We have updated our Global Team Ranking—powered by EGB.com—for January 2018.
The first month of 2018 was dominated by the ELEAGUE Major, which spanned three weeks and two cities, with the first two stages taking place in Atlanta, while the playoffs were held in Boston, more precisely at the Agganis Arena.
Cloud9 came out on top of the $1 million event after defeating FaZe in a nail-biting final, giving North America its first Major crown and breaking into the top three in our ranking. Finn "karrigan" Andersen's men could not claim their much-desired title but they still have reasons to smile, having toppled SK, whose EPICENTER victory keeps fading into the background as months go by.
Following a playoff run at the Major, G2 have moved up three places into fourth, while Natus Vincere have re-entered the top 10 after reaching the semi-finals in Boston. North, meanwhile, are one of the losers of the ranking update, dropping down five places into 14th as a result of their early exit at the Major and the double roster swap. But the biggest story is that of Quantum Bellator Fire, who now sit 12th in the world as a result of their impressive Major run; at the start of the year, they were just 74th.
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 February 5, 2018, 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 January 1, 2018.
|12.||Quantum Bellator Fire||52||62||49||163||+62|
Here's an explanation of the top 16 teams' history since our last monthly update:
|* Ratings used are from the past three months|
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||20||1.24|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||23||1.23|
|Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács||26||1.22|
|Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer||26||1.17|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||27||0.89
Having failed to better SK in the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals title decider, FaZe had to settle for second spot in the world ranking at the end of the year, even after winning the ECS Season 4 Finals. As such, they turned to the ELEAGUE Major for redemption, knowing that their arch-rival would not even be allowed to field their full roster.
FaZe began their quest for the Major title with a convincing run in the New Challengers Stage that was not without its hiccups as the team surprising fell to Vega Squadron. But questions about an underperforming FaZe side were soon laid to rest as the team breezed past the new Legends Stage with a perfect 3-0 record before defeating mousesports and Natus Vincere in convincing fashion.
It looked like it was going to be a case of third time's the charm for GuardiaN, who had lost two Major finals with Na`Vi before, but it was simply not meant to be as the European team were defeated 2-1 by Cloud9 after wasting several match points on Inferno.
However impressive it is, FaZe's first place in the ranking does not alleviate the pain experienced by the players after missing out on the title that looked theirs to lose. karrigan's men will now have some time to lick their wounds and come back stronger as they set their sights on the StarSeries i-League Season 4 event and IEM Katowice.
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||23||1.20|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||20||1.16|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga||26||1.13|
|Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo||26||1.10|
|Epitacio "TACO" de Melo||23||0.97|
Heading into the New Year, SK knew that it would be extremely hard to retain their top spot in the ranking as they were going to attend the Major underprepared with a stand-in, João "felps" Vasconcellos, who had not long before made way for boltz.
The Brazilians did what was expected of them, keeping their Legend status; anything extra would come as a bonus to them. Still, they managed to beat a stern fnatic side featuring an in-form Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson and gave Cloud9, the eventual champions, a run for their money.
SK slip to second in the ranking also as a result of point decay, which will continue to impact their EPICENTER achievement. FalleN's side will have two chances to prove they are the better team, in Kiev and Katowice, but first, they will be in attendance at cs_summit 2. Last year, the laid-back LA tournament marked the beginning of a phenomenal run from the Brazilians. Will the same happen this time around?
|Timothy "autimatic" Ta||21||1.27|
|Tarik "tarik" Celik||21||1.25|
|Jake "Stewie2K" Yip||20||1.19|
|Will "RUSH" Wierzba||23||1.17|
|Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham||24||1.12|
Cloud9 achieved what many had deemed impossible: a North American team winning a Major. Their road to the Boston title becomes even more impressive if you consider that it started in the New Challengers Stage and that, in the following Swiss phase, they were just one game away from walking home empty-handed.
With no margin for error, Cloud9 picked themselves up and made it through the New Legends Stage with a 3-2 record, which put them against the in-form G2, riding the rave after winning six matches straight. However, Richard "shox" Papillon's men were simply no match for C9, who quickly dispatched their opponents before edging past SK and FaZe, the top two teams in the world, in three-map series.
It was a terrific all-around performance from Cloud9, who had not only the tournament MVP in the form of tarik, but also four EVPs, which shows that all of their players shined at different points of the competition.
The question in everyone's mind is whether tarik's men will be able to keep up this standard of performance. They will be widely expected to at least reach the final of cs_summit 2, where just SK should pose them a real threat. Only StarSeries and IEM Katowice will allow C9 fans to see if the team will be able to get in the fight for the top two in the ranking, which has been a two-horse race for several months now.
|Richard "shox" Papillon||25||1.28|
|Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt||23||1.18|
|Kenny "kennyS" Schrub||22||1.16|
|Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro||21||1.12|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||24||1.00|
G2 move up three places when compared to last month's update following a positive showing at the ELEAGUE Major, where they survived the two Swiss stages unscathed, only to go down in the quarter-finals to the eventual champions, Cloud9, in a series where nothing went their way.
After a disappointing ending to 2017, with no activity whatsoever in December, a month that had the offline finals of both Pro League and ECS, G2 showed glimpses of promise at the Major, where shox shined in his natural role. But the manner in which they were dismantled by Cloud9 left many to wonder if the team had actually improved or if their apparent resurgence was merely down to shox finding joy once again.
The post-Major period brought what could be a deeply saddening news to the G2 fans as shox revealed that he may have to undergo surgery on his wrist, which, if confirmed, will rule him out of action for some time. G2 have yet to comment on this matter, but, if the bleak scenario is confirmed, the French team will have a very hard time to defend their fourth spot, with mousesports lying just seven points behind.
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||26||1.19|
|Miikka "suNny" Kemppi||23||1.18|
|Robin "ropz" Kool||18||1.12|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong||27||1.06|
|Martin "STYKO" Styk||21||0.97|
Just like G2, mousesports also climb three spots after reaching the playoffs at the Major, but that's where the similarities end. oskar's men only made it through the Swiss stages in the fifth round, although it can be argued that three of their four defeats came against sides who made it to the playoffs.
In the quarter-finals, mousesports came very close to taking a map off of FaZe but let their opponents take the game to overtime, in which the karrigan-led side ran riot. On the second map, mouz simply could not keep FaZe at bay, failing to even hit double-digits.
Still, it was an overall positive campaign from the European team, who managed to secure Legend status for the first time in the organisation's history. They have been on the up with this roster for several months now, and despite rumours of impending roster changes, they can look to the future with confidence. Unlike most of the teams around them, they have not yet secured a spot at IEM Katowice, with the Farmskins Championship #2 being their last chance to qualify for the $500,000 competition. Failure to do lock down a place at the ESL event would certainly be a bitter pill to swallow for them.
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist||24||1.23|
|Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson||24||1.21|
|Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson||23||1.19|
|Jesper "JW" Wecksell||22||1.14|
|Maikil "Golden" Selim||24||0.90|
At the Major, fnatic looked strong despite making it out of the New Legends Stage only in the fifth round as all of their victories - particularly the one against Gambit - were very convincing, with KRIMZ and Lekr0 doing most of the work for the team.
The Swedes then played out an exciting series against SK in the quarter-finals, with the Brazilians running out 2-1 victors after losing the opening map.
Golden's men showed once again that they are indeed a playoff team, but they are missing that extra edge to be able to put their feet on the podium. Final appearances at offline events continue to elude fnatic, but they seem to have finally stabilised as a top-six team for the first time in over a year.
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||24||1.02|
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||22||0.91|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||22||0.90|
|Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander||22||0.78|
An exciting month for Astralis, who finally had device back in the fold, ended up being anything but as the Danes were sent packing in the Major's New Legends Stage in what was the team's worst-ever campaign in a tournament of this stature.
To rub further salt into the wound, Astralis lost Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye to local rivals North, and now find themselves in a hurry to fill the vacant spot - with less than two weeks left before their next outing.
Things are looking bleak for the Danes, who find themselves out of the top five in the ranking for the first time since November 2016. They have plenty of ground to make up on the teams above them, but if there is something that BLAST Pro Series showed, is that one tiny change can spark new life into this team.
|Fredrik "REZ" Sterner||20||1.21*|
|William "draken" Sundin||22||1.11*|
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||29||1.06*|
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||27||1.04*|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||26||0.91*|
As one of only two teams in the current top 15 who weren't at the Major, NiP dropped four spots after an uneventful January. In fact, the Swedes haven't played any matches since the beginning of December, when they exited ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals in the group stage, and thus they have zero points in the "Form" subranking.
|Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev||20||1.35|
|Denis "electronic" Sharipov||19||1.21|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||20||1.20|
|Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev||30||1.01|
|Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko||30||0.90|
In January, Natus Vincere entered the top 10 for the first time since October following a semi-finals finish at the ELEAGUE Major. Na`Vi's journey began at the Main Qualifier, where they were up-and-down but managed to qualify for the groups with convincing victories against Quantum Bellator Fire, Sprout, and Liquid.
They then started off the Major with a big loss to Gambit on Nuke, though the CIS-based team stabilized and grabbed three quick wins, against BIG, Liquid once more, and fnatic to claim Legends status. The quarter-finals saw Na`Vi smash Quantum Bellator Fire again, but FaZe ended their run in the semis on two maps.
With only 80 points between them and fourth place, Natus Vincere now have a chance to go even higher heading into StarSeries i-League Season 4, although that will be their only tournament in February as they failed to qualify for IEM Katowice yesterday.
|Rustem "mou" Telepov||26||1.12|
|Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev||28||1.09|
|Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov||23||1.04|
|Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov||29||1.02|
|Bektiyar "fitch" Bahytov||25||0.76|
Despite having fewer points compared to December, Gambit reached the top 10 this month, improving from a 12th placing mainly due some of the teams below them dropping severely.
