Team Ranking: August 2016
We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for August 2016.
August was the semi-official off-season for CS:GO's top teams following a first half of the year that saw a record amount of prize money doled out and countless hours of competitive Counter-Strike played.
Despite the lack of premier tournaments taking place (in the $250,000+ range) in August, numerous roster changes took place which affected our HLTV ranking, a few smaller tournaments did play out, and Season 4 of the ESL Pro League finally kicked off.
In terms of smaller tournaments, we saw a number of regional events such as the Danish Power-LAN, the WESG Africa and Middle East Regional Finals, ASUS ROG Summer in Finland, ESL Meisterschaft Summer for German teams, eSports Festival 2016 in Hong Kong, the Korean VSL Season 1, the CyberGamer OEM LAN in Australia, and more transpire.
Gambling may be dead but Counter-Strike continues
On top of these regional events, the ESEA Season 22 Global Challenge took place, which symbolically brought teams from all over to compete in Katowice, Poland.
Finally, the beginning of September saw the $100,000 Northern Arena event occur which, despite lacking many of the namebrand teams across the top echelon, finally ushered in the return of the CS:GO season.
Our August ranking takes account of all these goings-on and presents an updated monthly ranking following July's ranking, which capped off a busy season with the ESL One Cologne 2016 Major and ELEAGUE Season 1.
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 September 5th, 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 July 2016.
Top 30 Team Ranking Powered by EGB.com
*Hover over each team name for the full lineup.
We will now discuss the top fifteen teams in the ranking and examine whether or not their fortunes rose or fell in the month of August.
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||21||1.26|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||21||1.02|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||25||1.01|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||24||1.00|
|Lincoln "fnx" Lau||26||0.99|
The Brazilian team centered around FalleN continues to hold the top spot in our monthly rankings, a process which started in May after the team began to challenge two months prior by taking the second place spot following their Major victory at MLG Columbus.
If the point that August was the CS:GO off-season could be hammered home any further, then we can do so via SK's matches in August. The Brazilians have only played six matches since the hiatus took effect in July, and all of them for the North American division of the ESL Pro League.
In terms of numbers, their achievements are at a maximum due to two Major victories in 2016 and their recent LANs column looks strong, but Form is a serious issue (the lowest in the Top 30!) and has taken away them away from the maximum possible spread of 1,000.
All eyes are on SK, and sometimes the spotlight can sting
Most notably the team have been playing without one of their foundational players, fer, who is still undergoing treatment for breathing problems caused by his broken nose and will only return in the middle of September and in time for ESL One New York. SK have been fielding Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves, formerly of Immortals, as a stand-in in the meantime.
Clearly, adjusting to a stand-in has upset the brittle balance of role play and dynamism in the team as SK have gone 2-4 in their Pro League matches, losing series to Liquid and Renegades and winning a series against NRG.
And their most infamous moment of the month, and one that will go down in meme history forever, was their 0-16 loss to Australian Renegades, both for the parallelism to their double 16-0 defeats of Renegades in earlier times and for the messy Twitter meltdown that followed.
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||23||1.12|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||30||1.03|
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||22||1.03|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||29||1.01|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||28||1.01|
The ELEAGUE Season 1 champions of Virtus.pro have reminded us that three years together is indeed possible in Counter-Strike, and that the team are still a legitimate threat and contender at all events they attend.
In terms of August, the Poles played a number of online matches for ESL Pro League Season 4 and I am happy to report that they did not lose all of them (as trends from Season 3 may have suggested).
No conflicts of interest within the VP camp
Currently standing a 5-5 in the prestigious league, VP managed to gain entry following a contentious fan vote and then a European Wildcard match victory against the new GODSENT lineup. In the Pro League itself, they have a spotty record, winning a set against Heroic but losing maps to PENTA, dignitas, FaZe, and NiP.
We will next get a taste of the Virtus LAN plow this coming weekend at the $300,000 SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals where the Poles have been drawn in a group with their usual groupmates EnVyUs and Cloud9, as well as VG.CyberZen.
|Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom||22||1.14|
|Richard "shox" Papillon||24||1.14|
|Cédric "RpK" Guipouy||27||1.05|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||19||0.93|
|Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux||27||0.90|
G2's form in August was not so great, as the ECS Season 1 winners and a team who were briefly in contention for the number one spot in June have gone 6-8 in ESL Pro League Season 4 (including a double loss to EnVyUs, widely considered the inferior French team at the moment).
