CS:GO

Thorin's CS:GO World Rankings - 4th January 2020

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 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.

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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.

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4th October 2019 - 4th January 2020

Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)

  • 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
  • Dec 12 - Dec 14 BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019
  • Dec 12 - Dec 15 cs_summit 5
  • Dec 17 - Dec 22 EPICENTER 2019

B Class - Ranked but not top teams

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

RFRSH Entertainment
RFRSH Entertainment

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Recent form:
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)
BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019 (3rd)

Bo5:

Bo3: EG (SLTV S8), Vit (EPL), FaZe (BLAST Global)

One map: Ast (BLAST Cop), TL (BLAST Cop), EG (ECS)

NiP's placing over the BLAST tour this year allowed them the more favourable match-up of facing FaZe Clan, which was bizarre considering FaZe were the top-ranked team, and thus managed to snag third place and a ranked win over said super-star line-up. NiP have a decent level of consistency, but have not shown anything approaching championship form. Their final at BLAST Copenhagen was the result of some Bo1 wins.

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

EPICENTER
EPICENTER

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Recent form:
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)
EPICENTER 2019 (5th-6th)

Bo5:

Bo3: EG (EPL)

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

Na'Vi had a real chance to push up the rankings, but blew it with a near dry run to only a top six finish at EPICENTER. Had they beaten Vitality in the group stage or EG in the playoffs, they'd have had at least a ranked series win and a minimum of a top four finish. Instead, the newer look Na'Vi continue to have fantastic looking maps and occasions when they run completely out of gas.

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

RFRSH Entertainment
RFRSH Entertainment

Recent form:
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (1st)
Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (3rd-4th)
ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (9th-12th)
BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019 (4th)

Bo5:

Bo3: NiP (BLAST Cop), Vit (EPL), FNATIC (EPL), EG (IEM Beijing), EG (IEM Beijing)

One map: Ast (BLAST Cop), Na'Vi (BLAST Cop), Vit (IEM Beijing), TL (BLAST Global)

While the BLAST Global Finals was a much better tournament format-wise than past events, with every series Bo3 and a double-elim bracket in place, a down-side is that qualification came from success at the BLASTS of 2019 and there were only four teams at the finals. Hence, FaZe's fourth place is actually last place and all they accomplished there was losing two series and winning a single map against Team Liquid. They still retain a ranking spot, with their placings from earlier in the examined time period, but FaZe need to prove themselves again soon if they want to avoid dropping out.

A Class - Top teams, but not championship favourites

7. 100 Thieves [jks, jkaem, Gratisfaction, Liazz and AZR] [-1]

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 were inactive since the last edition of the rankings and drop a spot, with Vitality leap-frogging them. The Aussies have a solid set of placings and résumé of ranked wins. With so many teams as potential championship contenders, this next phase of their time together should prove the most challenging as they push for a top spot.

6. Team Liquid [EliGE, Twistzz, NAF, nitr0 and Stewie] [-1]

RFRSH Entertainment
RFRSH Entertainment

Recent form:
DreamHack Masters Malmö (9th-12th)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019 (5th)
ECS S8 Finals (2nd)
ESL ProLeague S10 Finals (5th-6th)
BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019 (2nd)

Bo5:

Bo3: Ren (EPL), EG (ECS), FNC (ECS), mouz (EPL), FaZe (BLAST Global), NiP (BLAST Global)

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

Despite finishing runners-up to Astralis at BLAST Global Finals and adding a couple more ranked series wins, Team Liquid drops a spot, by virtue of Vitality's trophy-winning campaign at EPICENTER. TL are a very close fifth behind them, with a better résumé of wins. TL have to be one of the strongest sixth place teams these rankings have ever seen.

5. Vitality [ZywOo, ALEX, apEX, shox and RpK] [+2]

EPICENTER
EPICENTER

Recent form:
DreamHack Masters Malmö (2nd)
StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 (7th-8th)
Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Beijing (3rd-4th)
EPICENTER 2019 (1st)

Bo5:

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

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

Just when Vitality looked to have fully underwhelmed, at least in terms of championship aspirations, they take a big trophy to close out the year. Sure, there was no Astralis, Team Liquid or FNATIC; but EG and mouz were top four teams and the latter was riding three trophies won in a row. Vitality came close to losing the final, but did not and secured a much needed piece of silverware. Their win over mouz helps round out their résumé a little, which is admittedly somewhat bare for a team with their placings.

S Class - Elite Teams

4. FNATIC [KRiMZ, brollan, JW, flusha and Golden] [-1]

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)

FNATIC keep a top spot, but drop to fourth. That's still contextually impressive as they have been inactive since the last edition of the rankings and all of the other teams in the top 10 aside from 100T have played tournaments. Their placings are strong and their series wins will drop a little in a few days, but are still sturdy.

3. mousesports [karrigan, ropz, chrisJ, frozen and w0xic] [+1]

EPICENTER
EPICENTER

Recent form:
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)
cs_summit 5 (1st) [NaToSaphiX + Rejin two maps]
EPICENTER 2019 (2nd)

Bo5: FNC (EPL)

Bo3: AVAN (CAC), EG (CAC), ENCE (CAC), EG (EPL), Ast (EPL), EG (EPIC), EG (EPIC)

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

The rich get richer, as mouz continue to win ranked matches and place highly. Their win at cs_summit didn't mean too much, being as the rest of the teams were unranked, but a runners-up finish at EPICENTER had them beating EG twice in a tournament featuring the likes of Vitality and Na'Vi too. That win and those series edge mouz over FNATIC for the third spot by a pretty small margin. Incredible to think what karrigan has accomplished with this line-up over the last three months, and especially since they were so unable to secure top placings prior. This win also moves them up into S Class status, which is entirely appropriate considering their recent scalps and placings.

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

EPICENTER
EPICENTER

Recent form:
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)
EPICENTER 2019 (3rd-4th)

Bo5:

Bo3: Ren (SLTV S8), FNC (SLTV S8), FNC (SLTV S8), NiP (ECS), 100T (EPL), Na'Vi (EPIC)

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

As much as activity has been cited as a reason hurting EG's results, their attendance of EPICENTER allowed them to add another top four finish. They're still being chased by FNATIC and Team Liquid, but their résumé holds for now.

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

RFRSH Entertainment
RFRSH Entertainment

Recent form:
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)
BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019 (1st)

Bo5: 100T (IEM Beijing)

Bo3: FNC (EPL), 100T (IEM Beijing), FNC (ECS), EG (ECS), TL (ECS), TL (EPL), TL (BLAST Global), NiP (BLAST Global), TL (BLAST Global)

One map: TL (BLAST Cop), mouz (EPL)

Astralis stay on top like a good housewife riding cowgirl. Winning BLAST Global not only saw them again best rivals Team Liquid, twice no less, but win another tournament in the last few months without dropping a map. They've won three titles in the last three months, have placed top four at every offline event and have a large collection of series wins. What's not to like? Now the question becomes when Astralis will activate a second era.


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.