We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for December 2017.
The final month of the year was headlined by the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals and by the ECS Season 4 Finals, both of which had $750,000 up for grabs. The former was topped by SK, who beat FaZe in a nail-biting final. After leaving Odense, Finn "karrigan" Andersen's men licked their wounds and won the FACEIT-run event, in Cancun, by defeating mousesports in a surprisingly close final.
Elsewhere, Kuala Lumpur hosted the global finals of ROG Masters, featuring just six teams but still a significant prize pool of almost $250,000. Current Major champions Gambit went into the tournament as favourites and managed to live up to expectations, defeating TyLoo 3-0 in the final to secure the grand prize of over $115,000.
There is nothing new in the top 5 compared to the November update, with SK remaining at the summit and FaZe in close pursuit. But things start getting interesting as you scroll down the list: fnatic have moved up six places to sixth, Misfits have moved up ten places to 13th, while G2, North and Virtus.pro continue in freefall.
Here's a summary of our 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.
Here is the current top 30 table as of January 1, 2017, which goes more in-depth into the waypoints are distributed – or you can check our special page where you will be able to find the latest, weekly version of our ranking. 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 it is related to the ranking update of December 4, 2017.
Top 30 Team Ranking Powered by EGB.com
Here's an explanation of the top 15 teams' history since our last monthly update:
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||23||1.25|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||26||1.21|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||26||1.18|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||20||1.15|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||22||1.01|
Heading into the final month of the year, SK were a team on a mission: remain at the top of the pile and enter 2018 as the best side in the world. They knew this was no easy task, though, having failed to qualify for the ECS Season 4 Finals; they would have to gamble all their chips on the Pro League Finals, where FaZe would go for their jugular.
In Odense, the Brazilians topped their group despite a surprising defeat to OpTic, earning a direct spot in the semi-finals, in which they convincingly beat Misfits. In the dream best-of-five final against FaZe, SK got off to a slow start, losing the first map, but then turned the series around with impressive displays on Overpass and Mirage before picking up an overtime win on Train.
It was not a flawless tournament run, but it was an impressive one, nonetheless. SK begin the new year at the top of the ranking, but they know it will be extremely hard to remain there, given that they will be forced to attend the ELEAGUE Major Boston with João "felps" Vasconcellos due to the roster lock.
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||23||1.21|
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||20||1.19|
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||26||1.15|
|Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer||25||1.13|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||27||0.97|
An early overtime defeat to fnatic in the group stage made FaZe's fans fear the worst, but karrigan's men picked up the pace and won their remaining matches, even if some of them, especially the one against a Liquid side fielding a stand-in, were a little too close for comfort. In the semi-finals, FaZe exacted revenge on fnatic and walked away unscathed, but they were outplayed by SK in the grand final after looking so strong on the first map of the series, Inferno.
With no SK in sight in Cancun, FaZe looked to get back to winning ways at the ECS Season 4 Finals. They were certainly made to work hard for that victory, however, as a 16-13 defeat to an Astralis side featuring a stand-in put them on the brink of elimination. FaZe bounced back with 2-0 victories over Cloud9 and fnatic, but then they had to go the extra mile to defeat mousesports in the final, prompting rain to admit that the victory "felt a lot better" than their previous achievements.
Even if they did not achieve their goal of ending the year as the No.1 side, FaZe know they are within touching distance of the top spot. The ELEAGUE Major is where it can all change, but the Europeans will need to look much sharper than they did in Cancun to survive a tough qualifying stage that can throw many curve balls at them.
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||24||1.15|
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||22||1.12|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||19||1.06|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||22||1.06|
|Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander||22||0.99|
Astralis maintain their top-three status from last month's update but still lose a considerable amount of points thanks to some mixed results at the Pro League Finals and at the ECS Finals, both of which they attended with Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel as a stand-in.
At the BLAST Pro Series, Astralis had managed to reach the final while fielding a stand-in, but there would not be a repeat of that campaign at the ESL event. The Danes went out fifth of their group, with just one victory from five matches, a 16-11 win over Luminosity.
The Danish team travelled to Cancun determined to prove they were no punching bag. Back-to-back group wins over Cloud9 and FaZe sent Astralis to the playoffs, but their tournament run would come to an end after meeting mousesports in the semi-finals.
