors point-based systems cannot address, and explanation of the various positions. As such, I've resurrected my rankings and will, in due time, update for the missing time period of this year thus far. There will also be a video version which outlines more information and contrasts more directly.
My rankings run over an exact three month span, extending back three months prior to the date they are published, and encapsulating all offline results within that time span. This allows for a sense of how good a team is to be established after they have had time to accomplish multiple placings, but without unduly letting teams who were fantastic many months ago hang on to top rankings when the game and time has moved on.
As well as placings, the value of which is determined by the prestige of the tournament and the quality of the opposition in attendance, the opponents a team beats counts to their ranking.
Teams who defeat Top 10 opponents, with the higher ranked teams more valuable scalps to claim, help determine their overall ranking and break ties with other teams who have similar kinds of placings. Likewise, victories in Best-of-3 (Bo3) series are of more value than Bo1 results and a single map won in a series over teams of a similar level. Unlike past editions of my rankings, I will also list the victories teams have had over ranked opponents.
When a team changes players then past results are counted at a proportionally lower value, based on how many remaining players were present at that time.The key approach which changes the nature of these rankings is the addition of a tier-based system as well, taking cues from the "class" vernacular of the StarCraft: Brood War community of the 2000s and recent rankings by Esports Kingdom.
S class are the elite teams, who can be expected to win tournaments. A class are the teams below them, good and capable of competing with them but not expected to be the favourite at tournaments featuring all the teams. B class are the teams below both of the previous tiers, solid sides and capable of being ranked but not top teams.
The importance of this change is that it prevents situations where the scene, perhaps due to roster moves or a lull in form, has few elite sides and so a team finds themselves ranked fifth who likely will never win a big tournament. In other eras, perhaps even the fourth and fifth ranked teams are championship material. The class system will signify as much.
12th April - 12th July 2019
Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)
Apr 12 - Apr 13 BLAST Pro Series: Miami 2019
Apr 12 - Apr 14 Charleroi Esports 2019
Apr 19 - Apr 21 DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019
Apr 30 - May 05 Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Sydney
May 10 - May 11 BLAST Pro Series: Madrid 2019
Apr 12 - May 23 ESL Pro League Season 9 - Europe
Apr 12 - May 23 ESL Pro League Season 9 - Americas
May 23 - May 26 cs_summit 4
May 28 - Jun 02 DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019
Jun 06 - Jun 09 Esports Championship Series Season 7 - Finals
Jun 15 - Jun 16 Moche XL Esports 2019
Jun 15 - Jun 17 DreamHack Open Summer 2019
Jun 18 - Jun 23 ESL Pro League Season 9 - Finals
Jul 02 - Jul 07 ESL One: Cologne 2019
Bo3: FaZe (EPL), FaZe (ESL Cologne)
Bo1: RNG (IEM Sydney), MiBR (EPL), Na`Vi (EPL)
As if to show how brutal and competitive the top 10 is right now, mouz edge their way into a spot but by a slim margin. Winning a tier two event in Dreamhack Tours means little, but capturing some top finishes elsewhere, including a top four at EPL, is meaningful for teams down at this end of the rankings. With series wins over FaZe, karrigan's former team, mouz look like one of the newer teams on the rise. That their best placing is more recent than many of their peers battling for ranking spots helps for now.
Bo3: FNC (EPL), Na`Vi (EPL), NRG (DH Dallas), FaZe (EPL)
Bo1: ENCE (DH Dallas), NRG (EPL), TL (EPL)
Vitality winning tournaments was the spark which brought French CS back to life, but G2 have played their part, albeit a little more quietly. After a lacklustre initial run with their newest line-up, they managed some quality wins in Dallas and followed that up with an epic run to the final of ProLeague. For a team ranked this far down they have some solid series wins to boast about and have French fans cheering for more than just the next ZywOo 30 frag performance. kennyS making his welcome return to top tier play certainly has helped make this a relevant G2 team once more.
Bo3: FURIA (ESL Cologne), mouz (ESL Cologne)
Bo1: MiBR (Blast Miami), mouz (ESL Cologne), TL (ESL Cologne)
In another testament to the folly of skipping tournaments, Na`Vi find themselves all the way down at eight, despite having won a big tournament around four months ago. Failing to qualify for EPL meant that Na`Vi's poor form at Blast events put them in a deep hole coming into Cologne. Thankfully, having the best player in the world and new recruit Boombl4 showing some potential was enough to still drag Na`Vi to a top four placing they desperately needed. Their resume of wins is light, but has some decent names in there.
The next few months are a lot of pressure on this Na`Vi squad, with real potential to drop out of the rankings entirely.
Bo3: TL (Blast Miami), NiP (EPL), NiP (DH Dallas), North (EPL)
Bo1: Na`Vi (Blast Miami), Ast (Blast Miami), TL (DH Dallas)
For the names in the FaZe Clan it must be difficult to swallow having so many tournaments without a realistic hope of winning, but FaZe still manages to tick over and get some solid results. Victory in Miami is still on the books, albeit at a Blast, and their top four in Dallas was with their newer line-up. After that, things have been dark for FaZe, managing only a lone top six run in France for EPL.
