Team Ranking: February 2019
We have updated our Global team ranking - powered by EGB.com - for February 2019.
February was an exciting month for CS:GO fans all over the world as it hosted the 14th Major event in the existence of CS:GO - the IEM Katowice Major 2019. Viewers witnessed the culmination of months of hard work from the teams, with Astralis asserting their dominance in the grand final. As for LAN events outside of the Major, we saw the GG.BET Ice Challenge take place in London at the start of the month.
In Katowice, history was made by Astralis, who became the third roster in the world to secure back-to-back Major victories, as well as the second squad to achieve a record of three total Major tournament wins. As for the GG.BET Ice Challenge, North walked away with their first tournament victory under the leadership of Casper "cadiaN" Møller, besting Natus Vincere in the best-of-three grand final of the $50,000 event.
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.
Below is the current top 30 table as of March 4, 2019, which goes more in-depth into how the points 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 February 4.
Seeing as the Major had quite a few upset stories, some shifts in the rankings naturally took place, elevating teams that were prior in the lower echelons of the top ten to a higher status, and punishing some top teams who did not deliver. Following are some of the key stories from February's rankings shift:
ENCE and Renegades soar in the ranking
Renegades were the first Australian roster in the history of CS:GO to secure participation in Major playoffs, having breezed through the New Challengers Stage with an astonishing 3-0 record, shortly followed by a 3-1 performance in the New Legends stage. Upon reaching the playoffs, the Aussies were beaten by MIBR, but spirits were still high due to their automatic qualification as Legends for the StarLadder Berlin Major. This performance netted the team a whopping boost in the ranking, going from 13th all the way to seventh.
ENCE took it a step further, not only coming back from a 0-2 record in the New Legends stage but also, upon reaching the playoffs, defeating Liquid and Natus Vincere, the No.2 and No.3 rosters in the ranking, to advance to the grand final, in which they would come up short against Astralis. This was an unprecedented performance from the squad, for which they were rewarded with a massive leap from 12th to fourth, an all-time peak for the organisation.
All quiet on the northern front
The top echelons of competition remain stationary, as numbers one through three retain the same ranking that they had in January.
Astralis maintain the same level of excellence that has effectively become synonymous with the roster. In Katowice, the team put itself down in CS:GO history as undeniably the best quintet to have ever graced the game. With three Major titles, two of them in a row, the Danes have immortalised themselves in the history books of the competitive FPS title, and the 450+ point between themselves and their closest suitor shows just how far ahead of the pack they are.
When it comes to Liquid, it could be argued that they had a lacklustre run at the Major, considering initial projections for the squad. Expectations were high for the North American squad, especially after they had won iBUYPOWER Masters over Astralis, but they shockingly came up short against ENCE in the quarter-final stage, raising genuine doubts over whether they will ever be able to dethrone Astralis.
In regards to the CIS side's performance, it seemed that a semi-final run was more than they had initially bargained for, particularly in the context of an interview we had conducted at the GG.BET Ice Challenge with the team's in-game leader, Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko, who mentioned that "it feels like we're treating the Major like just another event". Taking into account the seemingly negative mindset with which the team was entering the Major, a top-four finish and retention of third place in the ranking can be considered a net positive for the CIS squad, especially after they had failed to claim the title at the GG.BET Ice Challenge.
NRG out of the top 10
North America's next big hope, NRG, conceded their top 10 ranking following a lackluster performance at the Major. The team went from sixth to 11th, making them the third-best ranked North American representative, down from second.
Major run projections were optimistic for NRG, with many considering them to be serious candidates to breach into the New Champions stage. Contrary to this, however, the roster crashed and burned just three rounds into the New Legends stage, which was particularly shocking as the team had emerged unscathed from the previous stage, sporting a convincing 3-0 record.
Despite what initially appears to be a whitewash of an elimination, it should be noted that the two best-of-one games that NRG played were extremely close, while their elimination series against Complexity had two maps that went to overtime. Still, the team decided that the time had come to fine-tune the roster, replacing Jacob "FugLy" Medina with ELEAGUE Major Boston MVP Tarik "tarik" Celik, which also cost the team a fair chunk of points. The North Americans will look to redeem themselves later this month at the StarLadder Season 7 finals, held in Shanghai, China.
mousesports in free fall
The European mix of mousesports is currently experiencing what can only be described as a free fall in the rankings. The lack of active members, alongside the failure to qualify for the Major, meant spiralling from #9 to #15 - their lowest since December 2017.
Down to three members in Robin "ropz" Kool, Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný and Miikka "suNny" Kemppi, mousesports have experienced a particularly rough patch in recent times. Once one of the most promising European rosters, peaking at #2 in the first half of 2018, they have found themselves lost since being eliminated from the Europe Minor.
Shortly after that event, coach Sergey "lmbt" Bezhanov and two members of the active roster, Chris "chrisJ" de Jong and Martin "STYKO" Styk, were moved to the bench, depleting the squad to just three active members. To this date, the German organisation has not found suitable replacements for the players or the coach, leaving the team's future up in the air.
Vitality continue upward trajectory
The French side had a formidable performance in the New Challengers stage of the Major, picking up a 3-1 record, and they twice came just one map away from qualifying for the playoffs, ultimately falling short against Renegades and NiP. A demonstration of form led to a ranking jump, elevating Vitality from 14th to 10th.
Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt's troops have climbed 11 places in the ranking since the start of the year, a sign that the team are clearly operating at a high level, proving early doubters wrong. Vitality will now turn their attention to the ECS Season 7 Pinnacle Cup as they look to secure a spot in the regular season tournaments before their next scheduled LAN appearance, at Charleroi Esports, in April.