However, G2 move up to the third spot due to the fnatic roster imploding and due to Na`Vi's roster change, which took a core member of that lineup out and thus destabilised that roster's standing in the ranking.
Aside from their Pro League matches, G2 have not done much in August and we can next see them this coming weekend in Kiev so we will get a better picture of their current strength. You should also note their third place hold is extremely tenuous, as the point spread between third and seventh place (375-325) is very narrow.
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||23||1.14|
|Andreas "znajder" Lindberg||23||1.11|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||21||1.09|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||22||1.03|
|Markus "pronax" Wallsten||25||0.90|
This past month, the roster change that really blew every other story out of the water and possibly altered the CS:GO competitive landscape in an irreparable manner was the fnatic and GODSENT roster swap.
With storied players Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer and Dennis "dennis" Edman relegated to fnatic and out of the top 30 (to the anguished squeals of their fans), it is GODSENT who carry on the legacy of the former roster (who won IEM Katowice this year and numerous other tournaments in the early months and who also won two Majors last year).
The ex-fnatic trio will try to keep GODSENT lifted in the ranking
Now that pronax has a capable team on his hands, time will tell if GODSENT can carry on that legacy or if fnatic will come roaring back with a vengeance. Unfortunately for GODSENT however, opaque roster/organisation rules in the ESL Pro League meant the team did not take on fnatic's slot in the league and they lost the Wildcard match to Virtus.pro and will thus have to climb the ladder again.
GODSENT are currently competing in the ELEAGUE Season 2 Open qualifiers, the EPICENTER: Moscow closed qualifier, and also failed to qualify for ESL One New York after they were flattened by FaZe in the closed qualifier quarter-final. GODSENT will also compete this coming weekend in Kiev and we will get a better picture there of the team's true standing.
5. Natus Vincere
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||25||1.19|
|Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev||18||1.12|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||28||1.10|
|Denis "seized" Kostin||21||1.07|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||19||1.04|
Na`Vi's sole travel itinerary in August was going to Los Angeles for a bootcamp and training session with SK, and the CIS region team's newest member could have possibly viewed it as a return to bittersweet terrain following his ill-fated Liquid experiment in LA.
If you haven't read the news this past month, then the reference above is to s1mple, the vastly talented prodigy who, following his involvement in bringing Liquid to a Major final at ESL One Cologne, did what many expected and replaced Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko on Na`Vi in early August.
With Na`Vi now a viable threat in terms of firepower, the Ukrainian-Russian-Slovak team stand at a 6-0 record in the ESL Pro League in Europe and will be looking to debut s1mple at the upcoming StarSeries Season 2 Finals. The world will be watching with bated breath to see how the experiment with an at-times volatile roster and a very volatile player will turn out.
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||20||1.20|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||23||1.10|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||18||1.08|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||20||0.99|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||26||0.83|
I would say that of all the teams in the top fifteen, the Danes of Astralis were the most in flux this month. Starting with some bad news: karrigan & co. lost the local Power-LAN semifinal to Heroic, with this being an event the former crew were widely expected to win.
In ESL Pro League Season 4, Astralis are also a paltry 4-6 with series losses to Heroic and Na`Vi and with map trades with EnVyUs and FaZe. At times, the team have lacked a simple cohesion and the acquisition of Kjaerbye for René "cajunb" Borg remains an open-ended question mark to this day.
Astralis were upstaged at Power-LAN but improved after a second bootcamp
On the other hand, Astralis survived the stacked ESL One New York closed qualifier and are now booked for the $250,000 event. They also won their EPICENTER: Moscow EU Closed qualifier group (with two overtime victories over FaZe in the winners' match) and have looked much more invigorated following a second bootcamp after the Power-LAN letdown.
Astralis are yet another team that will be in Kiev this coming weekend and their opening best-of-one match is versus Heroic, providing ample opportunity for a revenge match and a chance to climb in the ranking.
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||26||1.05|
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||28||1.02|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||24||0.97|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||25||0.95|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||22||0.92|
Contrary to popular belief, NiP's largest impact in August has not been a new mousepad dissimulated under the guise of an important announcement, but rather the hand injury of one of the team's players, pyth.
The first stand-in for the team in their ESL Pro League matches was Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun of Epsilon and the team actually performed quite well, going 7-3 in their first week of matches.
Since pyth is still recovering, NiP had to find a more long term stand-in and resorted to an old classic in the form of Mikail "Maikelele" Bill, with whom they have won two more Pro League matches and with whom they will be competing in Kiev at StarSeries Season 2. With the team currently bootcamping, and with pyth's recovery still indeterminate, NiP's status remains unclear although the team do top the EU Pro League leaderboard.
|Jake "Stewie2K" Yip||18||1.15|
|Mike "shroud" Grzesiek||22||1.11|
|Timothy "autimatic" Ta||19||1.10|
|Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham||23||1.10|
|Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert||25||1.08|
One of the biggest breakout surprises of the off-season has been Cloud9, who have the second highest Form rating in August (as a reminder, Form counts only for the past two months and the lack of activity in August has benefited teams who keep playing).
As expected, the North American team dispensed with Alec "Slemmy" White and brought on board autimatic to bolster their firepower, although Valve's controversial ruling on coaches effectively sidelined any chances of keeping Slemmy as a coach and has led to a situation where n0thing and Stewie2K share calling roles.
Youthful Stewart of the second millennium has gainsaid his doubters
The roster change has clearly reaped dividends as the team are a frankly astonishing 14-0 in the North American division of the Pro League and they have plowed over opponents left and right. In addition, Cloud9 won the online Cyberpower PC Summer 2016 tournament at the end of August by sweeping rivals Liquid 2-0 in the grand final.
To cap off a successful month, Cloud9 finished second at Northern Arena 2016 this past weekend after only losing the grand final to Immortals in a close fashion. With Stewie2K truly blossoming into a star role and the rest of the team also performing above the water line, expect Cloud9 to continue their rise in September (they will be in action in Kiev and also at DreamHack Bucharest).
|Nick "nitr0" Cannella||21||1.05|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski||19||1.02|
|Jacob "Pimp" Winneche||21||1.02|
|Spencer "Hiko" Martin||26||1.00|
|Josh "jdm64" Marzano||26||1.00|
Despite being the first North American lineup to make the grand final of a Major, Liquid have had the misfortune of being overshadowed by Cloud9 in August as the team have tried to put back the pieces following the departure of s1mple and the arrival of Dane Pimp.
And despite the usual scrutiny placed on foreign arrivals to distinguished lineups, the Twitch saying that "Pimp is the problem 4Head" may not necessarily be true as all of Liquid have looked in poor form and it is likely that more time training and listening to the stratagems of team coach Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu is crucial at this point.
Will the Los Angeles blues bring Pimp down?
Liquid are currently 6-6 in the ESL Pro League NA division and they also finished second at the Cyberpower PC Summer 2016 tournament. With only their Achievement sub-ranking in particularly strong form, the team will have to step up their online performances as their next offline event will be ESL One New York at the end of September.
|João "felps" Vasconcellos||19||1.13|
|Henrique "HEN1" Teles||21||1.13|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||19||1.12|
|Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles||21||1.07|
|Wilton "zews" Prado||28||0.96|
Although Major qualification remains a sore spot for this Brazilian team, the Immortals are now up to four first place finishes at offline events in 2016 (a distinction which surprisingly very little teams are able to achieve in such a contested scene).
The latest is of course their victory this past weekend at the Northern Arena 2016 in Toronto, Canada, which the Brazilian team did while beating the likes of Echo Fox and Cloud9 to secure $50,000.
Zews has brought Ordem e Progresso to the Immortals team
This victory comes with the roster receiving a boost in experience and mental stability courtesy of 28-year-old zews, who left his coaching gig at the world's best team SK to help lead the Immortals and provide a team full of young players with a bedrock of maturity.
Outside of offline events, Immortals are holding strong in the ESL Pro League with a 10-4 record and the team also made it to the semifinals of the Cyberpower PC Summer 2016 event and qualified for StarSeries Season 2 although they will skip this last event and instead focus on the ELEAGUE Season 2 open qualifiers.
|Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså||21||1.14|
|Andreas "MODDII" Fridh||27||1.09|
|Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander||21||1.05|
|Michael "Friis" Jørgensen||27||1.02|
|Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer||26||0.99|
In addition to Cloud9, another team who have been exceptionally strong during the quiet month of August are Heroic, formerly known as Team X. In fact, they have the highest form this month thanks to their prevalence in playing matches both when they were Team X and as Heroic.
Following a second place finish at the mostly Chinese Pro Gamer League 2016 Summer Finals in late July, the Danish-Swedish team played through a numerous series of qualifiers and generally swept aside other teams in the third and second tier. In addition, they had a shining moment at the Power-LAN in Denmark as they defeated both Astralis and dignitas to win the event.
MODDII and Friis finally taste victory in CS:GO
The first tier is quite another story for this team however as Heroic currently hold a dismal 3-7 record in the ESL Pro League and are clearly outgunned at times by skill-stacked teams.
Heroic went to Toronto this weekend and secured a third place finish at Northern Arena 2016 (winning the third place match over Echo Fox and losing to Cloud9 in the semifinals) and they also have an appearance booked for Kiev this coming weekend, so there is still plenty of time to improve and become the new Scandinavian threat.
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||21||1.15|
|Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer||24||1.05|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||22||1.04|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||23||1.03|
|Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon||21||0.94|
Down at the #12-15 ranking level, we have a number of European teams who spent the month hibernating and only held their heads above water courtesy of past achievements and a few online appearances here and there.
First and foremost among these teams is EnVyUs, who are 5-3 in the ESL Pro League (they surprisingly got map wins over G2 twice, and NiP and Astralis once), and who also managed to qualify for the StarSeries Season 2 Finals in Kiev over HellRaisers.
Deciding not to change a roster that many had already labeled as a pushover following months of lackluster results, EnVyUs continue a gradual descent in ranking but have opened up a possibility for themselves to come back judging by their recent form.
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||25||1.15|
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||19||1.13|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||26||0.97|
|Timo "Spiidi" Richter||20||0.91|
|Denis "denis" Howell||22||0.89|
Another nobrainer in terms of roster moves in August was Czech player oskar making his way onto the mousesports roster. Despite the de-Germanification of this roster being more real than the Rhineland post World War One, the decision to bring in oskar in lieu of Johannes "nex" Maget will doubtless give this team more firepower and allow them to compete in the latter half of 2016.
So far however, results have been mediocre as mousesports hold a 3-5 record in the Pro League and have lost matches in other online qualifiers, but for now it can be chalked up to meshing pains.
oskar wears the freshest hats & c.
We won't see mousesports in Kiev nor in Bucharest nor at ESL One New York, so the only way for this team to bolster their standing by the end of September is to continue improving their teamplay and winning online matches.
|Aleksi "allu" Jalli||24||1.12|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||22||1.08|
|Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad||22||1.01|
|Philip "aizy" Aistrup||20||1.01|
|Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey||22||0.98|
FaZe's gambit of removing one of their most tenured players Ricardo "fox" Pacheco and bringing in allu of ENCE (also of BOT ALLU fame) seems to be paying off as the European team are currently 8-4 in the ESL Pro League and have had a consistent portfolio of winning online matches.
Team eZaF were already looking strengthened in mid July and despite a crushing loss to mousesports in ELEAGUE, the core of this team continues to function effectively. With a younger, sprightlier AWPer on the team now, expect FaZe to grow in the rankings.
FaZe have a busy September ahead of them as they will play in both the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals and in DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest.
|Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev||26||1.14|
|Rustem "mou" Telepov||24||1.04|
|Ivan "spaze" Obrezhan||19||0.95|
|Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov||28||0.95|
|Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov||29||0.85|
Against all odds, Gambit became Legends at ESL One Cologne 2016 and have since played a high amount of online matches, ranging from the CIS region Adrenaline Cyber League to the Betway WCA EU Main Qualifier to the DreamHack Bucharest qualifiers (the final one they successfully navigated and will be competing in Bucharest in mid-September).
With their Kazakh players mou and AdreN the crux of this team's current firepower, Gambit are yet a team with low lows and high highs and will thus remain in the second tier of teams unless their form drastically improves.
You can also see which teams round up the Top 20 over at our dedicated team ranking page.
September will be a much busier month than August as this coming weekend brings a $300,000 event to our doorstep with the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals in Kiev. Following a number of online qualifiers, we will then have the eight team, $100,000 DreamHack Bucharest event in mid-September.
Two medium sized tournaments will then take place in China (eXTREMESLAND 2016 and CSL 2016) and we will end the month with the premier $250,000 ESL One New York event.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter