Team Ranking: January 2020
We have updated our Global team ranking - powered by EGB.com - for January 2020, a quiet month with only one notable LAN event.
One month into 2020 and we're still only getting the first taste of top-tier Counter-Strike of the year after a rather dull month of January, featuring just one international LAN, DreamHack Open Leipzig, where BIG ran out victorious to prove that German CS is finally back on the menu.
With the ICE Challenge only halfway through and BLAST Premier merely regarded as a qualifier, there aren't many changes across the board, with the top five looking exactly the same as in last month's ranking.
Despite a strong performance in London last week, FaZe still lost points and moved down one position after BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen disappeared from the list of recent events. Next week it will be IEM Beijing's turn, which could affect teams like 100 Thieves and Astralis.
To counteract the effects of the player break, we are temporarily extending the "recent form" criterion beyond eight weeks. We will go back to the two-month window for this indicator after IEM Katowice, late this month.
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 nine weeks, 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 February 3, 2020, 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 January 6.
Here are four key takeaways from January's ranking update:
BIG soar after Leipzig show
It had been so long since BIG's fans had been treated to such a dominant showing that it is hard for them to curb their enthusiasm. And who can blame them? After an underwhelming year without a single title to their name and a group stage exit at ESL One Cologne – an event which has always been a priority for them –, BIG pressed the panic button and finally completed the move they had been dreaming about for months, raiding rival Sprout for Florian "syrsoN" Rische and Nils "k1to" Gruhne.
And the early signs could not be more promising. BIG cruised through DreamHack Open Leipzig and beat Virtus.pro, Heroic and Renegades (twice) – three teams ranked above them – to end a trophyless run that dated back to May 2018, moving up 24 spots in the ranking.
The German team ended the month by clinching a spot in the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor following a three-map victory over Complexity that was not as close as the scoreline suggests. But it wasn't all good news: BIG were one of the teams who lost their spot in ESL Pro League after the recent changes to the tournament, which is a serious blow to their aspirations. It is still unclear if they will commit to ESEA MDL - a league which, quite frankly, seems to be too small for them.
Note: Under normal circumstances, BIG would be the winner of the EPC Shooting Stars prize, a seven-day bootcamp for six people at the Kinguin Esports Performance Center in Warsaw, Poland. Unfortunately, we regret to announce that the partnership with Kinguin has come to an end.
Nothing new on the northern front
Astralis, mousesports, Liquid, fnatic and Evil Geniuses are all in the exact same place as last month, with Finn "karrigan" Andersen's charges being the only team of the quintet who gained points between the two updates.
All five teams will be in action at IEM Katowice, the first big test of the year. mousesports, who are in the semi-final stage of the ICE Challenge, are the only one who can still gain traction in the rankings before the event in Poland; Astralis and Evil Geniuses will take part in BLAST Premier, but that stage is treated as a qualifier for consistency purposes.
Believe it or not, IEM Katowice will be fnatic's first tournament of the year. By the time it rolls around, 79 days will have passed since the Swedes' last match, in the tournament decider of the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals. The team's fanbase will certainly hope that their controversial omission from the BLAST Premier circuit will only fuel their drive as we approach the year's first showpiece competition.
FURIA almost out of the top 20
Another team that has been out of action this year is FURIA, who are on the verge of slipping out of the top 20 in the rankings for the first time since March 2019.
The Brazilians had a rough end to the season, with some sub-par showings after the third place at StarSeries i-League Season 8, and things didn't get much better at the turn of the year. They were forced to field Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles as a stand-in in the North American closed qualifier for IEM Katowice due to Henrique "HEN1" Teles' visa issues, and bombed out of the tournament after just two matches.
FURIA have now turned their attention to DreamHack Open Anaheim, where they will face a stacked field of competitors for the grand prize of $50,000 plus the spot at DreamHack Masters Jönköping. A good showing in California will be crucial to increase the team's confidence levels ahead of qualifier for the Americas Minor - an event that could make or break Andrei "arT" Piovezan's side.
MAD Lions' success story continues
The former Tricked squad rose up five places, from 21st to 16th (their highest-ever ranking), after an impressive start to the year, both online and on LAN, confirming their status as one of the most exciting teams to watch in the tournament circuit.
MAD Lions began 2020 by qualifying for IEM Katowice, the first Big Event in the history of the team, after coming all the way from the open brackets, defeating teams like North, Heroic and ENCE in the process. They proceeded to qualify for DreamHack Open Leipzig, where they placed top-four after once again taking the scalps of the Danish rivals they had beaten on the road to Katowice.
Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen's charges will have the chance to get some more ranking points in the bag before the IEM event as they are still in contention at the ICE Challenge, where they will face OG in the quarter-finals. Their recent success hasn't gone unnoticed: they have been rewarded with an invite to the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor, which will allow them, at least, to skip the grueling open brackets.