Team Ranking: February 2017
We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for February 2017.
Following the ELEAGUE Major, February was filled with action both in-game and out as the transfer market livened up. Astralis' victory at the said tournament at the end of January forced teams to make changes in order to compete with the likes of the Danes and Virtus.pro.
Besides the roster moves two prestigious events—DreamHack Masters Las Vegas and IEM Katowice—took place which greatly influenced the Top 10 positions in the ranking. In addition to that, the fifth season of ESL Pro League S5 commenced in Europe and North America.
Astralis remain #1
We're already into March and the biggest tournament of the month is already behind us. There won't be any other premier tournaments during this month and the main focus of the top teams will be ESL Pro League.
To summarize 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 March 6th, 2017, 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 January 30th, 2017.
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 February.
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||21||1.21|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||21||1.11|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||18||1.11|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||23||1.07|
|Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander||21||0.97|
The defending Major champions who have occupied the first spot in the rankings since December started the ESL Pro League S5 with four wins and 2 losses. Their main challenges though were in Las Vegas and Katowice.
The Danish team started DreamHack Las Vegas in exhilarating form, beating Complexity 16-5 and OpTic 16-9 in the group stage. They tore apart NIP in the quarter-finals, giving the Swedes a total of thirteen rounds on two maps.
The clutch king earned the HLTV MVP by ZOWIE award
device & company reached the semi-finals in high spirits but Virtus.pro—the team they beat to win the Major and the second team in the ranking—put on a world class performance and defeated the Danes 2-1. Although Virtus.pro went on to win the tournament they didn't catch up to Astralis in the ranking update of February 27th. But this meant that Astralis would have to show up at IEM Katowice if they wanted to retain their #1 place.
Astralis finished the round-robin group stage at IEM Katowice with a 4-1 record and placed second after playing tiebreaker games. In the quarter-finals they faced the third-placed team from Group B—Natus Vincere—and demolished them with a 2-0 victory.
After defeating their fellow countrymen of Heroic in the semi-finals, Astralis beat FaZe 3-1 and were crowned the IEM Katowice 2017 champions, earning themselves $100,000. With Virtus.pro and SK failing to get through the groups, Astralis gained ground in the ranking and their only task this month will be to qualify for the ESL Pro League S5 Finals.
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||23||1.18|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||28||1.07|
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||22||1.06|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||30||1.03|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||29||1.01|
Virtus.pro cling to the second spot in the ranking after winning a tournament and then failing to get through the groups in the following one. The Poles played four matches in the ESL Pro League S5 before travelling to their first LAN of the month and had a 2-2 record.
At DreamHack Masters Las Vegas the Polish squad started the group stage by winning against Misfits. Following a loss against Gambit in the winners' game, they defeated fnatic in the decider to advance to the quarter-finals.
pashaBiceps celebrated the DH Masters LV with joy
After passing mousesports who still had Nikola "NiKo" Kovač among their ranks at the time, TaZ & company overrun Astralis to secure a spot in the grand final. Despite losing the first map against SK, Virtus.pro won Train and Mirage to win DH Masters Las Vegas and took home $200,000 in cash prizes.
Pitted against tough opposition at IEM Katowice, Virtus.pro failed to get through the groups with a 2-3 record. They started the group stage with two losses but had a chance to reach the playoffs if they had won their match against Heroic which the Danes won 16-14.
Snax & company can't relax for the rest of the month and will have to focus on qualifying for the ESL Pro League S5 Finals as they formerly had problems in online competitions. Overall, Virtus.pro remain the biggest threat to Astralis who the Poles beat in Las Vegas. It won't be possible for them make a push to the top until April when they will attend their next LAN tournament—StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals.
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||22||1.26|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||25||1.15|
|João "felps" Vasconcellos||20||1.02|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||25||0.98|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||22||0.93|
The Brazilians are highest up on the food chain of teams that made a roster move after the ELEAGUE Major. They introduced felps as their fifth player, a widely expected transfer, to bring back their old glory days as they haven't won a tournament since ESL One Cologne which took place in July, 2016.
FalleN & company looked indomitable at DreamHack Las Vegas, winning their group by dominating TYLOO and Cloud9. They passed Natus Vincere in the quarter-finals and North in the semis and reached the grand final without dropping a single map.
