CSGO

Thorin's CS:GO World Rankings, May 2021

Thorin's CS:GO World Rankings for May 2021

After some time away I've decided to bring back my CS:GO world rankings and their new home is here at DBLTAP. In light of the time since the last edition I've decided to reset the rankings entirely and not highlight the change in position between each team.

While other rankings are based on strict points formulas, tweaked by those who design and maintain them, the philosophy of this ranking from the outset, when it was the first significant world ranking in the game, has always been to incorporate an expert's eye and explain each position qualitatively as well as quantitively.

The basics:

  • Covers the previous three months, to the date.
  • Previously covered only LAN performances but, until the wide scale return of LAN competition, is now entirely online.
  • Only real tournaments and not individual qualifiers (i.e. Dreamhack Open qualifier) are counted.
  • Results are based on beating a team ranked top 10 at the time on a map or in a series.
  • "One map" results can be Best-of-1 (Bo1) or winning a map in a series.
  • Team changes result in a reduction in the weight of that result, though during this period I have decided not to punish teams utilising legitimate sixth men, as this has been a developement in CS:GO.
  • The "Class" system, hailing back to Korean StarCraft: Brood War, helps characterise how strong the teams are beyond mere ranking number and victories.

Time span: 12th February 2020 - 12th May 2021

Tournaments (or portions) impacting the rankings (due to teams ranked attending):

Feb 12 - Feb 14 BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021 [Online]

Feb 16 - Feb 18 Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship [Online]

Mar 08 - Apr 11 ESL Pro League Season 13 [Online]

Feb 15 - Mar 10 Snow Sweet Snow #2 [Online]

Mar 03 - Apr 04 Pinnacle Cup [Online]

Mar 10 - Mar 14 DreamHack Open March 2021: North America [Online]

Mar 19 - Mar 21 Winstrike CIS Cup Spring 2021 [Online]

Mar 15 - Apr 07 BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 [Online]

Apr 12 - May 05 Spring Sweet Spring #1 [Online]

Apr 13 - Apr 18 Snow Sweet Snow #3 [Online]

Apr 19 - Apr 26 Funspark ULTI 2020 [Online]

Apr 29 - May 09 DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 [Online]

May 10 - May 30 Flashpoint Seaoson 3 [Online]

B Class - Ranked but not top teams

10. Complexity Gaming [blameF, k0nfig, jks, poizon and RUSH]

Photo courtesy of Complexity/Twitter

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (17th-20th) [Online]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (5th-6th) [Online]
Funspark ULTI 2020 (5th-6th) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (9th-12th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: Na'Vi (EPL) [Online], VP (EPL) [Online]

One map: N/A

IEM was a disaster and Dreamhack wasn't too much better. That EPL run proved the key to getting coL just into the top 10 over BIG, the team they ironically lose to often in the head-to-head. coL still have powerful strengths in blameF and k0nfig's fragging power but jks still doesn't deliver numbers like one would have hoped and poizon has a habit of disappearing too often.

Their placings are troubling and those two monster EPL wins are largely what keeps one hoping for more. This is a team that has no more excuses, though. Will we only see occasional bursts of brilliance from this highly paid side?

9. Spirit [degster, mir, somedieyoung, magixx and chopper]

Photo courtesy of Team Spirit/Twitter

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (3rd-4th) [Online]
Winstrike CIS Cup Spring 2021 (1st) [Online]
Pinnacle Cup (3rd-4th) [Online]
BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 (3rd-4th) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (9th-12th) [Online]
Spring Sweet Spring #1 (5th-8th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: G2 (IEM WC) [Online], Heroic (IEM WC) [Online], Ast (IEM WC) [Online]

One map: GMB (Pinn) [Online], G2 (BLAST Show) [Online]

Spirit are largely living off that power run to the semis at IEM, as they seem capable of losing to seemingly any team of five elsewhere. Still, when they hit form they are a side who can push the big names. We need to see more than just one big IEM run, though.

8. Team Liquid [EliGE, NAF, FalleN, Grim and Stewie2k]

Photo courtesy of Team Liquid

Recent form:

BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021 (DNQ) [Online]
Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (3rd-4th) [Online]
DreamHack Open March 2021: North America (3rd-4th) [Online]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (9th-12th) [Online]
BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 (9th-16th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: Vit (IEM WC) [Online], Na'Vi (IEM WC) [Online]

One map: N/A

Liquid were a team that began the year in good position and had a strong run in Katowice but always fell short on the brink of bigger things elsewhere. It was enough to cost Moses his job and see them reaching for old comfortable adreN.

The line-up suggests they should be battling to get into the A class, but for now they lack some bigger placings and especially some more ranked wins. Perish the thought of where they'd be without that IEM run.

7. Astralis [dupreeh, Magisk, gla1ve, Xyp9x and Bubzkji]

Photo courtesy of Astralis

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (5th-6th) [Online] [device]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (5th-6th) [Online] [device]
BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 (9th-16th) [Online] [device]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (5th-6th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: EG (IEM WC) [Online], TL (EPL) [Online], VP (EPL) [Online], coL (DH Spring) [Online]

One map: VP (IEM WC) [Online], G2 (DH Spring) [Online]

It's an indictment of the state of the scene outside of the A and S classes that Astralis can still be in seventh place with most of their placings being reduced due to star player and frequent MVP of old device departing the line-up entirely. They still have enough big names that one expects they can steal some wins and reworking the team is not impossible, but the challenge certainly lays before them.

Most of their resume came with device, but that play-off run at Dreamhack did at least give some hope they can compete still.

A Class - Top teams, but not championship favorites

6. FURIA [yuurih, KSCERATO, arT, VINI and junior]

Photo courtesy of Furia

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (7th-8th) [Online]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (3rd-4th) [Online]
BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 (5th-8th) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (5th-6th) [Online]
Spring Sweet Spring #1 (3rd-4th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: Na'Vi (EPL) [Online], Ast (EPL) [Online], coL (DH Spring) [Online]

One map: GMB (EPL) [Online], GMB (BLAST Show) [Online], Na'Vi (DH Spring) [Online]

The once kings of NA CS:GO have been solid but unspectacular in Europe and still seem to miss some of the flair HEN1 brought on the AWP. FURIA are a consistent performer, as shown by their performances across the board. Still, they can be prone to the occasional slip up that has cost them a chance to really threaten the elite sides in the game with a real defeat.

FURIA are a team that look to be missing the final gear necessary to climb much higher, but they still have their charms against most of the top 10 sides.

5. G2 Esports [NiKo, huNter-, nexa, AmaNEk and JaCkz]

Photo courtesy of G2 Esports/Twitter

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (7th-8th) [Online] [kennyS]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (7th-8th) [Online]
BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 (1st-2nd) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (3rd-4th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: BIG (IEM WC) [Online], EG (IEM WC) [Online], Vit (EPL) [Online], TL (EPL) [Online], Spirit (BLAST Show) [Online], VP (BLAST Show) [Online], Ast (BLAST Show) [Online]

One map: GMB (DH Spring) [Online]

The NiKo experiment didn't yield championships and for a while looked doomed to see him carrying, though not quite at classic NiKo levels, and losing yet again with a set of players more was expected from. Matters were corrected with the bold removal of a slumping kennyS and the return of role player JaCkz. MaLeK's moves proved wise, as the team has again climbed into contention, seemingly.

Top eight at EPL was solid, qualification for the BLAST finals was enticing and their recent semi-finals run at Dreamhack Masters Spring belies how strong the team looks, as they were only beaten by Gambit twice and nobody else in the field.

Would it be wild to imagine G2 climbs into the S Class in the coming months? Perhaps not. Just look at their resume of wins.

4. Virtus.pro [YEKINDAR, buster, Jame, qikert and SANJI]

Photo courtesy of Virtus.pro

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (2nd) [Online]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (7th-8th) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (7th-8th) [Online]

Bo5: N/A

Bo3: Vit (IEM WC) [Online], FURIA (IEM WC) [Online], Ast (IEM WC) [Online], TL (IEM WC) [Online]

One map: GMB (SNS 1) [Online], Ast (EPL) [Online], coL (EPL) [Online]

Heading into Flashpoint 2 last year it was easy to believe VP was a flash-in-the-pan but they have proven to be more resilient or at least had. Not competing in BLAST has been an issue, giving so many other teams a chance to score big points over them, but so has some matches in which their stars went missing.

Runners-up in Katowice is still a monster result and the two play-off runs at EPL and Dreamhack round out their placings decently enough. A solid resume of wins means VP remain a dangerous albeit it streaky side and with the capacity to seemingly lose to anyone at this point.

S Class - Elite Teams

3. Heroic [stavn, TeSeS, cadiaN, sjuush and refrezh]

Photo courtesy of Heroic/Twitter

Recent form:

Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (9th-12th) [Online] [niko, b0RUP]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (1st) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (3rd-4th) [Online]

Bo5: GMB (EPL) [Online]

Bo3: BIG (IEM WC) [Online], BIG (EPL) [Online], coL (EPL) [Online], FURIA (EPL) [Online], BIG (DH Spring) [Online], Ast (DH Spring) [Online]

One map: GMB (BLAST Show) [Online], Na'Vi (DH Spring) [Online]

The return of HUNDEN and the additions of sjuush and refrezh, from his former team MAD Lions, has returned Heroic to elite status in the game. Once more they look consistently powerful and can cause most teams in the game to question the possibility of victory. Their win at EPL was impressive, beating the daunting Gambit, and they would likely have rematched the Russians in the final had they not run into peak s1mple.

Heroic has a nice resume of wins and I was deliberating whether or not to give them the second spot, but the IEM placing being with only 3/5ths of the current line-up was the deciding factor against them. Still, with how Na'Vi tend to yo-yo a chance to move up is well within grasp.

2. Natus Vincere [s1mple, electronic, Boombl4, Perfecto and B1T]

Photo courtesy of Natus Vincere/Twitter

Recent form:

BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021 (Qual'd) [Online] [flamie]
Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (5th-6th) [Online] [flamie]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (9th-12th) [Online] [flamie]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (1st) [Online]

Bo5: GMB (DH Spring) [Online]

Bo3: VP (EPL) [Online], VP (DH Spring) [Online], FURIA (DH Spring) [Online], Heroic (DH Spring) [Online]

One map: TL (EPL) [Online], GMB (EPL) [Online], GMB (DH Spring) [Online]

The kings of the razor cake, delicious when piping hot but seemingly certain to upset when your mouth gets lacerated, are of course Na'Vi. s1mple is easily the best player in CS:GO but his team still has a tendency to massively fluctuate in their performances and placings. After failing to crack top four at IEM they delivered a joke of an EPL performance.

At least that sent flamie to the bench and gave B1T room to grow. Thus came the return to the kind of special form that began the year, as the s1mple and electronic formula proved too much for Dreamhack Masters Spring and saw Na'Vi steam-rolling the intimidating force of Gambit in a sweep to win the final.

As long as s1mple remains peerless on an individual basis it will be on the others to make a real push for the top spot, but we'll all be watching one way or another. Who can miss a new episode of the Na'Vi soap opera? You'd be an idiot to!

1. Gambit Esports [sh1r0, Ax1Le, interz, nafany and Hobbit]

Photo courtesy of Gambit Esports/Twitter

Recent form:

Snow Sweet Snow #2 (5th-8th) [Online]
Intel Extreme Masters Season XV - World Championship (1st) [Online]
Pinnacle Cup (1st) [Online]
ESL Pro League Season 13 (2nd) [Online]
BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 (1st-2nd) [Online]
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 (2nd) [Online]

Bo5: VP (IEM WC) [Online]

Bo3: G2 (IEM WC) [Online], Na'Vi (IEM WC) [Online], Spirit (IEM WC) [Online], Na'Vi (EPL) [Online], FURIA (EPL) [Online], Ast (EPL) [Online], FURIA (BLAST Show) [Online], Heroic (BLAST Show) [Online], G2 (DH Spring) [Online], Na'Vi (DH Spring) [Online], G2 (DH Spring) [Online]

One map: N/A

Gambit Youngsters were thrilling rising talents in 2020 and this year has seen them break out massively to become the dominant team in world Counter-Strike. Along with their epic Katowice win they have added finals finishes at EPL and Dreamhack Masters Spring. While they can be beaten, they seemingly cannot be denied top placings and their resume of wins is incredible.

Teams like BIG and Heroic have previously shown strong form online and surprised many, but Gambit looks set to potentially create the first period of sustained excellence from an underdog side. In fact, while we play online, they are not the underdog against any opponent, so impressive and total have their performances been.

Even in their loss to Na'Vi at Dreamhack they can point to a previous win over the same team earlier in the tournament.

The rankings will return in a few weeks, following the conclusion of Flashpoint 3.