Team Ranking: May 2019
May saw three Big Events take place—IEM Sydney 2019, BLAST Pro Series Madrid and DreamHack Masters Dallas—, with Liquid claiming two of them, as well as finishing second at one of the smaller tournaments of the month, cs_summit 4.
Talking about smaller events, DreamHack Open Tours 2019 also happened within the last 30 days, as well as the Pro League group stages in Europe and North America, but all of them had minor impact on the rankings.
Something that had a big impact, however, was the IEM Katowice Major dropping out from the recent LANs subranking. The teams that did well there, such as Astralis and ENCE, were the most affected by this.
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 June 3, 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 May 6.
Liquid dethrone Astralis
The possibility of Liquid overtaking Astralis during the Danes' period of low activity was something that had been speculated and theorized about for quite some time. Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and his men had just completed their year at the top as April came to an end, but have been selective about their events since the Major and chose to attend only one LAN event during May, BLAST Pro Series Madrid.
The Spanish event wasn't a complete disaster for Astralis, but finishing second to ENCE there wasn't the result they were looking for either. On the other hand, Liquid had a fairly busy month, which started by breaking the "Big Event curse" in Sydney. An underwhelming grand final against Vitality at cs_summit 4 saw them once again finish as runners-up, but Nick "nitr0" Cannella and co. made up for that at DreamHack Masters Dallas, convincingly winning the biggest tournament since the Major - in terms of rankings points available to be gained.
When, on top of that, you factor in that the IEM Katowice Major has fallen out of the recent LANs subranking, Liquid managed not only to overtake Astralis in the rankings, but be the best team in terms of all three subrankings: achievements, form, and recent LANs, earning a perfect 1000 points. Liquid therefore broke Astralis' 13-month streak and jumped 242 points ahead of the lineup that is considered the best in the history of the game, all while becoming the first North American team to place first in HLTV.org's Team Ranking. A monumental success for the team, and especially one of the longest standing duos in the game: nitr0 and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski.
Vitality among the elite
The biggest jump among the top places, from #11 to #4, was made by Vitality, who have their cs_summit 4 win to thank for it. The Frenchmen played 15 maps at the fairly stacked event, and had to beat both of the favorites in the playoffs to lift the title. At the time ranked #2 and #3 in the world, Liquid and ENCE fell to the Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut-powered squad, who showed that they shouldn't be taken lightly.
Following the win, Alex "ALEX" McMeekin did admit that cs_summit 4 was significantly more important for them than it was for other teams, but that doesn't take away much from their success. Looking at it from a national perspective, this also marks the first time a French squad was in the top 5 of the Team Ranking since January 2018, when G2 held the fourth spot.
Natus Vincere out of the top5
Ever since DreamHack Masters Marseille in April of 2018 and the role shuffle that saw Denis "electronic" Sharipov get more room to shine, Natus Vincere have been an elite team, always in contention for titles. That was reflected in their ranking as well, as they held a spot within the top5 for over a year. A few things coincided to see the legendary organization slip out of that elite group as May was brought to an end.
Similarly to Astralis, Natus Vincere opted to skip a couple of Big Events, namely IEM Sydney and DreamHack Masters Dallas, while also not attending smaller tournaments such as cs_summit 4 or DreamHack Open Tours. Their only LAN appearances in May were at BLAST Pro Series Madrid, where they finished fourth, and in the second round of ESL Pro League Europe, where things did not go their way either as they lost to North and Heroic to finish outside of the qualification places.
Perhaps they could've clung on to the fifth spot had they not also opted for a roster change, which cost them additional points. Natus Vincere sit in sixth place with 323 points after swapping out veteran Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev for young talent Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov from Winstrike, but an even bigger fall is to be expected next month as their StarSeries i-League Season 7 win will drop out of recent LANs and they aren't confirmed for a single event until ESL One Cologne in July.
FURIA within reach of MIBR
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and his men have been chugging along as a top 10 team since reuniting their Brazilian lineup, with a top-four finish at IEM Sydney confirming that ranking. However, with the Major out of the window and the likes of FaZe and Vitality making forward strides, MIBR fell to #8 and will need some good results soon, especially because of domestic opposition on the rise.
FURIA is looking like the most dangerous Brazilian team besides SK/MIBR since the Immortals lineup of 2017 that managed a miraculous run to the PGL Krakow Major grand final. Even though the teams are similar in terms of relying on a lot of aggression, Andrei "arT" Piovezan and co. have a layer of tactical prowess and innovation that wasn't associated with Lucas "steel" Lopes' team.
At DreamHack Masters Dallas, FURIA had their breakout performance, placing third-fourth after beating three top 10 teams - NRG, fnatic, and Vitality -, and challenging ENCE and Liquid in the series they lost. The young Brazilians have jumped up to the 11th spot on the back of their performance last week, sitting just three spots behind MIBR. With both teams set to attend quite a few tournaments in the coming weeks, we will see if the new blood can outperform the grizzled veterans and take the crown as the best team in the country.
Renegades slip out of the top10
While it doesn't come as a big surprise, considering the visa issues Renegades faced since the Major, it is still worth noting that Justin "jks" Savage and co. have fallen out of the top10 for the first time since February. Their rise, historic for a squad featuring mainly players from Oceania, happened during the IEM Katowice Major, and with those points out of the window in terms of recent LANs, Renegades fell to #12.
As StarSeries i-League Season 7, where the Aussies had their last impressive result, will also be out of the recent LANs by the end of next month, they might soon find themselves in a precarious situation. Similarly to Natus Vincere, Renegades' next scheduled event is ESL One Cologne, which makes it likely that their drop will continue next month and leave them in a tough spot as we close in on the player break.
Cloud9 emerge in top30 first time since the Major
Rebuilding the lineup following the departure of their European members Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist hasn't been an easy task for Cloud9. The North American organization found themselves at #142 after bringing in René "cajunb" Borg and Daniel "vice" Kim, and didn't make the most of their invitations to BLAST Pro Series Miami and Madrid, placing 5th and 6th respectively.
Their 25th place in the ranking doesn't come on the back of amazing results, however, as they were eliminated in last place at DreamHack Masters Dallas, but they managed to pick up some points thanks to sporadic wins, such as those over Ghost and eUnited at the ESL Pro League group stage. However, with just 68 points, 14 more than the 30th ranked Sprout, they will need some good results in the Americas Minor Closed Qualifier and at the ESL Pro League Finals to stabilize their position.