There is not much to draw from Astralis' results in Odense and Cancun. With the Major around the corner - an event where NiP will not be involved - it is very likely that the Danes will hold on to their top-three place, come the end of January. But as questions about device's health condition continue to linger, Astralis chances of meddling in the SK-FaZe rivalry look very slim at the moment.
|Fredrik "REZ" Sterner||19||1.15|
|William "draken" Sundin||22||1.11|
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||27||1.09|
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||29||1.08|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||26||0.97|
Just like Astralis, NiP keep their spot from the November monthly update but still lose a good chunk of points, thanks to an underwhelming run at the ESL Pro League Finals - their only event of the month.
Things were looking up for NiP after they beat OpTic in their opening match in Odense, but then they were unable to keep up the pace with NRG, SK and Misfits, which mathematically ruled them out of a playoff berth. An overtime victory against North allowed them to depart the tournament with some grace, especially considering how they came back in the second half, but it was impossible for the Swedes not to be disappointed with their results.
January promises to be a very quiet month for the Ninjas, who will take no part in the Major circuit. As such, it will not be a surprise if they will have moved down a couple of places by the next monthly update as teams like Cloud9, fnatic and even G2 are all eager to move up in the ranking.
|Jake "Stewie2K" Yip||19||1.14|
|Tarik "tarik" Celik||21||1.13|
|Timothy "autimatic" Ta||21||1.11|
|Will "RUSH" Wierzba||23||1.09|
|Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham||24||1.08|
Cloud9 were one of the big abseentees of the Pro League Finals, which left them with just the ECS event to make up ground on the teams in front of them at the ranking.
Anticipation surrounding the North American team, who had reached the semi-finals at IEM Oakland and won the iBUYPOWER Masters the month before, was high, but tarik's men cut a frustrating figure and paid the price for their opening defeat against Astralis, which ultimately put them against FaZe - a match-up that has been very unfavourable for them.
The 2-0 victory over domestic rivals Liquid was Cloud9's only positive from Cancun, but they will need to get their act together if they plan to survive the tricky Major qualifier that lies just ahead.
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||24||1.08|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||23||1.07|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||22||1.05|
|Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson||24||1.05|
|Maikil "Golden" Selim||23||0.97|
fnatic are one of the winners of the December update as they move up six spots from last month's 12th place thanks to deep runs in both Odense and Cancun.
At the Pro League Finals, the Swedish team impressed the community by placing second in the group after beating the likes of FaZe, Liquid and Astralis. fnatic carried their momentum into the playoffs, defeating OpTic 2-1 in the first round, but then they looked out of their depth in the semi-final clash against FaZe.
Golden's side struck back at the ECS Finals and topped their group with convincing victories over Luminosity and OpTic, but then they once again came up short when pitted against FaZe, who had a clear edge over the Swedes in the series.
Even if fnatic cannot be considered an elite side at this moment, their impressive growth over the last few months simply cannot be overlooked. Their current placing is their highest of 2017 in a monthly ranking update, and, with the Major about to start, they may well continue to move up the ladder as they tend to perform well at the big events.
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||22||1.13|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||23||1.07|
|Richard "shox" Papillon||25||1.05|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||24||1.04|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||20||0.98
December was an absolutely quiet month for the Frenchmen, who did not play a single official match, having failed to qualify for the Pro League and the ECS events.
With no activity since the BLAST Pro Series event, G2 have had plenty of time to prepare for the ELEAGUE Major Boston - where they will need to rediscover their form to survive the New Challengers stage and its tricky best-of-one encounters.
|Robin "ropz" Kool||18||1.19|
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||26||1.18|
|Miikka "suNny" Kemppi||23||1.11|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||27||1.05|
|Martin "STYKO" Styk||21||1.01
mousesports move up one place to eighth following a fantastic run at the ECS Finals. Curiously enough, oskar's men were thrashed by OpTic in their first match in Cancun, but that must have been a wake-up call for the team, who beat Luminosity before taking revenge on the 'Green Wall' to assure themselves of a top-two group finish.
In the playoffs, mouz were able to beat Astralis in an exciting three-map game thanks to a strong individual display from suNny, setting themselves up for a final against FaZe. Regarded as the underdog for that match, mousesports put up a terrific fight, but their inability to deal the finishing blow proved costly as FaZe were able to get back in the game when all seemed lost.
Many will be excited to see what this mousesports team will be able to do at the next Major after a great month that saw them contest two finals (the DreamHack Winter title decider was considered in the November update). And if they can get their three big-hitters to perform at the same time, they will certainly be a fearsome side in the US.
|Philip "aizy" Aistrup||21||1.05|
|René "cajunb" Borg||28||1.04|
|Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke||20||1.00|
|Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså||22||0.99|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||23||0.99
North continue in freefall after yet another frustrating month, in which their only LAN appearance came at the Pro League Finals. Many were excited to see what MSL had prepared for the event, but the tournament ended up being a massive disappointment for the Danish side, who won just one match in the group stage.
This is North's lowest ranking placing since September 2016, and it only confirms that their struggles run deep. They are already guaranteed a spot in the Major's New Legends Stage, but if they cannot fix their issues by then, they will certainly fall even further in the ranking.
|Paweł "byali" Bieliński||23||1.07|
|Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski||29||1.06|
|Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski||24||1.04|
|Filip "NEO" Kubski||30||1.02|
|Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas||31||0.95
Virtus.pro move down two spots and round out our top 10 after a quiet month without any official matches. The Polish team, who were last seen at the WESG EU & CIS Regional Finals, in Barcelona, have set their sights on the next Major, where they will try to remind everyone that their chances can never be written off.
|Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas||22||1.14|
|Emil "Magisk" Reif||19||1.13|
|Aleksi "allu" Jalli||25||1.09|
|Kevin "HS" Tarn||21||1.04|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||26||0.97
OpTic move into the top 15 by advancing five spots in our ranking thanks to a playoff run at the Pro League Finals, in which they came second of their group after picking up three wins, two of them against the other two teams who made it out of their group, SK and Misfits. friberg's men then lost to fnatic in the first round of the playoffs, finishing the event in a respectable 5th-6th place.
The European mixture was soon on its way to Cancun, where it hoped to make another deep run. After dismantling mousesports in their opening match, OpTic made many think that they were on track for another great finish, but then they dropped the pace and suffered heavy defeats against fnatic and mouz that threw them out of the tournament.
With no Major on the horizon for them, OpTic are doubtless going to lose this spot, come the end of January. In Odense, we saw glimpses of the team's true potential, but will that be enough to keep the roster intact?
|Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov||23||1.22|
|Rustem "mou" Telepov||26||1.13|
|Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev||27||1.09|
|Bektiyar "fitch" Bahytov||25||1.06|
|Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov||29||1.00
Gambit drop down one place despite being one of the three teams to hoist a trophy in December as they missed out on the two biggest events of the month.
With no Pro League or ECS action for them, the current Major champions set their sights on the ROG Masters Finals, an event with over $200,000 in prize money but that did not pack any other notable teams. Gambit topped their group following wins over 5POWER and Splyce, and they managed to keep their composure when things got tough, edging past Vega Squadron (2-1) in the semi-finals before taking down TyLoo (3-0) in the title decider.
|François "AmaNEk" Delaunay||24||1.12|
|Hunter "SicK" Mims||19||1.10|
|David "devoduvek" Dobrosavljevic||23||1.09|
|Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan||24||1.04|
|Sean "seang@res" Gares||29||0.96
Misfits have climbed ten places to 13th after impressing at the Pro League Finals, where they finished third of their group on a 3-2 record before beating HellRaisers in convincing fashion in the first round of the playoffs. With the victory over the Europeans, seang@res's sideearned a spot in the semi-finals, in which they were outfoxed by the Brazilians of SK.
After that impressive run, Misfits will now switch their focus to the Major, where they will be looking to continue their Cinderella Story, having booked a spot at the event via the Americas Minor, for which they only qualified thanks to the withdrawal of FRENCH CANADIANS.
14. Natus Vincere
|Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev||20||1.29|
|Denis "electronic" Sharipov||19||1.14|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||20||1.13|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||30||1.04|
|Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko||30||0.90
Despite not playing one official match since the last monthly update, Natus Vincere manage to move up one place due to the teams around them not gaining any points. This makes the Ukrainian team's DreamHack Winter success even more relevant as they were not affected by point decay as some of the other teams in the #13-#20 range.
|Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom||23||1.13|
|Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer||26||1.10|
|Cédric "RpK" Guipouy||28||1.05|
|Alexandre "xms" Forté||20||1.01|
|Christophe "SIXER" Xia||26||0.97
EnVyUs round out our top 15 list, dropping a place from last month's 14th. Just like Na`Vi, the Frenchmen have not played any official match since DreamHack Winter, but they are still hit by point decay as their past achievements are getting less and less relevant.