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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 which have taken a similar approach, so I have rethought some of the surrounding concepts and designed a new approach. On the one hand, the ranking retains it’s numerical system, going from one down to 10, and on the other it simultaneously addresses the context of how strong a team is outside of the number attached to the name.

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.

11th September – 11th December 2018

Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)

Sep 5 – 23, FACEIT Major: London
Sep 7 – 9, DreamHack Open Montreal
Sep 26 – 30, ESL One: New York
Sep 28 – 29, BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul
Sep 28 – 30, Games Clash Masters
Oct 7 – 14, StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6
Oct 23 – 28 EPICENTER
Nov 2 – 3 BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen
Nov 1 – 4 cs_summit 3
Nov 6 – 11 Intel Extreme Masters XIII – Chicago
Nov 22 – 25 Esports Championship Series Season 6 – Finals [NEW]
Nov 29 – Dec 2 SuperNova Malta 2018 [NEW]
Nov 30 – Dec 2 DreamHack Open Winter [NEW]
Dec 4 – 9 ESL Pro League Season 8 – Finals [NEW]

S Class – Elite Teams

Astralis wins EPL S8 (Credit: ESL)

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

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (1st)
BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul (1st)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen (3rd)
IEM XIII Chicago (1st)
ECS S6 Finals (1st)
EPL S8 Finals (1st)

Bo5: TL (IEM), TL (EPL)

Bo3: FaZe (FACEIT), TL (FACEIT), Na`Vi (FACEIT), MiBR (Blast), North (IEM), mouz (IEM), mouz (ECS), NiP (ECS), MiBR (ECS), TL (EPL), mouz (EPL)

Bo1: Na`Vi (FACEIT), MiBR (FACEIT), MiBR (Blast), FaZe (Blast C), MiBR (Blast C), MiBR (ECS)

Anyone hoping Astralis would disappear from the top of the rankings is in for a bad time, as they are at their absolute peak, in terms of ranking at least. With the major still on the books, they have four additional titles in that three month window. Putting the ECS and EPL titles in there also came with more ranked series wins than a lot of teams on this list even have total for all events in the last three months.

The Astralis era doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon and thus nobody is taking this top spot within the foreseeable future.


Twistzz at the EPL S8 Finals (Credit: ESL)

2. Team Liquid [NAF, EliGE, Twistzz, TACO and nitr0] [+1]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (3rd-4th)
ESL One: New York (2nd)
EPICENTER (3rd-4th)
IEM XIII Chicago (2nd)
ECS S6 Finals (7th-8th)
SuperNova Malta (1st)
EPL S8 Finals (2nd)

Bo3: NRG (ESL NY), mouz (IEM), FaZe (IEM), NRG (Super), BIG (Super), NRG (Super), BIG (EPL), Na`Vi (EPL), MiBR (EPL)

Bo1: Ast (FACEIT), mouz (ESL NY), mouz (ESL NY), Ast (EPL)

Despite failing at ECS, finishing in last place, Team Liquid picked up three ranked series wins and a smaller title at SuperNova Malta. At EPL, we saw Team Liquid arguably at their peak for the year, smoking everyone they were facing minus Astralis. Even against Astralis they put up a fight, but took the L nonetheless.

Another second place and a stack of ranked wins has Team Liquid firmly back in the number two position. Consider for a moment that this is a North American line-up that has had nine ranked Bo3 series wins over the last three months. We’ve never see anything like that before.


3. Natus Vincere [s1mple, electronic, flamie, Edward and Zeus] [-1]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (2nd)
ESL One: New York (5th-6th)
EPICENTER (2nd)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen (1st)
IEM XIII Chicago (13th-16th)
EPL S8 Finals (5th-6th)

Bo3: BIG (FACEIT), MiBR (FACEIT), FNC (ESL NY), FaZe (EPIC), NiP (Blast C)

Bo1: FaZe (FACEIT), FNC (FACEIT), Astralis (Blast C), MiBR (Blast C), NiP (Blast C)

A top six finish at EPL and no ranked wins from it didn’t do much for Na`Vi, in the context of at the time being the number two ranked team in the world. Combined with not being at ECS, Na`Vi gave up ground to Team Liquid and put themselves far behind in third.


FaZe wins EPICENTER

4. FaZe Clan [NiKo, GuardiaN, rain, olof and karrigan] [-]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (5th-8th)
ESL One: New York (7th-8th)
EPICENTER (1st)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen (4th)
IEM XIII Chicago (3rd-4th)

Bo3: TL (EPIC), Na`Vi (EPIC), MiBR (IEM), Astralis (IEM)

Bo1: mouz (FACEIT), Na`Vi (Blast C), MiBR (Blast C), TL (IEM)

That EPICENTER win is a massive part of why FaZe retain a top placing, but not qualifying for ECS or EPL has FaZe all of a sudden further away in the rear view mirror. A very dangerous team, but far from challenging for the top spot.


A Class – Top teams, but not championship favourites

fer at EPL S8 Finals (Credit: ESL)

5. Made in Brazil [coldzera, fer, Stewie, tarik and FalleN] [+1]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (3rd-4th)
BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul (2nd)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen (6th)
IEM XIII Chicago (9th-12th)
ECS S6 Finals (2nd)
EPL S8 Finals (3rd-4th)

Bo3: Ast (ECS), North (ECS), NRG (EPL), mouz (EPL)

Bo1: mouz (FACEIT), FaZe (IEM), NRG (IEM), mouz (ECS)

MiBR finally came with some results which count for these rankings, not simply close losses to top teams like Astralis. A finals appearance at ECS, top four at EPL and four ranked Bo3 series wins pushed MiBR past mouz. The latter point is not insignificant, as MiBR previously only boasted one ranked Bo3 win, over mouz. Now they’ve added Astralis among the four they put on the board. That’s good enough to get past mouz, 80% of whose line-up won a big event, but FaZe still edges out the fourth spot, by virtue of winning EPICENTER and having a similar record of ranked wins.

Exciting times for MiBR, though, as they have not only played Astralis much closer than most, even beating them, but also have returned to a big finals stage. I didn’t put them into S Class status, though, as they have yet to solidify themselves as a title favourite. It’s worth noting that the major drops off soon, which is a big finish for them, so they need to keep working.


mouz at EPL S8 Finals (Credit: ESL)

6. mousesports [oskar, suNny, ropz, STYKO and chrisJ] [-1]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (15th-16th) [Snax]
ESL One: New York (1st) [Snax]
StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6 (9th-11th) [Snax]
IEM XIII Chicago (5th-6th)
ECS S6 Finals (5th-6th)
EPL S8 Finals (3rd-4th)

Bo5: TL (ESL NY)

Bo3: FNC (ESL NY), NRG (ESL NY), Na`Vi (EPL)

Bo1: TL (IEM)

The return of STYKO has brought back the consistent mouz, but they lost some of the firepower that allowed them that miracle win in New York. Sadly, for mouz, they’ve been elimianted from tournaments twice by Astralis and simply can’t beat the Danes, despite some close maps and particularly on nuke. A team who looks to potentially be on the rise, and with fragile top teams above them, but who need to add more wins. The win over Na`Vi at EPL was a step forwards, but more is needed.


B Class – Ranked but not top teams

NRG wins cs_summit 3 (Credit: BTS)

7. NRG [CeRq, nahtE, Brehze, FugLy and daps] [-]

Recent form:
ESL One: New York (3rd-4th)
StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6 (3rd-4th)
cs_summit 3 (1st)
IEM XIII Chicago (7th-8th)
ECS S6 Finals (5th-6th)
SuperNova Malta (2nd)
EPL S8 Finals (9th-12th)

Bo3: FaZe (ESL NY), North (SLTV), MiBR (IEM), TL (ECS)

Bo1: TL (ESL NY), North (SLTV), North (ECS), TL (Super), North (EPL), MiBR (EPL)

NRG added a top six finish at ECS and a runner-up performance at SuperNova. Beating Team Liquid in a series is not joke and adding some Bo1 ranked wins is a nice resume padder for daps and the gang. Despite being a very strong seventh ranked team, historically, the fragility of the team and their inability to reach the final of big tournaments makes it tough to budge them into the A Class group.


NiP at Blast Pro Series (Credit: Blast)

8. Ninjas in Pyjamas [f0rest, dennis, REZ, lekr0 and GeT_RiGhT] [-]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (9th-11th)
BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul (3rd)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen (2nd)
ECS S6 Finals (3rd-4th)

Bo3: North (ECS)

Bo1: mouz (FACEIT), MiBR (FACEIT), Ast (Blast C), MiBR (Blast C), NRG (ECS), Ast (ECS)

A top four finish at ECS, series win over an inflated North and a Bo1 over Astralis all add to NiP’s sheet, but they didn’t qualify for EPL and still don’t have anywhere near the ranked wins to challenge NRG or the teams above them right now.


The new North finishes top eight at StarSeries S6

9. North [valde, Kjaerbye, aizy, gade and cadiaN] [-]

Recent form:
FACEIT Major: London (17th-19th) [MSL, niko]
StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6 (5th-8th)
IEM XIII Chicago (9th-12th)
ECS S6 Finals (3rd-4th)
EPL S8 Finals (13th-16th)

Bo3: NRG (ECS)

Bo1: NRG (IEM), TL (ECS), MiBR (ECS)

Their top four at ECS, including a series win over ECS, was nice enough, but North were in the top 10 at the time mainly due to that miraculous MSL-fuelled Stockholm run. Now, they have something to put to their own name, with Stockholm gone from the resume, and a few solid wins, but they are still hanging around the bottom of the rankings.


ENCE wins Dreamhack Winter (Credit: Adela Sznajder)

10. ENCE [sergej, allu, Aerial, AleksiB and xseveN] [NEW]

Recent form:
DreamHack Open Montreal (2nd)
StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6 (1st)
EPICENTER (7th-8th)
Dreamhack Open Winter (1st)

Bo3: BIG (SLTV)

Bo1: mouz (SLTV)

The Finns winning Dreamhack Winter didn’t see them picking up any ranked wins, an area they are noticeably weak in, but it was a small event win to go with their StarSeries title. BIG were the 10th team previously, but not by much, and ENCE’s form and finishes pushes them past and into the rankings for the first time.

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