Team Ranking: March 2019
We have updated our Global team ranking - powered by EGB.com - for March 2019.
After the frenzy of the Major settled, Counter-Strike enthusiasts did not have to wait long for the next Big Event. São Paulo hosted the first BLAST Pro Series event in the Americas, where IEM Katowice champions Astralis reigned supreme after defeating Liquid in the final, becoming the first team to win back-to-back titles in the history of the competition.
That was the only Big Event held in March, but there was another large-scale tournament drawing a lot of attention during that month. The Chinese city of Chongqing played host to the WESG 2018 Finals, where Windigo were the protagonists of a fairy-tale story as they claimed the grand prize of $500,000 in an unlikely final against AGO.
The Bulgarians were not able to repeat that feat at the United Masters League Season 1 Finals, the other medium-sized LAN that took place in March. In Osnabrück, Germany, Windigo had to settle for second place after losing to Valiance in the final of this four-team tournament, which had $100,000 on the line.
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 April 1, 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 March 4.
Here are five key takeaways from March's rankings update:
ENCE claim podium spot
After a spectacular run at the IEM Katowice Major, ENCE had a solid showing at BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, where they secured third place, defeating the likes of MIBR, NiP and FaZe along the way, only missing out on a spot in the final due to round difference.
In terms of online showings, the squad concluded their participation in ESEA MDL in 9th place with some mixed results - yet another sign that the team has been prioritizing their LAN commitments.
The Finns are no longer considered underdogs in matches against "more established" rosters, as they have developed the consistency and mental endurance associated with some of the finest teams in the scene. Considering the team’s recent performances and general upward trajectory, ENCE are well on their way to becoming one of the most celebrated and feared CS:GO rosters of late - a stark contrast to the roster’s humble beginnings and growing pains.
Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen's troops are currently 2-1 in the Swiss stage of StarSeries i-League Season 7, where they will be looking to go as far as possible to avoid a drop in the rankings in next month's updates, seeing that they will enjoy a few weeks' break from LAN action after returning home from Shanghai.
A new beginning for mousesports and Cloud9
Cloud9 drop down to 138th in the rankings after losing the core of the squad with which they had attended their most recent events. The only points they now only have to their name come from the last four LAN tournaments in which they took part with Maikil "Golden" Selim, the most recent of which being BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, almost six months ago.
As for mousesports, they disappeared from the rankings altogether after replacing three players, with Finn "karrigan" Andersen, Özgür "woxic" Eker and David "frozen" Čerňanský the new men in town. Since those changes, they have already picked up a handful of points and are now ranked 46th in the world, just 30 points away from a top 30 place.
The ELEAGUE Major Boston champions are left in a dire situation, at a time when they have yet to announce their new fifth player. Luckily for them, they will have plenty of opportunities to make up ground: this month alone, they will attend the ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas and BLAST Pro Series Miami, and will feature in the third ECS regular season tournament. mousesports also have a busy month coming up as they will make their offline debut on April 12 at ESL Pro League Europe before flying off to Sydney at the end of the month for the Australian city's IEM stop.
MIBR sink to eighth
March was a difficult month for MIBR, who struggled to address issues that became apparent at their first two post-Major events, the WESG Finals and BLAST Pro Series São Paulo. This is further confirmed by their current standing in Shanghai, where the team sports a 1-2 win/loss record, just one match away from elimination.
Memories of last year's disappointment at the WESG Finals resurfaced in March as the Brazilians, widely regarded as the favourites for the title, were eliminated by Windigo and had to settle for a top-eight finish and a $10,000 prize. Despite the presence of a home crowd at the BLAST event, MIBR faltered once more, dropping out of the tournament in last place with a 0-5 defeat, much to the disbelief of the enthusiastic fans who had traveled to the Ginásio do Ibirapuera.
Persisting issues suggest a more deep-rooted problem since familiarity and synergy are not factors the quintet should have issues with considering their extensive tenures alongside one another in the past. Many question whether the Brazilian squad will return to their once legendary status and, it seems, for good reason, as the quintet is slowly sinking in the rankings, worryingly close to leaving the top 10.
Windigo hit new peaks
What a month it was for Windigo. The Bulgarian team had failed to reach the playoffs at the Europe Minor, their first LAN tournament of 2019, after losing to ENCE and North, but surpassed even the wildest dreams of their fans as they came out victorious at the WESG Finals, collecting the winner's cheque of $500,000.
In Chongqing, Windigo survived a tricky group with fnatic and Movistar Riders before defeating Furious, MIBR, G2 and AGO in the playoffs, with Valentin "poizon" Vasilev and tournament MVP Georgi "SHiPZ" Grigorov playing equally pivotal roles for the team.
That was not Windigo's sole accomplishment in March, though, as the Bulgarians also qualified for DreamHack Masters Dallas after taking down BIG, G2 and AVANGAR, and placed second at the United Masters League Finals, where they played out an exciting three-map final against Valiance.
Just two months after being put up for sale, Windigo seem to be living the dream. They are now 15th in the rankings - their highest place ever -, and will be looking to consolidate their new found status as one of Europe's most exciting teams at the ESL Pro League event, where they will go up against three big-name squads in Natus Vincere, fnatic and G2.
AGO return to the top 20
Nine months later, AGO are back in the top 20. After losing Michał "snatchie" Rudzki to Virtus.pro, the Polish team went through an identity crisis and spent some months outside the top 30, even going as low as 47th at the beginning of February.
No-one knew exactly what to expect from AGO at the WESG Finals, their first LAN event of the year, but they acquitted themselves quite well. After finishing behind MIBR in a two-team group, the Poles beat the talented Ukraine and Valiance mixes, and shocked fnatic (especially on Inferno, where they ran out 16-0 winners) to book a spot in the final.
In the end, overcoming Windigo proved to be a tall order for AGO, but there were plenty of positives for Kacper "kaper" Słoma's troops to take from the event. They will attend DreamHack Open Rio as one the favourites and will be eyeing their first-ever final spot at a tournament of this scale after failing to go beyond the semi-finals at their previous four appearances.