FaZe look very troubled, rumours of coldzera coming over or not, even though their fire-power can still turn up and get them wins in Bo3 series over some solid teams. That big win over TL from Blast won't be around for much longer, so expect FaZe to drop quickly in coming months.
Bo3: FaZe (IEM Sydney), MiBR (IEM Sydney), Ast (EPL), FaZe (ESL Cologne)
Bo1: RNG (EPL), FNC (IEM Sydney), RNG x2 (summit), ENCE (summit), TL (summit), NiP (ECS), FNC (EPL), FURIA (ESL Cologne)
NRG might seem like a surprise sixth place ranking, since they haven't made a single final and have as a result won nothing, but their level of consistency in making semi-finals at big events has been remarkable and helped them past teams with some better peaks but far less everyday quality. Even changing out IGL daps for stanislaw doesn't tank NRG much, with four notable top fours to their name and three coming in big events. Even their Cologne run saw them halted only by top sides, losing to TL and Vitality.
Gambling on stanislaw was to bring them titles, so the ground work is there but now we must see whether stan is the man to elevate them to champions or find them still stuck as just a good team.
Bo3: FNC (DH Dallas), Vit (DH Dallas), Ast (ECS)
Bo1: NRG (DH Dallas), ENCE (DH Dallas), Ast (ECS)
As MiBR have been in free fall, it has been FURIA who have redeemed Brazil's respect in this game. Coming completely out of nowhere, this fresh set of five has stormed through tournament brackets to earn deep finishes in Dallas and at the ECS S7 finals, where they even reached the final itself. Beating Astralis in three out of four maps, including a Bo3, and taking down the deadly Vitality squad in a series are results which have left many fans eager to see how far the FURIA five can go. Their Cologne run was underwhelming and will see many labelling them a fluke of the summer, but their resume is very nice all the same.
Bo3: NiP (ECS)
Bo1: Na`Vi (Blast Miami), NiP (Blast Madrid), Na`Vi (Blast Madrid), NRG (EPL), TL (EPL), Vitality (ESL Cologne)
The greatest team in CS:GO history found themselves humbled even before they returned to play at non-Blast tournaments, failing to win Miami or Madrid. Their summer run was much hyped, but floundered and saw them claim only a single top four finish. A look at Astralis' resume shows how weak their run has been over recent months, with their only ranked series win coming over NiP. In Cologne their placing was nice, but they had as easy a run as one could hope for at a stacked event like that. As of right now, Astralis are not an elite team and are a long way from the top of the rankings. Imagine saying that would be the case a few months ago.
Bo3: Ast (Blast Madrid), FaZe (DH Dallas)
Bo1: Na`Vi (Blast Madrid), Ast (Blast Madrid), RNG (summit), TL (summit), NRG (summit), Vit (summit), TL (DH Dallas)
ENCE cracked the top rankings a while ago, with their Blast win over Astralis and their general consistency of reaching deep finishes in big tournaments, as shown by their finals appearance in Dallas. Alas, ENCE have the placings but not the kind of resume of ranked series wins to really contest Vitality for the second spot. Finland's finest suffered from being unable to appear at ECS or EPL, due to being such a new organisation. Failure in Cologne seems less worrying when one considers they played the powerful Vitality in the first round of the lower bracket.
Bo3: ENCE (summit), TL (summit), NiP (DH Dallas), NRG (ECS), ENCE (ESL Cologne), NRG (ESL Cologne), Ast (ESL Cologne)
Bo1: NRG x2 (summit), TL x2 (summit), ENCE (summit), Renegades (summit)
Earlier in the year, Vitality was just a prison for the absurdly talented rookie ZywOo. Now, they stand as one of the very best teams in the world and have a resume few can match. As well as winning two titles at events featuring teams like TL and Astralis, Vitality finished second in Cologne. Their seven ranked Bo3 series wins, including wins over all of the big names, show both how consistent and elite their play has been.
If you have an argument as to why ENCE should be ranked ahead of them then let's hear it, because I can summon none.
Bo5: FNC (IEM Sydney), Vit (ESL Cologne)
Bo3: NiP (IEM Sydney), MiBR (IEM Sydney), NRG (summit), FaZe (DH Dallas), ENCE (DH Dallas), MiBR (EPL), Ast (EPL), Na`Vi (ESL Cologne), NRG (ESL Cologne), Na`Vi (ESL Cologne)
Bo1: FaZe (Blast Miami), Na`Vi (Blast Miami), Ast (Blast Miami), MiBR (Blast Miami), ENCE (summit), RNG x2 (summit), NRG (summit)
Team Liquid enter the first edition of my rankings for 2019 firmly in first place and with nobody in their rear view mirror right now. I will calculate the rankings for the rest of the year prior to now and publish them, for history's sake, but it's unthinkable to see a North American team so firmly positioned at the top of the scene. TL have four titles to their name - hence the Grand Slam million going their way - and reached two other finals.
Their resume of ranked wins is exceptional, not quite on the level of Astralis' peak form last year but within the context of the more depleted tournament attendance of this Spring there are a lot of big results listed there. Whether you think this is the Team Liquid era or not, there's no denying they are the very best team in CS:GO.
A video feature will be coming in a few days which summarizes this top 10 and explains the placings in more detail and with more direct contrasts of teams competing for spots.