CS:GO

Thorin's CS:GO World Rankings - Mid-December 2019

by Duncan "Thorin" Shields

Share


It's my pleasure to present the sixth 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 an explanation of the various positions.

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.

Advertisement

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 is composed of the teams ranked below them, good and capable of competing with them but not expected to be the favourite at tournaments featuring all the teams. B-class is the teams below both of the previous tiers - solid sides and capable of being ranked but not top teams.

Advertisement

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.

10th September - 10th December 2019

Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)

  • Sep 13 - Sep 14 BLAST Pro Series: Moscow 2019
  • Sep 18 - Sep 22 V4 Future Sports Festival - Budapest 2019
  • Sep 20 - Sep 22 Games Clash Masters 2019
  • Sep 26 - Sep 29 ESL One: New York 2019
  • Oct 01 - Oct 06 DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019
  • Oct 21 - Oct 27 StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8
  • Nov 01 - Nov 02 BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019
  • Nov 07 - Nov 10 Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing
  • Oct 08 - Nov 18 ESL Pro League Season 10 - Europe
  • Oct 08 - Nov 18 ESL Pro League Season 10 - Americas
  • Nov 20 - Nov 24 CS:GO Asia Championships 2019
  • Nov 28 - Dec 01 Esports Championship Series Season 8 - Finals
  • Dec 03 - Dec 08 ESL Pro League Season 10 - Finals

Advertisement

B Class - Ranked but not top teams

10. Ninjas in Pyjamas [REZ, f0rest, Lekr0, Plopski and twist] [-]

Recent form:

  • BLAST Pro Series: Moscow (3rd) [GTR]
  • V4 Future Sports Festival - Budapest (5th-6th) [GTR]
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (5th-6th)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (7th-8th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (2nd)
  • ECS S8 Finals (5th-6th)

Bo5:

Bo3: EG (SLTV S8), Vit (EPL)

One map: AVAN (Blast Moscow), Na'Vi (Blast Moscow), mouz (DH Malmo), Ast (Blast Cop), TL (Blast Cop), EG (ECS)

NiP had tight competition for the final ranking spot with the likes of ENCE and FURIA, but their bevy of single map wins and some nice series to boot keep them hanging in there.  Top six at ECS didn't mean much, but they did get a map win off EG out of it.

Advertisement

9. Natus Vincere [s1mple, electronic, flamie, GuardiaN and Boombl4] [NEW]

ESL
ESL

Recent form: 

  • BLAST Pro Series: Moscow (6th) [Zeus]
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (3rd-4th)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (13th-16th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (3rd)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (3rd-4th)

Bo5:

Bo3: EG (EPL)

One map: Vit (DH Malmo), TL (Blast Cop), FNC (EPL)

Na'Vi's top-four finish at EPL was a big deal, as the team had been disappearing below the water and out of the placings.  s1mple and friends are back, even if their resume is shockingly empty of series wins for a team with top big top-four finishes.

8. FaZe Clan [NiKo, coldzera, rain, olof and broky] [+1]

BLAST
BLAST

Recent form:

  • ESL One: New York (7th-8th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (1st)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (3rd-4th)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (9th-12th)

Bo5:

Bo3: Vit (EPL), EG (IEM Beijing), EG (IEM Beijing)

One map: Ast (Blast Cop), Na'Vi (Blast Cop), Vit (IEM Beijing)

All FaZe managed at EPL was a highly underwhelming finish and no ranked wins.  They benefit, though, from having won their event relatively recently and seeing the major, which they failed to make an impact on, disappear from relevance.  FaZe's Blast win and IEM Beijing are aided by two series wins over EG and a generally pretty good resume for a squad ranked down at eighth.

A Class - Top teams, but not championship favourites

7. Vitality [ZywOo, ALEX, apEX, shox and RpK] [-2]

Breakflip
Breakflip

Recent form:

  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (2nd)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (7th-8th)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (3rd-4th)

Bo5: 

Bo3: ENCE (DH Malmo), mouz (DH Malmo), Na'Vi (DH Malmo)

One map: 100T (IEM Beijing), FNC (EPL)

No activity since the last edition for the French side, but their placings and some solid series wins is good enough to put them in seventh.  Finally, the NBK era does not affect their rankings and we can see the shox era stand on its own feet. Having this many teams in the A-Class really shows how much talent we have in the scene right now and the level of parity in the top 10.

6. 100 Thieves [jks, jkaem, Gratisfaction, Liazz and AZR] [-2]

ESL
ESL

Recent form:

  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (4th)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (2nd)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (7th-8th)

Bo5:

Bo3: FNC (SLTV S8), Vit (SLTV S8), ENCE (IEM Beijing), ENCE (IEM Beijing), Vit (IEM Beijing)

One map: 

100T's flunked their first tournament since back in July at IEM Chicago, finishing only top eight at EPL.  Nonetheless, 100T has the placings and the resume of series wins, even if a number came seemingly for free from an Aleksib-less-ENCE, to keep a good placing, but did drop a few spots.  Still a good team, without a doubt, but not an event champion right now. Their consistency has been such that I'll keep them in A Class.

5. Team Liquid [EliGE, Twistzz, NAF, nitr0 and Stewie] [+3]

ECS
ECS

Recent form:

  • ESL One: New York (3rd-4th)
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (9th-12th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (5th)
  • ECS S8 Finals (2nd)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (5th-6th)

Bo5: 

Bo3: Ren (EPL), EG (ECS), FNC (ECS), mouz (EPL)

One map: Ast (ESL NY), NiP (ECS), Ast (ECS), Ast (EPL)

A finals appearance at ECS and a decent but underwhelming top six at EPL are enough to again elevate Team Liquid to the A-Class and top-five ranking I expect from this line-up.  Victories over EG, FNATIC, and mouz in series play are very positive signs, along with three map series against Astralis at both tournaments. Liquid are on the cusp of again being champions but have been unable to get it over the line.

4. mousesports [karrigan, ropz, chrisJ, frozen and w0xic] [+3]

ESL
ESL

Recent form:

  • V4 Future Sports Festival - Budapest (3rd-4th)
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (5th-6th)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (9th-12th)
  • CS:GO Asia Championships 2019 (1st)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (1st)

Bo5: FNC (EPL)

Bo3: EG (DH Malmo), AVAN (CAC), EG (CAC), ENCE (CAC), EG (EPL), Ast (EPL)

One map: Vit (DH Malmo), ENCE (CAC), TL (EPL)

karrigan's boys have won another event to make it back-to-back with the CS:GO Asia Championships.  This time around, they again beat EG and added a semi-final win over his old running mates in Astralis.  A Bo5 final win over FNATIC is big time stuff too, considering how competitive that squad has been with everyone else.

mouz look a little like FNATIC when they began their recent won, with a lot of close games won to make it difficult to know how replicable these results are.  If they continue like this then mouz will be an outside shot to win every event. If they do not, and especially if player form is tied too closely, then mouz are still a play-off squad but in an increasingly competitive period.

S Class - Elite Teams

3. FNATIC [KRiMZ, brollan, JW, flusha and Golden] [-]

ESL
ESL

Recent form:

  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (1st)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (2nd)
  • ECS S8 Finals (3rd-4th)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (2nd)

Bo5:

Bo3: Ast (DH Malmo), Vit (DH Malmo), mouz (SLTV S8), Vit (SLTV S8), Vit (EPL), 100T (EPL), TL (EPL)

One map: EG (SLTV S8), TL (ECS)

A semi-finals appearance at ECS and a runners-up finish at EPL showed that FNATIC is far from the "on their day" team they initially appeared to be.  This new FNATIC has legitimately been world class throughout their run since the major. Adding three series, including one over a good looking Team Liquid, keeps FNATIC in third and I can now confidently move them into the S Class of elite teams in the game.  Welcome back JW, flusha and KRiMZ.

2. Evil Geniuses [CeRq, Brehze, ethan, tarik and stanislaw] [-]

ECS
ECS

Recent form:

  • ESL One: New York (1st)
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (15th-16th)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (1st)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (5th-6th)
  • CS:GO Asia Championships 2019 (5th-6th)
  • ECS S8 Finals (3rd-4th)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (5th-6th)

Bo5: Ast (ESL NY)

Bo3: FaZe (ESL NY), Ast (ESL NY), Ren (SLTV S8), FNC (SLTV S8), FNC (SLTV S8), NiP (ECS), 100T (EPL)

One map: AVANG (ECS), Ast (ECS), FNC (EPL), mouz (EPL)

A top four at ECS was fine, in the context of who was in the semi-finals, but finishing only in 5th-6th at EPL suggests EG are not the world beaters they looked like following the major.  They've only been able to add two series wins over those two events, beating NiP and 100T. There is still much promise to be seen, but Brehze has not been the star he was earlier in the year and the team's map pool has seen them losing their beloved dust2 and inferno way too often.

While that NY result remains, EG are still locked into second, but there is a lot of competition gunning for them right now and they've even seen their status as Astralis' kryptonite questioned.

1. Astralis [device, dupreeh, Magisk, Xyp9x and gla1ve] [-]

ECS
ECS

Recent form:

  • ESL One: New York (2nd)
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (3rd-4th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (4th)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (1st)
  • ECS S8 Finals (1st)
  • ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (3rd-4th)

Bo5: 100T (IEM Beijing)

Bo3: FNC (EPL), TL (ESL NY), Vit (DH Malmo), 100T (IEM Beijing), FNC (ECS), EG (ECS), TL (ECS), TL (EPL)

One map: EG (ESL NY), TL (Blast Cop), mouz (EPL)

Astralis broke their surprisingly quiet period of not winning titles since the major already with their flawless run in Beijing and at ECS S8 looked firmly like the best team in the game.  Rematching the final of that event again at EPL had them looking as if they would win back-to-back events, but a shocking and close elimination to mouz ended that tale with just a top-four finish.  All the same, they are riding a streak of top-four finishes since ESL One Cologne.

The major has come off their resume of placings, but they have far and away the best record of any team in the scene right now.  There's also a strong collection of series wins, including three over TL and one over EG.