Team Ranking: September 2016
We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for September 2016.
With August, a month of many roster changes and no premier tournaments, behind us, top-flight CS:GO action returned in September. Four premier tournaments gave us insight into how those roster changes had affected the competition. The $300,000 SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals came first and two $100,000 events—DreamHack Bucharest and Gfinity CS:GO Invitational—followed.
Last, there was ESL One New York, which featured the top three teams at the time— SK, Virtus.pro, and G2 —though none of them won the event. Instead, Natus Vincere, notorious for their runs of second place finishes, won the $250,000 contest in the Big Apple; a result that had a significant impact on our rankings.
Natus Vincere climb to the third place
We also saw two regional LANs take place in China. One of these was the $100,000 eXTREMESLAND Asia Finals which was won by VG.CyberZen, who defeated Renegades in the grand final. The other was the Chinese CSL 2016 Finals at which TYLOO, the expected winners, clinched victory.
After such an impressive month of competition, here is a fresh ranking that reflects the recent results, and can serve as an early indication of who profited, and who did not, from the changes of August.
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 October 3rd, 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 August 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||1.30|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||25||1.12|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||24||1.07|
|Lincoln "fnx" Lau||26||1.06|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||21||1.02|
The Brazilians, #1 since May, still sit on top of the rankings. Their tenure at the top, however, is threatened by the teams immediately below them. Both Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere, the two finalists in New York, beat them, further closing the gap between SK and the rest.
fer rejoined the team at the start of September after his nose surgery and they kicked the month off with victories in ECS Season 2 NA Development League. FalleN & his comrades didn't lose a single map in the online competition and qualified for ECS S2.
SK went 12-2 in ESL Pro League Season 4 – North America and qualified for ELEAGUE Season 2 after smashing their opponents in the North American qualifier. Despite their success in the online leagues, they lost to OpTic in a best-of-three series in the semi-finals of İBUYPOWER Invitational Fall 2016, a $16,000 event they had been expected to win.
FalleN looks daunted after s1mple's performance in NY
SK's biggest challenge this month was in New York, the first LAN they've attended since they won the major. They passed the group stage with wins against OpTic, Astralis, and Virtus.pro, but lost to Natus Vincere in the process. Next, they met an invigorated Virtus.pro in the semi-finals and, despite winning the first map in overtime, lost to the #2 team in the world.
fer seemed to struggle against Virtus.pro, posting only a 60:83 KDR and a 0.75 rating. It remains to be seen whether this was just the after-effects of an unusually long absence from CS, or whether it bodes ill for the future. Regardless, if SK want to remain at the top, they need fer to be one of the best performing players on the server in crucial matches.
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||23||1.10|
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||22||1.05|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||29||1.03|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||30||1.01|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||28||0.99|
The unpredictable Poles stayed true to form with a month of ups and downs, but continue as #2 all the same. After bombing out of the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals, they won DreamHack Bucharest with a dominant performance against Cloud9 in the grand final.
Their online form was similarly inconsistent. They managed a 6-5 record in ESL Pro League Season 4 – Europe and qualified for the WESG Europe and CIS Regional Finals.
NEO won the MVP award at DH Bucharest
As for all of the teams at the event, ESL One New York crowned the Poles' month. While they struggled there at times, they managed to push through to the grand final, where they fell to Natus Vincere in overtime on the last map. Their road to the grand final was a difficult one, as they barely got out of groups with a 16-14 win over OpTic, and just edged out SK in the semi-final.
Virtus.pro are now within reach of the number one spot but this is where it gets harder. To get to the top is one thing, to remain there is another, especially when you have a history of inconsistency as long as theirs.
3. Natus Vincere
|Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev||19||1.12|
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||25||1.04|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||19||1.00|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||28||0.97|
|Denis "seized" Kostin||22||0.87|
The s1mple effect pushed the CIS team up to third place in this edition of our ranking but the acquisition of the youngster to replace the veteran Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko didn't have the desired impact right away. Much like Virtus.pro, GuardiaN & co. started the month poorly, failing to get a single win at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals and exiting the tournament in the group stage.
Five wins and seven losses in ESL Pro League Season 4 – Europe painted a yet more gloomy picture, especially for a team who had been expected to gel immediately.
Na'Vi finally win a big event
The sun, however, rose in New York, where Natus Vincere won all five of their matches, and the tournament. They beat the #1 team SK in the group stage and took down the #2 Virtus.pro, twice, once in the group stage and once in the grand final.
Their first first place finish since March puts them on track to become the best team in the world and their seemingly endless firepower might get them there one day— so long as they keep functioning in harmony with s1mple.
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||26||1.11|
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||28||1.09|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||25||1.07|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||24||1.03|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||23||0.96|
pyth's hand injury prevented him from playing this month and forced NiP to turn to a familiar face—Mikail "Maikelele" Bill. They enjoyed some great results with their old teammate, including their triumph at the $300,000 SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals where they beat the then #3 team G2. f0rest put on a clinic which won him the HLTV MVP award. Such good form was also reflected in the ESL Pro League Season 4 – Europe. They went 4-2 for the month, and now lead the league with a 13-5 record.
Had NiP played at ESL One New York, we would be better placed to speculate about their future. As it is, they had a quiet September, even with their win in Kiev, and only played 15 maps altogether. We must await the answer to the most pressing question for NiP: whether they can continue with the form they showed in Kiev once pyth returns. Maikelele may have been a necessary x-factor, or they may, as after Dreamhack Malmo, revert to a lower level of performance. Either would be disappointing given what they showed was possible, on the right day, in Kiev.
|Jake "Stewie2K" Yip||18||1.13|
|Timothy "autimatic" Ta||20||1.13|
|Mike "shroud" Grzesiek||22||1.13|
|Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham||23||1.07|
|Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert||25||1.07|
The North American team had one of the busiest months among the top level teams as they attended two LANs in Europe and played 17 maps online. Although their trip across the Atlantic with their newest addition autimatic must be judged a success, and contributed to their fifth-place ranking, they will regret that they were unable to put up more of a fight in the most important matches of those tournaments.
Having made it to the semi-finals at SL i-League SS Season 2 Finals they played NiP, but lost both maps without having reached double-digits. The same happened at DH Bucharest, when they lost to Virtus.pro 16-9 in each of the grand final maps.
Stewie2K takes over as shroud fades away
Cloud9 were handed a crushing defeat by OpTic in the grand final of the ESL One New York qualifiers, which took place online. That loss prevented Stewie2K's team from participating in the biggest event of the month. The loss will have been especially galling given their form in the ESL Pro League Season 4 - North America. They went 9-1 in the month of September, qualifying for the final LAN, and bringing their total to 23-1.
Despite showing some weaknesses in important matches Cloud9 have become a team to fear. All five of their players, including the newly blooded autimatic, can turn up and put on a spectacle. Having said that, they have not shown that they can perform consistently at the highest level, and their lack of a tactical foundation on which to fall back leads them to struggle in big matches.
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski||19||1.08|
|Nick "nitr0" Cannella||21||1.06|
|Jacob "Pimp" Winneche||21||1.04|
|Josh "jdm64" Marzano||26||1.01|
|Spencer "Hiko" Martin||26||0.99|
It is rare to see two North American teams inside the top six, but Liquid's great result at ESL One New York justifies their sixth place in the September ranking.
s1mple's departure hit Liquid hard at the beginning as they will miss ELEAGUE Season 2 following a loss against Echo Fox in the qualifiers. Contrary to their performance in the ELEAGUE qualifiers, Hiko & company went 5-3 in ESL Pro League Season 4 – North America this month and they have a pretty solid chance to qualify for the LAN finals if they win their remaining matches.
Liquid had a good LAN debut with Pimp
In New York Pimp's team beat G2 and fnatic to get out of groups, but lost to Natus Vincere in the semi-finals despite winning the first map. Still, the semi-finals was more than had been expected. At the event, Liquid relied heavily on EliGE, who finished with a 1.27 rating. jdm64, however, had an underwhelming tournament, and, with the renewed reliance on his AWP now that s1mple is gone, that can't happen again if Liquid want to challenge for the top.
Having failed to qualify for ELEAGUE Season 2, and with most of their online games in ESL Pro League Season 4 - North America now complete, we won't see much of Liquid in October. Their biggest test will be at the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals should they qualify for the event in Brazil.
|Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke||19||1.15|
|René "cajunb" Borg||26||1.15|
|Emil "Magisk" Reif||18||1.12|
|Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel||22||0.97|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||21||0.89|
Dignitas are now the highest ranked Danish team in our rankings, but the three-way fight for that honour is hardly done yet. A month of successful qualifiers, for EPICENTER: MOSCOW, ELEAGUE Season 2, WESG EU/CIS Regional Finals, and ECS Season 2, ensures them a continued presence in that fight, and a busy calendar. That, however, is for the future, and in the present Dignitas have quite a bit to be proud of.
The Danes had a 8-6 record in ESL Pro League Season 4 and attended two LANs—SL i-League SS Season 2 Finals and DreamHack Bucharest. The newest member of the team Magisk, accompanied by the revitalized cajunb and the youngster k0nfig, delivered great performances, which paved the way for creditable semi-final runs in both of those tournaments.
With Astralis still struggling and Heroic slowly cooling off, Dignitas have an opportunity to establish themselves as the best team in Denmark. All they need to do is repeat their success in the upcoming tournaments, which, given the caliber of the opposition, may be easier said than done.
|Richard "shox" Papillon||24||1.08|
|Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom||22||1.07|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||19||0.97|
|Cédric "RpK" Guipouy||27||0.95|
|Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux||27||0.88|
The Frenchmen, who've lost five places and find themselves eighth, are one of the biggest losers in a month that started out fairly well for them. They qualified for ELEAGUE Season 2 with ease while attending the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals in Kiev, an achievement that might look less impressive had two other attending teams failed to achieve the same. That qualification, however, was nothing compared with their run in Kiev, where they reached the grand final without losing a map. NiP, however, put an end to that streak and won the event in Kiev with a 2-0 victory.
The ever charismatic shox and ScreaM had a rough ending to the month
After that, things went wrong. G2's shaky ESL Pro League Season 4 performances, which continued as they went 4-4 for the month, mean that may not be attending the LAN finals. Then, at ESL One New York, they lost to Astralis, Liquid and OpTic to finish the event dead last.
Ever since going out of the group of death at the last major, G2 have looked off-kilter, and, while a rest in the off-season appeared to have helped, their form after Kiev brings that back into question. Fortunately G2 still have a busy month, even without the ESL Pro League Season 4 LAN Finals, with both EPICENTER and ELEAGUE Season 2 in the coming weeks. Those events look more important than ever, as G2 look to find a surer footing. If not, Envy are on their tail.
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||21||1.15|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||23||1.08|
|Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer||24||1.04|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||22||0.98|
|Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon||21||0.94|
Once world-beaters, now not even the best French team, Envy are, at ninth, back in the top 10. With a win at the Gfinity CS:GO Invitational, Envy claimed their first LAN title since February, though they can hardly claim that it was a significant victory. A 3-4th finish DH Bucharest and 5-8th SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals rounds out their LAN finishes for a month that must count for them as an improvement. Those results must in part be credited to kennyS, who found his groove after months of disappointing form.
Envy's online form was similarly average. They went 4-3 in ESL Pro League Season 4 - Europe for the month, which leaves them in contention for a LAN place, but on the condition of significantly more wins than losses during the run-in
Did he know?
Unfortunately, such a condition may prove too much, as Happy's men must contend with another roster-change. They have reportedly kicked DEVIL, and are seeking to replace him with Christophe "SIXER" Xia. SIXER stood in for them in Kiev with some mediocre performances. There were some explanations for those performances, though, as not only was SIXER a stand-in, he was a stand-in for another player, NBK-, at that event. Nonetheless, his addition does not seem like a move that could carry Envy to a new level, which should worry the team, as their current form must be acceptable to no one.
If the transfer does go through, the WESG EU & CIS Regional Finals for which they qualified this month will give us the first chance to see the new Envy. Let's hope it's better than the one before.
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||21||1.15|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||23||1.10|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||18||1.09|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||21||0.99|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||26||0.95|
Astralis should not be ranked tenth. A team of their quality should be much higher. And yet, here we are. Letting cajunb go was meant to be the change that the team needed and yet, months later, if anything they've got worse. Their showing this month has done nothing to change that judgement.
At the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals, Astralis went out in the quarters to NiP, a team that they have now not beaten on LAN in over a year. Next, Astralis, lost two online qualifiers to Dignitas: WESG Denmark and EPICENTER: Moscow. They did, however, close the month with seven wins and five losses in ESL Pro League Season 4 - Europe. That was good, but not enough for them to retain their sixth place in the rankings.
Astralis have to find a way to bounce back
The Danes then came second to last at ESL One New York, only beating G2, who finished the tournament in last place. If Astralis keep going at this rate, they may soon be only the third best team in Denmark when they have the potential to be the third best team in the entire world
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||23||1.22|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||21||1.08|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||22||1.06|
|Andreas "znajder" Lindberg||23||1.05|
|Markus "pronax" Wallsten||25||0.89|
The Swedes were by far the biggest losers of the month with a 9-12th finish at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals and 3-4th placement at the Gfinity CS:GO Invitational. They managed to qualify for WESG EU & CIS Regional Finals and ECS Season 2 but completely blew it against ALTERNATE aTTaX in the ELEAGUE Season 2 qualifier. The Swedish shuffle has not paid off for GODSENT, and they continue on their descent.
|Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas||20||1.12|
|William "RUSH" Wierzba||22||1.03|
|Keith "NAF" Markovic||18||1.02|
|Tarik "tarik" Celik||20||1.02|
|Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz||22||1.01|
In September, the North American team started to play with their newest player tarik. They qualified for ELEAGUE Season 2 and ESL One New York, went 8-1 in ESL Pro League Season 4 – North America, and almost reached the semi-final in New York but lost 14-16 to Virtus.pro in the deciding match. OpTic showed a methodical and calculated playstyle at ESL One New York, which is rare to find in a North American team, and the only way for them to go appears to be up.
|Henrique "HEN1" Teles||21||1.24|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||19||1.16|
|João "felps" Vasconcellos||19||1.15|
|Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles||21||1.09|
|Wilton "zews" Prado||28||0.93|
The Brazilian team won the online iBUYPOWER Invitational Fall but haven't attended a LAN, which has resulted in their losing three places. They were 5-1 in ESL Pro League Season 4 – North America and qualified for ECS Season 2 but, as often happens with online results, they did not provide enough points to allow for Immortals to keep their spot.
|Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså||21||1.12|
|Andreas "MODDII" Fridh||27||1.09|
|Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander||21||1.02|
|Michael "Friis" Jørgensen||27||1.01|
|Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer||26||0.94|
Although the individual performances of valde, gla1ve, MODDII have impressed fans and analysts alike, Heroic were little better than average at the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals, where they placed 5-8th, and DH Bucharest, where they finished 5-6th. A 2-4 record in ESL Pro League Season 4 – Europe and failures to qualify for ECS Season 2 and EPICENTER: Moscow are the rest of the explanation for Heroic's three position drop.
|Aleksi "allu" Jalli||24||1.09|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||22||1.05|
|Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad||22||1.02|
|Philip "aizy" Aistrup||20||0.98|
|Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey||22||0.96|
FaZe acquired the services of allu before September but not much else has changed. They are still mediocre, and still sit in the middle of our Top 30 ranking as a result of their 5-6th placement at DreamHack Bucharest and 9-12th finish at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals. Although they failed to qualify for EPICENTER: Moscow, they make a 5-3 record in ESL Pro League Season 4 – Europe and secured a spot in ELEAGUE Season 2.
You can also see which teams round up the Top 20 over at our dedicated team ranking page.
October will be a busy month as the $500,000 EPICENTER: Moscow will take place in Russia with many top teams in attendance, ELEAGUE Season 2 will kick off and the $750,000, 12-team ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Additionally, a couple of WESG Regional Finals, The World Championship 2016, and ESWC 2016 will provide more than enough action to satisfy your Counter-Strike needs.
BenjaCS is a staff writer at HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.