Team Ranking: May 2016
We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for May 2016 and Luminosity sit snugly at the top after a successful series of tournament wins this month.
May was the month of Minors, of a few minor tournaments (the $100,000 DreamHack Open Austin and SL i-League Invitational events), and of a marquee event: the $512,000 ESL Pro League Season 3 finals.
On top of that, we saw finalists determined for the ECS Season 1 finals (part of a $3.5 million tournament series) and ELEAGUE Season 1 kicked off with its weekly group stages.
Our monthly ranking update for April crowned Natus Vincere as number one but mentioned how their grip on first place was tenuous, and by May 9th, Brazilian team Luminosity took first place after winning DreamHack Austin.
Luminosity's victory the next weekend at the $512,000 ESL Pro League Season 3 finals (part of the $250k+ series of events) only further rocketed the Brazilian team to the maximum point spread possible and thus we see them firmly enthroned at the top for May.
Luminosity reign supreme
For this month, there is one final event-related thing that you should keep in mind. Because we are treating ELEAGUE as an ongoing season, results in the prestigious $1.4 million event are only counted in the "Form" section until the event will end in late July. Thus, Cloud9 will not have as strong of a rise from their superior Group A performance and Liquid not as precipitous of a fall until the event ends.
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 June 1st, 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 April 2016.
Top 30 Team Ranking Powered by EGB.com
|4.||Ninjas in Pyjamas||251||146||178||575||+1|
*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 a few tongue-in-cheek captions.
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||21||1.24|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||24||1.16|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||25||1.15|
|Lincoln "fnx" Lau||26||1.09|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||21||0.98|
Things may not be looking so great for the Brazilian five from a public relations perspective at the beginning of June, but the month of May was undoubtedly a story of continued ascendancy as the Major winners and DreamHack Malmö flops silenced domestic opposition by winning DreamHack Austin and then claiming CS:GO's second largest prize-pool to date by winning the EPL Season 3 finals in London.
Now that they hold gold medals in CS:GO's two largest tournaments (MLG Columbus and ESL Pro League S3), their Achievements, Form, and LAN columns are all maxed out and Luminosity now easily sit atop the pyramid of the game.
Luminosity giving a press conference that is surprisingly not about their new SK shirts
If winning those two events weren't enough, Luminosity also dominated the ECS Season 1 in North America and will thus be in the finals and they won their group at ELEAGUE and will thus return to the playoffs of the $1.4 million event in late July.
The team are so comprehensively solid from every angle that their hold on the scene looks pretty dominant: no doubt a scary thought to their elite rivals.
Luminosity now have most of June to relax and will only return by the month's end at the ECS Season 1 finals in London, which should have a $1 million+ prize-pool and thus qualify as a $250k+ event. Let's just say that for now the team are going nowhere from their throne; hopefully extraneous drama and legal issues won't be the first contenders to do damage.
2. Null element Natus Vincere
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||24||1.11|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||19||1.10|
|Denis "seized" Kostin||21||1.08|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||28||1.05|
|Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko||28||0.94|
Battered and bruised, but not broken, Natus Vincere still hold second place in the world; while their Form is mediocre for a top five team the strength of their achievements and their event placings in the last three months keep them above the heads of many would-be competitors.
The arms race in the European division of the ESL Pro League Season 3 which saw Na`Vi fail to qualify by a thread, and the subsequent decision by the team to withdraw from ECS Season 1, are doing their damage as Na`Vi have made a scant appearance this month.
In fact, their only event was the $100,000 SL i-League Invitational in Kiev which the Ukrainian-Russian-Slovak team went into as heavy favourites to win. Unfortunately, "VP is as VP does" and the much-doubted Polish team as of late snatched that grand final from Na`Vi and thus forced them to finish second.
Edward demonstrates how his recent rise in form is due to finally understanding door scale in CS:GO
Although team AWPer and star GuardiaN did seem recovered from his injury for the most part, as he finished with a 1.13 rating and +50 kdd in Kiev, he was very silent in the grand final against VP, a scenario where GuardiaN is a a necessity if Na`Vi wish to win games.
Edward has been lately giving an homage to his 1.6 days with all-around stellar play and he has been a big part of Na`Vi still performing as well as they do. However, we now must question whether the Eastern European team are not subject to a sort of "grand finals choke" phenomenon as this is not the first time this year that they have seemingly buckled in the final match of a tournament.
Na`Vi will not compete in any event in June aside from ELEAGUE towards the end of the month. It is thus likely that they may slide a bit further as achievements from the past year and offline finishes in the past three months fall away. Luckily, with the July Major right at the beginning of the next month, Zeus & co. will not have to wait long to try and conquer the curse of the grand finals, if they so choose.
|Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer||24||1.16|
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||22||1.09|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||21||1.04|
|Dennis "dennis" Edman||25||1.02|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||22||0.98|
fnatic are another team who are still in the elite of CS:GO but who only had one event to show for the month of May: the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals.
The $512,000 event in Leicester/London was the Swedish team's debut with stand-in John "wenton" Eriksson, who has been playing catch-up in order to cover for the absence of the team's star olofmeister, a player whom many consider the best in the world.
fnatic made easy work of North American teams Cloud9 and Liquid in the group stage (the latter in a decider match), but did fall to Swedish rivals Ninjas in Pyjamas; in the semifinal they played a spectacular Inferno against G2 but ended up losing that series on the next two maps and thus finished the event in 3-4th place.
fnatic are ranked #3 for May
One reason for worry if you're fnatic however is the team's "Form" section, which is abysmally low for a top five team and is in fact the second lowest in the top ten aside from Envy. The Swedes will desperately need some more wins in the month of June.
In any case, both Na`Vi and fnatic strike me as teams trying to recover from having two crucial players in their lineups receive injuries. Luckily, for fnatic, they will play in two big events in June compared to Na`Vi's one: the ECS Season 1 finals and ELEAGUE Season 1.
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||26||1.12|
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||27||1.11|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||22||1.00|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||25||0.98|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||24||0.95|
There are two particular teams in the top ten who have recently surged in their performance and are thus beginning to overtake old rivals: both these teams happen to be in the same ELEAGUE group and the first one is Ninjas in Pyjamas.
The DreamHack Masters Malmö winners take another step upward in the ranking, thanks to strong form as of late and thanks to the downfall of Danish team Astralis in May.
NiP's one event of May was the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals and the Swedish team did not disappoint as they topped their group following wins over Liquid and fnatic (the former with a historic comeback and an overtime thriller), and only fell to Luminosity in the finals 1-2 to finish in 3-4th place.
The Ninjas have been in sync, except on the topic of black pants
The team's strengths were actually recently discussed in the ELEAGUE Group B preview and they hinge as usual on the deadly duo of f0rest and GeT_RiGhT. When these two are on fire, it sometimes feels like things never change and that the duo will go on carrying games until late into their 50's.
Since this article is being written at the time of NiP's ELEAGUE Group, we have lately seen some weakness to the team as the other surging rival, G2, swept them in two best-of-ones in the seeding stage of Group B. In these games, NiP simply looked lost against the firepower heavy dynamic of the French-Belgian team.
However, those were just the seeding matches and the Ninjas have a jam-packed month ahead of them to battle for third place in the ranking. They are seeking to top their ELEAGUE group, they will then compete at DreamHack ZOWIE Open Summer, and they will be in attendance at the ECS Season 1 finals.
|Richard "shox" Papillon||24||1.20|
|Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom||21||1.13|
|Cédric "RpK" Guipouy||26||1.03|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||19||0.99|
|Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux||27||0.91|
It just so happens that the second surging team sit right behind Ninjas in Pyjamas and it must be a very welcome sight indeed for the likes of shox, ScreaM, and RpK to see themselves entering the top five of CS:GO teams after a year and more of lackluster results under former captain Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans.
Interestingly enough, G2 only finally managed to leap into fifth as a result of their 6-0 seeding record in ELEAGUE (which is currently ongoing), as the point difference between fifth and seventh place is incredibly tiny (cf. the table above).
In that sense, the French-Belgian team are in real danger of still losing this coveted spot in the elite (which I define as the top five), but there are a few welcome signs of their continued rise.
The first is of course their 6-0 finish at ELEAGUE, which will likely be capped off with an advance to at least the grand final of Group B. The second is that the only metric holding them back from further points are their "Achievements," as opposed to "Form" or "LANs," with rivals-for-fifth Astralis and Virtus.pro slacking in the latter two categories.
If we follow this thought process, then if G2 can keep up their form and continue finishing in solid placings through June, then their "Achievements" will grow as well and thus further entrench them in fifth place in the world. With shox and ScreaM playing as if they were turning back the hands of time and in their 2014 forms, such strong results for June are very well possible.
In addition to finishing their ELEAGUE Group B campaign this week, the samurai-logoed team will also compete in the prestigious ECS Season 1 finals and are the first team on this list who will also take part in the ESL One Cologne 2016 Main Qualifier as they finished 9-12th at the previous Major.
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||20||1.18|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||18||1.13|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||23||1.10|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||20||1.02|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||26||0.92|
A mere finger's grasp from G2 in terms of points, Astralis are like the fallen titans to G2's Olympian overthrow. But there are signs of a rebuild in the not so distant future.
Truly, perhaps no team aside from Envy has had as sharp of a downfall in the past two months as Astralis, as the Danes went from being a stable contender for 3-4th place to a bottom-of-the-table finisher, with May's example being a 7-8th place finish at ESL Pro League Season 3 finals.
The loss to OpTic in the opener of that event pitted the Danes against superteam Luminosity in the decider match and although the series was close, it was the Danes who lost and had to go home with heads hung yet again.
This time karrigan and his team clearly decided that they'd had enough with the way things were going and the team participated in the highest profile roster change of the month: with Astralis acquiring Kjaerbye and René "cajunb" Borg going to Dignitas.
With upcoming showings at ELEAGUE, DreamHack ZOWIE Open Summer, and ECS Season 1 finals, the Danes have three large opportunities to regain their fifth place spot. They will however take a hit at the Major in early July as they will be forced to use Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander in Kjaerbye's stead due to the latter participating in the European Minor for dignitas.
For Astralis, it therefore seems like they have reached a pivotal moment in their trajectory. From here they can either reconquer or fall by the wayside.
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||22||1.02|
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||22||0.99|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||29||0.94|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||28||0.92|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||28||0.92|
Despite their new and very apt moniker of "Virtus.Premier," the Polish team remain a contender for the elite crop of teams thanks to their unexpected victory at the SL i-League Invitational in the middle of May.
The event in Kiev was a return to form for the team's heavy-hitter Snax as he posted a 1.22 rating, third best at the event and the best for a player who made it to the grand final.
Want to make a Virtus Premier joke? These guys have something to say about that.
The victory at the SL i-League Invitational, where only Na`Vi could have been considered a worthy opponent (and indeed were considered favourites over the Poles until they lost the grand final to them), will help soften the blow for Virtus.pro following their inability to stay qualified for the ESL Pro League.
Whether they deny the inevitable and refuse to compete in ESEA Premier is no matter, as Virtus.pro will sorely need points ahead of a busy summer season. However, as their only event in June will be the final week of ELEAGUE group action (which stretches into July a tad), expect the team to fall more before they attempt to rise off the back of ELEAGUE and the Cologne Major.
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||21||1.03|
|Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer||24||1.00|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||23||0.94|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||21||0.91|
|Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon||21||0.84|
Aside from the fight for fifth-seventh place, another battle is in the offing for eighth to tenth place in our ranking as well. Sitting just barely on top for now are French team Envy, who actually did not attend any offline events in May.
With the worst "Form" metric in our top ten and a pretty shabby "LANs" statistic as well, it is purely Achievements that are keeping them afloat for now as May only saw the Boys in Blue put up a valiant effort in the ECS online stage and barely fall short of making the last chance placement bracket.
Crawling in my skin, this form it will not heal
It must feel odd to the nV players to see G2 enjoying such a heyday, in particular because shox is channeling the form that he once used to power EnVyUs to some of their event victories in the early half of 2015.
Regardless, EnVyUs will have a crucial June as they will first have to attend the ESL One Cologne Main Qualifier in Katowice (a strange thought considering they were Major champions only two Majors ago) and then will debut in Group F of the ELEAGUE.
|Henrique "HEN1" Teles||20||1.12|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||19||1.09|
|João "felps" Vasconcellos||19||1.06|
|Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles||20||1.00|
|Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves||19||0.90|
Just as this article was being written, the former Tempo Storm roster were bought out by venture capital-driven organisation Immortals and will now represent them going forward into a busy June for the team.
What better way to announce a new organisation than for Immortals to jump another place forward in the ranking, as they had some solid results in May and also benefit from the slide undertaken by MOUZ and Dignitas.
Following their win of the CEVO Gfinity Season 9 finals to close out April, the Brazilian team made the grand final of DreamHack Austin where they lost to Luminosity and finished second (defeating the likes of Cloud9 and Liquid to do so), they then easily won the ESEA Premier Season 21 finals to qualify for ESL Pro League Season 4, and they finished the month by placing second at the MLG Americas Minor to thus qualify for the Cologne Main Qualifier.
Tempo Storm no longer
These results have made the Brazilian team a shoe-in for the Major qualifier and they will also be the only team representing the Americas at DreamHack Summer in Sweden, and thus we can expect further impressive results if things keep up.
Perhaps the greatest relief for the team however will come with their new organisation, as it seems that Tempo Storm owner Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk was at least partly responsible behind the scenes for the glaring omissions of the Brazilians not getting invited to ELEAGUE or ECS Season 1.
|Spencer "Hiko" Martin||26||1.04|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski||18||1.04|
|Nick "nitr0" Cannella||20||1.02|
|Kenneth "koosta" Suen||19||1.01|
|Eric "adreN" Hoag||26||0.89|
Before your rage boileth over and makes you head to the comments section below this article and start blasting the author, HLTV, and the powers that be, please consider what was mentioned in the introduction to this article: ELEAGUE results only affect Form until the tournament ends in late July.
Therefore, although the American team finished a very lamentable 0-6 in the $1.4 million tournament (19-24th place), and although their Form is currently in the dumps, as well as recent LAN placings, the team's strong semifinal finish at the Columbus Major keep them in the top ten for now.
Since even that solid foundation of logic will not be enough to tide some fans over, let us examine some of their May results as well.
A concentrated brow is a no-no if adreN wishes to perform well
Aside from bombing out of ELEAGUE, Liquid finished in 5-6th place at the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals (as they defeated regional rivals Cloud9 in the group elimination) and in 3-4th place at DreamHack Austin, where Liquid lost convincingly to Luminosity in the semifinals.
Luiz "peacemaker" Tadeu's addition as coach for the squad has not helped matters it seems, as a team full of extremely talented players such as EliGE and koosta found itself foundering in the ELEAGUE matches, even losing a few 14-16 games which gave rise to whispers of "choke" yet again.
It is unclear if Liquid will make roster changes following such a poor showing in such an important league, but it is certain that some changes will occur, whether that be a different regimen, different strategies, or different players. In June, Liquid will have to focus on the ECS Season 1 finals to which they qualified.
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||24||1.27|
|Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk||22||1.05|
|Martin "STYKO" Styk||20||1.04|
|Patrik "Zero" Žúdel||17||1.01|
|Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow||26||0.97|
Outside of the top ten, we have the usual cluster of European contenders who always vacillate between being called tier one and tier two teams.
Lately, HellRaisers have been making a damn good case for ascending those steps of classification, although they are still a few steps away from breaching the top ten.
They started the month off by winning the ESL Premier Season 21 finals in Leicester and thus made it to the European division of ESL Pro League Season 4, this was then followed by a second place finish at the EU Minor behind diginitas in Tours and it also guaranteed a qualification to the Cologne Main Qualifier.
oskar gives cosplaying redneck rampage a hand
The only letdown for ANGE1 and his team came at the end of the month at the SL i-League Invitational as the HellRaisers were bulldozed out of the tournament in 5-6th place following losses to Virtus.pro and Na`Vi.
The addition of bondik, who was formerly of FlipSid3, clearly seems to be paying dividends as opposed to having Emil "kUcheR" Akhundov and HellRaisers will put that theory to the test in June first at the Major qualifier in Katowice and then at DreamHack Summer.
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||19||1.18|
|Johannes "nex" Maget||23||1.05|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||26||1.04|
|Timo "Spiidi" Richter||20||0.94|
|Denis "denis" Howell||21||0.89|
Due to the fact that MOUZ did not compete in any offline events in May and due to generally poor form during the ECS season, the German-Dutch-Bosnian team take a three spot tumble down to twelfth place for the month.
Although they are merely seven points off of HellRaisers' spot, mousesports are also threatened by many of the teams below them who are in a similar point range and they will thus need to display excellent form in June in order to persist.
In addition, there are many who simply love to see superstar NiKo play and dearly miss his match-influencing abilities, as well as watching how his teammates gel and work with such a potent force on their team. As far as June goes, we will have two opportunities to witness this: the Major qualifier (where mouz are favoured to secure a Major slot) and ELEAGUE.
|Andreas "znajder" Lindberg||23||1.15|
|Simon "twist" Eliasson||21||1.12|
|Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson||22||1.05|
|Mathias "pauf" Köhler||19||0.96|
|Markus "pronax" Wallsten||24||0.87|
GODSENT have taken a kind of erratic course since their big stage debut and 3-4th place finish at DreamHack Masters Malmö as they failed to qualify for the Cologne Major qualifier with a 5-6th place finish at the EU Minor to kick the month off.
Yet another "strollin' in Kiev" picture
However, an overall underwhelming form and not many high profile achievements outside of that Malmö finish to boast of means that GODSENT lose a spot in the ranking and may possibly go even lower if they have a bad June.
It just so happens that the Swedes will also have a sparse June as their only event to aspire at will be DreamHack Summer. pronax better open up that stratbook and start composing.
|René "cajunb" Borg||26||1.08|
|Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke||19||1.04|
|Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel||22||1.03|
|Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann||21||0.99|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||21||0.86|
Despite winning the EU Minor at DreamHack Tours and qualifying for the ESL One Cologne Major qualifier, Dignitas take a huge hit to their point spread due to the loss of Kjaerbye to Astralis and due to a general lack of event attendance outside of the Minor.
Since taking part in some online ECS matches with cajunb, the Danish-Norwegian team have generally lost maps and looked rather deflated, almost as if they suddenly came upon the realisation they had been farmed by Astralis for their best player.
With an important Major qualification campaign in the works in Katowice and a place in Group D of ELEAGUE, dignitas will need to strive in every way possible in order to reach top ten again, let alone to not journey even farther into obscurity.
|Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas||20||1.18|
|William "RUSH" Wierzba||22||1.09|
|Keith "NAF" Markovic||18||1.03|
|Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz||22||1.00|
|Damian "daps" Steele||22||0.91|
Although things are currently not looking so stellar for OpTic over at the Turner studios at ELEAGUE, the month generally proceeded at a solid clip for the Canadian-American-Spanish team.
They finished 5-6th at the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals in an event where mixwell proved to be a fearsome force and wise addition to the team and they then went on to win the MLG Americas Minor over ex-Tempo Storm and thus qualified for the Cologne Major Qualifier.
"Thank god I found you"
The team still somehow seem prone to being a bit of a salt mine when it comes to in-game composure, and the hunt for a new coach could help this issue, and they will need all the composure they can get as they have struggled in the ELEAGUE seeding stage of Group B and will jet off to Poland shortly after to start their Major qualification campaign.
You can also see which teams round up the Top 20 over at our dedicated team ranking page.
June 2016 will see ELEAGUE action continue throughout the month and we will also see three very different kind of offline tournaments occur.
First, the ESL One Cologne 2016 Main Qualifier in Katowice, Poland will have no money on the line but rather eight spots to the July Major in Cologne. Then, eight teams will have their chance for small renown via the $100,000 DreamHack ZOWIE Open Summer in Jönköping, Sweden.
Finally, the ECS Season 1 finals will take place in London and although the exact prize distribution is not known yet, the two 2016 seasons promise a total of $3.5 million, making ECS a close competitor to ELEAGUE's $2.8 million across two seasons.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter