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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.

9th May – 9th August 2018

Tournaments impacting the ranking (due to teams ranked attending)

May 11 – 13 ESEA Season 27: Global Challenge
May 15 – 20 EPL S7 Finals
May 19 – 21 DreamHack Open Tours
May 23 – 24 Adrenaline Cyber League
May 28 – Jun 03 Starladder S5
Jun 01 – 03 DreamHack Open Austin
Jun 08 – 10 ECS S5 Finals
Jun 09 – 10 Moche XL Esports
Jun 13 – 17 ESL One Belo Horizonte
Jun 14 – 18 CS:GO Asia Championships
Jun 16 – 18 DreamHack Open Summer
Jul 03 – 08 ESL One Cologne
Jul 07 – 11 Americas Minor Championship – London
Jul 10 – 13 CIS Minor Championship – London
Jul 12 – 14 DreamHack Open Valencia
Jul 16 – 20, Asia Minor Championship – London [NEW]
Jul 19 – 22, Europe Minor Championship – London [NEW]
Jul 21 – 29, ELEAGUE Premier [NEW]
Aug 1 – 6, Intel Extreme Masters XIII – Shanghai [NEW]

S Class – Elite Teams

Credit: John Nowak

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

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (1st)
ECS S5 Finals (1st)
ESL One Cologne (3rd-4th)
ELEAGUE Premier (1st) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo5: TL (EPL S7)

Bo3: SK (EPL S7), TL (EPL S7), FaZe (EPL S7), FaZe (ECS S5), TL (ECS S5), C9 (ESL Cologne), TL (EL Premier), mouz (EL Premier), TL (EL Premier)

Bo1: C9 (ECS S5), TL (ECS S5), Na`Vi (ESL Cologne)

Losing Dreamhack Marseille from their three month resume meant little for the Danes, as they added the ELEAGUE Premier title. Along the way, they racked up two Bo3 wins over Team Liquid and one over the Snax mouz line-up. With Na`Vi failing to make the final and FaZe going out in last place, there was no change for Astralis in their lead at the top, losing a series due to Marseille’s format being more expansive but still putting fresh victims in the morgue. Astralis will be heading into the major as the favourite, seeking an era for history.

Credit: John Nowak

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

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (3rd-4th)
StarSeries S5 (1st)
CS:GO Asia Championships (1st)
ESL One Cologne (1st)
ELEAGUE Premier (3rd-4th) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo3: FaZe (EPL S7), SK (SLTV S5), mouz (SLTV S5), C9 (ESL Cologne), FNC (ESL Cologne), Astralis (ESL Cologne), FNC (EL Premier), mouz (EL Premier)

Bo1: mouz (SLTV S5)

When Na`Vi won their group at EL and Astralis won the other many could be forgiven for hoping to see a rematch of the epic Cologne semi-final but for all the marbles. Instead, despite adding some nice series wins, Na`Vi fell to TL in the semi-finals and saw their streak of events won ended at three. Losing a second place from Marsielle and adding a top four sees Na`Vi lose a little ground to, as opposed to further pick up the pace with the Danish kings of Counter-Strike. The CIS squad are still very good, but hopes of them being the true threat to Astralis are on hold for now, if they can’t meet them each time.

Credit: John Nowak

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

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (2nd)
StarSeries S5 (5th-8th)
ECS S5 Finals (3rd-4th)
ESL One Belo Horizonte (3rd-4th)
ESL One Cologne (13th-16th)
ELEAGUE Premier (2nd) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo3: mouz (EPL S7), Na`Vi (EPL S7), FNC (ECS S5), MiBR (EL Premier), MiBR (EL Premier), Na`Vi (EL Premier)

Bo1: Ast (EPL S7), SK (SLTV S5), FNC (ECS S5), FaZe (ESL BH)

Team Liquid were the revelation of EL Premier, even if the results were familiar in nature. On the one hand, TL cannot beat Astralis in a series, losing another two Bo3s to them, but on the other they can still beat Na`Vi in Bo3 play. With a third big runners-up finish, Team Liquid rank up to S Class. TL has not won a tournament in this time span, but they have consistently made big finals and built a strong resume of wins. Surely their break will come eventually, lest they be condemned as cursed silver medalists, something they know too much about historically.

Credit: Edward M. Pio Roda

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

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (3rd-4th) [Xizt]
ECS S5 Finals (3rd-4th) [cromen]
ESL One Belo Horizonte (1st) [cromen]
ESL One Cologne (3rd-4th) [cromen]
ELEAGUE Premier (7th-8th) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo5: mouz (ESL BH)

Bo3: mouz (EPL S7), SK (EPL S7), TL (ESL BH), MiBR (ESL Cologne), FNC (ESL Cologne)

Bo1: C9 (EPL S7), mouz (EL Premier)

The return of olof was a strange affair, with the man himself looking good but the team seeming much worse at closing out maps, begging questions about their chemistry. Considering all of FaZe’s results before this are now reconfigured to be with their stand-ins, where the last line-up ranked as with cromen, the team’s failure finishing in last place puts FaZe in a much weaker spot. The team are closer to taking up TL’s former spot as the best A Class side. Let’s see what Dreamhack Stockholm and the major hold for FaZe, as they need some big placings to get themselves back in conversation with Astralis and Na`Vi.

