Team Ranking: December 2015
We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for December which was a relatively quiet month as the 2015 season winded down for the holidays.
However, it is also time for an update to our monthly Global Team Ranking, this time for the month of December which was a fairly quiet month in CS:GO that saw only two large events transpire: Fragbite Masters Season 5 finals and ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 finals.
In addition to that, a few regional tournaments did take place which will have had minor impacts such as ESL Meisterschaft Winter, Northern Arena, and ESL Nordic Nationals.
HLTV.org's rankings expert Julien "topeiko" Hottias has therefore updated the rankings for December 2015.
As always, the rankings are based on teams' achievements over the past year (with severe decay in points throughout each month), recent form over the last 2 months, and performance at the last ten offline events.
fnatic back to number one
That ranking is itself predicated around a three-man core each team is required to have in order to retain past points earned. Online matches and tournaments are included, but with a diminishing factor which means they cannot make a big difference among the top teams, and mainly serve to put new teams on the map.
We will always have a special page where you will be able to find the latest version of our ranking (which is updated weekly during busy months).
Here is the current top 20 table as of January 5th, 2016, which goes more in-depth into the way points are distributed.
Please note that the +/- gain on this table differs from our weekly rankings page, and is in relation to November's ranking update.
Top 20 Team Ranking Powered by EGB.com
* Note: we increased the weight of the recent LANs column to 300 and reduced Form to 200.
We'll now discuss the top fifteen teams on the list in-depth.
|Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer||23||1.13|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||21||1.13|
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||22||1.04|
|Dennis "dennis" Edman||24||1.03|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||20||1.02|
Luckily for the Swedish power, fnatic followed up on a late November win at the FACEIT Stage 3 Finals at DreamHack Winter with back-to-back wins at the two big events of December: Fragbite Masters Season 5 and ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2.
Despite some in-game shakiness, the fnatic roster with dennis continued to win in December
Although some continue to doubt the overall effectiveness of this roster compared to the previous one of 2015, with flusha currently calling and dennis still appearing somewhat lost for a more stable role, fnatic managed to overtake EnVyUs since last month and are back to the top of the world.
A few of those aforementioned doubts were in evidence at Fragbite Masters for example, with fnatic losing to NiP in the upper bracket final and appearing fairly lacklustre against SK and NiP again despite ultimately winning the event.
At the EEPL S2 finals, fnatic lost to EnVyUs 0-2 and struggled a lot in the grand final against Na`Vi, which further illustrated the roster's volatility. Once again however, the Swedes, powered by olofmeister and KRIMZ, managed to win the event and pocket another $100,000.
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||20||1.15|
|Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer||24||1.13|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||21||1.05|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||22||1.03|
|Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey||21||0.98|
EnVyUs only attended the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 finals in December and finished in 3-4th place after losing the Na`Vi in the semifinal, thus pocketing a cool $25,000 for one weekend's work.
This semifinals loss was a fairly convincing one however and included Happy and his men losing on de_cbble in overtime in what is arguably the French team's best map.
Les Bleus faltered at EEPL
On the other hand, the group stages had appeared to favour nV as the event winners, with the Frenchmen sweeping aside Liquid and fnatic in 2-0 games to advance straight to the semifinals.
Some may chalk EnVyUs' light slip-up at the end of 2015 to event fatigue, while others might observe that the team lack a certain kind of tactical finesse that is increasingly required in CS:GO; all in all, it has been a good year for this team's core as they retain the second place spot.
3. Natus Vincere
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||24||1.22|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||18||1.12|
|Denis "seized" Kostin||21||1.04|
|Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko||28||0.95|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||28||0.93|
Na`Vi make the biggest leap among the top five teams, moving up two places from fifth to third best team in the world.
Such a rise if the result of ex-TSM's/?'s failures to deliver at both Fragbite Masters and EEPL S2 (and thus their slump) as well as of Na`Vi's continuing string of strong performances which previously included a second place finish at the major in Cluj and winning IEM San Jose.
While no 2010 Na`Vi, this new Na`Vi is poised for success in 2016
The Ukrainian-Russian-Slovak team must have something of an affinity for the balmy skies and laidback lifestyle of California, as Na`Vi returned from their stint in San Jose to Burbank, California for EEPL Season 2 and pulled off another barnstorming run.
While Zeus and his men did lose to ? in the group stages with an 0-2 scoreline, Na`Vi still deflated the Luminosity hype train twice with 2-0 and 2-1 victories to emerge from the groups and head to the semifinals. There, Na`Vi managed to stun EnVyUs and move to a grand final which the team barely lost to fnatic.
Although there are still some chinks in the team's armour, with such an upward spiral of finishes, Na`Vi can only look upwards in 2016 in the hopes of breaking the top two.
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||20||1.15|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||20||1.09|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||22||1.07|
|René "cajunb" Borg||26||1.03|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||25||0.98|
? (or ex-TSM for those who have not yet been made aware) struggled at both of the events the team attended in December (alongside fnatic, the Danes are the only team on this list to attend both Fragbite and EEPL in December).
Paltry month for Queen Margrethe II's boys
Fragbite Masters was in fact something of a disaster for karrigan & co. as the Danish squad were defeated by their erstwhile rivals of fnatic in the opener before being taken down by a Michael "Friis" Jørgensen-powered SK 1-2 to finish last place at the event.
EEPL S2 was somewhat better for ? as they took down CLG and Na`Vi in the group stage to advance straight to the semifinals. However, fnatic once again defeated the Danes 2-0 to perhaps conclusively dispel the trend from earlier this year of the Danes having been fnatic's "Kryptonite."
Despite maintaining some form in December, ? therefore ultimately lose points and have dropped two spots down to fourth place, although the fifth place spot is still aways behind them.
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||22||1.06|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||27||1.06|
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||21||0.99|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||28||0.98|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||29||0.95|
Despite winning events sporadically in 2015, which was enough to make Virtus.pro our third most successful lineup of 2015 in our Team of the Year ranking, the past few months have not been gentle for the Poles.
No play in December for VP
In fact, the last time NEO and his team did attend an offline event was the FACEIT S3 Finals at DreamHack Winter, where they achieved a solid semifinals placing (and were blown out the week before at IEM San Jose by Liquid).
VP failed to qualify for the EEPL Season 2 finals and did not take part in the Fragbite Masters qualifiers and thus were absent from December 2015. As a result, the Polish team loses a hefty chunk of points although there is still a wide berth from the top five teams and those below.
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||27||1.09|
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||25||1.08|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||24||1.03|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||22||1.02|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||24||0.95|
While the top five teams all changed up spots pretty vigorously, NiP sit like a hen at sixth place as the team overall lost points in December due to losing Finn Aleksi "allu" Jalli early on in the month.
This lineup has passed into lore, although longterm reception is unknown
NiP did mitigate a larger point loss however due to a solid second place finish at Fragbite Masters Season 5, in what was something of a final huzzah for the lineup that included allu.
This run featured f0rest playing in fine-form and saw an upper bracket defeat of fnatic as well as a win against SK before NiP lost a three-map somewhat-closely-fought game to fnatic in the grand final.
While the four team nature of the tournament may make such a feat less impressive, the best-of-three defeat of fnatic certainly offsets point loss for a roster that will feature pyth going into 2016.
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||21||1.15|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||24||1.12|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||24||1.08|
|Lincoln "fnx" Lau||25||1.08|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||20||0.87|
The Brazilian team retain seventh place and suffered only a moderate point loss due to a an average 5-6th place run at the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 finals.
FalleN will need to return to the drawing board if he wants to hold trophies in the new year
By now, everyone recalls Luminosity's dream run at the FACEIT Stage 3 finals in a second place finish that awed many and saw the Brazilian team, powered by coldzera, sweep aside some of Europe's best teams.
Luminosity's only event in December was the EEPL Season 2 finals and the Brazilian dream somewhat died on its doorstep as the team's only win was against a what now looks to have been a dying CLG team.
Granted, Luminosity only got to play Na`Vi twice otherwise and could not be tested against the other European outfits in attendance but as the Americas region team that was billed as most likely to make the semifinals of the event, it was with some disappointment that Luminosity joined their North American brothers in 5-6th place and below.
|Philip "aizy" Aistrup||19||1.11|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||21||1.07|
|Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad||21||1.05|
|Ricardo "fox" Pacheco||29||0.99|
|Mikail "Maikelele" Bill||24||0.98|
Like Luminosity, G2 suffer only moderate point decay and retain their eigth place spot as the European mix team is still riding on the coat-tails of solid placings in October and November.
G2 did not attend any events in December however and thus go without an extended write-up.
|Mike "shroud" Grzesiek||21||1.11|
|Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham||22||1.07|
|Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert||25||1.00|
|Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir||23||0.98|
Cloud9 regain the ninth place spot over their American rivals in Liquid after the latter team usurped that ranking in the previous month.
"If only finding a fifth were as easy as grabbing someone from the crowd"
The Canadian-American team did not compete in December but their point loss was far less severe than Liquid's in December due to their rivals' loss of Jacob "FugLy" Medina and a very tepid run at EEPL Season 2.
|Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev||18||1.22|
|Nick "nitr0" Cannella||20||1.15|
|Spencer "Hiko" Martin||25||1.10|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski||18||1.05|
|Eric "adreN" Hoag||25||1.02|
After building up some hype in November, Liquid lose a bevy of points in the following month due to dropping FugLy midway through the month as well as due to a fairly unimpressive 5-6th place finish at the EEPL Season 2 finals.
That feeling when s1mple is in your comms
At the latter event, Liquid do get some brownie points for having played both EnVyUs and fnatic to 14-16 scores on a map in both teams respective best-of-three's, but such achievements are not enough to help sustain a high ranking for long.
With s1mple joining the Liquid fray in 2016, this team will have a big question mark placed next to it for the next few weeks.
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||18||1.21|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||25||1.04|
|Timo "Spiidi" Richter||20||1.02|
|Johannes "nex" Maget||23||1.02|
|Denis "denis" Howell||21||0.87|
mousesports did not attend an event in December 2015 (not even the local German ESL Meisterschaft Winter tournament) and thus only suffer small point decay for the month.
|Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom||21||1.07|
|Richard "shox" Papillon||23||1.05|
|Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux||27||0.98|
|Cédric "RpK" Guipouy||26||0.96|
|Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans||25||0.87|
Titan did not attend an event in December and thus only suffer a small point decay for the month.
|Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel||21||1.08|
|Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke||18||1.06|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||17||1.05|
|Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann||21||0.98|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||21||0.85|
dignitas rocket up four points on the month despite not having attended any offline events in December. How is this possible?
Firstly, the distribution of points below tenth place is spread extremely sparsely, with many teams being only a couple of points away from each other as they only compete at some offline events and have less chances to make a larger impact.
dignitas benefit from very strong online play in December (a factor which would not affect teams in the top five for example) which includes beating the likes of HellRaisers, G2, and SK.
The crowning achievement included defeating HellRaisers in a best-of-five grand final to win the GO:CL Season 2, an online league, and take home $25,000 in December.
|Josh "jdm64" Marzano||25||1.08|
|Tarik "tarik" Celik||19||1.07|
|James "hazed" Cobb||26||0.99|
|Stephen "reltuC" Cutler||27||0.96|
Despite winning Northern Arena against regional competition in December, CLG have lost a moderate amount of points due to longtime teammate Pujan "FNS" Mehta stepping down from the roster in the middle of December.
Much like Cloud9, this North American team remains on the hunt for a new fifth heading into the new year.
|Aaron "AZR" Ward||23||1.20|
|Chad "SPUNJ" Burchill||26||1.01|
|Justin "jks" Savage||20||0.99|
|Yaman "yam" Ergenekon||27||0.98|
|Luke "Havoc" Paton||25||0.94|
Renegades did not compete in December and thus suffer only moderate point decay.
We have also updated our graph showing the evolution of teams' points throughout 2015.
You can also see which teams round up the Top 20 over at our dedicated Team ranking page, and we still plan to expand the list over time to incorporate more teams.
With January already promising a plethora of CS:GO events, next month's ranking should see a few more dramatic changes taking place compared to the relatively quiet December which only saw the top five teams shuffle up their order of dominance.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter