We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for April 2016 and this month sees ever more instability permeate through the top reaches of the CS:GO Top 20.
The rhythm of April was dictated by DreamHack Masters Malmö, the month's sole $250,000+ event, and to a lesser extent by the $125,000 CEVO Gfinity Professional Season 9 finals which transpired this weekend.
Outside of these two tournaments, we continued to see the results of the post-Major landscape as injured players took breaks from the game (an idea that is becoming less and less far-fetched in the world of esports), players shuffled around rosters in the hopes of stabilising their respective scenes, and online leagues continued their trade.
Already back in our weekly update ranking update of April 18th, 2016, the CS:GO world finally witnessed the dethronement of fnatic as the world's best CS:GO team after many months of winning every tournament the Swedes had competed in.
The results since then paint a landscape that is unstable, in a state of flux, and with a first place up for the taking in the coming month.
Na`Vi's tenuous grip on first place threatens to boot them off the stage
To summarise the ranking for new readers:
Our team ranking is 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 offline events in the last 3 months.
Each team is required to have a three-man core in order to retain their points and online results are included but have minimal effect (only affecting 'Form') at the top of the table 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, weekly version of our ranking.
Here is the current top 30 table as of May 2nd, 2016, which goes more in-depth into the way points are distributed. You can see the lineup for each team by hovering over their name in the table.
Please note that the +/- gain on this table differs from our weekly rankings page, and is in relation to the ranking update of March 2016.
Top 30 Team Ranking Powered by EGB.com
*Hover over each team name for the full lineup.
As is custom, we will now discuss the recent performances of the top fifteen teams, with reference to tournament placings, statistics, and the usual dash of whimsical photo captions.
1. Natus Vincere
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||19||1.12|
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||24||1.10|
|Denis "seized" Kostin||21||1.07|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||28||1.02|
|Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko||28||0.92|
In our weekly update to team rankings on April 18th, 2016, Natus Vincere accomplished what their arch-rival Luminosity had seemed all but assured to do the week prior by ranking first in the world following a second place finish at DreamHack Masters Malmö.
The Brazilian team's downfall in the groups at Malmö will be discussed more at-length in their section, however we must now turn to the Ukrainian-Russian-Slovak powerhouse and rage factory that is Na`Vi and appreciate the team's consistency at offline events.
Despite faltering and being unable to still clinch gold at a $250,000+ event, Na`Vi have reached the finals of nine of the ten last offline events the team have attended, giving them a lot of points in the achievements category.
Stroll through your DM with first place finesse
However, and quite unlike during fnatic's roost at number one, Na`Vi do not hold the top statistic in even two categories (second in form and second in past three months at offline events), making their hold on first place extremely brittle for now.
There is also of course the "Meltdown Question," as we have now seen Na`Vi lose two grand finals (at MLG Columbus and DH Masters Malmö where they were either considered on equal footing with their rival or a favourite to win outright.
The issue of GuardiaN's recovery from his previous injury which at first benched him from playing in the Malmö group stages (team coach Sergey "starix" Ischuk stood-in for the squad) and the fact that Na`Vi just barely failed to qualify for the $512,000 ESL Pro League Season 3 finals means that they will face an uphill battle to retain first place in May, although participation at the SL i-League Invitational #1 and ELEAGUE's first season (although they will not play in the first three weeks/groups for ELEAGUE) await.
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||21||1.22|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||24||1.16|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||24||1.10|
|Lincoln "fnx" Lau||26||1.08|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||21||1.02|
What do we talk about when we talk about Luminosity? Certainly, April was the month when we could have seen the Brazilian team claim first place in our ranking with a strong finish at DreamHack Masters Malmö and cement their position at the top as they already have the most points in offline events in the past three months.
Luminosity made the mistake of underestimating NiKosports on Cache in the group stages and then were nudged out of the playoffs by TYLOO of the Orient, a team who (all Orientalist jokes aside) surprised many and put a doorstop into the portal of CS:GO for Asian teams.
Going out in 9-12th place unfortunately had a destabilising effect for FalleN and his men and places them just an arm's reach from that illustrious global first place (as also happened in the month of March).
April wasn't so hot, but at least we're not involved in Petrobras
Unlike Na`Vi however, Luminosity have multiple reasons to rejoice for May, and not just because of the advent of summer vibes in California. The Brazilian team topped the North American division of the ESL Pro League and will thus compete in another $250,000+ event in two weeks' time (unlike Na`Vi).
In addition, they are in phenomenal form in ECS Season 1 and in online games overall and, unlike the rest of the teams in the top five of our ranking, Luminosity will have an easy chance to build their points spread at the all-North American $100,000 DreamHack Austin event this upcoming weekend.
In addition to these two events, Luminosity will have a busy latter half of the month as they are in the first three ELEAGUE groups, meaning that they will play their crucial opening matches to the million dollar league in May.
|Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer||24||1.13|
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||22||1.10|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||21||1.09|
|Dennis "dennis" Edman||25||1.07|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||22||0.99|
When you come at the king you best not miss, but when the king's trigger finger has been crimped and is unable to fire, then it is perhaps time to go into exile and recuperate.
And thus begins the story of Dark Souls 3 of fnatic, a Swedish superstar team who, since the FACEIT Stage 3 finals at DreamHack Winter last year, went on a tear of winning events up until their quarter-finals exit at the MLG Columbus Major at the the end of March.
What is dead may some time die...
It then emerged that olofmeister, the world's best player per our 2015 Player ranking and the executioner of fnatic's will and winning drive, had also suffered from a hand injury and would need to take time off to recover, forcing fnatic to withdraw from DreamHack Masters Malmö.
fnatic have thus not played any offline events in April and this fact, in combination with their poor finish at the last Major and a host of mediocre online results and instability with their stand-ins (first trialing Niclas "PlesseN" Plessen before bringing in John "wenton" Eriksson), means that they have fallen to third place in our Global Ranking.
There is hope on the horizon however, assuming that wenton can fill the juggernaut shoes left by olofmeister, and the Swedish team are booked for the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals in London and have a chance to uphold their top three status as they bide time for olofmeister to heal.
However, with a 0-2 record in the million dollar ECS Season 1 and as a team not in the first three groups of the ELEAGUE, the Pro League finals will be fnatic's one chance in May to climb or to hold; otherwise, an aerodynamic stall is in the offing.
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||20||1.22|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||23||1.09|
|René "cajunb" Borg||26||1.09|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||20||1.03|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||26||0.93|
Shortly after his "Danish god of asphyxiation joke" back in the March ranking, your writer had a dream where the five Danish players of Astralis repeatedly stabbed him with knives, whispering "For the Denmark" as they did it.
Not wishing to be a poor man's Jon Snow, your writer has instead opted to focus on the positive qualities of this elite team, as their consistency in offline events is overall strong and not as easy a target for jokes as some might think.
Once again, Astralis are a team whose only event in April was the $250,000 DreamHack Masters Malmö and the Danish superteam ran into misfortune in Sweden, losing their group's winners' match to regional rival Dignitas in an upset and then crossing paths with the event champion NiP in the decider match and losing 1-2.
...But semifinals again, harder and stronger
While certainly no Luminosity-esque finish, this 9-12th place finish for Astralis certainly did them no favours in April, neither setting them down in the ranking but also not giving them much of a chance to move up (although if fnatic's fall continues they should be a shoe-in for third place soon).
Aside from the danger posed by a rising NiP team, Astralis are also well poised to succeed in May; they were also in a strong form in the ESL Pro League's online season and finished in second place and booked their attendance to the $512,000 finals in two week's time.
The way your writer sees it, the Danes are right now entering a battlezone against NiP (with the Danish-Swedish match-up having historically favoured Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund & co. in 2013 and 2014) for fourth place and possibly third place; NiP's slightly earlier start in the ELEAGUE may play an influence in this battle as well.
All things considered, Astralis are well positioned to continue being an elite team as they are well-drilled and dedicated; they just need to work on that whole, you know, confidence thing.
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||25||1.17|
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||27||1.13|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||22||0.99|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||25||0.99|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||24||0.99|
While your author is not familiar with Magic: The Gathering, it is surely time for the inclusion of a "Ninjas in Pyjamas" card into the game as the Swedish team proved to the CS:GO world in April that magic was in the air by winning DreamHack Masters Malmö.
The immediate result of this victory was a two-place jump into fifth place in our ranking, which by a rule-of-thumb also established NiP as an elite team (this hazy definition depends on the large point differential between the top five teams and those below them).
And not a single Swede was cuckolded on that cheery eve
NiP have another distinction to their name this month: despite being in fifth place, they are the team with the highest amount of points in the Form category, maxing out at 200 due to winning in Malmö and due to their dominant run in the ESL Pro League, where they finished in first place with a 19-3 record.
The times ahead look promising for the Ninjas if they keep up their current style of play (finally moulded into something formidable and not lazy by coach and YOLO stand-in Björn "THREAT" Pers); in addition to the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals, they will also play in the last days of May in the second week of ELEAGUE Season 1.
Magic: The Gathering card they may not have, but NiP have nevertheless proven that Resilience and turnarounds are not just factors that exist in card games.
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||22||0.99|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||28||0.94|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||29||0.93|
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||22||0.93|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||28||0.89|
The Virtus Plow sits idle in the hangar of Aggressive Counter-Strike, awaiting the snows of yesteryear to give it a reason to ride again. Despite continuing to be a threat against pretty much any opponent, Virtus.pro have seemed unable lately to put their feet on the podium, semifinals-or-better placings at offline events have eluded them.
In fact, very much like Envy below them, the only quantitative factor that is keeping the Polish team above water as of now is their past achievements, as both form and results at offline events in the past three months look very weak for the team at the end of April.
In Malmö, VP looked strong indeed in the group stage as they brushed aside FaZe and got revenge on Tempo Storm for their loss at IEM Katowice; once they made it to the playoffs however, TaZ & co. matched up against event winners NiP in perhaps the game's greatest El Classico and lost 0-2 (in two fairly close 16-12 games).
Life was better during the glizda times
Considering the context of meeting NiP in the quarter-finals and their strong group stage, this 5-8th place finish looked respectable but the results of the past weekend's 3-4th place finish at the CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals are less impressive.
Seeing as how VP were considered the favourites at this $125,000 event in London, their struggles against Splyce and HellRaisers in the groups and eventual loss in a five-map showdown to Tempo Storm in the semifinals certainly fell short of expectations.
There is also no getting around the very real fact that pashaBiceps, who was once one of the team's heavyhitters, has had a dramatic slump in form lately and possesses the lowest player rating for the last three months.
It is unclear how VP will proceed from here on out: their only event in May will be the SL i-League Invitational in Kiev as they are not in the early weeks of ELEAGUE play and the team of course bombed out of the ESL Pro League and will have to play a relegation match with a Premier-level team to stay in.
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||20||1.08|
|Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer||24||1.03|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||21||0.98|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||23||0.96|
|Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon||21||0.92|
Although EnVyUs have become the butt of many jokes recently following their fall from being a top three team to just a tad below the elite tier, their 3-4th place finish at DreamHack Masters Malmö was a reminder that the Frenchmen can still perform.
After an opening loss against Tempo Storm in the group stage, nV showed grit and resilience by returning to the decider match and 2-0'ing the Brazilian upstarts, and they followed up on this by easily dispatching Dignitas in the quarter-finals (another contender for nV's ranking spot) before being absolutely bodied by Na`Vi in the semifinals (securing nine rounds total).
"Look! Happy's on the other side of the map again!"
EnVyUs had a poor run in the ESL Pro League Season 3 and thus won't make it to the finals in May, nor does the team play in the first few weeks of ELEAGUE. Assuming they are not the "TBA" team that is still unknown for the SL i-League Invitational, it is possible that the French team may not even play at an offline event in the month of May.
This absence in May, alongside the fact that EnVyUs have looked to have both a problem in adapting their gameplay style to the new meta and a leadership problem, may pose serious troubles to the French team and if the young upstarts below them fair well in the coming month, we could possibly see nV fall out of the top ten—a once unthinkable outcome.
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||18||1.09|
|Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke||19||1.09|
|Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel||22||1.04|
|Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann||21||0.99|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||21||0.91|
As your author noted in his preview for the CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals, Dignitas have begun slingshotting back to their earlier strength in 2016 when the likes of Kjaerbye and k0nfig put in monster performances at DreamHack Open Leipzig and the Game Show finals to bring dignitas strong placings. Their recent efforts have moved them up three spots in our ranking to #8.
After failing to qualify for the Major and taking a hit in the rankings as a result, dignitas went into April with an upset takedown of their big brother Astralis at DreamHack Masters Malmö to advance to the playoffs (before they were taken down by EnVyUs), thus finishing in 5-8th place.
The team's results at this weekend's CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals unfortunately belie this upward trend somewhat, as dignitas finished in 5-6th place and failed to make the semifinals as they lost a close winners' match to champions Tempo Storm and were then unexpectedly brought down by regional rivals SK in the decider match.
What's worse than losing to Danes on LAN? Losing as a Dane to Danes on LAN.
It was refreshing to see the likes of k0nfig and Kjaerbye playing well at the event, 1.08 and 1.07 ratings respectively, but dignitas were in effect considered the second best team going in to event behind Virtus.pro and thus fell short of their ambitions a tad.
dignitas finished in sixth place in the ESL Pro League and did not qualify for the finals as a result, but the Danish-Norwegian team have their work cut out for them in May as they will attend the European Minor at DreamHack Tours. A minimum second place finish there to qualify for the ESL One Cologne Qualifier is of paramount importance if they wish to remain top ten for next month.
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||19||1.22|
|Johannes "nex" Maget||23||1.13|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||25||1.03|
|Timo "Spiidi" Richter||20||0.97|
|Denis "denis" Howell||21||0.91|
Another team experiencing an upwards creep in our rankings are mousesports, that Dutch-German-Bosnian (highlight on the Bosnian part) European superteam are always on the fringes of a wider success and who continue to fight for the taste of greater glory.
mouz's only offline event in April was DreamHack Masters Malmö and NiKo and his team shone in the group stage, taking down Major semifinalists Liquid in the opening match and then Major champions Luminosity in the winners' match to advance to the playoffs with bravado.
Dreams of at least a semifinals finish were shattered however when mouz went up against GODSENT (the dark horse of the tournament) in the quarter-finals, with the Markus "pronax" Wallsten-led team emerging triumphant 2-1 and ending greater ambitions for the mousesports camp.
A picture is not worth a thousand words, according to NiKo
At the event in Sweden, NiKo was as always in his virtuoso mode but it was also refreshing to see nex putting in a strong performance (1.18 rating and +24 kdd), as the German player has apparently struggled with playing in front of crowds before. Overall, team leader and star player NiKo has seemed unenthused by the adulation and fawning heaped on him at the expense of his teammates, even remarking so in a recent interview.
Regardless, the nineteen-year-old Bosnian remains an integral part of his team's success, alongside the other members of his squad (perhaps fulfilling the unconscious German wish for order at the expense of all else); the more frags the merrier, in any case.
With no events planned for May, expect a light downward turn by mousesports, although as one of the team's in ELEAGUE's first season they will no doubt return in full force in June.
10. Tempo Storm
|Henrique "HEN1" Teles||20||1.16|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||19||1.11|
|João "felps" Vasconcellos||19||1.06|
|Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles||20||0.97|
|Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves||19||0.88|
Floating in off the pinions of a first place finish at the CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals, Tempo Storm round out our top ten with a four place leap and the team have overall dazzled since March, going from being on nobody's radars (except astute observers of CEVO Main, ESEA Premier, and the RGN Pro Series) to entering as a top ten team in the world.
April began with a light letdown for Tempo in Malmö as the Brazilian team finished in 9-12th place, alongside their Big Brothers Luminosity, following losses to Virtus.pro and EnVyUs.
As the saying goes, "you can't win them all," and the Brazilian youngsters were back with a vengeance at the CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals following an eight day bootcamp in Stockholm, Sweden as they won the event by managing to convincingly beat the likes of dignitas, Virtus.pro, and SK Gaming.
Tempo Storm are accruing more results than politicians caught in Operation Car Wash
Tempo's victory represented the second time a Brazilian team has won a large CS:GO tournament this year (after Luminosity at MLG Columbus) and the first time a team outside of Europe has won on European soil in CS:GO history.
And unlike dignitas and mousesports, Tempo Storm will have an extremely busy May with three events to attend on North American soil: DreamHack Austin, the ESEA Premier Season 21 finals, and the MLG Americas Minor.
Outside of these events, Tempo Storm are also the source of intense debate as they did not receive (or secure, depending on how you look at it) invites to either ELEAGUE Season 1 or ECS Season 1, both million dollar leagues. However you wish to view that lack of foresight, if the Brazilian team keep up their slate of results in May, they will be a top ten team for a long time to come.
|Spencer "Hiko" Martin||26||1.06|
|Kenneth "koosta" Suen||19||1.04|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski||18||1.04|
|Nick "nitr0" Cannella||20||1.04|
|Eric "adreN" Hoag||26||0.89|
It all started when Liquid's very own Mount Vesuvius, Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, insisted on AWPing at DreamHack Masters Malmö and began over-peeking constantly, a stubbornness which hurt his team in their matches and which certainly contributed to their 13-16th place finish.
The saga of course ended with s1mple leaving for Ukraine under the pretext of completing visa paperwork but in actuality leaving the team and North America for good, this time under the pretext of homesickness.
We already had a hard time ranking Liquid after their semifinals Major run as they played with stand-in (at the time) adreN and without koosta. Now, in combination with the 13-16th result in Sweden and losing a member of their Major roster, we see Liquid leave the top ten.
No Duck Face needed to re-enter top ten
Perhaps this change is copacetic for North America and its pesky, ready-to-take-to-Twitter teams. They will now have a month ahead of them to duel at DreamHack Austin (a North American/Brazilian slugfest) and sort their dirty laundry out before ELEAGUE kicks off (Liquid play in the first week of the million dollar league).
However, as Liquid barely nudged their way into the top four of the ESL Pro League North American division, they will also have to fly to London and compete in a $512,000 event in two weeks' time. Perhaps then we will see if this new all-American roster can retain their Top ten status or join the list of the permanently jet-lagged.
|Simon "twist" Eliasson||21||1.17|
|Andreas "znajder" Lindberg||22||1.13|
|Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson||22||1.05|
|Mathias "pauf" Köhler||19||1.00|
|Markus "pronax" Wallsten||24||0.86|
Rocketing up 17 places to twelfth place in the world, GODSENT pulled off an unexpected and unforeseen semifinals run at DreamHack Masters Malmö. On the way there, pronax led his team (which he co-owns) to wins over G2, CLG, mousesports, and almost NiP in the semifinal before settling for 3-4th place.
We learned to fear the likes of twist and znajder, who before had seemed like Swedish players condemned to years of FPL and mixteam shenanigans following chances at glory in the years past, as both players played out of their minds on home-soil, with 1.26 and 1.09 ratings respectively.
It is currently unclear if GODSENT will be able to hold this sort of position following their miracle run in April as the team still appear a tad shaky online. May serves up one event for the team to attend, and an important one at that: the European Minor at DreamHacks Tours.
Qualifying for the ESL One Cologne Qualifier would go a long way for the Swedes, as they also are one of those teams who unfortunately were not invited to ELEAGUE or ECS.
|Tarik "tarik" Celik||20||1.10|
|Josh "jdm64" Marzano||25||1.04|
|James "hazed" Cobb||26||0.97|
|Jacob "FugLy" Medina||21||0.95|
|Stephen "reltuC" Cutler||27||0.91|
The other North American team still floating in the Top 15 is CLG, who slide down a spot to 13th place and who finished in 9-12th place in Malmö (above their compatriots Liquid).
We saw the American team sweep G2 in their opening game and yet again play Na`Vi to an extremely close map in the winners' match (15-19 on Dust2) before bowing out of the tournament after losing to surprise package GODSENT in the decider (one of the maps did go to overtime).
It is obvious that closing games is a major issue for this team and one which they will have to quickly resolve as May sees them competing at DreamHack Austin; they will also compete in the third week of ELEAGUE (early June).
A chance to regain some quick points vanished with CLG's poor run in ESL Pro League Season 3 however, with hazed and co. finishing an almost Virtus.pro-like 5-17 in the North American division.
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||24||1.24|
|Martin "STYKO" Styk||20||1.04|
|Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk||22||1.03|
|Patrik "Zero" Žúdel||17||1.01|
|Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow||26||0.99|
We have finally found a team who did not attend DreamHack Masters Malmö in our list and this is a team who have nevertheless fared quite well despite a recent roster change which saw bondik of FlipSid3 instated into the team.
HellRaisers rose five spots to #14 mainly thanks to their 3-4th place finish at CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals where they defeated the likes of OpTic and Virtus.pro before finally being shut down by SK Gaming in the best-of-five semifinals.
Exit frags, that's why oskar has the most entry kills for his team and you have nothing
The oskar-centered team also exhibited strong form online and as a result will be attending the ESEA Premier Season 21 Europe finals, the European Minor at DreamHack Tours, and the SL i-League Invitational, all thanks to successful online qualification campaigns.
With oskar having been the best player of the CEVO Gfinity tournament (1.21 rating and +31 kdd), do not expect HellRaisers to falter anytime soon although an omission from the ELEAGUE and ECS will also sting this team as they seek to continue a climb to Top ten.
|Richard "shox" Papillon||23||1.12|
|Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom||21||1.09|
|Cédric "RpK" Guipouy||26||1.04|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||19||1.02|
|Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux||27||0.95|
G2 attended DreamHack Masters Malmö (as a replacement for fnatic who had dropped out), lost two one-sided maps to CLG and GODSENT, and were quickly out of the event in 13-16th place.
In one sense, it was to be expected as bodyy was a newfound addition to the team and the previous sense of strategic direction that Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans had embodied was lost. The roster change (losing 20% of their points as a result) and the finish in Sweden knocked the French-Belgian team down seven spots to #15.
G2 have been offered a very big chance to improve upon their ranking in May however as they just squeezed into the top four of the ESL Pro League European division (at the expense of Na`Vi) and will thus attend the premier event. They also play in the second week of ELEAGUE which starts on the final day of May.
You can also see which teams round up the Top 20 over at our dedicated team ranking page.
May 2016 will be an extremely busy month for CS:GO, with the $1.2 million ELEAGUE kicking off at the month's end, the $512,000 ESL Pro League Season 3 finals, $100,000 DreamHack Austin, and $100,000 SL i-League Invitational all transpiring, and a spate of Minors and ESEA Premier events also occurring. Prepare your popcorn.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter