CS:GO

Thorin's CS:GO World Rankings - 27th November 2019

by Duncan "Thorin" Shields

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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.

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.

27th August - 27th November 2019

Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)

Aug 23 - Sep 08 StarLadder Berlin Major 2019
Sep 09 - Sep 09 Arctic Invitational 2019
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

B Class - Ranked but not top teams

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

DreamHack
DreamHack

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (15th-16th) [GTR]
  • 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)

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)

NiP entering the rankings again was not something many expected and even more so in such a feisty and competitive period. Sure, their line-up seems destined to be broken apart in the near future, but top eight at Starladder came with a ranked series win over EG and their finals run at Blast Copenhagen had them placing ahead of a number of much more favoured sides. NiP can fall so easily and probably will, but for now they again are considered a top 10 side.

9. FaZe Clan [NiKo, coldzera, rain, olof and broky] [NEW]

Blast
Blast

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (13th-14th) [GuardiaN and NEO]
  • ESL One: New York (7th-8th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (1st)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (3rd-4th)

Bo5:

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

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

New York made FaZe's coldzera move seem far from worth the enormous price it cost them monetarily. Recent form suggests there may yet be another chapter in the NiKo IGL story. Victory at Blast Copenhagen came against a seemingly strong field, but didn't add many ranked wins, as is the nature of Blasts.

Top four at IEM Beijing doesn't sound too crazy, but had olof and the gang beating EG in two Bo3 series, which absolutely should cause many around the scene to prick up their ears and get interested in FaZe again. They are fragging out, as has been the FaZe formula for some time, but when they all contribute to an event they again look like a line-up with a really high level aggregate of individual ability.

8. Team Liquid [EliGE, Twistzz, NAF, nitr0 and Stewie] [-6]

Dreamhack
Dreamhack

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (5th-8th)
  • ESL One: New York (3rd-4th)
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (9th-12th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (5th)

Bo5:

Bo3: Ren (EPL), North (Starladder Berlin), mouz (Starladder Berlin)

One map: Ast (ESL NY)

From indomitable monsters of the summer, Team Liquid have fallen rapidly following the major. Their only recent activity was a Blast Copenhagen appearance where they did essentially nothing. They've been to two tournaments in a row without even a ranked win. With such placings and wins I'm even forced to drop TL all the way down from S Class to B Class, even if the eye test suggests they're better than some of the squads ranked above them. These are troubling times for the most skilled line-up CS:GO has ever seen.

7. mousesports [karrigan, ropz, chrisJ, frozen and w0xic] [+2]

CAC
CAC

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (9th-12th)
  • 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)

Bo5:

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

One map: North (Starladder Berlin), Vit (DH Malmo), ENCE (CAC)

As one of the teams who didn't make a roster move, mouz seemed sure to be muscled out of relevance by all of the big on-paper upgrades the scene seemed to be receiving. Instead, they climb two places by virtue of a victory at the CS:GO Asia Championship. ENCE might be a lot of empty calories in the server, but they are a ranked squad and they count as a win. Likewise, AVANGAR aren't world beaters, but lose to mouz they did. Beating EG, for the second time in three events, was a big deal and showed some of the potential mouz has repeatedly hinted at but rarely capitalised upon.

Certainly, if TYLOO wins another round on inferno in regulation then mouz doesn't have this new charge but that's the nature of the game we play. mouz is a team with a decent set of placings and a pretty strong set of ranked wins, especially for a team in seventh place.

6. AVANGAR [Jame, qikert, buster, SANJI and AdreN] [-1]

StarLadder
StarLadder

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (2nd)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Moscow (1st)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (9th-12th)
  • CS:GO Asia Championships 2019 (5th-6th)

Bo5:

Bo3: G2 (Starladder Berlin), Vit (Starladder Berlin)

One map: TL (Starladder Berlin), Na'Vi (Blast Moscow), ENCE (Blast Moscow)

AVANGAR are giving out wins to a lot of teams, but their previous results cannot help but keep them relevant, for now. Underwhelming runs elsewhere are placed in such context only when looking at the rankings. Look at the team with the eye test and they are performing well enough and often exceeding expectations. I expect AVANGAR to sink once their first placings disappear, but for now they continue to remain a ranked squad. Lack of new ranked wins will start to hurt sooner rather than later, though.

A Class - Top teams, but not championship favourites

5. Vitality [ZywOo, ALEX, apEX, shox and RpK] [-1]

Breakflip
Breakflip

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (5th-8th) [NBK]
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (2nd)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (7th-8th)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (3rd-4th)

Bo5:

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

One map: North (Starladder Berlin), FaZe (Starladder Berlin), 100T (IEM Beijing), FNC (EPL)

After a near win at Malmo following the shox trade, Vitality have looked rough. Their only ranked wins are two single map wins from EPL and IEM Beijing. Their top four finish at the latter tournament was pretty dry of quality. Vitality are one of the squads who have been feeding the rest of the top 10 wins nonstop and as such they will soon drop unless they can legitimately show themselves to be a top side, just by virtue of pumping up everyone else's records.

4. 100 Thieves [jks, jkaem, Gratisfaction, Liazz and AZR] [+6]

ESL
ESL

Recent form:

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

Bo5:

Bo3: FaZe (Starladder Berlin), G2 (Starladder Berlin), ENCE (Starladder Berlin), FNC (SLTV S8), Vit (SLTV S8), ENCE (IEM Beijing), ENCE (IEM Beijing), Vit (IEM Beijing)

One map:

The former Renegades cracked top four at Starladder prior to moving to new organisation 100 Thieves and then immediately made new owner Nadeshot happy with a runners-up finish to Astralis at IEM Beijing. From hanging on to the final spot in the rankings last time and largely due to their major run, the Aussies have shown strong form and slapped a number of ranked wins on their resume to go with their two additional top placings.

Never before has an Oceanic team ever come close to this kind of ranking and it's fitting that they are now acknowledged as one of the better teams in world Counter-Strike, not simply the best from their region and in amongst the pack of NA sides, due to their relocation. As matters stand right now, there's plenty of reasons to imagine 100T can go into next year and continue to be a team reaching semi-finals and matching up well with the rest of the top 10.

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

Recent form:

  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (1st)
  • StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (2nd)

Bo5:

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

One map: EG (SLTV S8)

If FNATIC were supposed to be one tournament wonders after their epic Dreamhack run then they sure didn't get the memo. At StarSeries S8, a double elimination tournament, they were one of the most potent teams in the field and appeared in another big final. Sure, they have feasted on repeatedly beating the new Vitality line-up, a squad they have firmly in their back pocket, but you can only beat who is put in front of you and Vitality were a team whose Summer run meant decay would not be quick.

The eye test tells me FNATIC doesn't deserve S Class status, but if they continue to put big placings on the board and add more ranked wins then sooner or later they'll force their way into that grouping.

S Class - Elite Teams

2. Evil Geniuses [CeRq, Brehze, ethan, tarik and stanislaw] [+1]

StarLadder
StarLadder

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (3rd-4th)
  • 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)

Bo5: Ast (ESL NY)

Bo3: Ast (Starladder Berlin), FaZe (ESL NY), Ast (ESL NY), Ren (SLTV S8), FNC (SLTV S8), FNC (SLTV S8)

One map: TL (Starladder Berlin)

EG put another trophy in the cabinet at Starladder, an event which also added some solid ranked wins, but elsewhere they have been lacklustre, especially for a team so clearly capable and vying for the top spot. Not only did their runs at IEM Beijing and CAC end without a top four finish but they also produced zero ranked wins. EG can take the top spot, especially if they continue to prove so difficult a match-up for Astralis, but their inability to take care of lesser teams is omenous for their potential future as the world's best team.

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

ESL
ESL

Recent form:

  • StarLadder Berlin Major (1st)
  • ESL One: New York (2nd)
  • DreamHack Masters Malmö (3rd-4th)
  • BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (4th)
  • Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (1st)

Bo5: 100T (IEM Beijing)

Bo3: FNC (EPL), TL (Starladder Berlin), NRG (Starladder Berlin), TL (ESL NY), Vit (DH Malmo), 100T (IEM Beijing)

One map: G2 (Starladder Berlin), EG (ESL NY), TL (Blast Cop)

Failure at Blast Copenhagen might have disappointed the crowd in the Royal Arena but means little for Astralis' ranking, not least since they followed it up with a flawless run at IEM Beijing, a tournament attended by key rival EG. The Danes have again established the best resume in Counter-Strike, with the best placings and number of ranked wins. Beating 100T in the IEM final brought back a ranked Bo5 to the table. It's still tight at the top, with EG in theory keeping apace, but Astralis have a good chance of finishing the year as they began, on top.


A video featuring will becoming 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.