Gambit had a fairly disappointing month because of a group stage exit at the ELEAGUE Major. Despite a fantastic start, a 16-5 victory on Nuke versus Natus Vincere, the Kazakh-Russian side went 2-3 in the Swiss format, conceding maps to Quantum Bellator Fire, SK, and fnatic.
Down 120 points behind Natus Vincere, AdreN's team will be looking to gain a bigger edge over the teams below them at StarSeries i-League Season 4 in less than two weeks, as well as at IEM Katowice at the end of the month, for which they qualified last night.
|Nick "nitr0" Cannella||22||1.23|
|Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken||18||1.17|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski||20||1.15|
|Josh "jdm64" Marzano||27||1.12|
|Lucas "steel" Lopes||24||1.04|
Despite fielding Wilton "zews" Prado instead of steel in Atlanta, as their new player wasn't allowed to play due to roster rules, Liquid managed to qualify for the Major following wins over FlipSid3, Renegades, and AVANGAR, thanks to a ninth spot becoming available due to 100 Thieves pulling out. At the Major itself, Liquid went 1-3, beating BIG in the first round before losing three times in a row, to G2, Natus Vincere, and Vega Squadron.
The North American squad hopped two more spots this week, qualifying for IEM Katowice and StarSeries i-League Season 4, which sets Liquid up for a busy February, as they'll also attend cs_summit2 later this week.
|Note: The ranking update was made prior to Liquid's roster change
|Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov||19||1.16|
|Nikita "waterfaLLZ" Matveyev||22||1.04|
|Savelii "jmqa" Bragin||20||1.03|
|Aurimas "Kvik" Kvakšys||22||0.99|
|Gregory "balblna" Oleinick||22||0.96|
Following a shocking run at the ELEAGUE Major the Cinderella story of the tournament, Quantum Bellator Fire, hopped an incredible 62 spots since last month and are edging close to a top 10 placing.
waterfaLLZ's squad caused upset after upset last month in Atlanta, especially in the group stage of the Major where they beat Virtus.pro, Gambit, and mousesports on the way to clinching a Legends status.
|Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas||22||1.09*|
|Aleksi "allu" Jalli||25||1.03*|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||26||1.03*|
|Kevin "HS" Tarn||21||1.02*|
|Emil "Magisk" Reif||19||1.01*|
Having missed out on the Main Qualifier following a disappointing journey at the Europe Minor late last year, OpTic didn't play a single match in January, also due to skipping the North American qualifier for IEM Katowice.
14. Vega Squadron
|Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov||21||1.08|
|Nikolay "mir" Bityukov||22||0.97|
|Dmitriy "jR" Chervak||24||0.95|
|Pavel "hutji" Lashkov||22||0.93|
|Sergey "keshandr" Nikishin||23||0.82|
A great showing at the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier and the Major itself sees Vega Squadron jump 11 spots in the ranking, to 14th place — their highest placing ever by quite some margin.
The Russian-Ukrainian team went 3-1 at the qualifier, defeating Renegades, Liquid, and most importantly the second-best team in the world FaZe. While they missed out on the playoffs in the end with a 2-3 score, Vega Squadron beat North in the first round and grabbed another win versus Liquid in the group stage.
15. Space Soldiers
|Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş||22||1.26|
|Buğra "Calyx" Arkın||19||1.13|
|Ahmet "paz" Karahoca||20||1.12|
|Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli||27||1.00|
|Engin "ngiN" Kor||24||0.92|
Space Soldiers round off the top 15 after giving a good account of themselves at the Major, where they progressed from the New Challengers Stage with a 3-1 record despite a shock defeat to Sprout in an extremely messy opening match.
In the New Legends Stage, MAJ3R's men made it to the fifth Swiss round after defeating Cloud9 and BIG, but then came up short against mousesports, finishing the tournament in a respectable 9th-12th place.
With no events planned for February, expect a light downward turn by Space Soldiers, who, however, have a very busy weeks ahead of them after managing to qualify for the ESL Pro League.
|Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså||22||1.07|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||19||1.05|
|Daniel "mertz" Mertz||19||1.01|
|Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen||23||0.98|
|Philip "aizy" Aistrup||21||0.95|
North continue to dip to new lows after ninth place last month, their lowest placing under the Danish organization. This month, MSL's team dropped all the way to 15th place following a poor Major performance and a couple of lineup changes.
Going 0-3 in the group stage at the ELEAGUE Major certainly didn't help, especially the losses to Vega Squadron and BIG, who were ranked well below North ahead of the American tournament. The two roster changes, which saw René "cajunb" Borg and Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke depart in favor of mertz and Kjaerbye, caused the squad to lose 40% of their points and are the biggest reason North dropped this low.
The Danes have a great chance to gain back some of the lost ground, however, as they're set to debut with their new lineup at cs_summit2 next weekend. While they'll miss StarSeries the following week, they also qualified for IEM Katowice, which is taking place at the end of February.