The Brazilian IGL has fallen in February
SK were able to win on Cobblestone in the grand final against Virtus.pro but lost on Train. They were up 12-8 on Mirage—the last map of the series—but the Polish plow started working and byali's team won the tournament.
felps's new team lost to Cloud9, Natus Vincere, and Virtus.pro at IEM Katowice which cut their journey to Europe short. FalleN averaged a 0,89 LAN rating during February and will have to improve his personal game. The Brazilians are currently 6-0 in the ESL Pro League S5 and look like they won't have a problem qualifying for the finals.
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||20||1.22|
|Aleksi "allu" Jalli||24||1.09|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||26||0.97|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||22||0.96|
|Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey||22||0.96|
FaZe have steadily improved since karrigan joined the team as the IGL near the end of 2016 but their most important move came after the Major as they signed the Bosnian superstar NiKo after Philip "aizy" Aistrup left for North. NiKo first played with FaZe at IEM Katowice and before the event in Poland the European team had a 3-3 record in ESL Pro League S5 and finished 9-12 at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas.
NiKo wasn't fazed by the newest challenge of his career
NiKo's 53:28 score, 109 ADR, and 1.62 rating during FaZe's semi-final match against Immortals was crucial as they reached the grand final. karrigan & co. won the first map in the grand final against Astralis but lost three close maps, finishing the tournament in second place.
FaZe played Astralis on five maps during this tournament and only beat the Danes once. In future events karrigan might have to cook up something new with his fresh ingredient NiKo to take down his former teammates.
|Emil "Magisk" Reif||19||1.10|
|Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke||19||1.08|
|René "cajunb" Borg||27||1.02|
|Philip "aizy" Aistrup||20||0.98|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||22||0.84|
aizy joined North to replace Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel this month and the Danish team climbed to the fifth spot in the ranking following two similar LAN campaigns. At DreamHack Las Vegas they reached the playoffs after crushing OpTic in the decider game of Group A. They were victorious against Gambit in the quarter-finals but SK eliminated the Danes in the semis.
SITREP: Magisk is still on fire
Magisk's squad finished their group second at IEM Katowice with a 3-2 record and faced Immortals in the quarter-finals. Just like their Brazilian brethren SK in Las Vegas, Immortals beat North to send them packing.
North have shown they can advance to the playoffs in almost every event but winning playoff series has been a challenge for them as they lost three of their four playoff games in 2017.
6. Natus Vincere
|Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev||19||1.16|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||19||1.10|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||29||1.00|
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||25||0.99|
|Denis "seized" Kostin||22||0.92|
The CIS team who had a disappointing 5-8th finish at the ELEAGUE Major in January couldn't turn their luck around in February. They finished 5-8th in DreamHack Masters Las Vegas as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by SK.
Playoff series haven't been simple for Natus Vincere
In Katowice, Poland s1mple & company made their presence felt after picking up wins against Virtus.pro and SK at the beginning of the group stage. They lost to two Danish teams—North and Heroic—but made it to the playoffs by defeating Cloud9.
Natus Vincere squared off against another Danish team in the quarter-final, Astralis, and the Danes won 2-0. The CIS squad were 0-4 against the Danes in Katowice. They gained three spots since the last ranking article but they have lost all three of their playoff games this year.
|Henrique "HEN1" Teles||21||1.13|
|Lincoln "fnx" Lau||27||1.08|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||19||1.06|
|Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles||21||1.00|
|Lucas "steel" Lopes||23||0.96|
Biggest winners of this month were Immortals who lost their most important player felps to SK. They acquired the former SK player fnx and kicked off their season in ESL Pro League with three wins and three losses.
fnx' team surprised at IEM Katowice
The Brazilian team's only LAN was IEM Katowice where they got wins over OpTic, Astralis, NIP, and fnatic in the group stage. North was their opponent in the quarter-final who they beat 2-1. They couldn't compete with FaZe in the semi-finals and finished 3-4th.
Immortals have shown flashes of what they can achieve but consistent participation in LAN tournaments is required to see how dependable their performance was and whether or not this was a one-off.
|Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev||27||1.19|
|Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov||22||1.05|
|Rustem "mou" Telepov||25||1.03|
|Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov||28||1.02|
|Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko||29||0.95|
The Legends status holders competed in ESEA Premier Season 24 where they currently have a 4-2 record. They also attended DH Masters Las Vegas and reached the playoffs after winning against Virtus.pro and fnatic.
Gambit break into Top 10
They lost to North in the playoffs and finished the tournament 5-8th. Their main objective this month will be to place high in ECS Season 3 Development League and ESEA Premier Season 24 in order to compete in the upper tier leagues.
|Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen||18||1.12|
|Jakob "JUGi" Hansen||19||1.12|
|Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså||21||1.10|
|Andreas "MODDII" Fridh||27||1.00|
|Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer||26||0.90|
valde's team jump from 22nd to 9th in this edition of the Team Ranking thanks to his team's performance in Katowice after they acquired JUGi. They finished their group in the first place by getting wins against North, Natus Vincere, and Virtus.pro.
Heroic made a huge run in Katowice
Heroic's opponent in the semi-finals was Astralis and device's squad came on top with two 16-12 map wins. With Heroic on the rise Denmark now have three teams inside the Top 10 and have a strong argument to be the best CS scene in the world.
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||28||0.95|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||26||0.92|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||23||0.83|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||25||0.81|
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||26||0.81|
The Swedes have lost all four of their matches in ESL Pro League S5 and had a quarter-final run at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas where they were sent home by Astralis. IEM Katowice was not a fun experience for NIP as they lost 14-16 in two matches and one game in overtime, getting eliminated in the group stage.
When will NiP get it right?
It remains a mystery whether or not NIP will decide to make a roster move but their current form will not carry them any higher in the ranking.
|William "RUSH" Wierzba||22||1.07|
|Keith "NAF" Markovic||19||1.03|
|Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas||21||1.01|
|Tarik "tarik" Celik||21||0.94|
|Spencer "Hiko" Martin||27||0.86|
The North American squad lost Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz to Liquid two days after the ELEAGUE Major and later signed Hiko. They ended up 9-12th at DH Masters Las Vegas and finished last at IEM Katowice as they were the only team that didn't win a match. It is evidently clear from their last tournaments that OpTic is far away from their glory days at the end of 2016.
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||22||1.10|
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||23||1.07|
|Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer||25||1.03|
|Dennis "dennis" Edman||26||0.98|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||22||0.96|
fnatic were disappointed at IEM Katowice
fnatic reacquired flusha and JW to kick off February and their first tournament after the roster change was DH Masters Las Vegas where they failed to get through the groups. At IEM Katowice they had a 2-2 record after their first four matches in the group and were leading Immortals 13-3. fnatic melted away in the second half and lost the game 14-16, bailing out in the group stage once again.
|Timothy "autimatic" Ta||20||1.23|
|Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham||23||1.10|
|Jake "Stewie2K" Yip||19||1.07|
|Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert||26||0.96|
|Mike "shroud" Grzesiek||22||0.94|
Cloud9 accompanied OpTic in their ranking downfall as n0thing & co. failed to reach the playoffs at DH Masters Las Vegas and IEM Katowice. However they have a 6-0 record in ESL Pro League S5 and are one of the clear favorites to make it to the LAN finals.
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||25||1.14|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||26||1.06|
|Christian "loWel" Garcia Antoran||20||1.05|
|Timo "Spiidi" Richter||21||0.95|
|Denis "denis" Howell||22||0.89|
mousesports attended DH Masters Las Vegas with NiKo still on their roster and won their group, but Virtus.pro stopped them in the quarter-finals and mouz finished 5-8th. Losing a player such as NiKo is a hard thing to recover from and we might see mouz fall further in the ranking if they don't perform well in ESL Pro League S5.
|Richard "shox" Papillon||24||1.17|
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||21||1.14|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||24||1.07|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||22||1.03|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||20||0.93|
The French super team haven't had a chance to showcase themselves since they couldn't qualify for IEM Katowice as they were defeated by Heroic who made a semi-final run at the main event. So far G2 have played three times in the ESL Pro League S5 and lost all their matches. Their online form in the next month will be crucial for their positioning in the ranking.
You can also see which teams round up the Top 20 over at our dedicated team ranking page.
BenjaCS is a staff writer at HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.