It's my pleasure to present the second 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.
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.
25th April - 25th July 2019
Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)
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
Jul 13 - Jul 14 BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles 2019
Jul 13 - Jul 14 Good Game League 2019
Jul 13 - Jul 14 ESEA Season 31: Global Challenge
Jul 17 - Jul 21 Europe Minor Championship - Berlin 2019
Jul 17 - Jul 21 Americas Minor Championship - Berlin 2019
Jul 18 - Jul 21 Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Chicago
Bo3: Na`Vi (EPL), Vit (ECS)
Bo1: Vit (DH Dallas), MiBR (ECS), TL (EPL), FaZe (EPL), MiBR (EPL)
North's slow but steady rise continues, as they break into the top 10. Their finish in Dallas was nothing to shout about, but it was a 16 team tournament. ECS was their crowning moment, placing ahead of fellow Danes Astralis. At EPL they fell early, though they grabbed some single map wins against ranked sides. Finally, their third place at the Minor means little in the context of these rankings, but their overall activity and resume puts them ahead of the likes of Na'Vi, who have been content to sit at home while other teams actually competed.
Bo3: FaZe (EPL), FaZe (ESL Cologne)
Bo1: RNG (IEM Sydney), MiBR (EPL), Na`Vi (EPL)
karrigan's boys were almost eliminated from the EU Minor, but rallied to win the event outright. It was a tournament featuring FNATIC and North, teams who aren't in my top 10, so that isn't the reason for their climb. mouz's activity has helped them heavily and their wins are pretty solid for a team in their position. The major could do so much for this squad.
Bo3: NRG (DH Dallas), FaZe (EPL)
Bo1: ENCE (DH Dallas), NRG (EPL), TL (EPL), TL (IEM Chicago), MiBR (IEM Chicago)
G2 only added single map wins, from series losses, against Team Liquid - very legit in the context of how good they are - and MiBR - far less, considering zews playing for the Brazilians. Na`Vi's inactivity means that the French leap up a spot, though, and enter the top eight. Top six in Chicago sounds good, but in the context of who was there and placed outside of the top four it doesn't mean much.
Bo3: NiP (DH Dallas), North (EPL), NRG (Blast LA)
Bo1: TL (DH Dallas), NRG (Blast LA), MiBR (Blast LA)
Blast's new and improved format, featuring Bo3 semi-finals, allowed FaZe to keep a hold of the seventh spot, by virtue of beating NRG and finishing second at the event. They have a messy resume, for such star power, but still have the placings and wins to keep them relevant going into the major.
Bo3: NiP (ECS)
Bo1: NiP (Blast Madrid), Na`Vi (Blast Madrid), NRG (EPL), TL (EPL), Vitality (ESL Cologne)
Astralis have attended no tournaments since Cologne, choosing to skip Blast LA and IEM Chicago, hoping to get an extended player break. Goodness only knows they need a break, right? Jokes aside, inactivity on both ends of the last five months has cost Astralis more than just the continuation of their era and the top spot. They now fall all the way down to number six, no matter who I might pick in a series against a number of the teams ranked above them. Rankings are about placings and wins, not that feeling in your ever-loving heart.
If it weren't for the eye test and how close some of their losses have been, Astralis would immediately drop to B Class without a deep major run. Shocking circumstances for them to find themselves in.
Bo3: FNC (DH Dallas), Vit (DH Dallas), Ast (ECS), Vit (ESEA)
Bo1: NRG (DH Dallas), ENCE (DH Dallas), Ast (ECS)
FURIA took their coach to ESEA and had some bizarre circumstances surrounding their win over Vitality, but they did win against that team on LAN in a Bo3 and got credited as such. Finishing runner-up at the minor didn't mean much, since they blew the chance to beat NRG, but their continued activity and resume puts them ahead of perhaps the greatest team in history. That's something to celebrate, FURIA!
Bo3: FaZe (IEM Sydney), MiBR (IEM Sydney), Ast (EPL), FaZe (ESL Cologne), FURIA (Minor)
Bo1: FNC (IEM Sydney), RNG x2 (summit), ENCE (summit), TL (summit), NiP (ECS), FNC (EPL), FURIA (ESL Cologne), MiBR (Blast LA)
The stanislaw era of NRG rolls on and has yet to deliver the big trophies they had hope to leverage with the gamble. But a top four finish at Blast LA was still decent and winning the Americas Minor is not too wild, but did involve beating FURIA straight up, who had been ranked above them previously. NRG loses a little for so much of their resume being centered around their time with daps, but pushing above Astralis is some kind of an accomplishment no matter the context. This resume of wins complements the placings, and shows that NRG have been consistently knocking on the door of elite status.
Bo3: Ast (Blast Madrid), FaZe (DH Dallas), MiBR (IEM Chicago)
Bo1: Na`Vi (Blast Madrid), Ast (Blast Madrid), RNG (summit), TL (summit), NRG (summit), Vit (summit), TL (DH Dallas)
ENCE didn't have to face any top teams until the final of IEM Chicago, where they were soundly thrashed by TL, but getting second-place at the event, and finishing ahead of Vitality, was a welcome points grabber for the team who had bombed at ESL One Cologne earlier this month. The major is next, so ENCE are not guaranteed to retain their spot, but Astralis have some serious work to do the overtake them.
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)
It was a weird few weeks for Vitality, as the number two team hit a speed bump. They are apparently bold enough to suggest they weren't properly trying at the ESEA tournament, but their loss to FURIA still stands, and so does the missed opportunity to grab what would have been a small placing, which would have included an easy rankings addition of a win over FURIA, who were fielding a coach. More fool the French, as their inability to win any ranked series at IEM Chicago and letting ENCE go to the final has the Finns breathing right down their necks.
What keeps ZywOo and the gang in second for now is that their resume of series wins is much better.
Bo5: FNC (IEM Sydney), Vit (ESL Cologne), ENCE (IEM Chicago)
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), FaZe (Blast LA), G2 (IEM Chicago), Vit (IEM Chicago)
Bo1: ENCE (summit), RNG x2 (summit), NRG (summit), NRG (Blast LA), MiBR (Blast LA), FaZe (Blast LA)
Team Liquid not only retain their top spot but strengthen their hold on it even further. Since the last edition TL have won two more events, taking down Blast LA and IEM Chicago. Adding a Bo3 over Vitality and a Bo5 over ENCE is just another cherry on the top of an epic run of form. This is a resume of placings and wins that is probably the best of any team to ever be featured in the rankings. Sit back and enjoy witnessing history in the making every time these boys play.
A video feature will be coming in a few days which summarises this top 10 and explains the placings in more detail and with more direct contrasts of teams competing for spots.