A Class – Top teams, but not championship favourites

Credit: John Nowak

5. mousesports [oskar, suNny, ropz, Snax and chrisJ] [-]

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (5th-6th) [STYKO]
StarSeries S5 (3rd-4th) [STYKO]
ESL One Belo Horizonte (2nd) [n0thing]
ESL One Cologne (9th-12th)
ELEAGUE Premier (3rd-4th) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo3: Na`Vi (SLTV S5), NiP (SLTV S5), TL (ESL BH), FaZe (EL Premier), FNC (EL Premier)

Bo1: Na`Vi (SLTV S5), FaZe (ESL BH), Na`Vi (EL Premier)

Snax still hasn’t come online as a star, but mouz looked much better and grabbed some tasty Bo3 series over FaZe and FNATIC. Losing to Astralis was no shame, though being unable to take a map was a dampener on the hype surrounding mouz’s top four finish. Considering Marseille was a top eight finish and with a previous member, this result is welcome and has mouz going into the post-break stretch with a chance to press for S class status. Rumours surrounding the team suggest this period may be critical to the team surviving.

For now, mouz are our only A Class team in Counter-Strike. Take a look at the difference between their number of Bo3 series wins and the teams below and that will immediately make sense.

B Class – Ranked but not top teams

Credit: Edward M. Pio Roda

6. Made in Brazil [coldzera, fer, Stewie, tarik and FalleN] [-]

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (5th-6th) [boltz]
Adrenaline Cyber League (1st) [boltz]
StarSeries S5 (5th-8th) [boltz]
Moche XL Esports (1st) [boltz]
ESL One Belo Horizonte (3rd-4th) [boltz]
ESL One Cologne (7th-8th) [boltz]
ELEAGUE Premier (5th-6th) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo3: GMB (Adren), TL (SLTV S5), North (ESL Cologne)

Bo1: NiP (EPL S7), Na`Vi (SLTV S5)

ELEAGUE didn’t add much for the Brazilians, who have now added tarik and seen their past results refitted. With FNATIC’s growth, MiBR is looking more in danger of dropping in the rankings than rising right now. It seems like an indictment of where the scene is at that a team who only ranked win at their last two tournaments was against North is ranked sixth. A great example of why I introduced the Class system, to make such contextual distinctions.

Credit: Edward M. Pio Roda

7. FNATIC [KRiMZ, JW, flusha, draken and Xizt] [-]

Recent form:
ECS S5 Finals (5th-6th)
ESL One Cologne (5th-6th)
ELEAGUE Premier (5th-6th) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo3: C9 (ECS S5), FaZe (EL Premier)

Bo1: North (ESL Cologne), FaZe (ESL Cologne), Na`Vi (EL Premier), mouz (EL Premier)

FNATIC looked like they legitimately could have made the play-offs at EL, surprisingly in a group with FaZe. All the same, their problem is their placings just don’t give them the thrust to push past MiBR. Their resume is getting pretty legit, so now is the time to strike for the Swedes, should they prove to be the real deal.

8. NRG [CeRq, nahtE, Brehze, FugLy and daps] [+2]

Recent form:
EPL S7 Finals (9th-12th)
StarSeries S5 (2nd)
ECS S5 Finals (3rd-4th)
Americas Minor Championship – London (4th)
Intel Extreme Masters XIII – Shanghai (1st) [NEW]

Ranked wins:

Bo3: TL (SLTV S5)

Bo1: FaZe (ECS S5)

NRG’s win at IEM Shanghai didn’t see them defeating ranked teams, but a look at the teams below them will show a number of placings which also didn’t feature ranked opposition. IEM did contain some teams just outside of the top 10, though, and NRG took care of them. This is a pretty tenuous bump up, but winning the tournament gave them this lift and now it’s up to the young core of NRG to do something special at Dreamhack Stockholm to progress, being as their Minor failure means they are one of the few teams who won’t be at the major. NRG’s resume is their most lacking aspect, despite their two big international top four finishes. That says it all about this team with potential but a low floor too, against the ranked teams.

9. BIG [tabseN, nex, smooya, tiziaN and gob b] [-1]

Recent form:
ESEA S27 Global Challenge (1st)
ESL Belo Horizonte (5th-6th)
ESL One Cologne (2nd)

Ranked wins:

Bo3: MiBR (ESL Cologne), FaZe (ESL Cologne)

Bo1: TL (ESL Cologne), Na`Vi (ESL Cologne)

Nothing happened for BIG, as they sat at home and continued to live out their dream from the Cologne run. Being as they are not attending Dreamhack Stockholm, the major is where it will all be decided for BIG. With North attending Stockholm but also the major look for a battle for this spot there.

10. North [valde, Kjaerbye, mixwell, aizy and MSL] [-1]

Recent form:
Dreamhack Open Tours (1st) [mertz]
StarSeries S5 (3rd-4th) [mertz]
Dreamhack Open Summer (3rd-4th) [mertz]
ESL One Cologne (9th-12th) [mertz]
Dreamhack Open Valencia (1st)

Ranked wins:

Bo3: GMB (DH Tours), TL (ESL Cologne)

Bo1: mouz (SLTV S5), MiBR (ESL Cologne)

North also were not in attendance at any recent tournaments, but they have both big tournaments looming. They have changed players, though, with niko coming in temporarily for mertz. That line-up will gain its ranking when they play their first offline game.

These rankings will be produced on a more regular schedule than the previous. On months with multiple events, there will likely be more than one edition, ensuring teams get their time in the sun for their top finishes and the teams fading fast shuffle off before they become easy scalps to claim.

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